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Field monitor hunt


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#1 Justin Oakley

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 04:15 PM

Im looking for a field monitor...max of $500.00 (and some change).

I dont need anything super high speed. I mainly just want the ability to monitor framing, focus, check exposure via waveform display, etc.

My problem is that no matter what I find, I always see more than one terrible review. And Im not talking about petty gripes either. Like, heinous lag, overheating, and monitors just flat-out not turning on. 500 bucks is still a pretty big purchase for me so Im trying to be really careful here.

The Small HD focus for example. I watched a couple reviews on YouTube, checked it out in B&H or Amazon, and found some pretty troublesome reviews from ACTUAL verified purchases and users. Reviews Id expect of a 150-200 dollar monitor or something.

Any advice or recommendations based on personal experience would be fantastic.

Thanks
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 04:42 PM

Personally; and honestly, in film, you get what you pay for; that's it. It's hard to find good and affordable options. If you need something smaller, you can find some 5" TV Logics, used, for around that price and they have never let me down. I am not a fan of the Small HD stuff really, never really have been, but it'll work in a pinch.


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#3 Justin Oakley

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 05:40 PM

500/600 bucks isnt exactly peanuts. A get the whole get what you pay for thing. But $500.00 is a lot of money to drop on a product that just...doesnt turn on the second time you use it.

Anyway, I may end up just going for it and brace myself.

I did check out used TV Logic monitors but they are just over my price range.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 05:44 PM

The problem is you're dealing with low-volume high-quality equipment.

Actually, thinking of it, maybe the blackmagic 4K recorder? Might be around that price, but also, still, not the best build quality.


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#5 Justin Oakley

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 06:52 PM

I literally just finished reading reviews on the Black Magic Video Assist 4K.

And according to one reviewer, who provided a VERY detailed comparison between that and the Atmos ninja blade, it pretty much sucks.

So of course atmos ninja blade goes into the google search...now Im watching reviews of a monitor/recorder thats like 4 years old. And Im all turned around.

Should I buy a monitor/recorder even though I dont need it?

Is this going to be an obsolete soon?

I dont even know anymore...

Recently I really got my heart set on getting the new pocket cinema camera when its released. So maybe this type of monitor could be beneficial?
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#6 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 07:23 PM

$500 is pretty cheap for a good monitor .. as Adrain says, like everything else to do with cameras.. low volume high quality = $$$$

 

There is a new Small HD  5 inch Focus monitor coming out very soon .. around $600.. this one has SDI in, the previous model was only the dreaded HDMI.. Im also waiting to see the reviews on this one.. I have a TV ,logic 58W which is very good .. never had any problems .. but not cheap.. but most monitors around $500 are not going to be that good.. sad but true ..


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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 07:25 PM

I saw a TVLogic 056 (i think) for 400 used recently. But yeah; cheap is super relative in film, anyway. It's like, why is this tripod $10000-- well because you're putting 100K or more of crap on it and it needs to work. Same with monitors, they're expensive because, aside from low volume, you're filming multi-milliondollars of crap with them.


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#8 Justin Oakley

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 09:04 PM

$500 is pretty cheap for a good monitor .. as Adrain says, like everything else to do with cameras.. low volume high quality = $$$$
 
There is a new Small HD  5 inch Focus monitor coming out very soon .. around $600.. this one has SDI in, the previous model was only the dreaded HDMI.. Im also waiting to see the reviews on this one.. I have a TV ,logic 58W which is very good .. never had any problems .. but not cheap.. but most monitors around $500 are not going to be that good.. sad but true ..


The Small HD focus I saw had terrible reviews. And the issue wasnt the HDMI input.

And I totally get where you guys are coming from. I understand cheap being a relative term. But Im a regular joe. Im a fireman, not a professional filmmaker with access to hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment. Im a hobbyist. The actual NEED for a monitor is still there regardless of whether you do this for a living or not.

550.00...I believe that was the price I saw on the Small HD focus. And it has a tendency to just stop working? Theres not so good and theres sheer negligence...in my opinion.

If you opted to buy a cheap phone instead of the brand new iPhone[insert generation], you would at least expect it to run for more than a week...even if its not good, right?

As stated earlier, Im not looking for all the bells and whistles. My primary concern is the ability to check focus, framing, and exposure using waveform display. And not have to wonder if the monitor will just crap out on me for no reason.

Anyway, Im getting all hung up on this Small HD thing. Sorry for rambling on. Its just irritating knowing that this happens...yes, even for a meager 550 bucks. That quality control guy nodded off at the wheel.

I really do appreciate the replies.

Is there a specific site that one could find used monitors? I just googled used TV Logic. I dont know...
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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 10:21 PM

The things you are asking for in a monitor (especially useful waveform) aren't cheap; I know it sucks, but it kinda is the way it is; that's some specialized circuitry in there. I mean I know there are some chinese knock off monitors out there that some people use (freestyle i think? ) for a few hundred, but they too break. Problem with small HD is that it kinda is "prosumer" grade, it isn't and hasn't ever been professional really, and as such, sometimes they'll quit working. I've had an AC6 and a DP5 and they worked, fine, for what they were, but they were lacking in many ways. Never crapped out on me, but nowhere near as useful as other brands around.


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#10 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 06:22 AM

Perhaps Atomos Ninja Blade?


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#11 Justin Oakley

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 06:48 AM

The things you are asking for in a monitor (especially useful waveform) aren't cheap; I know it sucks, but it kinda is the way it is; that's some specialized circuitry in there. I mean I know there are some chinese knock off monitors out there that some people use (freestyle i think? ) for a few hundred, but they too break. Problem with small HD is that it kinda is "prosumer" grade, it isn't and hasn't ever been professional really, and as such, sometimes they'll quit working. I've had an AC6 and a DP5 and they worked, fine, for what they were, but they were lacking in many ways. Never crapped out on me, but nowhere near as useful as other brands around.


Right on.
Im thinking maybe Ill just go with a cheaper cheap one. That way, in the event that it fails, I wont really lose any sleep. I just really have my heart set on some sort of waveform display.

Histogram is essentially worthless on a monitor...if I understand exposure correctly.

Oh well.

Thanks guys
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#12 Justin Oakley

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 06:51 AM

And was the Chinese knock off feelworld? Ive seen that name quite a few times in my quest.
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#13 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 06:58 AM

Yes also read the small HD reviews.. but I also know people who use them all the time without any problems.. I think problems were all down to software.. rather than actual build quality.. or inputs falling out etc !!  I think their software has got alot better now.. there will always be a few dud one s I guess .. but they remain a very popular monitor used by thousands of people .. so I really dont think they are universally considered rubbish .. but for sure early software seemed to be very buggy .. I,ll probably wait for some reviews before buying..the new SDI focus.. but it is an incredibly "low" price ..about 1/3 of TV Logic.. 


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#14 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 09:43 AM

Yeah freeworld, I think; but they all basically use the same panels.


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#15 tom lombard

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 12:52 PM

Hmmm... I've got this unused Dell PC monitor in my closet.  Anybody able to save me some research & let me know if it is/isn't possible to hook something like that up for a monitor?  


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#16 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 01:03 PM

If it has an HDMI in it should/could work, though HDMI is kinda crap and the monitor wouldn't really give you much in an outdoor envoirment.


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#17 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 01:05 PM

Also:

 

https://www.bhphotov...80/N/3792816175


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#18 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 01:09 PM

this perhaps:

 

https://www.bhphotov...lade_5_sdi.html


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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 01:30 PM

I review a lot of monitors and I have a lot of them lying around, from the stupendously expensive to the really affordable.

 

My overwhelming observation is that most of them are fine; they benefit from the displays built for tablets and cellphones, which are very good.

 

At the cheap end, the Cinemartin stuff is nice enough - they have the cheapest waveform and their Eclipse is very bright.

 

Otherwise, sure, the usual suspects. TVLogic, etc.


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#20 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 02:43 PM

Viltrox has a monitor that's $450 with a waveform.  HDMI and HD-SDI with loop through.  Doesn't cross convert though.  Supposedly handles 4k with no trouble. 

 

I have one of their 1080p monitors that I got for $150 as a super cheap directors monitor.  It's not the best for color but it shows the frame accurately and I don't care if it gets dropped or broken.  

 

But yeah, adding a waveform does add cost.  I think they are probably identical to feelworld.  Menus look the same.


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Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera