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Old December 15th, 2007, 03:19 PM   #1
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Question about panasonic camera monitor

We have an HPX-500 and we're looking at buying a BT-LH80w camera monitor for it. We desperately need a field monitor.

We shoot mostly 1080p30. According to the specs this monitor doesn't support 1080p30. Are we out of luck then? Why would this monitor not support this fairly common framerate? What happens if we plug it in and send it 1080p30?
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Old December 15th, 2007, 05:18 PM   #2
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Hi Jeff...............

Wow, I like your style!

Gonna pop for a $2700 screen (plus odds and sods) which says it doesn't support 30p just on the off chance it might do it if you try.

Hmm, am I missing something here?

I would suggest the 900 but, guess what? According to the blurb, it won't act as a VF! Amazing.

I suppose you could drop into a Panny dealer and try it and see what happens, but those specs look pretty damn specific.

Think sommat has to give, either the 30p or that screen as a VF.


CS
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Old December 15th, 2007, 07:01 PM   #3
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Well we were going to buy it, but if it can't handle the format we shoot in, I don't see buying it.

The focus in red is a big sell, but not big enough to make us shoot a different format.

I was curious if by not supporting native 30p it was just saying it would display 30p in a 60fps stream, which maybe is not such a big deal.
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Old December 15th, 2007, 07:27 PM   #4
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Hi Jeff.........

Guess you're best bet is the "hands on test", if possible or a direct chat with Panny (tho' one bit of bad advice there could be expensive).

Good luck.


CS
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Old December 15th, 2007, 07:57 PM   #5
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I could be wrong but I think you'll be fine if you go with that monitor shooting in the mode you describe. Since the HPX is recording those 30 frames over 60i (refer to your instruction manual) and not natively recording just those 30 frames, you should be fine going to that monitor. The monitor does support 1080/59.94i AND 1080/60i.

Hope this helps.

BTW, I believe this question was asked/answered over on the HPX forum at dvxuser.com.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 01:00 AM   #6
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I suggest a larger monitor like the LH1700. It supports 1080/30P. There are also several options for 12V battery power.

If you're shooting HD, you really need to be using a larger monitor to check focus, composition, etc. Some folks recommend a minimum screen size of 24".

The nice thing about the Panasonic monitors is the built-in waveform, so you can get a better idea of what your exposure levels are. I don't know exactly how accurate they are, but they at least get you in the ballpark. Obviously you want to hook up a waveform and vectorscope to get exact readings.

One helpful thing you might want to do is get a piece of plexiglass and some sticky back Velcro to make a protective clear cover for the monitor. That keeps the Director's grubby fingers off the screen. Why do people insist of touching the f-in' monitor. I always have to resist the urge to slap it away from the glass.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 07:38 AM   #7
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I also recommend that you cover the 17" Panasonic monitor with a thin layer of plexiglass or similiar material.

I was on a shoot, with the 17" monitor and noticed two finger-sized dark areas. I asked the owner, and he said the DP was pointing something out and pressed on the monitor screen.

I am sad to report that the dark areas are permenant!

He now keeps a thin protective layer on the monitor.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 09:48 AM   #8
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If you enclose the monitor with a deep enough hood (to prevent sunlight from hitting the screen), it will also serve as a good deterrent to the grubby fingers !!!
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Old December 16th, 2007, 11:41 AM   #9
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A 17 inch monitor would be too much for us. We need something on camera. We need to be fairly low profile and mobile. I'd love to have both, but the on camera monitor meets our needs much better than the 17 inch.

I'll make sure I get a demo and bolt it on our camera for a day of testing before we commit. It will also be good to figure out if we need SDI or not.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 07:48 PM   #10
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Why not try the BTLH80 (smaller brother of the 17")? I found it just as good in the field as the BTLH1700 (17 inch fellow).
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Old December 17th, 2007, 02:36 AM   #11
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Just bought this monitor. I'm in pal, and it supports 1080 25p (out on the 1080 50i mode) Since this mode works the same as the 1080i 30 for the 60hz camera, I'm quite certain the monitor, which can accept a 1080 60hzs signal, plays back 1080 30p. Also this monitor is marketed as a VF option for the HPX500, so it has to support all modes.

The monitor is good, but there's a problem on the viewing angle. I had it mounted top down, due to be using it with a 35mm adapter, and reversed the monitor is very hard to see...

But I figured a way to mount it on the HVX with a 35mm adapter (Brevis). Heavy, but handheldable.

The plus of the monitor is its relatively lightweight, has built in waveform, works with anton bauer gold mount batteries and has a 4 pin power input for belts, etc.

The focus in Red is invaluable for HD shooting. However, its still hard times for 35mm adapters, but a lot more manageable than with the built in LCD.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 02:57 AM   #12
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Sergio,

Just wondering how you mount the LH80 on the HVX? Care to share your method? I was thinking about mounting it on HVX202 - but, I have doubts the handle can cope with the weight for extended periods of time.

TS
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Old December 17th, 2007, 10:13 AM   #13
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Thanks for the solid info on the monitor. that's what I was hoping for...a view from the field. We're not using any 35mm adapters, just the standard cac lens, so we're very much looking forward to focus in red.

In some of the shoots we've been doing we've been dealing with a depth of field of about 2cm. It's next to impossible to fix focus even with focus assist. We're hoping this monitorwill really help out.

On the up side, it's an amazing problem to be dealing with a very narrow depth of field. That's the type of problem I like.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 10:18 AM   #14
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Huh? DOF of only 2cm? I hope your subject or your camera is absolutely stationary during the shoot then. I think you are really pushing the limits of focusing then.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 10:51 AM   #15
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Yep, we're pushing the limits of focus. Full zoom from maybe 7 feet away. Kind of our own version of macro. Sea cucumbers, sea stars, scallops. They look extremely awesome at 1080 projected big.
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