A recent documentary and wedding shoot thrusted me front, dead center on one of the important issues confronting a serious videographer- video monitoring away from the camcorder. We are all used to looking at the viewfinder or LCD monitor up close, but Im referring to monitoring what the camera is seeing- AWAY from from the camcorder- the way the professionals do it.
In my documentary shoot I was using a new product from CoolJib that allows you to extend your camcorder or DSLR as much as 6 feet away from your body, and control the camera with true jib tilting/panning mode. A provided 5-in HD monitor was tethered to the camcorder by way of the HDMI cable. While the HD monitor was good for showing me what the cameramy HD camcorder was shooting at, I wished it had been slightly larger, like 7-in diagonal. And I only got about one hour of monitor on-time using brand new AA alkaline batteries! Luckily, I had spare batteries, but it was just too inconvenient to exchange them that frequently. There must be a better solution, I thought!
Having an external field monitor is extremely handy, especially if your director and camera operator are two different people. However, one of the benefits that is often overlooked by beginning videographers is the ability get picture analysis that doesn't exist in-camera. While having a larger screen that makes collaborating with others easier is definitely a big draw, one shouldn't overlook the simple advantage of being able to find flaws in your shots. Marshall's new V-LCD56MD field monitor gives you an array of tools to help you get the best shot possible. Additionally, it's modular, meaning you can add components to make it useful for a variety of cameras and shooting scenarios.