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The View: Video Display Hardware and Software
Video Monitors and Media Players for field or studio use (all display technologies).


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Old July 16th, 2004, 04:15 PM   #1
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using two cameras one monitor.

Hey folks looking for some advice.
We are going to be shooting with two cameras an XL1 and a GL2. I need to be able to make sure that both cameras are looking the same. Is there a way of looking at the two cameras outputs on the same monitor. I've got a laptop with firewire, but don't know if there is a program that will show both cameras side by side. Or is ther a piece of hardware that I could plug both cameras into and see them side by side on the same monitor.

Any ideas whould be helpful.

Thanks in advance
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Old July 19th, 2004, 01:13 PM   #2
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hmm i've actually been wondering the same thing, coincidence? Would anyone have an idea to this issue perhaps? It'd be akin to having a monitor with almost like a picture in picture .. i guess the easiest way would be to have two ntsc monitors side by side? would there be a more efficient and cost effective method?
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Old July 21st, 2004, 12:27 PM   #3
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Well, the cehapest solution is to plug back and forth between the cameras...

Using 2 monitors is one option, however there is no garuntee that the picture will be the same on both monitors - infact it is preaty much garunteed that the pictures will NOT be the same - unless you have high end monitors and they are properly set up to match - and even this isn't a garuntee.

The best solution is to use a video mixer to create a wipe between the 2 cameras (diagonal wipes work best) on the same monitor - this wipe nca be moved back and forth to compare different parts of the image. Just about any video mixer (i have yet ot find one without) will do basic wipes, so if you don't have one lieing around, you can hop on e-bay and grab one for a couple of hundred bucks, or you can call your loacl TV station or school and see if they have a video mixer you can borrow for your shoot. - This method is used by professional outfits eveywhere!

Don't forget to check with the monitor set to black and white too if it can and check like that aswell.

Of course if you are really picky about settings you shoudl check your cameras with a waveform monitor and vector scope. - there are scope programs avialable that wonk on laptops with firewire, so that is also one option - and if you can't allready read a scope, it's a good thing to learn!

Also be sure to use similar length cables for testing your cameras (3 foot on one and 80 foot on the other - there *might* be a difference in brightness...)

If non of these options are avialable, use presets on the cameras if you can - same shooting modes, same settings in manual, same white balance preset.. - the XL1 and GL2 both produce very similar images allready, and even the automatic circuitry is very close. I'v done multicamera shoots with 3 XL1s and a GL1 and they all look beutifull together.
*a note for others reading this* this generally holds true for cameras from the same product line form the same manufacturer: XL1, XL1s, GL1, GL2 are all alike, as are PD150, PD170 and PDX10
However mixing cameras from different manufacturers is MUCH harder - just try pairing a XL1 with a PD150.. good luck!

- Mikko.
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Old July 21st, 2004, 04:35 PM   #4
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Thanks Mikko that was a big help.
Vector scope is a great idea.
Thanks
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Old July 21st, 2004, 05:23 PM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mikko Wilson :this generally holds true for cameras from the same product line form the same manufacturer: XL1, XL1s, GL1, GL2 are all alike, as are PD150, PD170 and PDX10 -->>>

FWIW, my experience with the VX-2000 and PDX-10 is that you can make them match but when using the same custom presets they will look somewhat different. They don't white balance quite the same for starters. And the PDX-10 applies more image sharpening. You should definitely dial the sharpness down two or even three clicks on the PDX-10. Depending on the light you may need to increase the color level and shift white balance a click or two towards warm on the PDX-10 also. But I think a bigger problem with these two particular cameras is that the VX-2000/PD-150 are so much more light sensitive, by about two and a half stops. This can cause some matching problems as well since the iris openings will be different and depending on the situation the PDX-10 may need a gain boost.
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Old July 22nd, 2004, 12:19 AM   #6
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i dont knwo if anyone said it or not, but you could use a multiplexer, (i think thats how its spelled..) we have one where i work for security servalience and such, i mean i guess in theory it would work, itd be both images on the same monitor that way you could see them side by side.
hope that helped

alex b.
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Old July 22nd, 2004, 08:17 AM   #7
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I use a $20 "A/B switch" from Radio Shack. You just plug both cams into it and toggle "A" and "B". For more than 2 cams they (also other places) have a 4 way switcher.
Randy
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