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Ed Kukla
field monitor
on Mar 28, 2009 at 11:45:16 am

I've been getting the Panasonic 8" HD monitor as part of a rental package. Now it's time to buy. But that Panny is EXPENSIVE!

I've seen the under $1000 solutions and so far they all look terrible, especially in comparison to the panasonic.

My question...is there anything else that can come close to the panasonic for less money?

7" to 9" for field use
battery power capability
crisp
accurate color and contrast reproduction


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Todd Terry
Re: field monitor
on Mar 28, 2009 at 5:14:57 pm

Sadly, not really.

The biggest problem with the sub-$1K monitors is resolutuion. Even though they say they are HD monitors, they aren't... they just mean they can take an HD signal. If you look at the technical specs you'll see that most of them display only about 300 lines or so. That's pretty much true for all of the lower priced monitors.

These monitors are useful enough on location for framing, but are darn near useless for eyeball focusing. What seems to be a sharp image on the monitor can actually be fairly soft. This is especially problematic if you use a DoF converter where depths-of-field can be very shallow.

Even most of the the mid-priced Panasonics aren't full 1080 HD either, but they display a lot more lines than the cheap ones (displaying 450 to 768 lines, depending on the model). But some of the Pannys do have a pixel-to-pixel button that you press and it will show you an HD image (or at least a portion of it), blowing up the image to full HD size. Some Panasonics also have a "red line" focus assist feature that really does work well.

My personal fav of the Panasonics is the BT-LH900A, but it's about $4K. The BT-LH80WU (about $2K) is also very good.

NBC used tons of the Panasonics during last summer's Olympics. After the games a large number of them made their way to being liquidated on eBay... they had only been used two weeks and were classified as "B stock" and still had full warranties. They were practically giving them away then... but I suspect they are all long gone.

Of course the "industry standard" HD 7"ish LCD TTF montior is the litte Astro, which looks great and does a great job. Unfortunately they are about $6K.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Robin Probyn
Re: field monitor
on Mar 29, 2009 at 5:53:19 am

Was in the exact same boat last month.In the end got the BT900A.. it is pricey ..but at least you get what you pay for... there s a good reason that nearly all the rental houses have them over the world.

The BT 80 I didnt like the screen so much.. and I dont think it covers all the formats .. but fair enough its cheaper..

Its a pain but for something as important as a monitor,I think its a dis economy to compromise on the quality.. the dir will complain and you,ll have to rent the BT900 anyway.

Buy it from the UK.. with your dollars! Petrol also does a very nice case/bag for the BT900A at a very reasonable price



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Jeremy Michael
Re: field monitor
on Apr 8, 2009 at 5:13:39 am

Ed--

Renting is off the best solution when you're looking for something on par with the Panasonic monitor. But for something you can have on hand for yourself, there are options available. Most notably: Ikan, Marshall, and Nebtek. They all increase in price point and features respectively. Also, if you really want to go "rebel" there are some DIY solutions out there. Ultimately a field monitor, in my opinion, is a must--if nothing else for focus in HD--and renting isn't always an option when I want to grab my rig and go. For some scenarios, Adobe OnLocation is a great solution if you have the laptop to run it properly.

http://www.ikancorp.com/
http://www.lcdracks.com/
http://www.nebtek.com/


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Bob Cole
17" monitor lacks pixel-for-pixel: no big deal or dealbreaker?
on Apr 15, 2009 at 4:26:21 am

Good thread.

I'm looking at the various 17" monitors for field work, including the FSI monitors advertised here on the COW. At 1366x768 pixels, the Flanders Scientific 17" monitor lacks pixel-for-pixel monitoring for 1080i cameras.

How important is having that one-to-one pixel relationship in a field monitor?

Bob C


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Todd Terry
Re: 17" monitor lacks pixel-for-pixel: no big deal or dealbreaker?
on Apr 15, 2009 at 2:27:06 pm

[Bob Cole] "How important is having that one-to-one pixel relationship in a field monitor?"

Ehhh... maybe not all that important. Just depends on what you want to do with it. I'd say full pixel-to-pixel HD is only really critical if you are using the field monitor for eyeball focusing. Even moreso if you shoot very shallow depths of field (i.e., if you are shooting with a 35mm-sized sensor, or with a smaller-sensored camera with cine primes and a DoF converter).

Sadly (and if you ask me, surprisingly), finding a true 1080 field monitor is a lot harder than it ought to be. My personal fav in the 17" flavor is the Panasonic BT-LH1700W. It specs out at 800 lines, not 1080... but is an excellent larger field monitor. I think they come in at about $2300-$2400 these days. Porta-Brace also makes a really good custom case for it... flip-out hood and build-in stand, etc., and it's not very expensive.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Bram Desmet
Re: 17" monitor lacks pixel-for-pixel: no big deal or dealbreaker?
on Apr 16, 2009 at 2:33:09 am

It was suggested to me that I clarify that the FSI LM-1760W does have a 1:1 pixel mapping mode you can easily toggle in and out of with a single button for any format, including 1080 and 2K. As with the Panny you lose some of the image when you do this, but for checking focus it is very convenient. Also, the 2130W is 1920x1080, and while a bit bigger, actually weighs almost 0.5lbs less than the 1760W. Hope that clarifies the pixel mapping, feel free to contact me off list if you need more information.

Bram Desmet
FSI (Flanders Scientific, Inc.)
http://www.FlandersScientific.com


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Chris Cottrell
Re: 17" monitor lacks pixel-for-pixel: no big deal or dealbreaker?
on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:12:20 pm

As I mentioned in a similar post, the only issues with the Panny 1700's is the constant dead pixel issues and lines across the screens. Much more common issues in these models than others

http://WWW.TEKMG.COM


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Bob Cole
Re: 17" monitor lacks pixel-for-pixel: no big deal or dealbreaker?
on Mar 10, 2012 at 1:14:33 am

fwiw: I wound up getting the FSI 17" and am delighted. Rarely even need the pixel-to-pixel for focus. I've found that clients and directors are very happy to be able to see the image, too.

Bob C


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