Varizoom Swit vs. Marshall HDA at DVinfo.net

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Old November 15th, 2006, 08:14 AM   #1
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Varizoom Swit vs. Marshall HDA

I'm almost sold on the Marshall HD field monitor (V-R70O-HDA). Now Varizoom has released a new TFT HD monitor "SWIT" (VZS1080BC), and you can order one that will use existing camcorder batteries (a plus over the Marshall which I understand can be modified).

Has anyone tried the new Varizoom Swit? Is it good enough for focus and color work?
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Old November 24th, 2006, 11:32 PM   #2
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focus and color work?

Both are good for focus- neither of them really reliable for color. The Marshall may be slightly better but you just can't trust these small monitors for any real color/brightness/contrast work.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 09:59 PM   #3
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Thanks. Have you used or seen both in action? I can forgo the color, in favor of good focus. Marshall has larger models at two times or more the cost. Anything larger and I'm looking at an edit size studio monitor. Not very portable.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 06:56 AM   #4
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These so called HD monitors only have a res of 800X400, which is similar to the lilliput I have at 800X400. However, the lilliput only has RCA in, so when I connect it to the BNC out of the XHA1 in High Def, I am seeing an HD down res, and it's FAR to soft to focus... do you think the component input of the swit would be any better?
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Old November 26th, 2006, 09:42 AM   #5
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Going SD composite won't do, and having 250 Hz lines (I have few) on the standard LCDs is too soft as well. The marshall touts pixel mapping and features to mimic CRT phosphors. A few posts on the redrock M2 forum suggests that the 400 line HD mashalls are good for focus via component. I'm not entirely sold on that. Maybe it would show focus, but not the tact sharp.

Marshall does have a 768 line model, with SDI, and that would suggest better focus and color production. At $3000 or more, the focus issue is an expensive fix. For that kind of money, I'd like to have portability and color correction. However, at 7-10" for HD edits?

Anyway, it's a risky purchase and I'd like to hear from folks on DVinfo whom may have already tried these models, or suggest alternatives. I wouldn't mind spending $3K, so long as it's a worthy purchase. Good insurance against a ruined shot, which can be just as costly.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 04:17 PM   #6
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monitor res=focus

Yea- the Marshall ans Varizoom are 480X800- but I've found it quite sufficient for most focus pulling situations. The hardest moments are day exterior on a long lens- be sure to have a good monitor hood and stick your face right up into it. And yes you don't up the res until you get into the $3000+ arena. The ERG and Astro monitors seem to be the best priced in this realm. There's an ERG model super bright that I've successfully used as a day exterior HD steadicam monitor for a Panasonic Varicam and it worked great- it runs somewhere around $3800
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Old November 30th, 2006, 07:45 PM   #7
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Does anyone know if the Varizoom rotates the image for 35mm adapters? I know some of there older SD LCD monitors did and I was wondering if the HD ones did as well.
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Old December 13th, 2006, 05:21 PM   #8
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Has anyone tried the Varizoom SWIT yet? I have an Canon XH-A1 and would love to read some feedback.
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Old December 13th, 2006, 05:39 PM   #9
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I have just bought the 7 inch marshall HDA monitor with component inputs to use with my JVC HD101 - I was dubious about the benefits of an LCD screen but I must say that I have been very impressed. One test I carried out was to take a page of a script I was working on (which was written in standard 12 point courier on an A4 sheet - slightly larger than the american paper equivalent) and frame it up on camera so that it filled about 1/3 of the monitor screen. I could still read every word on the page! For me thats ample proof of resolution, and more than sufficient for focus.
p.s. the choice was easier for me as I already use IDX batteries with my camera, and on another test I ran the monitor continuously for about 2 1/2 - 3 hours on one battery
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Old December 15th, 2006, 05:07 PM   #10
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Varizoom SWIT initial feedback....

OK, just received a Varizoom SWIT S-1090BP LCD 8" "High Resolution" field monitor (800x480 pixels).

I don't yet have the proper hookups, so I was only able to view via my Canon XH-A1 via composite out. As far as that goes, my initial impression is that the monitor is bright with a nice picture for composite out.

This is from the manual:

Rear Panel as (1) Video in Composite; (2) Video out Composite; (3) Video in S-video; (4) Component video in YUV (Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr) (5) Audio in (6) Tally Lamp (7) Power in and (8) MiniDV Battery mount (I have the Canon version).

The manual reads, "This monitor is compatible with the following input resolutions: NTSC 480p/480i, 720p/720i, 1080i and PAL 576p/576i, 720p/720i and 1080i"

The screen is 8" widescreen that is switchable between widescreen 16:9, widescreen with 4:3 markers, or just plain-old 4:3 (leaving black video on right and left frame).

Brightness 400 cd/m2; Contrast 400:1; Color System NTSC/PAL.
Adujstable brightness, contrast, saturation, hue, sharpness and volume.
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Last edited by Devon Lyon; December 15th, 2006 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Add title
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Old December 15th, 2006, 05:43 PM   #11
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I bought the Marshall HDA

The canon component output cable is a custom unit and only has RCA jacks. The Marshall only accepts BNC. However, I've already confirmed sufficient focus with the marshall using BNC composite out of video2 on the G1. I will know more after I rig/modify the RCAconnectors on the canon's cable to BNC.

I was hoping to get by without having to purchase the $3000 model with HDSDI input. For those jobs that require HDSDI, I'll have a workstation and larger monitor on the set.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 10:15 PM   #12
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I've now hooked up the varizoom SWIT with the Canon XH-A1's included COMPONENT Cables to the Varizoom monitor described above using the BNC YUV in on the back of the monitor. I just used a BNC converter. Looks a lot sharper than the composite in I tried at first. Any way, there is plenty of detail for focus. I could read a 12pt font just fine from a quite a few feet away.

My two cents worth. I like the monitor. Plus, it comes in a nice hard plastic case with nicely cut foam for the monitor, plugs and the included hard plastic sun shade (which I think is really cool).

Hope this helps.
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Old December 22nd, 2006, 07:58 AM   #13
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Was able to connect the Canon G1 to the Marshall HVA via component, and boy what difference. Razor sharp focus is doable. Fine pitch text looks crisp. So it's enough to judge that all important 'sweet spot' when focusing.

The only issue is this thing, being an all metal case and rack mountable, is on the heavy side (though it's marketed as an on-camera device), and the included Noga arm is needed to hold it firmly. I had to crank down pretty hard, tighter than I am comfortable with. I'm thinking about another visit to the machine shop one floor above me... : )
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Old December 23rd, 2006, 05:22 AM   #14
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noga snap

Don't overtighten the ends of a Noga... the metric threads are soft aluminum on at least one ball end and will snap easily. Mine are now 8.8 grade aircraft hardware as I don't like surprises. The good news is that the ball ends are machined from higher grade material.

Also on the plus side, I've never had any issues cranking up the friction on the main knob as it's connected to high-grade internal parts.

Noga makes lots of other industrial-strength articulated arms other than the monitor mount that are worth checking out. Mostly larger units, similar to the Bogen/Manfrotto Magic Arms. Add superclamps, so handy for quick setups.
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Old December 23rd, 2006, 06:05 AM   #15
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I agree, the Marshall is too heavy to be used on top of the camera, it creates wobble, and the noga arm finds it difficult to support. However I've arranged my setup so that the noga is fixed to the tripod head (via a spare hole in the quick release plate - I use the JVC HD100 with the optional quick release plate) this takes the weight off the camera and makes it more stable, it pans and tilts with the camera and it's also quicker if you want to go handheld as you don't have to dismantle the whole system, just disconnect a few wires.
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