Travis, Having a monitor i

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Travis,

Having a monitor in the field is a very useful tool particularly if you are not the director or if you have clients/actors on set. The kind of monitor depends on two things; as always, your budget and your need. If you’re doing lots of run ‘n gun shooting a small camera mounted monitor is the ticket. If on a stationary set without a great deal of camera movement, then a more traditional monitor is required.

Make sure whatever you get is appropriate to the format you’re shooting (i.e. SD or HD.) If you can afford it, get a monitor that can do both. If you’re on a budget, for a more traditional style field monitor, a small LCD works just fine. Just be aware that you wont’ have the same fine controls like on a dedicated pro monitor. Often I drag along a 15″ LCD that does both HD/SD as a reference monitor in a studio setting and especially when doing greenscreen work. I think I may have paid $150 bucks for it and it’s paid itself off a few dozen times over. Toughest thing is getting it calibrated to show the scene in accurate color. If you have experience setting up pro monitors it’s not quite so difficult except for the part of having to accept a certain amount of inaccuracy.

When you’re looking at different models, read the reviews. Pay close attention to the ones from pro users. They’ll be more likely to talk about stuff you really need to know prior to purchasing. Marshall makes some really good monitors, but they get pricey. Another thing that will bite you hard is they type of batteries they use. Pro field monitors often use camera batteries which is good because you don’t have to buy another brand. Bad news is; pro batteries ain’t cheap and you’re going to need almost as many batteries to run the monitor to match the number of batteries you have available for your camera.

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