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 isdefinitelya 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.
While you can plug the V-LCD56MD in to external power, you can also add a battery adapter, so it should work with battery packs you already own from Canon, Nikon, Sony etc. Also, while the default input/output is HDMI, like the battery you can add a modules to allow for SDI in and out as well as video pass-through. What I'm excited about is the live, on-screen waveform overlay. While I love zebra stripes and histograms, waveform is really my personal luminance meter of choice. It's the only real way to see where just about every pixel in your image lands. Not only does the V-LCD56MD give you this, but in the same graphic you also get stereo VU meters for your audio. If you're more of a zebra stripe person, don't worry.
The V-LCD56MD will color parts of the image differently depending on the IRE values. That means you can set it to shade everything over 9o IRE red, for example. Also included is a peaking filter, to help you get accurate focus every time you shoot, and a false color filter which, again, is another tool to help properly expose your images. The V-LCD56MD 5.6" Camera-Top Field Monitor is available today for $800.