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Bob Cole
field monitor spec's
on Jun 7, 2010 at 7:53:09 pm

A perennial topic, I know, but just in case there is something new out there:

Is there such a thing as a great, 7-to-9" <$3k field monitor for HD? I'm tempted by the 17" from Flanders, but that isn't really "field."

There are quite a few 800x450 pixel "HD" monitors. That isn't really HD, as has been noted by Todd on this forum before. A company called "Small HD" has a small monitor with something like 1280x720 pixels - is that automatically superior? I shoot with a variety of flavors of HD, too, so a monitor that can accurately represent a variety of pixel dimensions would be wonderful.

Your rec's as far as field toughness and sharpness are eagerly awaited....

Thanks.

Bob C


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john sharaf
Re: field monitor spec's
on Jun 7, 2010 at 8:00:09 pm

Hi Bob,

If I were buying a small field monitor today, I would without doubt get the new Sony OLED. Here's link to catalog page:

http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/cat-monitors/cat-broadcastevaluationmonitors/p...

Contact me off list for a good price.

JS





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Todd Terry
Re: field monitor spec's
on Jun 7, 2010 at 8:15:56 pm

Yeah Bob, very few of these uber-small so-called HD monitors are truly HD. I'm sure the one that John mentioned is a great monitor, but like most of them it actually is really bascially a standard-def monitor (specs show it at 960x540 pixels).

Although I haven't used it, the SmallHD monitor's specs, if I recall, do show it to be a real 720p monitor... but of course that's 720, not 1080. What I like to think of as "HD Lite." Although for a real HD monitor, the price is sure attractive.

Other ones I like are the Panasonic BT-LH900A (which is 768x1024, but kinda expensive at $4K). One that I think is really good is the Panasonic BT-LH80WU. It's really only a 450x800 screen, but it has a beautiful picture, built-in waveform, a "pixel-to-pixel" mode that blows up the image to full HD, and a "focus in red" feature you can turn on that draws red lines on the screen at sharp focus points. I was a TOTAL skeptic about the "focus in red" thing and considered it complete hocus-pocus voodoo... until I tried it. It really works like a charm. It's a lot more affordable than its big brother, too, at about $2500.


T2

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






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Frank Blackwell
Re: field monitor spec's
on Jun 9, 2010 at 2:08:44 am

I just ordered a Marshall LCD70XP-HDMI field monitor. it's only 800 x 480 pixels but I really bought it for the false focus capability. I was thinking the ability to bring in a good exposure coupled with using on-location to tweek my cameras for best color and latitude would allow me to get by with a less than perfect on screen representation. Am I missing something here?


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Todd Terry
Re: field monitor spec's
on Jun 9, 2010 at 4:24:48 am

It really depends on what you want to use it for. If you want to use it for framing, of course it would be fine.

I don't know that particular monitor's reputation, but if it's known for great color/contrast then yep it would also be useful for exposure and image tweaking.

For focus? Not so much in the full-screen mode, where it will basically be a standard-def monitor. However I think that's one of the monitors that has a pixel-to-pixel feature, which will display an HD picture pixel-for-pixel without resizing (basically it blows up the image to full HD, so you see a small area of the center of your image blown up so that it fills the screen at full resolution). That can be very helpful for setting focus. But for pulling focus on a moving subject, not so much, since you are only seeing the small center of the picture and can't use the monitor for framing at the same time. Now, if you are framing via the camera's viewfinder and have someone else pulling focus while using the Marshall, that might work a bit.. but then again their focus reference would be limited to a smaller center-screen area.


T2

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






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John Fishback
Re: field monitor spec's
on Jun 9, 2010 at 4:42:49 pm

FSI does have a small monitor.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.2, Motion 4.0.2, Comp 3.5.2, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.2)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Todd Terry
Re: field monitor spec's
on Jun 9, 2010 at 5:22:57 pm

Dagnabbit... I got excited about that one until drilling through the specs to see that it's 480x800 resolution. Grrrr.


T2

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






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Bob Pierce
Re: field monitor spec's
on Jun 15, 2010 at 1:07:45 pm

I know I'm going to get blasted for this one, but seriously guys, do you really need 1920x1080 pixels on a tiny monitor? My little TV Logic is plenty, plenty sharp, believe me. As a matter of fact, the EBU did perception studies years ago and found that it was impossible to discern the resolution difference in 1080 versus 720 on anything smaller than a 50" screen, and even then it was because you're sitting too close.

I would argue that resolution is the least of your worries in a field monitor. Accurate color and contrast is challenging in a studio environment, let alone out in the field. Waveform monitors are a fantastic feature, though some of them (Panasonic) I've seen are so poor as to be useless. The TV Logic is quite usable. If I were in the market today I would definitely look at the FSI.
Bob Pierce

http://www.lightstreamassociates.com

Mac Pro 2.66 - 8GB memory -
Mac Book Pro 2.33 Duo -
FC Studio 2 - Kona Lhe
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Todd Terry
Re: field monitor spec's
on Jun 15, 2010 at 1:45:25 pm

Well... then get ready to be blasted, Bob... :)



[Bob Pierce] "do you really need 1920x1080 pixels on a tiny monitor?"


It depends on what your intended usage is. For framing? No, of course not. For color, contrast... painting the camera in general? No. For focus? Absolutely.

If you eyeball focus when shooting HD, there is no way to reliably trust either your camera's viewfinder or a small low-res monitor. This is most especially true if you are using long lenses, or a DoF converter where your depth of field might be extremely shallow.

And yes, as you pointed out with very small montitors it's impossible to perceive a difference in the resolution. That's exactly the point, and exactly the cause of the problem. If your audience was never going to see your work on anything but an 8" monitor, you'd be golden. But I can't even count the times people have said to me "Geez, I don't know what happened... this footage was razor shart in the field, but when I got it back to the edit suite it was very soft."

I'd strongly suggest that if you use either your camera's viewfinder or a small external TTF montior for eyeball focusing, that you only use one that has some focus-assist capability, such as a pixel-to-pixel feature so you can at least check focus accurately at the beginning of a shot.

Personally, when I can I try to focus the old-fashioned Hollywood way... with a tape measure (Stanley "Fat Max" laser tape... about 100 bucks at Home Depot or Lowes).


T2

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






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