Field Monitor for Canon XL2?

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    • #43510
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hi All. I’m in need of some advice re: field monitors for a Canon XL2

      Im shooting a Wildlife piece in Ireland around the Grey Seal using an XL2 this year and at the moment am making some final preparations. As most of you probably know the XL2 has great flexibility and control over picture settings etc but the problem is the slight changes which I make to the colour settings are not noticeable through the viewfinder or small flip LCD screen at all.

      I hooked the camera up to a TV last night and played around with the settings and while every little tiny tweak I made to the colour settings was clearly vivid on the TV, through the camera, everything looked pretty much the same all the way through.

      I thought my only option was a cumbersome CRT monitor but then I came across the SWIT a Hi-Res 8 field monitor from Varizoom… its pretty expensive…

      http://www.varizoom.com/products/monitors/s1080bs.html

      Just wondering if anyone has any advice on these monitors? (or any other monitors)

      Would the cheaper 7 version do just as good, or would I be better off going for the Hi-Res?

      http://www.varizoom.com/products/monitors/vztft7u.html

      My main concern is being able to see as close to the real colour settings as possible, brightness, contrast, hue, saturation etc generally Irish weather is not very good so I will need to tweak the colour settings quite often to achieve the look Im after, especially filming on the coastline.

      Initially I would have thought that these types of monitors were not great for field use, sunlight and glare etc I know they come with small hood screens but would this suffice?

      Any advice much appreciated.

      Thanks.

    • #182538
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I’m also interested in field monitors for the Canon XL2 and was hoping that someone would answer your post, jaxz. Just wondering if you’ve found any valuable information on monitors outside of this forum? Thanks…Tim

    • #182539
      AvatarAnonymous
      Guest

      Hey jaxz,

      I’d suggest you do less color tweaking in camera and a do your tweaking in post production. I think if you set-up the color matrix to be rather neutral you’ll have better leverage with the color when you’re editing. White balancing is also critical. I imagine in wildlife situations you’ll be shooting at early morning quite often. That might mean the color environment in which you’re shooting will change every 15-20 minutes. So be prepared to white balance often if need be.

      But with that said, a field monitor is a great tool for checking color among other things regardless of when you do the majority of your color tweaking. The best tool for color accuracy is a professional CRT field monitor. Sony, Ikegami, JVC all make these and you can find 8" or 9" models for $600 and above. Much more than a TFT from Varizoom. As far as you budget goes Varizoom and Ikan (ikancorp.com) are probably your best bets. The question will be whether or not these TFT monitors will get you the color accuracy you’ll need to do the tweaking your hoping to achieve. That’s why I suggest doing it in post, where you could hook up a TV for monitoring. A standard TV is not ideal but it may be the best and least expensive solution.

      Mark

    • #182540
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Mark,

      I found this JVC monitor at B&H: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=WishList.jsp&A=details&Q=&sku=435440&is=REG. It’s hard to tell if a monitor in this price range would do a good job or not, given how expensive other monitors can get. Any comments? Also, how is power supplied to these monitors when working in the field – separate battery packs? Thanks, Mark…

      Tim

    • #182541
      AvatarAnonymous
      Guest

      Tim,

      Your link didn’t work. But, if you’re pointing me in the direction of a pro CRT monitor, than I should tell you that beside a higher price tag for the unit, you’ll need additional accessories. If you plan to cart this monitor around on the field, it’s a good idea to get a soft case for it that will not only protect it from dings/moisture/dust, but also shade the screen in sunny locations. And yes, power is a consideration. Some pro CRT field monitors will have their own proprietary system (e.g., Sony), while others will work with many third party solutions (e.g., Anton Bauer) via a 12v DC input. That means adding a budget to pay for additional batteries and chargers. These don’t run so cheap. That’s where a TFT monitor will save you some cash. Generally, these low-end TFT monitors have their own battery/charging accessories that are a fraction of the cost of the pro solutions.

      Mark

    • #182542
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Mark,

      Sorry ’bout the link. I was trying to direct you to the listing for a JVC TM-1011GU, 10" (9" Viewable), NTSC/PAL, 16:9/4:3 Switchable, Field/Rack Color Monitor. Pricetag $619.95. That’s at B&H Photo. Any idea how much money I’d have to add to that to get the additional equipment — battery, case, etc. – that you described?

      There also is listed at B&H a Marshall V-R70P-HDA 7" LCD Monitor for HD/SD Field Production Kit with V-Type Battery Mount, LCD Mount and Case that goes for $1,899.95. That’s quite a bit of change, but it appears that it comes with a battery.

      You prefer one over the other?

      Wish I had deeper pockets…

      Thanks again…

      Tim

    • #182543
      AvatarAnonymous
      Guest

      Tim, I don’t have experience with either of these models exclusively, but I’ll spell out some advantages of each product category for the sake of the forum:
      TFT/LCD: advantages: lightweight, travels well, can mount to camera, lower demand for power, price (assuming you’re not buying an HD version that has a 1:1 pixel ratio) disadvantages: not as durable, not the most accurate or easily calibrated
      CRT pro field monitor: advantages: accurate color calibration (if you do it proper), more durable
      disadvantages: costly, heavy

      I think for smaller crews and especially those that need to move quickly, a TFT/LCD can be a real time saver compared to other solutions. Since you shooting in SD, an HD LCD would be a little over kill, but if plan on upgrading to HD in the near future than it’s definitely a consideration.

      Mark

    • #182544
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks, Mark. Very helpful information for me and, I presume, others on this forum interested in the topic…

      Best,

      Tim

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