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


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Old September 25th, 2007, 07:35 PM   #1
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what are the advantage of black and white monitors?

May I ask why most professional video cams uses black and white viewfinders instead of color? whats the principle behind this b&w monitors?

My friend gave me his Sony 10" Black and white 800 lines monitor but I still dont know where can i use it.

I shoot weddings, corporate, interviews.

Can you give me a situation where can I use this b&w monitor that my sony z1 LCD cant do?
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Old September 25th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #2
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Focus. B&W monitors usually have more resolution at less cost, which is why they are used for studio camera viewfinders. You can more easily see if the camera is focused. This doesn't mean you don't have to do the zoom and focus, but it is more obvious when the picture is out of focus. In a studio environment, light color doesn't change very much, so white balance isn't usually a problem. Color monitors (on the cameras at least) really isn't necessary.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 11:07 PM   #3
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Black & white monitors yield higher resolution. It's also difficult to build small monitors with high resolution, so some camera viewfinders are black and white.

You might use a monitor that size for live switching work, for previewing a particular source. Or in a linear editing bay or tape room. For field work I don't see it being that useful... you could use it to check focus, but there are other ways of doing that.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 12:00 AM   #4
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Along with what the other responders said, you should know that the human eye is more sensitive to luminance than chrominance. Removing color allows you to focus more effectively.

Another thing b/w does for you is allow you to see the overall contrast of a scene. Two colors that may look vastly different might have the same luminance value and reduce the overall aesthetic of a scene. So it helps as a compositional tool also.

-gb-
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Old September 26th, 2007, 03:58 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the response.
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Old September 27th, 2007, 07:24 PM   #6
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Somewhere around here I still have an old 4" square gelatin "panchromatic" filter that was used to eliminate the "distraction" of color and give you a quick sense of the contrast range and balance in a scene. It wasn't intended for use in front of the lens, but just as a viewing filter. At the time I was shooting mostly 5 X 7 inch B&W negatives. I seem to remember that these filters were primarily intended for motion picture crews.

Honestly speaking, I prefer a B&W viewfinder.

Maybe also a throwback to the first "portable" video camera I used. It had a briefcase sized tape drive unit that you hung from your shoulder and a separate handheld lens & viewfinder unit tethered to it.
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Old September 28th, 2007, 02:51 PM   #7
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I love this b&w monitor! comparing it to a 9" 300lines color monitor you can really see the difference. the 300lines color monitor looks blurred.
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