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Video Monitors and Media Players for field or studio use (all display technologies).


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Old December 27th, 2006, 12:08 AM   #16
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Jay, thanks for the tip, when I get back I should see about swapping the threaded stud.

Paul, I made the made decision of moving the arm and bolt it to the underside of the mattebox plate mount. I had the displeasure of panning the camera upwards and having the Mashall swingback and greet me in the nose, (yeah, they feel heavy alright : )
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Old December 29th, 2006, 04:43 PM   #17
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http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=82348

More screen grabs etc. in that thread regarding the Marshall. Can any of you SWIT owners post up similar shots? The SWIT looks like good at $1K.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 09:55 PM   #18
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Dennis:

I have the HD SWIT and would be happy to post a few similar images, but am still waiting for my A1 to be returned from Canon repair (my mode wheel broke). Where do I order or download a resolution chart like you use in your examples?

P.S. looking forward to my Brevis35 :)
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Old December 30th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Wood
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=82348

More screen grabs etc. in that thread regarding the Marshall. Can any of you SWIT owners post up similar shots? The SWIT looks like good at $1K.

It comes down to a $300 difference in price. I think the varizoom comes with a hard case and adaptor installed to work with your existing camcorder batteries. That should make up for it, as the Marshall is just the monitor and A/C power supply in a cardboard box, the batteries are seperate, (I ordered a canon battery adaptor).

The big question is will the Swit render noise free resolution for critical focus?
Second on the list does it render colors sufficient for field/hotel room editing? The marshall is actually a production, rack mountable monitor that's small enough to earn the "on camera" title. I'd never mount this on anything smaller than the Canon A1/G1, and you'd need component to realize it's benefit.

So yeah, does someone have screen grabs to compare both? I may need a second monitor for two cam shoots and might forego another Marshall in favor of the Swit.
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Old December 31st, 2006, 02:41 AM   #20
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Random thought on LCD's

I just had a random thought while memorizing the controls on the left side of the A1 and wondering why Canon didn't option a 4x6" folding LCD that would cover the left side of the camera when closed? Integrate a touchscreen too.

I suppose it would be possible to remove the supplied lcd and use the pivot point for an aftermarket unit and feed it component, even half rez would be fine.

There's obviously room for improvement over the existing LCD/viewfinder combination.

Two fractional res devices? Give me a decent display, please!
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 12:03 PM   #21
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Devon, have you gotten your camera back yet? I'd be interested in more comparisons between the SWIT and the Marshall. How is the VZ on color? Would you say it is reliable for exposure and color?

From what I've read nobody whoís used the SWIT has seemed very excited about the color and picture value of the monitor. They say it is sharp enough and has comes with a lot of gear, but never rave about how good it looks (as opposed to the Marshall which almost everyone loves).

I personally would like to use one of these LCDís to occasionally replace my large 24" LCD on quicker shoots or in more remote locations. Therefore it needs to be exposure and color accurate. Perhaps the SWIT could be calibrated to be so? What are your thoughts, Devon?
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 09:47 PM   #22
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My darn camera is in Irvine, CA undergoing repairs (*sigh*). The monitor arrived about the same time the camera went out, so other than a quick test, I can't say too much. The monitor was clearly good for focus and for framing. I need to spend some time with it before I can speak to the color with much assurance.

Promise to post pics as soon as camera is back in the pocket.

Is there any place to download a resolution chart?

Also, what is the best method to test color accuracy, especially in relation to posting still pics?
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 10:32 PM   #23
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I downloaded a res chart a while ago by googling it and eventually finding one. Of course you'll have to have a good printout on photo paper for it to mean anything.

For color accuracy... I'd say it's 2/3 checking it against monitors or TVs you know to be accurate and 1/3 gut feeling (does it "feel" right; can you get a good sense of what the end viewer will be seeing; is the gamma pleasing and in accordance to what you know your camera produces).

But I could be way off and there's probably some test you can do. When I get my monitor I'll compare the live images to what I'm getting from the camera LCD and my 24" LCD and/or CRT TV's to see if they're telling the same story.

One thing you probably could tell right away is how well it handled the contrast and highlights. I have a cheap 5.6" LCD that tells utter lies when it comes to exposure because it clips all the highlight detail and buries the blacks. It also is about 1000K off in the white balance. Needless to say these are all pretty big problems and they're evident right away. So did you see any red flags at all like highlights blending into white when they shouldn't?
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Old January 18th, 2007, 09:59 AM   #24
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Ok. Camera (A1) back in the office from repair. More than happy to snap some pictures of the monitor hooked up to the camera.

So I only have to do this once, what is the best approach? Should I put something like a rubiks cube (colorful), with something with lots of text and/or small detail? I don't have a resolution chart.

I can snap the pics with my Canon Rebel XTi and post the stills. Should have some time later this afternoon do conduct a basic test based on recommendations and upload.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 01:20 PM   #25
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Ok. I don't have a lot of time for this sort of thing, but I gave it a try.

The HD (800x600) monitor described above hooked up to my A1 and pointed at some stuff. I printed some resolution chart I grabbed off the internet, it was like 3,000 x 2000 pixels and printed it on photo paper . Added a few other things. Now, the weakness in this test is that I am not a very good still photographer and this was just set up quickly in my office. Sorry, but that's the story. Now, the shots I snapped look a tad softer than the monitor looked with my own eyes.

Take it for what it's worth. I like the monitor. I can see hair and pores on someones face when I Zoom in a bit, so it works for framing and focus. Colors seem reasonably close.

Oh, the A1 was set to factory and zoomed in to 40 and the aperature was somewhere in the 4.0 range. 30F 1/60 fps.
Attached Thumbnails
Varizoom Swit vs. Marshall HDA-pic-3-swit_3.jpg   Varizoom Swit vs. Marshall HDA-pic-1-swit_1.jpg  

Varizoom Swit vs. Marshall HDA-pic-2-swit_2.jpg  
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Old January 18th, 2007, 01:46 PM   #26
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How well does the varizoom work for framing and checking the lighting? I shoot with hd100. Anyone feel it's too small?
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Old January 18th, 2007, 01:53 PM   #27
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I used the Varizoom for a shoot yesterday and the framing is spot-on. Lighting seemed acruate to the A1's little screen and then what I saw on my editing monitor later. Overall I am pleased with my purchase.

That being said, I have not used the monitor outdoors yet.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 11:45 PM   #28
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Varizoom Swit

Devon, Thanks for doing the test! I think the pictures could be a little bit bigger though to get a better sense of the resolution. And itís important to note that the colors look flat because of the color temperature of the monitor right?

In the days since my last post there's been some mix up with an order I placed and then canceled in December. It turns out they sent me the Varizoom Swit that was at the time not in stock... even though I canceled the order. It's going to go back but only because in the meantime I found a Marshall HDA used.

But it allows me to make my professional assessment of the device... I think it's a pretty decent monitor overall. I also haven't used it outside, but inside at the right viewing angle it's very sharp and clear and even quite pretty. The colors seem as you say close enough (MUCH better than the 5.6Ē LCD I mentioned) and you get good feedback on framing focus and exposure.

The two main things I don't like about it is that I know it won't be bright enough outside without a serious hood. The one it comes with is just for glare it's not going to do much. You would want to get one of these (which I just found today): http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
Looks great for the price. Two hoods in one! Petrol is a great company.

I also like the handle mount and couldn't find anything like it to go with my Marshall. Let me know if anyone knows of something (handle clamp with a ball mount). And the case it comes in is a bonus as well.

The second thing I think that's not so great is the noise of the monitor. I was using it with my FX1 with S-video (don't have the BNC adapters yet) and the FX1 is pretty well known for being a quiet cam at 0db or even 6db, but the lower mid tones and shadows were crawling with noise for some reason. It doesn't handle darks well at all - quite a bit of banding Ėnothing you canít get over if you know about it though.

I'll try it again with component cables when the adapters come (if they come before it has to go back), but I like the monitor overall and would have stuck with it had the Marshall opportunity not come along. I'll have to see how much better it really is.

Brian, I'm going to be working with the HD100 as well and I would recommend not getting this monitor if it's going to be the only one on the shoot (depending on your shoot size). It's best to get something that would show true HD 720p like a Dell24" monitor or an HDTV to get a true sense of what your image is like. These smaller monitors are more for camera operators who want a better image and more picture information than the on-camera LCD or viewfinder. At least that's my take on it. I don't think you'd want the director, DP, scripty and everyone else crowding around one 7-8" monitor.

So my advice to anyone in the market for a monitor of this size that canít afford the Marshall would be to go with the SWIT. (I may revise that once Iíve actually seen the Marshall). But it gets the job done and will save you $500 once you get the case, mount possible battery option. Itís also at least twice the product as any lower res monitor.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 12:04 AM   #29
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Excellent write up Chad. I think you will find a minor improvement when and if you are able to test with BNC adaptors for the component connection.
My main use is so I don't have to look at the tiny Canon flip out lcd and also a framing/focus monitor like this is critical for me in use with my jib.

When I can, I use my Dell HD monitor I think it is twenty some odd inches (i forget exactly), but that is mainly for indoors controlled situations.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 04:10 PM   #30
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SWIT problems in YUV mode

Well I got the BNC adapters today and I think that either they are really bad quality or something is wrong with my SWIT. The sharpness is lost entirely when using the component hookups. It is smoother that S-Video and has less aliasing for sure, but it's too smooth. I was pretty shocked to see the perceived resolution go down.

I uploaded some pics to compare.

What is also very strange is that you don't have the Sharpness control option on component and you do with S-video. You can crank it up (which helps in focusing) or turn it back down to a reasonable level. But no adjustment can be made in YUV mode. I found it very difficult to focus with it in component.

Finally, when sending a 480p signal over component there is an obvious defect as seen in the on-screen text of the photo. I tried multiple cables and even swapped out all 6 BNC adapters that I got, but it was always the same - at two parts on screen there are what looks like field doubling or some such thing. It's not present in 720p.

The adapters I got were these: http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=090-400

Does anyone know if they could be the problem? If not, then I would hope that my SWIT unit is defective because it's performing pretty poorly at this point. Also, sorry that the frames between the two cameras aren't quite the same. You can still see the difference in the camera-generated text.

Devon, do you have an S-video source you could try? Any difference? Just trying to get to the bottom of this.
Attached Thumbnails
Varizoom Swit vs. Marshall HDA-s-video_sharpness99.jpg   Varizoom Swit vs. Marshall HDA-s-video_sharpness33.jpg  

Varizoom Swit vs. Marshall HDA-component_yuv-720p.jpg   Varizoom Swit vs. Marshall HDA-component-yuv_480p.jpg  

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