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#1 Elvis Chirinos Jr

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 01:10 PM

hi all,

i was wondering if i could use my laptop as a moniter for a canon XL2. Would i need BNC sync cables? Would i need a vga adapter? If so where can i find these things?

Im going to try and shoot something using a chroma key, and i heard that the XL2 viewfinder has overscan. I cant really afford a new moniter for it so i was wondering if I could simply use my laptop, or even better yet, key in the chroma key image while im shooting using my laptop as a moniter.


thoughts? Any info would help a ton! thanks!

-E
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#2 Jim Hyslop

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 03:35 PM

hi all,

i was wondering if i could use my laptop as a moniter for a canon XL2. Would i need BNC sync cables? Would i need a vga adapter? If so where can i find these things?

Im going to try and shoot something using a chroma key, and i heard that the XL2 viewfinder has overscan. I cant really afford a new moniter for it so i was wondering if I could simply use my laptop, or even better yet, key in the chroma key image while im shooting using my laptop as a moniter.


thoughts? Any info would help a ton! thanks!

-E


Most laptops aren't designed to accept external video inputs. You would need to buy a video input card (most likely something that fits in your laptop's PCMCIA slot, or perhaps connects to your laptop via firewire). Make sure the card (a) works with your laptop, and ( b ) accepts a composite video input. Then you would need to have some software that would allow you to do your chroma key in real-time. I'm afraid I don't have any specific recommendations on either of those.

If it were me, I'd run a test anyway, whether I was using the laptop or a monitor. I prefer to know exactly how my viewfinder and the external monitor (laptop or other) compare to what's actually being recorded. If you have a focusing chart, frame it up so that it just fills the viewfinder, then record and review the results. If you don't have a focusing chart, tape on a wall would work just fine for that test - point the camera at a wall, then place tape marks on the wall just at the edge of the viewfinder. Probably be easier with someone to help you :-)

Edited by Jim Hyslop, 20 December 2008 - 03:36 PM.

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#3 Elvis Chirinos Jr

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 12:29 AM

Most laptops aren't designed to accept external video inputs. You would need to buy a video input card (most likely something that fits in your laptop's PCMCIA slot, or perhaps connects to your laptop via firewire). Make sure the card (a) works with your laptop, and ( b ) accepts a composite video input. Then you would need to have some software that would allow you to do your chroma key in real-time. I'm afraid I don't have any specific recommendations on either of those.

If it were me, I'd run a test anyway, whether I was using the laptop or a monitor. I prefer to know exactly how my viewfinder and the external monitor (laptop or other) compare to what's actually being recorded. If you have a focusing chart, frame it up so that it just fills the viewfinder, then record and review the results. If you don't have a focusing chart, tape on a wall would work just fine for that test - point the camera at a wall, then place tape marks on the wall just at the edge of the viewfinder. Probably be easier with someone to help you :-)



whoa, thats perfect! very informative, thanks a lot!
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#4 Owen Parker

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 06:05 AM

Elvis,

I had to do a green screen shoot a couple of years ago for a series of FX's shots. The only camera available was the HDV version of the XL1 (XL1 HD??) Anyway, as it was an overhead (top shot) and because I was concerned about getting a really solid key I took my Toshiba laptop with me and fed a firewire feed from camera to laptop. I just used the windows movie maker software bundled with Win XP to make test captures of each set up that I could quickly check in After Effects that I could pull a good key. Worked ok and gave us a full, un masked view of the camera output. I wouldn't rely on it for critical image monitoring but as a confidence monitor it was fine.
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