A1 LCD MONITOR - Shortlist: TOTE VISION / IKAN at DVinfo.net

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Old May 26th, 2008, 05:26 AM   #1
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A1 LCD MONITOR - Shortlist: TOTE VISION / IKAN

Hi All,

I know these 'monitor' posts get moved..... but I was wondering If I could get some feedback RE: which monitors A1 folks are using and are HAPPY with !!
(mounted on the A1 for HDV focussing with 1080i component input)
If it would get a better response in the monitor forum then the 'move' would be muchly appreciated.

I have considered many options from the DIY stuff to the hi-res car lcd+composite converter...... to the fork out the big bucks for a Panny- Whew!!

After much research (did I say much..... much, much) I have narrowed down to two (with my limited budget)..... please give some feedback if you have any experience with them.

My needs are *focussing* : HDV focussing in the field.
The two monitors below are same resolution 800x480

1 - IKAN V8000HD $795 (also available for less at B-Stock item)

http://www.ikancorp.com/pages/monito...00hd/index.htm

I have had much hope for this monitor.... and was almost ready to buy,
BUT have heard some discouranging stuff from others who have purchased.
Issues with powering up from batteries, flickering, and the dreaded auto-off function doing its own thang! also the finicky buttons.
I understand nothing is perfect at this price bracket - but I still want a consistantly working monitor.
That said, I believe monitors that have been troublesome have been quite easily exchanged by the Ikan support team.
(Problem is - I live in S.Africa and shipping of this baby is over $100 - I need a -working 1st time- screen!)

PRO's = 8 inches..... powered by Sony Batteries..... lightweight plastic construction....sharp image(?)


2 - TOTE VISION LCD-703HD $838 (available for much less elsewhere - $565)

http://www.totevision.com/Second/Tot...20MONITORS.htm

I have found it relatively difficult to obtain information/review of this monitor,
specially from those who have purchased it and are using it!
It looks good though (does that count for anything?)

steel construction
7" though (Ikan = 8")
heavier than the Ikan !
This particular model requires independant battery source. ( was thinking Tekkeon myPower MP3450 charger/batt system)

Please Help if you can...... It is difficult enough spending this kind of money
and knowing you are not get the 'perfect' screen... which will be replaced by newer better cheaper technology in the near future.

There is much more to say about this topic but I hope to have kept this post readible and relatively to-the-point.

Thanks
Shawn
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Old May 26th, 2008, 06:11 AM   #2
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Hi Shawn..............

Ho Hum, yet another "monitor for focusing" question.

OK, why do you need an external, diddy, 800 X 480 monitor to focus the A1?

Pretty basic question, but one that I think you need to answer.

Can't focus the A1?

Under any circumstances?

At any range?

Is this a problem with the LCD?

The viewfinder?

Your eyes?

I'm not having a go, just asking some serious questions (hey, you're talking about shedding some pretty serious dosh on this purchase!).

I realise this is somewhat obtuse to your actual question, but do feel I need to give your motives some scrutiny in the process, as I am firmly of the belief that an external monitor for an HD cam has to be "HD" to start with if it is to be effective, and 800 X 480 is hardly that.

So, what's the motivation behind this purchase?


CS
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Old May 26th, 2008, 07:36 AM   #3
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Shawn, take a look at this post I recently made:
http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=121801

Yes, it is a portable DVD player, but the resolution is there and yes, it is fed via composite, but to pull focus, it is definitely there and only for $180 USD. IT folds flat and doesn't even look like a DVD player!
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Old May 26th, 2008, 07:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
as I am firmly of the belief that an external monitor for an HD cam has to be "HD" to start with if it is to be effective, and 800 X 480 is hardly that.
CS
I had the same thoughts, but the 480 screen on those 8" Sony's are really good for doing the job.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #5
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THanks (so far) for the responses....

Chris..... Thanks. ( I appreciate and respect your input)
I'm trying hard to see your point.
Methinks you're saying, 'get a REAL HD monitor' - right ?

My motivation behind the purchase is getting an LCD
that will assist me in seeing a better idea of what IS in focus
compared to using the onboard LCD or viewfinder.

I know 800x480 is barely even cutting it for SD (here in PAL land SD=720x576)
but spending $4800 or thereabouts for the Panny is out of the question.
I simply have to settle for what I can afford.

>>Can't focus the A1? SOmetimes I cannot get sharp focus where the DOF is somewhat critical

>>Under any circumstances? Lower light especially

>>At any range? .... I'm not gonna go the 'rangefinder' route

>>Is this a problem with the LCD? The onboard one is small !

>>The viewfinder? Sometimes there is a lot to do at once and using the viewfinder aint so practical

>>Your eyes? My eyes are ok.

I would love to get a more 'what you see is what you get' idea wrt focussing
and not rely on the guesswork.
Are you saying that a field monitor is simply noy necessary ??

Chris, Im interested in your viewpoint - could you share more of your philosohpy please.
.
.
.

JEROME...... I spent a while last week looking into your DVD idea.

To be honest.... I was seriously considering this option BUT
the fx820 is not a PAL system.... and forking out the extra on the PAL unit in UK (fx850) which is more like the equiv. of double the dollars price didnt seem worth it. In addition to all that I got to get it here to S.Africa and didnt find it easy to get international shipping from UK.
Also I believe one of the factors in the image you see on a HD LCD is the component input scaler and with the DVD it is simply composite input only.

You purchased one - right?
I did read your thread thoroughly
I know you say it is easy easy easy for focus.
Perhaps I should reconsider..... it does look like a nice unit.
I think the biggest motavating factor was the price in US$
like I said not the same for fx850 PAL version.

Thanks so far
SL
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Old May 26th, 2008, 10:43 AM   #6
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THanks (so far) for the responses....

Chris..... Thanks. ( I appreciate and respect your input)
I'm trying hard to see your point.
Methinks you're saying, 'get a REAL HD monitor' - right ?

My motivation behind the purchase is getting an LCD
that will assist me in seeing a better idea of what IS in focus
compared to using the onboard LCD or viewfinder.

I know 800x480 is barely even cutting it for SD (here in PAL land SD=720x576)
but spending $4800 or thereabouts for the Panny is out of the question.
I simply have to settle for what I can afford.

>>Can't focus the A1? SOmetimes I cannot get sharp focus where the DOF is somewhat critical

>>Under any circumstances? Lower light especially

>>At any range? .... I'm not gonna go the 'rangefinder' route

>>Is this a problem with the LCD? The onboard one is small !

>>The viewfinder? Sometimes there is a lot to do at once and using the viewfinder aint so practical

>>Your eyes? My eyes are ok.

I would love to get a more 'what you see is what you get' idea wrt focussing
and not rely on the guesswork.
Are you saying that a field monitor is simply noy necessary ??

Chris, Im interested in your viewpoint - could you share more of your philosohpy please.

.
.
.
.

JEROME...... I spent a while last week looking into your DVD idea.

To be honest.... I was seriously considering this option BUT
the fx820 is not a PAL system.... and forking out the extra on the PAL unit in UK (fx850) which is more like the equiv. of double the dollars price didnt seem worth it. In addition to all that I got to get it here to S.Africa and didnt find it easy to get international shipping from UK.
Also I believe one of the factors in the image you see on a HD LCD is the component input scaler and with the DVD it is simply composite input only.

You purchased one - right?
I did read your thread thoroughly
I know you say it is easy easy easy for focus.
Perhaps I should reconsider..... it does look like a nice unit.
I think the biggest motavating factor was the price in US$
like I said not the same for fx850 PAL version.

Thanks so far
SL
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Old May 26th, 2008, 11:13 AM   #7
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Shawn, I've had the Ikan 8000HD for about a month. It is more than adequate for focusing the A1's image. Color accuracy is not as good as the built in LCD, and the dynamic range is also lower. In bright daylight, you will need to look at the monitor straight on. Getting one of the Ikan hoods might be a good idea.

I have not had a chance to deal directly with Ikan yet, but my Sony NP-F970 battery simply would not fit in the battery slot (It is supposed to, it is an L series battery). I used a fingernail file to sand down the backs of the guides on the monitor, and now this battery fits. The monitor is supposed to be able to charge the battery itself (with the battery in place and the monitor turned off and plugged into AC), but it will not. So I had to buy a separate battery charger. Other users have not reported these problems, and other batteries in the L series may not have these issues. Maybe I have a bad copy of this monitor.

The monitor does make it easier to focus and can be a big help (and allows you to bypass the peaking, zooming and pre-focus, and magnification approaches that you may have to rely on without an external monitor.) It's nice to be able to view a larger image of what your filming.

Pat
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Old May 26th, 2008, 11:23 AM   #8
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Hi Pat..... Thanks for that....

The strange thing is that quite a few have reported these issues with the Ikan...... this is what has made me hesitant.
Strange to purchase something brand new that might or might not work properly.

This is the dis-advantage of living far away.
Return policies are not always practical.

On the other hand.... nailfiles aren't expensive here - lol

S
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Old May 26th, 2008, 09:41 PM   #9
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I'm considering purchasing the IKAN V8000HD as well - for the same reasons as Shawn.

I'd be interested in feedback from other people who own it or have used it.

Cheers,

Matthew.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 12:50 AM   #10
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I use the Ikan as well. Great for framing and focus, but definitely not color, convenience, or ease of use. Battery connector is the worst part of it. I use the Impact batteries and even those are a pain to put on and take off. In fact the battery conectors on mine where already corroded, looked like it was a refurb of something. Thats "made in china" for you. definitely buy a charger to go with it. I use the Impact charger for sony F series. Its less than $20 dollars. Battery was $69. The shoe it comes with is kind weak so I would recommend some sort of arm for mounting (although I make due with mine, ghetto rigged).

One other note, the angle of view is kinda limited. I use mine with an M2 so I mount it upside down. You have to look at it from an angle above the center of view. So when its upside down you have to look at it from a 45 degree angle from center. Thats the one thing I would trade this monitor to eliminate. But I make due.

For $800 I love it. Does what I want it to do. If your looking for the best monitor, go with the Marshal like everyone else. =)

One other thing, I used it on a professinal shoot the other day and the director/ camera man was sort of annoyed with it, for the angle of view. He was renting my gear, so that makes me look bad but luckly it was because he forgot to rent one himself so he had to use mine. I hate it, but you have to look pro if your going to work pro. Something to think about.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 01:52 AM   #11
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Thanks for your responses RE: The Ikan..........

Is there anybody out there at all with the TOTE VISION LCD ?????

Shawn
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Old May 27th, 2008, 02:40 AM   #12
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Shawn

I use a Totevision with a Tekkeon battery, and I am very happy with the combo on my A1. I previously posted about the totevision in the monitor section, see http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=100992
Bottom line, it seems rugged, and it does aid focusing in the real world where often other distractions deflect attention from a small lcd screen. I happen to mount the monitor and battery to the tripod, not the camera. Unfortunately I have never seen an Ikan in person, so I canít compare.

Good luck

Terry
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Old May 27th, 2008, 08:49 AM   #13
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http://izzotek.com/achat/produit_details.php?id=266

15" full hd under 800$ , only problem, you need to assemble yourself.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 05:15 PM   #14
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Terry : Thanks..... that Tekkeon looks like a good product....
I read your post before.... you were one of the only ones
with a Tote Vision that I came across.
Sounds positive. Where Did you purchase it ?
Are you happy enough with the resolution for HD focussing
Where Depth of Field starts to become 'critical' ?

I'm edging towards the TOTE VISION + Tekkeon Mypower 3450

Giroud..... thanks too - a bit big for 'on camera'
( I have a 22" for 'less' mobile situations)

Any more input on either monitor would stillb e appreciated.

SL
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Old May 27th, 2008, 10:42 PM   #15
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Shawn,

Yep, Iím willing to recommend the totevision as one of the useful HD focusing and framing solutions. Canít say it has a better picture than an Ikan or Marshall for lack of experience with the others, but it is certainly rugged, cheaper, and has an led backlight for low power usage.

From my previous tests, I concluded that the class of 800 x 480 monitors are only useful for HD focusing if they are fed a HD signal (ie 1080i component). I rank usefulness as 1.Marginal) any monitor with SD composite signal, 2.OK) A1 built in LCD, and 3. Better) a 800*480 monitor with a HD component input. Also I believe that 800*480 means more pixels than the A1 LCD.

The key to my testing was if I could see a difference with the smallest movement of the A1 focusing ring. The totevision (indoors) image did reflect even the smallest focus movement, while the A1 LCD looked the same for a small range of focus movement.

Also I want to repeat that the totevision idea of a ďbatteryĒ is useless, and the Tekkeon 3450 batteries are greatÖ I have 4 of them now.

FYI I got the totevision from FullCompass which had a low price, but they donít stock them, but they did get totevision to drop ship it to me.

Iím currently setting up for a major (for me) shoot on 6/1/08. The totevision will be critical and can report back if there are any problems.

Terry
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