Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bluefonia

Which fieldmonitor/recorder, - advice wanted

Recommended Posts

I need a monitor for my GH4, - my old eyes simply need some assistance. I need something, which makes focusing easy and the 3" GH4 monitor is too small. The only external monitor I have used is an Aputure VS3, which did not do for me.

I have considered the following: SmallHD 501/701, BM VideoAssist 5", - and the new 7" 4K, the PIX E5H and Atoms Ninja Assassin.  At first I thought I would go for a 5", but now Iám totally open for 7" as well.

My thoughts until now:

1: The SmallHDs: Cost almost the same as - or more - than some of the combined monitor/recorders, which for now has ruled them out. (Unless the screen is so much better than the competition, - then they might be worth some extra considerations).

 

2: The BM VA 5" is cheap, is pretty small, uses SD cards. Heard people say the screen is not the best, colors not accurate and misses some focus aiding tools and some have had frame drops at 60 fps. I can live with the missing tools and colors though, if the screen resolution/brightness/contrast is fine.

VA has 4.2.2. ProRes 1080 ecording., - how does that compare to internal 1080 or 4K?

 

3: BM VA 7", - records 4K and has a 7" screen.  For some reason I´m a bit reductant about SD cards as recording media in this context, - don't ask me why.  Otherwise the same as the 5".

 

4: PIX E5H, - nice, but too much money

 

5: Atoms Ninja Assassin, - as it is discontinued by now it can be had for around €1040. The screen and tools, - including LUTs - seem to be very nice, it is 7" and it records UHD 4K.

Have heard the fan can be somewhat noisy? Some say the build quality is so so. Any other waek points?

It seems I have to buy an extra SSD dock in order to transfer recorded footage to my computer (iMac)? If so how much €?

 

At this moment the Atoms gets the most points by me, but I will really appreciate any comments and experiences from those of you who has used or owns any of these units.

Thanks a lot in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
13 minutes ago, Geoff CB said:

Why is the Pix E5H to much money? An extra $150 over the Atomos and better build, plus it now has the professional XLR inputs available.

 I live in EU and the prices are quite a bit different than you think :-). The Pix is € 1.400 over here. This makes the Pix €350 = $408 more than the Atoms unfortunately.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, bluefonia said:

I need a monitor for my GH4, - my old eyes simply need some assistance. I need something, which makes focusing easy and the 3" GH4 monitor is too small. The only external monitor I have used is an Aputure VS3, which did not do for me.

I have considered the following: SmallHD 501/701, BM VideoAssist 5", - and the new 7" 4K, the PIX E5H and Atoms Ninja Assassin.  At first I thought I would go for a 5", but now Iám totally open for 7" as well.

My thoughts until now:

1: The SmallHDs: Cost almost the same as - or more - than some of the combined monitor/recorders, which for now has ruled them out. (Unless the screen is so much better than the competition, - then they might be worth some extra considerations).

 

2: The BM VA 5" is cheap, is pretty small, uses SD cards. Heard people say the screen is not the best, colors not accurate and misses some focus aiding tools and some have had frame drops at 60 fps. I can live with the missing tools and colors though, if the screen resolution/brightness/contrast is fine.

VA has 4.2.2. ProRes 1080 ecording., - how does that compare to internal 1080 or 4K?

 

3: BM VA 7", - records 4K and has a 7" screen.  For some reason I´m a bit reductant about SD cards as recording media in this context, - don't ask me why.  Otherwise the same as the 5".

 

4: PIX E5H, - nice, but too much money

 

5: Atoms Ninja Assassin, - as it is discontinued by now it can be had for around €1040. The screen and tools, - including LUTs - seem to be very nice, it is 7" and it records UHD 4K.

Have heard the fan can be somewhat noisy? Some say the build quality is so so. Any other waek points?

It seems I have to buy an extra SSD dock in order to transfer recorded footage to my computer (iMac)? If so how much €?

 

At this moment the Atoms gets the most points by me, but I will really appreciate any comments and experiences from those of you who has used or owns any of these units.

Thanks a lot in advance.

I was here recently too. I don't think you mentioned this, but with tech like monitors, they are quickly outdated, and I hated the thought of spending a bunch of cash on something that would suddenly feel outdated in 6 months or less. Especially if I felt like I could have gone cheaper to begin with. I ended up going with a used Lilliput 663 for $100. For me it was about the larger screen, focusing assistance, and false color for exposure. And for my camera, the Lilliput checked off all boxes and was 1280x800, no pixelation whatever. I'm not saying it's perfect, the colors aren't perfect (though I have no idea why I'd need to judge color from a monitor), but it does what I needed. Perhaps something like that could work for you? And spend the saved money on lighting? :) 

I believe the VS3 model you didn't like had really low res. The newer Aputure's are much better I think. And the Lilliput ones are good too. 

The screens on the SmallHD 702 bright are amazing, if I step up it will be to something like that, or probably the Atamos Inferno, which costs the same and is HDR and is 50% brighter. These are really great options, but pretty pricey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the 663/O/P2 as well, though I have to say, it's so well made that it's much clunkier and heavier than anticipated and therefor doesn't get much use at all.

I think I'm gonna go with one of their new monitors that are coming out which they showed at NAB. The 5" looks just about perfect.

On 20-4-2016 at 2:51 PM, Cinegain said:

This looks great too btw, gotta ditch my 663/O/P2 for this:

 

The Video Assist is decent, but would only really need the recording functionality with V-Log L. And it only takes 1080p anyways. So it's very rare cases. As a monitor it's just underwhelming... whereas the Lilliput features about anything you can think of except the rather very specific features that are reserved for high-end monitor/recorder combos. I've got eagle eyes sorta, so 5" really works fine for me. 7" is just not compact enough for me, especially on a cage/rig or handheld gimbal stabilizer. But if 7" is your thing, they've got such a version too, new... not sure when they start shipping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I was here recently too. I don't think you mentioned this, but with tech like monitors, they are quickly outdated, and I hated the thought of spending a bunch of cash on something that would suddenly feel outdated in 6 months or less. Especially if I felt like I could have gone cheaper to begin with.

I see where you are coming from. My kind of thinking was along the lines that when monitors reach a certain quality level of sharpness/resolution/contrast and so on, we reach some point where we don't need more of that sharpness/resolution/contrast and so on. Well, maybe we have not reached that point yet. About the outdated tech, - yes, I have been around that too.

In fact I have considered the new Aputure VS Fine, which- as you say - has much better resolution than the old one.

Quote

Probably not a good idea to look at 5" for focusing. Most focus pullers will say 7" is small, let alone 5". 5" is more of a framing aid.

I'm thinking along the same lines. I would indeed prefer a 5" for its small size, but I¨m afraid it will not fulfill my main purpose being a great tool for focusing,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, bluefonia said:

I see where you are coming from. My kind of thinking was along the lines that when monitors reach a certain quality level of sharpness/resolution/contrast and so on, we reach some point where we don't need more of that sharpness/resolution/contrast and so on. Well, maybe we have not reached that point yet. About the outdated tech, - yes, I have been around that too.

In fact I have considered the new Aputure VS Fine, which- as you say - has much better resolution than the old one.

I'm thinking along the same lines. I would indeed prefer a 5" for its small size, but I¨m afraid it will not fulfill my main purpose being a great tool for focusing,

Its the angle of view that counts, not the physical size of the screen.  So, a 5" screen plus a pair of cheap reading glasses can easily match a 7" screen (or a 12" screen, or a 24" screen, etc.) so long as all of the screens have the same resolution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe I should add to this whole subject, that I don't always need or seek the newest tech solutions.

Below is my current "focus assist". As everyone clearly can see this is as low-tech as can be. A cheap $20 loupe, a piece of cycle tire rubber and some velcro. (An old picture with my G6, but I still use it on my GH4). You just wipe the rubber around the monitor and you are ready to go :grin:. Works like a charm, diopter enlarges x3 and yes I see pixels and the cheap diopter distorts quite a bit, but I can nail focus every time and that's what matters. 

The thing is, I´m afraid that the monitors hinge will break some day.

Shade.jpg.b403e97569044db16895777b1f3be88a.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I have come to at least one conclusion: It is going to be a 5". A 7" is gonna be too bulky for me.

That leaves the VideoAssist and it seems - thanks to @Cinegain for the heads up - the new Lilliput Q5.

I know the VA get criticism for not having enough tools like scopes and so. I like things to be as simple as possible though and I nail expose pretty well with only the histogram - and sometimes a bit help from the zebras - on my GH4. That said, I would not mind better/extended tools.

I really like a loupe for outdoor/sunshine shooting. As to my knowledge no 5" loupes are on the market yet, I will simply make my own. Find some suitable plastic part and attach the eyepiece from my cheep loupe to that. I have talked to an optician and she can make a diopter customized to my eyes for a very fair price. This diopter will go into the eyepiece and bingo - we are ready to rock :-).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Aputure FineHD VS-2 is the one to get if you don't need a recorder. Very affordable price!!

It has anamorphic de-squeeze, false color, and is under $300 with arm and hood. Sold. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, bluefonia said:

I really like a loupe for outdoor/sunshine shooting. As to my knowledge no 5" loupes are on the market yet, I will simply make my own. Find some suitable plastic part and attach the eyepiece from my cheep loupe to that. I have talked to an optician and she can make a diopter customized to my eyes for a very fair price. This diopter will go into the eyepiece and bingo - we are ready to rock :-).

 

https://www.gridaccessories.com/products/grid-5-0-viewfinder/

There is the GRID one. The few reviews I found say it's good quality. But it's pricy, especially including the shipping.

There's another one I think from a European company... But it's even more expensive by quite a margin (I think like 1k$ with mounting kit) so I never investigated it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

There is the GRID one.

Yeah, - actually I have seen that one, but as you say yourself it is pricy. With shipping and tax included it will almost be the price of a Videoassist .-). So I guess for the time being I´ll have to stick to my DIY loupe. Pretty sure it will work fine. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After much thinking I have made up my mind and ordered a 5" Videoassist. My conclusion was this: 7" really is too big for most of my needs. In most scenarios I want to be as "invisible" as possible and I like the possibility to record 10bit 4.2.2 as I sometimes like to grade hard. More tools like scoopes and so would be nice, but I can live without and the screen not being color accurate is okay too. Most important in that aspect is being able to easily set focus. 

Now I just have to wait for a week. Purchased the VA and a HDMI cable from videogear.co.uk. Surprisingly the VA was in stock, but the cable was not ;-).

Thanks for your comments and inputs everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Toss in my .02 if external recording is not a necessity for you iKan makes a 5" model that is just a monitor for $400. It's 1080x1920 and surprisingly sharp, light, and runs on either sony or canon batteries. I also have used the Aputure VS-2 FineHD 7" and like that as well for $279. Personally I would probably get the VS-1 b/c they're both 1080x1920 HD however the included accessories in the VS-2 are really not worth it. The sony battery doesn't last very long, and I have found the screen slightly less sharp than the ikan, or harder to nail focus using the screen itself and Aputure focus assist. The HDMI cable is also a behemoth! Get VS-1 for $200 and buy your own battery/cables. 

Lastly, 7" and 5" is not really from corner to corner that actual measurement on either of these monitors. There is a little screen edge so viewable screen estate is not as large as advertised. Still these monitors are fantastic for full HD mode and beats the back of the camera LCD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, DIGICHombre said:

Toss in my .02 if external recording is not a necessity for you iKan makes a 5" model that is just a monitor for $400. It's 1080x1920 and surprisingly sharp, light, and runs on either sony or canon batteries. I also have used the Aputure VS-2 FineHD 7" and like that as well for $279. Personally I would probably get the VS-1 b/c they're both 1080x1920 HD however the included accessories in the VS-2 are really not worth it. The sony battery doesn't last very long, and I have found the screen slightly less sharp than the ikan, or harder to nail focus using the screen itself and Aputure focus assist. The HDMI cable is also a behemoth! Get VS-1 for $200 and buy your own battery/cables. 

Lastly, 7" and 5" is not really from corner to corner that actual measurement on either of these monitors. There is a little screen edge so viewable screen estate is not as large as advertised. Still these monitors are fantastic for full HD mode and beats the back of the camera LCD.

You're not paying for the accessories. You're paying for the added monitoring features, like false color.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...