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Sony LCD Production Monitors


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#1 Tim Tyler

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 02:35 PM

I need to get a new production monitor for video shooting. I've been looking at the new Sony LCD's and I used one a month back on a short day job and it looked great. (I wish I could justify buying the $4000 Panasonic LCD but I don't shoot that much HD right now.)

They have three models:

http://www.bhphotovi...egoryNavigation

http://www.bhphotovi...egoryNavigation

http://www.bhphotovi...egoryNavigation

I've been shooting a mix of BetaSP, DV, HVX200 and Varicam stuff lately.

Has anybody had any bad experiences with these new monitors, or reccomendations for a particular model?
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#2 Tim J Durham

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 04:30 PM

I need to get a new production monitor for video shooting. I've been looking at the new Sony LCD's and I used one a month back on a short day job and it looked great. (I wish I could justify buying the $4000 Panasonic LCD but I don't shoot that much HD right now.)

They have three models:

http://www.bhphotovi...egoryNavigation

I've been shooting a mix of BetaSP, DV, HVX200 and Varicam stuff lately.

Has anybody had any bad experiences with these new monitors, or reccomendations for a particular model?

Tim,
I use the 9050 every day. I think it's a great monitor with very accurate color.
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#3 Tim Tyler

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 09:04 PM

What format/input do you use, Tim?

I wonder if the dispaly and basic electronics are the same on all three models, and the input options alone affect the price differences. For example, does component and analog composite look the same on all three monitors, or does it get better on the more expensive units?
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#4 Jay Gladwell

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 09:41 PM

One question I always ask myself before investing large sums of money into various pieces of equipment, such as a $4,125 monitor, is:

"Will this particular piece of gear make such a monumental improvement in the quality of my video that it justifies the expense?"

Sure, we'd all like to own such a monitor, but, in the end, will it really make that big a difference in our finished work? After all, there are other pieces of equipment that will have an immediate and visible impact on the quality of our videos. That's where the money deserves to go.

Just my two cents.
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#5 Tim Tyler

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 02:40 AM

Looks like the 2050 has an XGA display while the other two have VGA.
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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 07:03 AM

One question I always ask myself before investing large sums of money into various pieces of equipment, such as a $4,125 monitor, is:

"Will this particular piece of gear make such a monumental improvement in the quality of my video that it justifies the expense?"

Sure, we'd all like to own such a monitor, but, in the end, will it really make that big a difference in our finished work? After all, there are other pieces of equipment that will have an immediate and visible impact on the quality of our videos. That's where the money deserves to go.

Just my two cents.


Yes they do if you're doing anything more than just basic work and you need to make subtle colour judgements on set.

Having used a Sony LMD 9050 on some HD work recently my concern is that you can't really tell if the picture is in focus. Also, you really do need to be square on to see the picture properly, glancing at the monitor in passing can give you a scare!

I'm thinking about the 17" Panasonic as a replacement for my old 9" CRT SD monitor plus you have a waveform. Although, I think the CRT monitors are still better regarding the quality of the picture.

An Astro would also be really nice tool to have.
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#7 Tim J Durham

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 08:44 AM

What format/input do you use, Tim?

I wonder if the dispaly and basic electronics are the same on all three models, and the input options alone affect the price differences. For example, does component and analog composite look the same on all three monitors, or does it get better on the more expensive units?

I use the HD-SDI input almost exclusively as I'm shooting with an XDCam HD F350 and occasionally an HDW-730S and use the HD-SDI output from my Kona. But I've had occasion to use the SDI and the SVHS inputs and they're what you'd expect. It also runs on the same V-mount IDX batteries I use to power my camera which is very handy.
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#8 Simon Wyndham

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 05:58 PM

Having used a Sony LMD 9050 on some HD work recently my concern is that you can't really tell if the picture is in focus.


Are you sure? The one I used the other day had an Aperture (peaking) knob that allowed me to get focus. In fact it saved my backside because the camera had a backfocus issue (note to self, never listen to anyone who tells you that they've already set up the backfocus, especially on a high def camera!). Mind you, it was only a small amount out, impossible to tell on a viewfinder. If not for that monitor I would have been screwed.
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#9 Matthew Buick

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 06:07 PM

Does anyone know why these things are so expensive? I mean, they're not all that big, yet, the cost so much.
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#10 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 06:37 PM

CRT's still rock.

They are the ideal way to tell what it is you are capturing.

I heard that Sony stopped making picture tubes in the last year or two. Gasp.
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#11 Tim J Durham

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 06:43 PM

Does anyone know why these things are so expensive? I mean, they're not all that big, yet, the cost so much.

Well, you get what you pay for.
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#12 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 06:55 PM

I need to get a new production monitor for video shooting. I've been looking at the new Sony LCD's and I used one a month back on a short day job and it looked great. (I wish I could justify buying the $4000 Panasonic LCD but I don't shoot that much HD right now.)

They have three models:

http://www.bhphotovi...egoryNavigation

http://www.bhphotovi...egoryNavigation

http://www.bhphotovi...egoryNavigation

I've been shooting a mix of BetaSP, DV, HVX200 and Varicam stuff lately.

Has anybody had any bad experiences with these new monitors, or recommendations for a particular model?



Do you have a particular size screen you prefer? The portable sony CRT monitors are still very popular. I have the 8041 Q but it has the higher resolution picture tube in it and the HD aspect ratio option as well. I think the Sony 8044 has the gray button for widescreen, so it's a cross over monitor because it's SD but it gives an HD aspect ratio with the push of a button. Of course if your camera does not have an SD output it won't work, but most of the HD's still offer an SD output, no?

I just don't know if it's a large enough screen for you, but they can be found on ebay refurbished for around $500-800 bucks I think?
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#13 Jayson Crothers

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 08:16 PM

I just wrapped a 30 day feature shooting on the F900/3 - we had a Sony 14" CRT, a Panasonic 17? HD LCD, and a 6" Astro Onboard Monitor.

The 6" Astro is great because it has a waveform overlay function - it's a real time saver to be at the camera and hit a button to double check things versus always running back and forth to video village.

I personally didn't care for the 17" LCD monitor - I found it to be misleading through-out the entire shoot. You have to be sitting DIRECTLY in front of it (not standing in front of it, but sitting directly in front of it, square on) to accurately see it. I also found that it always appeared to be just a little brighter - no matter what we did, it always seemed just a bit brighter (the director always commented that it looked "more cheereful", for whatever that's worth). The built in waveform was a nice addition, but it's small and useful only for a basic idea of your levels - a dedicated waveform is much more ideal. One major advantage is it's size and weight - it's essentially the same as a flatscreen computer monitor of the same size (if your production has to move a lot, it's far more appealing than a CRT of a comparable size).

The 14" CRT was, as to be expected, "picture-perfect" - what you see is what you get. It's size makes it suited for a production where you're not moving around too much (or if you are, you should have a dedicated monitor cart).

Comparing the 2 monitors side-by-side (one was for me, one was for scripty and EP's), I decided to stick with CRT for as long as I'm able to.

I also did a short about 3 months ago with 2 HVX200's hooked up to 2 17" Panasonic LCD's - dailies were screened on a 20" CRT; dailies always looked a bit darker than they did on set.

My 2 cents.
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#14 Tim Tyler

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 11:32 PM

I ended up going with an Ikegami TM9-3 CRT from B&H since it was about
the only sub-$1k CRT they still sell without SDI, and I need it for a
Wednesday shoot. Someday I'll bite the bullet and get the small
Panasonic.

Read some reviews elsewhere that made the Sony LCD's sound nice but not as accurate as a basic CRT.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
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#15 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 05:36 AM

Are you sure? The one I used the other day had an Aperture (peaking) knob that allowed me to get focus. In fact it saved my backside because the camera had a backfocus issue (note to self, never listen to anyone who tells you that they've already set up the backfocus, especially on a high def camera!). Mind you, it was only a small amount out, impossible to tell on a viewfinder. If not for that monitor I would have been screwed.


I usually tend not to put the peaking up full on the monitor for normal shooting. It's more trying to make proper judgements on diffusion filters. I much prefer the 14" HD CRT (or bigger), especially on dramas.

I think being off axis is a major problem with all the LCD monitors, the Sony is just as bad.

The backfocus is always a worry on HD.
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