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Old October 13th, 2011, 05:38 PM   #1
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CHeaper LCD monitors enough for shooting concerts?

Hi all,

I am considering buying a field monitor initially to assist with the shooting of some end of year dance concerts around the corner. Mainly for focusing and framing to save my eyes from having to stare into the vf or the tiny on-side LCD for four hours! Of course I guess I will use it for other shoots as they come up, but I haven't ever found the need for a monitor apart from the concerts to date.

I am using a Panasonic AJHPX-502 and have composite and component outputs on the camera.

Not having any experience in these small monitors, I was wondering whether the difference in money between this:

eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d?r

and something like this:

eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d?r

is worth it....

Of course the more expensive ones have better features (and higher res by the look of it), but do I need to pay for them? Are those things necessary for just monitoring for framing and focus? There are certainly plenty of the cheap ones around, but if they are hopeless when it comes to focusing, I would rather spend the extra dollars and have the better monitor.

SO, Win your experience, would the dearer one be "worth" the extra money?

Many thanks in advance.

David
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Old October 13th, 2011, 05:47 PM   #2
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Re: Cheaper LCD monitors enough for shooting concerts?

This is an older thread but many of the recommendations are still valid, especially as you get to the more recent posts towards the end:

Finally! External LCD Monitor Solution < $200
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Old October 13th, 2011, 05:48 PM   #3
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Re: CHeaper LCD monitors enough for shooting concerts?

Thanks Adam...
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Old October 14th, 2011, 09:03 PM   #4
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Re: CHeaper LCD monitors enough for shooting concerts?

As long as you don't use it for adjusting exposure and color, then you will be fine.

One of the main reasons for spending more money on professional monitors is for the focus assist functions such as peaking and pixel-to-pixel zooming. Having used small and large 'Pro' monitors with an EX3 and F3, I would only 'need' the focus functions with the F3 due to a much shallower depth of field. With the EX3's small LCD, peaking and focus assist, I never have a problem with getting accurate focus.

At the very least, I would get a LCD with standard VESA mounts on the back so you can use it with stands and other brackets such as this, which I use with my Panasonic BT-LH1710W
Delvcam DELV-LCD1 Combo Stand & LCD VESA 75/100 DELV-LCD1

For a cheap LCD, I suggest 720p at a minimum, but 1080p is better because you won't have anything else to assist with focusing. Also, I would get a 20"-26" LCD. A LCD in this range will still be easy to transport while providing large enough pixels and viewing size. Actually, I would only choose a LCD that you can attach a screen protector to. Preferably, you would want a LCD that you can attach some sort of sun shade to if doing outdoor work. If doing outdoor work, you need a LCD with a high max brightness of 400 cd/m2 or more.

When you do get it, be sure to send Bars to it and calibrate. Also, turn off ALL 'features' that are designed to make the picture look better. I recently went through the settings on my Sony Bravia in my studio, and I couldn't believe how many of these 'features' there were. Some of them even made the image look worse including one for MPEG compression which made artifacts around text.
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Old October 14th, 2011, 10:20 PM   #5
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Re: CHeaper LCD monitors enough for shooting concerts?

Thanks Steve.

It's hard to know what to do with this as I only really have the need for a monitor at these concerts that only happen at the end of each year.

Dick Smith have an interesting one:

Buy VIVO 33cm (13.3") High Definition LCD TV LTV13HD | Read Reviews | Dick Smith Online Shopping

And for $99 you get High-Def with component inputs (my cam has component output), HDMI, Composite, S-Video and a vesa mount on the back.

The only issue is these concerts are shot from a sound booth where space is a minimum, so the larger the monitor, the less convenient it becomes for me to set up...I was thinking of attaching a 7"-er to the tripod and using it that way. Not so sure if a 13.3" monitor would be suitable for that....

That said, as I am over 40, my eyesight is not what it was and I gather the larger the monitor the better in my case...
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Old October 15th, 2011, 01:37 AM   #6
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Re: CHeaper LCD monitors enough for shooting concerts?

Dave, one of the issues with using a TV for a monitor is that it still overscans so you will not be seeing 100% of what the camera will be capturing.

As Steve mentioned don't rely on anything but a quality monitor you can calibrate to adjust for exposure or color. The second monitor you linked in your original post seems interesting. It's hard to tell with those on how the picture quality will be. The important thing for focusing assistance is the native resolution, not just the resolution of signal that it will accept. For the smaller monitors the SmallHD and TVLogic have good high resolution. I do rely on my monitor to adjust exposure as well as focusing. For live shows I find that it is important to have a quality monitor so that I can quickly go between looking at the monitor and looking at the the action on the stage. That way I can monitor and anticipate the movement and action on stage.

-Garrett
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