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monitoring DSLR, & exposure

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Bob Cole
monitoring DSLR, & exposure
on Dec 18, 2010 at 8:29:12 pm

I'm evaluating the various DSLRs, and haven't been able to figure out a few issues involving monitoring and exposure. I tested a 7D long enough to decide that even with the Zacuto eyepiece, that little LCD screen was going to be a deal-breaker. (I haven't tried the 60D's swiveling viewfinder, which looks promising.)

Is there really no way to use an external monitor to see what is actually being recorded (to check focus and share framing info with others) while recording with a DSLR? I know about the problems with the HDMI output. But does any one of the current offerings offer analog output which would fill the screen of a field monitor? (My little "helmet cam" GoPro Hero can do that much, in both component and composite.)

How do you DSLR shooters handle exposure, particularly in changing environments, e.g. following someone from inside to outside, or panning from shade to full sun? No zebras, right? And without even a 7" monitor, how do you manage? I'm fine with manual control of focus and exposure -- just curious as to how you get the feedback you need for both, both before recording and during. Especially if you set the camera to low contrast -- it just looks very tough to set the iris. What am I missing here?

Also, unless you have a full complement of ND, how do you handle setting the iris for your desired DOF? Sometimes you want a little DOF, sometimes a lot. Do you change the sensitivity of the sensor, or does that present problems for intercutting? Change shutter speed? Or is a matte box and a lot of ND filters just a requirement?

Bob C


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Richard Harrington
Re: monitoring DSLR, & exposure
on Dec 18, 2010 at 9:16:06 pm

Of course there are external monitors.

Small HD Marshall etc.

You can also get an HDMI to HDSDI adapter and plug in any field monitor you already have.

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: From Still to Motion, Video Made on a Mac, Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Studio On the Spot and Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques


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Bob Cole
Re: monitoring DSLR, & exposure
on Dec 18, 2010 at 9:24:19 pm

My understanding was that the HDMI output reverted to SD during record, and not only duplicated, but replaced the output to the LCD.


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Phil Balsdon
Re: monitoring DSLR, & exposure
on Dec 18, 2010 at 9:30:16 pm

My understanding was that the HDMI output reverted to SD during record, and not only duplicated, but replaced the output to the LCD.

This is only on the 5D not the 7D.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Bob Cole
Re: monitoring DSLR, & exposure
on Dec 18, 2010 at 10:09:00 pm

Do you do DSLR Steadicam? - and use an external monitor?


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Phil Balsdon
Re: monitoring DSLR, & exposure
on Dec 19, 2010 at 7:13:53 am

When I use the 7D on my Steadicam Flyer I use the SD video out from the USB out on the camera. The steadicam monitor needs an SD analogue feed.

I can transmit this video from the steadicam with a small video transmitter to an SD monitor if necessary.

For all other video from the camera I use the HDMI out to a smallHD monitor on the camera. If I need a second monitor for the director I use a full HD 20" LCD fed from a powered HDMI splitter.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Reed Phillips
Re: monitoring DSLR, & exposure
on Dec 22, 2010 at 2:18:27 am

You may wish to check this out.
http://videos.smallhd.com/the-truth-about-canon-dslr-output-signals/

-reed

Reed Phillips
http://www.SmallHD.com
919.502.7125


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Bob Cole
Re: monitoring DSLR, & exposure
on Dec 22, 2010 at 5:20:58 am

Excellent paper, Reed. Thanks. This is the information I was looking for.


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Michael Sacci
Re: monitoring DSLR, & exposure
on Dec 23, 2010 at 7:43:25 am

TO answer your ND question, a lot of people (including myself) have gone with a Variable ND filter such as the Fader or LCW. They basically give you the same feeling as Irising up or down on a video camera.


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