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Old August 9th, 2011, 04:39 PM   #1
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Anyone got tips for how they use their SmallHD DP6

I just got a SmallHD DP6 external monitor for use with my HMC-150. I'm wondering if anyone who uses this has some advice for someone who is going to be using it. Anything at all!
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Old August 10th, 2011, 01:30 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone got tips for how they use their SmallHD DP6

I found the DP6 was more useful than expected. I typically use a DP1 or DP6 mounted to a tripod base fixture and connected by HDMI to the HMC150. So the monitor is fixed as the camera moves to follow action on the stage. I frame the shot with the DP6 and run the waveform monitor on the camera LCD screen to manually control aperture.

I was surprised to find the DP6 false color focus and exposure functions to be useful. So useful, that I ordered their HDMI splitter so that I can run a DP1 and DP6 together. Iíll frame on the DP1 and let the DP6 monitor the exposure in itís false color mode.

Works Great
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Old August 14th, 2011, 02:13 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone got tips for how they use their SmallHD DP6

What do you use false color for? I've never encountered it before, and I feel like I still have only a shaky grasp of what it is exactly.
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Old August 14th, 2011, 01:40 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone got tips for how they use their SmallHD DP6

I usually keep the focus assist and false color as my two presets buttons on the dp6. In most lighting environments I don't use the false color. The dp6 is pretty darn wysiwyg with the latest firmware, so I've turned to trusting what I see on the monitor. In darker or lighter environments at times its hard to tell if something is too dark or too bright as your eyes adjust. This is when I find false color the most helpful. The monitor displays the relative "exposure" of the scene in terms of colors rather than just brightness. Rather like how zebras can show you whats over a certain IRE, the dp6 will show anything over 98IRE as yellow and anything under 3 IRE as blue. From 58-97 IRE the scale is represented from dark to light green and from 4-48 its dark to light purple. 49-57 is orange. Its kinda like a histogram mapped out in color across the whole image.

You can use that however you like. FC allows you to see exactly what is falling within what luminance range. The most common/useful application of that is with skin tones. For a traditional "interview" type lighting, if the skin is within the green (without orange or yellow) then you are in the ballpark. Your personal preference will vary for how hot you want skin.

Where relative luminance requires your eyes to be adjusted to the monitor/room, false color lets you know at a glance no matter what. If the face is green, you are good to go. boom.

note that the dp6 now has two different false color modes. There is also the "HL" high low mode. In this mode purple and blue represent 0-3IRE and yellow/red 97-100. In HL mode you are mostly looking at a greyscale image of the scene to set your luminance, with warnings of color to let you know when part of the image is clipped or crushed.

False color is one of those features that you either swear by or don't care. It can be a godsend when shooting something critical to pop on FC and see green faces letting you know all is well. For people that control their lighting and environment more, FC is one of those mysterious "why would you want that?" features.


My advice for the dp6 is to buy a manfrotto nanoclamp and an israeli arm. (the smallhd arm is nice, as are Noga arms). The nanoclamp lets you quickly clamp down onto the pan arm of a tripod, or a leg, or a camcorder handle - you name it. In so many instances the 1/4-20 hole (if you have one) is in the wrong place and the weight of the monitor tries to unscrew the arm. The nanoclamp lets you adjust the clamp so that the monitor is tightening or on a different axis from unthreading. That peace of mind makes a big difference to me.

hope that helps.
-a
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