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Video Monitors and Media Players for field or studio use (all display technologies).


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Old May 27th, 2003, 09:14 PM   #1
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Help selecting a field monitor

I have to make a decision very soon. I do not have a viewfinder for my xl1s. Im either going to get the b&w viewfinder with a cheapo external LCD, or get the LCD viewfinder and get a quality monitor. What are your recommendations? If i get a quality monitor with the lcd viewfinder, what do I need to look for in a good monitor? How much should I expect to pay?

Thanks,
Stephen Birdsong
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Old May 28th, 2003, 05:46 PM   #2
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Hi Stephen,

Based upon your comments, it sounds like you have a good $2000 or so to spend. I would say that it all depends upon your shooting requirements. If you are almost always set up static on a tripod, get the color LCD EVF and spring for a high quality 14" SONY or JVC CRT monitor. That way, you will also be able to use the 14" monitor for editing and also color correction (if it is a good enough monitor).

If you also do a lot of setups where you are not running around, but rather you are spending a good amount of setup time for each shot - and if you are on a fixed budget, then the above combination will again serve you well. Otherwise you may want to consider the B&W viewfinder, especially if you are also going to be shooting handheld a lot and/ or "running and gunning". You will probably appreciate the higher resolution of the B&W EVF in this case...

There is also the NEBTEC-modified (NEB70XL) PANASONIC 7" LCD screen. http://www.nebtek.com/7inch/neb70.html if you have a need for a portable monitor but do not want to lug around a CRT monitor. If you go for the standard color LCD EVF, then get a higher resolution SONY CRT field monitor instead. Bear in mind that you will be trading a bit of resolution and color detail (over a CRT monitor) for that extra portability. I would not rely on any LCD screen to make critical focus and color judgements... Get a hot-shoe ball mount adaptor as well if you think you will need that.

I primarily use the B&W viewfinder. I also use a SONY PVM-8045Q 8" CRT field monitor which uses NP1 batteries. I also own the NEBTEC/ PANASONIC NEB70XL 7" LCD screen. I will typically use the SONY for myself (feeding it S-Video from the XL1S) and let the Director/ Producer use the Panasonic 7" (feeding it composite RCA video from the Xl1S). I like the added detail I can see with the increased resolution of the S-video input on the 450 line-capable PVM-8045Q.

Also, if I am running and gunning and do not have the means to carry a field monitor with me, I will often times detach the viewfinder tube on the B&W viewfinder and replace that with the TIFFEN TELE-2x EVF magnifier (WAVFIKEGAMI), http://www.tiffen.com/tele2x.htm The TIFFEN TELE-2X allows me to see the high-detail B&W EVF image without always having to place my eye against the viewfinder cup - very handy at times, especially if you are moving the camera around in your hands while shooting. It's almost like having a flip-out LCD panel on the XL1S.

Please do let us know what you decide and how it works for you.

- don
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Old May 29th, 2003, 03:13 PM   #3
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Hey Don...I use a similar setup w/ the XL1s/Mini35. THat is, the B&W VF and the Nebtek on camera. WE have a JCV 9" filed monitor that's OK for "viewing" and composition, but I usually move my eye from the VF for focus and expossure and the LCD for basic color and composition. I've been looking at adding the 8045Q with Dave Riddle's case hood/stand setup. That rig wouldn't allow for an Anton Bauer system, so I've been really curious as to the life of the NP1's on the 8045Q. Does it carry 2 standard? What can you expect to get from, say 4 batteries in the field? We traditionally run the JVC from a couple of NRG belts and they always crap out too soon <g>






<<I primarily use the B&W viewfinder. I also use a SONY PVM-8045Q 8" CRT field monitor which uses NP1 batteries. I also own the NEBTEC/ PANASONIC NEB70XL 7" LCD screen. I will typically use the SONY for myself (feeding it S-Video from the XL1S) and let the Director/ Producer use the Panasonic 7" (feeding it composite RCA video from the Xl1S). I like the added detail I can see with the increased resolution of the S-video input on the 450 line-capable PVM-8045Q.>>
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Old May 30th, 2003, 08:08 PM   #4
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Jim, cool set up.

If you have AB bats, you might want to just run them through a 12v cable to the Sony monitor. That's the best way to go. The NP1's don't last for very long (hour with 2 internal). They do charge quickly.
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Old May 31st, 2003, 02:41 AM   #5
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Hi Jim,

As Justin points out, you'll get a little over an hour with two standard NP1 batteries. I also have the Anton Bauer attachment which allows you to use Anton Bauer bricks - that'll give you twice the running time. Aspen Electronics does offer a high capacity NiMH NP1 style battery called the NHP-50, which lasts almost twice as long as standard NP1 batteries - a good alternative.
http://www.aspenelectronics.com/np_batteries2003.asp

Hope all is well on your end Jim! :o)

- don
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Old May 31st, 2003, 04:30 PM   #6
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Hey Justin, Don,
I was just telling Chris what a great resource this place is and the quality of the professional input and personalities is the best in cyberville. So the "50" has twice the charge but still fits the same slots and can be charged by a standard "I can find a really beat up but functioning one for $78.95 on ebay NP-1 charger"? <g>.

I'd love to hear what you've been up to ith the Mini35 Justin. I was talking to Mizell and just now Chris about more of a dedicated Mini35 presence here. I've got to post a couple of pictures of my finished rig...it is kind of the son of Frankenstein of XL1s. I just this week got the cusom Lee Filters matte box set up for my 52mm and 72mm Nikons, and all tricked out with the B&W VF, LCD and P&S (how's that for acronyms) it looks kind of amazing.

Also, I just picked up a 135mm f/2 and 180mm f/2.8 Nikon that I'm shooting with this week. Oh, and I just upgraded the Mini35 to the XL1s after using it for the last year on the XL1, and yes Virginia...there is an immediate bump in color and definition that is a real plus with this setup.

Duh...it just occured to me that this should all be over at the Lens and Optics section. Thanks again for the info guys.
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 12:16 PM   #7
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Please do post some pictures of your rig!
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 12:37 PM   #8
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<<Please do post some pictures of your rig!>>

I'll do that Rob. Is there a way to actually put them up here, or should I simply post a url to another site? I'll try and snap a couple in the studio this week and put them here and maybe over at the "optics" dept which is where the Mini35 seems to be discussed...or is "toward a film look"...I get confused.
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 01:16 PM   #9
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Jim,

I've been shooting a lot of things with the mini35. Just finished a feature and a short. The short was cool because it was all handheld documentary style, or more appropriately mocumentary. Very alive and energetic. Lots of characters, and me moving in and out of the scene, trying to keep focus all the while. I shot wide open (T1.4) and stayed with the 35mm lens mostly throughout. Very little lighting (outdoors and luckily overcast since I couldn't really use silks), no field monitor and a lot of shoulder pain. ;)

I'll be redesigning my web page soon that will include more of the DP work. In fact it will be all Cinematography and Film centric.
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 05:31 PM   #10
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<<I shot wide open (T1.4) and stayed with the 35mm lens mostly throughout. Very little lighting (outdoors and luckily overcast since I couldn't really use silks), no field monitor and a lot of shoulder pain. ;)

I'll be redesigning my web page soon that will include more of the DP work. In fact it will be all Cinematography and Film centric.>>

I'd love to see some of it Justin...any chance you could email me a couple of quicktime snippets? By the way...on the shoulder pain thing. Mizell/ZGC is getting me a "hot-rodded" Image 2000 shoulder brace to demo this weekend. Modified by TCS in NYC (just tapping the plate with a more substatnial thread and screw to accomodate the Mini35.) I'll give you a report if you'd like.

I've got to ask Chris about migrating this thread under a new header for the P&S interest.
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