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Field Monitor

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Martin Vincent
Field Monitor
on Feb 4, 2009 at 5:48:30 pm

I'm actually using my HV20 and we rent HVX-200 for shooting in and outside interview and stock footage. I'm not always on focus, I'd like to get a cheap monitor to be able to see focus and color as I shoot. Any hint? I got 500$ budget. I'd like it to be either snaped to the camera or the tripod.


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cowcowcow
Todd Terry
Re: Field Monitor
on Feb 4, 2009 at 6:22:17 pm

I know what you mean, the HV20 especially is notoriously hard to focus. Other than that it's a great little camera for the money.

I don't have any specific monitor suggestions... but will advise you to keep one thing in mind...

Whatever monitor you end up considering, check the actual specs on it VERY carefully. There are tons of little (7"-ish or so) LCD TTF monitors out there that proudly have the "HD" label on them. The thing is, they are far from HD. They will take in an HD signal, but will not display an HD picture. In fact many (most) of these have only 300 or so lines of resolution... much less than even standard def, let alone high def.

Ergo... most are not very useful for focusing.

An image can look razor sharp on them, but in actuality still be quite soft when you get it back home and check it on a "real" monitor.

I'm afraid I don't know anything at all within your budget (at least not new) that would be useful for focus assist. One of my favorite lower-priced monitors is the Panasonic BT-LH80WU. It doesn't show 1080 lines either as it is actually just 800x450... but it does have a pixel-to-pixel mode that blows up the center of the screen to actual HD resolution when needed for a critical look. It also has a focus-in-red function which is a focus-assist feature creating red outlines around sharp images that really does work well. Unfortunately, it's about four times your budget, at around $2000. After the Bejing Olympics there were tons of them on eBay, NBC bought bunches of them for the games and they were being liquidated dirt cheap, I saw some going in the $600-$700 neighborhood. You might still be able to find one of those, they were considered "B" stock and still had factory warranties.


T2

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






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Martin Vincent
Re: Field Monitor
on Feb 4, 2009 at 7:25:09 pm

Thank you Todd for your ever useful insights, I was excepting that. And you are right I should look for used. I'm always a little worried when looking for used... If someone can help about that...



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Todd Terry
Re: Field Monitor
on Feb 4, 2009 at 7:56:58 pm

I know what you mean... some things I will buy used without much worry, but other things, hmmmm... not so much. Monitors are one of those.

If I had needed one, the only reason I would have considered one of those little Panasonics is that I knew they only had a few weeks use on them at the games, were used by people who know what they are doing, and were still considered "new" B-stock with full warranties. Field monitors are so easily abused and so relatively fragile that I would hesitate to consider a used monitor unless I could look at it and try it out first... which pretty much discards eBay or any auction sites.


T2

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






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