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Old April 30th, 2003, 12:17 AM   #1
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Camera Mounted LCD Monitors

Looking for a good suggestion. Two products I have seen are the Nebtec NEB50XL and the Varizoom VZTFT. The Nebtec is more expensive but presumably is a "brighter" monitor. Since it seems both monitors require hoods for outdoor shooting in any significant light, is the greater expense of the Nebtec justified?
Thanks in advance for any input.
-Phil
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Old April 30th, 2003, 12:32 AM   #2
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Yes, it is.

The Varizoom is a dim and rather coarse display. The Nebtec's are much better. If you can swing it, go for the 7" Panasonic that Nebtec sells. It's the best lcd I've seen and I routinely use it instead of a field crt production monitor. For the ultimate in convenience, regardless of the model you choose, be sure to have Nebtec install the 7.2v power conversion kit. It enables you to use your Canon BP-series batteries to power the monitor, rather than a/c or 12v power. Also be sure to get the shoe mount.

Nebtec is a good little company whose history comes from implementing video assists for the film industry.
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Old April 30th, 2003, 01:20 AM   #3
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Hey Ken, those little monitors look great. I like the fact you can power them with the Canon batteries.

Is it possible to use the monitor not mounted on the camera? I'm not sure how they work...can you get an extra long RCA cable so someone other than the cameraman can watch it closely from a distance?
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Old April 30th, 2003, 02:12 AM   #4
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Is it possible to use the monitor not mounted on the camera? I'm not sure how they work...can you get an extra long RCA cable so someone other than the cameraman can watch it closely from a distance?
Sure, no problem. I actually bought my 7" Panasonic separately from B&H (before I knew that Nebtek sold them) as a kit that included a table-top stand, a Hoodman hood and carrying case, and various other power and cable accessories. The monitors can be located anywhere and only need a video cable for connection to the camera.

One caveat in the case of the Panasonic monitor. It uses a special connector which bundles its standard power and BNC video signal cables together. To extend that cable beyond the provided length you will need to devise an extension that can connect to that BNC adapter. It should not be too challenging. I'm certain that the folks at Nebtek would be able and happy to help you with this. They actually follow DVInfo and at least one of their technicians is a member here.
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Old April 30th, 2003, 02:49 AM   #5
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sounds good. I think I'll give them a call.

I have one more question for you...this may be a dumb question but...is it really not that big of a deal to not use a CRT monitor that can actually be calibrated (and has blue gun etc..)? Or, can these LCD screens be calibrated to what an NTSC monitor would look like? I have no idea how any of that works, I've only heard to get a true, accurate image, you have to get a real monitor. I've seen some for a thousand, and I'm just wondering why I shouldn't just spend the extra two hundred to get a real monitor I can calibrate properly? Total Noob here.

What I'm basically asking is, how accurate is the LCD on the 7inch compared to a real NTSC television or monitor?
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Old April 30th, 2003, 11:13 AM   #6
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If you're doing professional work (i.e. work for hire) it's essential to have an accurate color monitor somewhere in your process, most likely in your post-production studio where you'll need to do color correction. Such monitors are, indeed, expensive but they feature color-accurate phosphors and all of the various controls needed for reference accuracy.

During actual production, however, what you need most is a monitor that can give you an accurate view of your frame and a reasonably accurate view of your color balance status. (Especially if you primarily use a b&w viewfinder, as I do.)

The Panasonic more than fills the production-side bill for me. No lcd monitor can be color calibrated the way that a professional crt monitor can. The lcd display technology makes that basically impossible. But the Panasonic's colors are pretty darn good and have never led me to a bad surprise later on.

It's also worth noting that the Panasonic shows the full frame of video, something that the XL1s' viewfinder cannot do. It also displays the 16:9 guides from the camera, if activated. Also, since the Panasonic's is a native 16:9 screen it can display a true (un-squashed) 16:9, edge-to-edge image from the camera (if you're shooting in 16:9 mode), something that neither of the XL1S' viewfinders can do.

These lcd monitors, including the Panasonic, are not substitutes for an accurate post-production monitor. But the Panasonic is, in my opinion, an excellent lightweight and economical (relative to pro field crt monitors) substitute for using a heavy crt during production. It's also far more accurate and capable than either of the XL1S' viewfinders.

I think I have a photo, taken recently during shooting, showing the Panasonic on my XL1S. I don't know how useful it would be but I'd be glad to send it to you if you're interested.
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Old April 30th, 2003, 01:58 PM   #7
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Thanks a lot Ken, that explains everything perfectly!
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Old April 30th, 2003, 11:00 PM   #8
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LCD Monitor

The Radio Shack in our town had a sale on Power Acoustik TFT-LCDs that are made for playing DVDs and VHS tapes in cars. I bought one for $179.00, affixed the shoe from an old camera flash to it, and.... bingo! The nice thing about it is because it's made to be used in a car you get an 8' cable with it. I power it indoors with an ($8.00) 120vac to 12vdc adaptor, and outdoors with a $59.00 portable battery charger/jump starter I got at Wal-Mart. You can buy battery cases to make a belt-rig with alkaline batteries for about $12.00. I also made a hood. The one I got does 4:3 and 16:9. Waaaaayyyy better than the XL-1s EVF.

Check them out at poweracoustik.com, if you're into build-it-yourself. If not, ZCG would be my choice.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 11:09 AM   #9
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LCD Monitor

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I decided to go with the Nebtec 5" given its impressive luminance, relatively small size and my budgetary constraints. Down the road I might consider upgrading to the 7 inch monitor. I will let you posted on how things work out.
-Phil
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Old May 1st, 2003, 01:27 PM   #10
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Re: LCD Monitor

<<<-- Originally posted by Philip Lakritz : Thanks to everyone for the advice. I decided to go with the Nebtec 5" given its impressive luminance, relatively small size and my budgetary constraints. Down the road I might consider upgrading to the 7 inch monitor. I will let you posted on how things work out.
-Phil -->>>>>>>>>>>>




Yes let us know. I'm undecided between the 5" and the 7" from Nebtek. I like the 5" because it is small, it is cheaper, and it might be all I really need. Yet of course I like the 7" because of what Ken has mentioned...it could show 16:9 aspect ratio as well as the 16:9 guides, and friend who directs might like having something a little bigger to look at.

I'm not sure if the 5" shows the guides or if it shows the full frame of video. I don't even know if I really want to shoot that much in 16:9 (the general consensus around here seems to be shoot 4:3 and crop in post...but even that is up to debate), but then again I might want to shoot widescreen if I got that Anamorphic adapter. Then that 7" would come in handy.

I'm definitly going to get either of those two, just can't decide yet.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 03:06 PM   #11
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Brad,
I'm pretty sure that the 5" Nebtek will show the 16:9 guides, since that signal is actually sent from the camera. I don't know whether or not it will show the full video frame.

Give the folks at Nebtek a call. I'm sure they'll be very helpful.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 04:23 PM   #12
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will do, thanks Ken.
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Old May 11th, 2003, 03:39 AM   #13
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I was originally looking at the Optex 7" LCD, but it appears that it's a rebadged Lilliput. I have no experience of this manufacturer and, although the Optex 7" is very competitively priced, I'm seriously considering the Nebtek.

But 5" or 7"? That is the question!

Like you, Brad, I'm not certain that I'll ever need to shoot in 16:9, but full frame is a must. Did you find out anything from Nebtek as to whether the 5" supports full frame view and 16:9 guides?

Ken, the Nebtek adpatation of the Panasonic LCD includes changes to the cable connectors. Was it tricky adapting the standard version to use the XL1s, and in your opinion, would it be possible to draw power from the DC outlet used (or not, in my case) by the MA-x00?
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Old May 11th, 2003, 11:45 AM   #14
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Ken, the Nebtek adpatation of the Panasonic LCD includes changes to the cable connectors. Was it tricky adapting the standard version to use the XL1s, and in your opinion, would it be possible to draw power from the DC outlet used (or not, in my case) by the MA-x00?
Actually, no, it didn't change the cable connector. And, no, I wouldn't think it would be possible to use that small DC outlet in the XL1S.
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Old May 11th, 2003, 02:33 PM   #15
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Looking at the positioning of the LCD on the XL1s I'm not keen on adding a battery mount to the LCD...the XL1s is quite front-heavy enough as it is! :)

So, if the Panasonic LCD were to be powered by the XL1s's onboard batteries (I might have to go to a CH-910 for this), would the standard Panasonic connector be sufficient? The TC7-CAM Camera Connection Kit includes an Anton/Bauer connector, but I cannot see how this is of the slightest use on the XL1s as it stands.

Sorry if these are dumb questions.
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