There's three a/v output selects: 480i, 720p, 1080i. If you choose to monitor 480i, you are not monitoring your signal to P2.
There's a focus assist button, which is helpful. Also you can turn on the focus distance meter, so it displays in the monitor. I still measure to subject and check the numbers. There's also a "autofocus" trigger. I keep the camera on manual and then set up the shot and the hit the trigger to focus. (It's slow and doesn't really follow well at all.)