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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 3rd, 2006, 12:25 PM   #1
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Varizoom TFT Monitor

Well, I managed to crack the LCD screen on the side of my DVX100A. Very sad day. I contacted several service centers and it will cost about $800 to get that fixed. Not counting shipping costs. My debate now is whether to fix the LCD screen on the camera or to get something like a Varizoom TFT monitor (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...st&sku=233949).

I am leaning towards the Varizoom monitor as it would be half the cost of fixing the LCD and it will offer me a larger screen than the original LCD. Another pro/con is that it would be offer me a larger screen to track with when doing steadicam-type shots (I use a Flowpod). My only concern is that adding a screen on top of the camera may make it a bit harder to balance with the Flowpod. Anyone tried this? The screen weighs less than a pound and the battery pack attaches beneath the DVX, thus adding more weight to the bottom. So I don't think it would become too top heavy, but I haven't tried it. Plus it comes with a sunshade, which I was planning on getting anyway as those darn LCD's are so hard to see outside. So far 90% of the wedding videos I've shot have been outside and that trend will continue.

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on this. Positive or negative. Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 12:19 PM   #2
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Anybody? Does anybody use an external monitor of any kind? Doesn't have to be Varizoom. I'm just trying to get a feel for whether or not this works for others.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 01:01 PM   #3
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Hi Mike. I use the Varizoom TFT monitor kit you're describing. It has worked well for me for about a year doing SD shoots. My biggest gripe is that it's not 16:9 switchable, so when you shoot widescreen things are squished and tall. The battery that comes with it is ok, but doesn't last that long.. so I try to power down the monitor whenever I can to save juice.

I know this isn't the forum for it, but I recently upgraded my gear to HD, so I'll be selling my kit shortly... if you're interested.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:11 PM   #4
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i have this monitor. i like it a lot. i do not use a stabilizer because they are impossible to balance with my specific shooting style (i use varying add-ons and constantly change the weight and center of gravity).

one thing to note is that i do not usually use the monitor for weddings. i only use it when i'm doing my own independent projects. it comes with a velcro-based sunhood, which you will most likely need during outdoor weddings. it's tough to see in direct sunlight. another thing to worry about is battery life. it comes with a battery pack that will last you through the ceremony, but will most likely die out during the beginning of the reception. plan on extra batteries or having to revert to your viewfinder for sure if you go with this option.

hope this helps.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:29 PM   #5
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Thank you both for your input on this screen. How long would you estimate the battery lasts? An hour? Hour and a half? Two hours? Just curious. Most of my wedding shoots take maybe an hour as I don't video the actual ceremony. Then I need some time for the reception, but most of that I could do with the viewfinder if necessary.

I've heard the sunshade is all right but not really effective. What do you think A.J.? Has it worked well for you? Webb, I'll PM you about the screen. Thanks for letting me know. =)
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Old May 4th, 2006, 04:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Oveson
Thank you both for your input on this screen. How long would you estimate the battery lasts? An hour? Hour and a half? Two hours? Just curious. Most of my wedding shoots take maybe an hour as I don't video the actual ceremony. Then I need some time for the reception, but most of that I could do with the viewfinder if necessary.

I've heard the sunshade is all right but not really effective. What do you think A.J.? Has it worked well for you? Webb, I'll PM you about the screen. Thanks for letting me know. =)
been awhile since i've used this in direct sunlight, but i remember pretty much putting my head in the sunshade to see clearly.

with regard to battery life, i'd say 2 - 3 hours max, but i get nervous after 1 hour.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 09:37 AM   #7
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Thanks A.J. I think I will go with this one, as it seems to be good enough for my purposes. One more question for anyone who has used this. Is there enough resolution for focusing? It seems like there would be, but I hear that you're not going to find a good monitor for focusing for anything less than $1,500. Any thoughts on this?
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