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Adding functionality to field monitor on a budget


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#1 Vital Butinar

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 10:03 AM

Hi guys!

 

I'm relatively new here and I was wondering if I could ask for a little help with something.

 

I'm planning on doing a project with the unfortunate detail of having a very limited budget. Unfortunately an all too common thing lately.

 

Anyway it would come really in handy if the 1st AC and the director would be able to look at a screen and see what the camera is actually shooting. Now on sets they usually have remote video systems. And I actually don't have any problems hooking up a pc monitor to a the camera or even multiple pc monitors. Since I do have access to a bunch of them.

 

My question since I've seen LCD TVs on set showing the camera image. Is there something witch I have absolutely know idea what to call, some kind of electronic box that would let you see a histogram and focus peaking etc. on the monitor or TV hooked up to the camera.

 

Of course something that isn't so expensive that it would be cheaper to buy field monitors that already contain this functionality.

 

Anyway thank you for your time and ideas witch are very welcome.

 

Best regards


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#2 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 10:31 AM

The Atomos on camera monitors/recorders allow you to both input a camera signal, record signal with the atomos (if you choose), all while having an output to send to a bigger monitor that includes the GUI of the Atomos monitor, including things like focus peaking, zebras, false color, etc. Atomos false color has never steered me wrong.

 

Achievable for under $500. Not sure if that's cheap to you..


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#3 Vital Butinar

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 07:18 AM

Ok cool that is an option I didn't even consider.

 

It's not cheap but it's a start or at least I can start searching in the right direction.

 

Thank you.


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#4 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 09:08 AM

After working in this field for a few years, $500 for a multi-solution has become cheap to me.


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#5 Vital Butinar

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 09:45 AM

Yeah I know. I mean the prices are really crazy. Yes I realize that a lot of the equipment used for filming is really high quality but the prices of any equipment you can name is by my estimate overpriced by a factor of 10 regardless of quality.

 

So when you're starting of like I am and have very very limited budgets either you improvise and find non conventional solutions or spend loads of money you don't have for stuff that's overpriced that you're gambling weather you'll make it back or not.

 

I actually have a couple of really good ideas for lower budget stuff that I haven't been able to figure out how to make. :)


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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 02:11 AM

You can get a monitor with a waveform for very little money, now. I suspect that any solution for adding it to an existing monitor would end up costing at least as much.

 

One solution might be a laptop-based option, or even something for a tablet using modern USB options to get the picture into it. A waveform is not a complex thing mathematically, it's just a lot of individually simple calculations.

 

P


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#7 David Mawson

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 07:20 AM

 

One solution might be a laptop-based option, or even something for a tablet using modern USB options to get the picture into it. A waveform is not a complex thing mathematically, it's just a lot of individually simple calculations.

 

P

This is the most useful link I found for using a tablet as a monitor

 

https://www.reddit.c...e_or_tablet_as/

 

..To get a waveform doesn't strike me as easy. You'd have to write a new app that sucks in the data, which might - probably will - come over the USB cable in a proprietary format. The new app will have to display the image, which isn't too bad, but those simple calculations will need performing for every pixel in the image, ideally at shooting frame rate. That might seem easy compared to a lot of things that tablets do with 3D graphics - but they usually rely on dedicated graphics processors for that sort of thing. You might have to send the data to that processor and then get it out again, in which case there could be bandwidth issues. 

 

I'm not a tablet programmer, but I have written similar code - and writing something like that could end up being a nightmare, depending on a lot of factors. The most powerful looking app I can find is this Canon only one -

 

https://dslrcontroller.com/about.php

 

..And it doesn't seem to offer waveforms. And if I was the developer and I could add waveforms, I'd do so and charge a big premium for the "Cinematographer" edition which included them, because it would still be cheap compared to the alternatives at $50 or $100. So I'm afraid that the problem is nasty one.


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#8 aapo lettinen

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 03:52 PM

I saw a box made for indie market which adds overlays and peaking and histogram (I think it might had have waveform too) to a hdmi signal so one can add functionality to any hdmi monitor, even the cheapest ones. I think it was Aputure brand or similar. 

though nowadays you could just buy one of the cheaper sdi recorders like atomos and use that as a onboard monitor if on a budget. you can also play with for example Blackmagic Mini Converters if you just need the sdi signal to a tv for example. though they are not very ideal in semi pro or pro environment but you can create interesting systems with them


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#9 aapo lettinen

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 03:55 PM

I saw a box made for indie market which adds overlays and peaking and histogram (I think it might had have waveform too) to a hdmi signal so one can add functionality to any hdmi monitor, even the cheapest ones. I think it was Aputure brand or similar. 

though nowadays you could just buy one of the cheaper sdi recorders like atomos and use that as a onboard monitor if on a budget. you can also play with for example Blackmagic Mini Converters if you just need the sdi signal to a tv for example. though they are not very ideal in semi pro or pro environment but you can create interesting systems with them

yep it was Aputure V-Converter A810. Never tested it but could be useful if you already have a cheap monitor 

 

 

Assist Functions

  • Monochrome: Off/Gray/R/G/B/
  • False Color
  • Zebra: Off/70IRE/100IRE
  • Peak: Off/high light/high/low
  • Peak Color: Red/yellow/blue/white
  • Histogram
  • Volume Bar
  • Color Bar
  • Camera Mode
Mark
  • Center Mark
  • Safe Area: Off/90/80/70%
Display Functions
  • Scan Mode
  • Dot-to-Dot
  • Zoom: Off/1.4x/5x/10x
  • Horizontal Flip
  • Vertical Flip
  • Freeze

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#10 Vital Butinar

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 07:53 AM

This thing is really cool the A810 and I actually found something even cheaper called DC-10H Monitor HDMI Extra Editor Scope does the same thing.

 

Very interesting.


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#11 David Mawson

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 01:38 PM

I saw a box made for indie market which adds overlays and peaking and histogram (I think it might had have waveform too) to a hdmi signal so one can add functionality to any hdmi monitor, even the cheapest ones.

Once you're dealing with hdmi you have a standard format. I've heard some people buy cheap car entertainment screens with hdmi and use them as monitors. They need a USB powerbank, but that shouldn't be a problem.


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