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Using HDSDI monitors with 7D 5D

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Tim Sorel
Using HDSDI monitors with 7D 5D
on Jan 24, 2011 at 10:09:04 pm

Hello

I am getting ready to shoot a short feature with the 7D. I have a great deal of HD gear including 17" and 9" Panasonic HDSDI monitors. I am going to try to use an AJA HDMI to HDSDI converter to feed a monitor for the director and camera operator.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/555772-REG/AJA_HA5_HA5_HDMI_to_SD_HD_...

Has anyone tried this or know of why this may not work? I understand the cameras go into SD when recording. Other than that I do not have that much experience with this type of set up.

Tim Sorel
Gainesville, FL


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Michael Kammes
Re: Using HDSDI monitors with 7D 5D
on Jan 25, 2011 at 7:08:49 am

I believe you get the DISPLAY overlay on the HDMI output while recording, which would make the output unusable, unless it's only for screening / dailies.

~Michael



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com

Hear me pontificate: http://michaelkammes.com/post-production/speaking-schedule/


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Tim Sorel
Re: Using HDSDI monitors with 7D 5D
on Jan 25, 2011 at 7:10:17 pm

Hello Michael,

I will not be recording off of the HDMI/SDI. I will record on the 7D. I am trying to use this converter simply for monitoring light, exposure and focus for the camera operator as well as provide the director with a monitor. Have you heard of anyone using something like this?


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Michael Kammes
Re: Using HDSDI monitors with 7D 5D
on Jan 25, 2011 at 7:19:29 pm

I could regurgitate, but it is said best here : http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/8/1105124



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com

Hear me pontificate: Speaking Schedule .


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Tim Sorel
Re: Using HDSDI monitors with 7D 5D
on Jan 25, 2011 at 7:25:12 pm

Yes, I read this post and it left me puzzled. One writer states that the HDMI image has the grey bars and camera info. i can live with that. He also states it is "murky" which could mean can't really use to judge exposure and focus.

In any event I ordered the AJA converter and will test. I will post the results. thanks for responding to my post.


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Bill Davis
Re: Using HDSDI monitors with 7D 5D
on Jan 31, 2011 at 4:05:41 am

The central issue is that you have to decide what you're monitoring and why.

If it's to assess critical picture exposure, color balance, and/or picture detail - you're going to be disappointed with ANY DSLR. They do NOT put out a signal that's capable of reliable critical evaluation while shooting.

You have to shoot tests, process the video from the cards, and judge THOSE files for picture quality on a laptop on set that you've tested in controlled conditions comparing it to a REAL monitor that you can count on. It's a pain, but that's how it is. It puts pressure on the crew to be RELENTLESSLY aware of changes in the shooting environment (time of day, clouds, etc) so that you can re-callibrate as conditions change. You will NOT typically see modest color balance issues or exposure issues a on today's inexpensive LCD monitors anyway and even if you drag a "REAL" HD monitor onto the set, the signal out of the DSLRs isn't good enough for even THAT monitor to be much help.

IF, on the other hand, you're confident in the technical quality of your workflow, and are just monitoring for picture framing, action and the overall "look and feel" of your shots. I'd suggest forgoing HDMI and just run a composite tap from your camera. Loop it through to whatever monitors you need for camera and/or clients or art direction or whatever and call it a day.

That's what I typically do.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Conner


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Tim Sorel
Re: Using HDSDI monitors with 7D 5D
on Jan 31, 2011 at 2:39:58 pm

Hello Bill,

Thank you for your thorough response. I was afraid of exactly what you mentioned with the HDMI out to HDSDI. Garbage in- garbage out regardless of monitor. I have a student crew working on this short film and we are going to spend several days practicing set ups and takes before the location shoot for the reasons you mentioned. I am so tempted to turn back to my HPX370, shoot wide open iris and back the camera up to achieve DOF but nothing ventured nothing gained. Again, I appreciate your response.


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Bill Davis
Re: Using HDSDI monitors with 7D 5D
on Jan 31, 2011 at 8:41:39 pm

Tim,

If I was working directly with students, I'd try to find a way to BURN a 3-step process in their brains.

Check Focus - Check Exposure - Check White Balance (color).

With a DSLR, you can set a standard to get the FIRST done consistently, every shot. Two and 3 are a BIT more difficult. If you get it set for the first shot of a sequence, the chances of the values drifting increase with time . So I often do 2 and 3 only at location changes or when I SEE that clouds have changed or something else has altered the environment.

Focus - Exposure - Color. The mantra for good results shooting.

Make that a part of the kids rhythm EVERY time they go to hit record and I believe you'll have done a LOT to prepare them so succeed.

Good luck.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Conner


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Alf Hanna
Re: Using HDSDI monitors with 7D 5D
on Mar 6, 2011 at 3:54:41 pm

I've found that zacuta focus hoods are critical to really seeing the image focus on these hdslr's. Has helped a lot. But I agree with the process bill covers, especially for students shooting a 'hollywood"style video rather than a doc.

Alf


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