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Archive 2012 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor
  
 
timballic
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p.1 #1 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


Small, lightweight Field Monitors of high resolution, and for stills use with the 5DII, seem few and far between.

Mike K's article,about using "smallHD's DP6" model (5.6", 1280x800 dot screen) for use with focussing Tilt/Shift lenses on a 5DII is the exact scenario:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/smallhd/

Now I have the FD 35mm TS + EdMika adapter, and low angle is my preferred style, I too need to find something other than the camera LCD for composition and focussing. I've tried Aputure's Gigtube, (2.5" 230,000 dot screen), which is "just" alright for composition, but too low res for fine focus and the colour is appalling.

The problem is, the smallHD DP6 is not cheap, and given tax to UK becomes very expensive, over $1,000.

There is a smaller DP4 with 4.3" screen, lighter and cheaper but lower res at 800x480, and I can't find any user reviews.

I've spent a day looking around the web and nothing really stands out.

Marshall 5", low res (800x480) and not even true 5" as image is reduced ( and over £500 / $800)
Various Chinese models (eg Lilliput and Swivi, etc, all untrue 5" and 800x480 res)but reviews are very mixed and build quality very poor, (around £150-£300+)

(by "untrue 5", I mean that the image doesn't fill the screen)

So does anyone else have any experience in this area?



Nov 23, 2012 at 11:19 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #2 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


It won't make you feel any better, but I just bought a SmallHD DP6. It's very nice.

I'll be using it mostly for Tilt-Shift and macro.



Nov 23, 2012 at 12:11 PM
timballic
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p.1 #3 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


jcolwell wrote:
It won't make you feel any better, but I just bought a SmallHD DP6. It's very nice.

I'll be using it mostly for Tilt-Shift and macro.


Well if everyone says the same, I may just have to bite the bullet! (Did you have a look at the DP4, and if so what were your impressions?)



Nov 23, 2012 at 12:26 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #4 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


timballic wrote:
(Did you have a look at the DP4, and if so what were your impressions?)


Not really. I wanted the higher resolution and size offered by the DP6. It's still quite small and light.

BTW, I put together a nifty package for the DP6, using a Pelican 1200 case. It holds the DP6, LP-E6 battery back, 4x LP-E6 batteries (none on the back, as compression against internal padding can turn the unit on), StrongArm, Sunhood, LenMar LP-E6 charger, and mini.HDMI-HDMI cable. I ordered a small RRS B2-FAB-F 38mm flat back QR clamp for the top of the StrongArm, to simplify assembly and breakdown. I'll post some photos later.



Nov 23, 2012 at 12:51 PM
timballic
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p.1 #5 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


Thanks.


Nov 23, 2012 at 01:09 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #6 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


Here is a comparison between the DP4 and the Zacuto.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1134513



Nov 23, 2012 at 01:25 PM
timballic
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p.1 #7 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


Thanks carstenw, I'd missed that thread. Pretty good report for the DP4, I think the conclusion about the Zacuto is that although very well made and giving great resolution and colour, the LCD is rather small, especially as Mike K says, for viewing from 1-2' away.
So the DP4 the DP6 and as an outsider, the Marshall 5" are the ones on my radar.

The use of an ipad is also intriguing, but I suspect rather too large for easy field use.



Nov 23, 2012 at 02:37 PM
timballic
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p.1 #8 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


A friend just sent me this he found mentioned in "On Landscape.co.uk" site,

"If youíre a Canon DSLR user and would like your tablet to be of some use out in the field, forget Apple ipad and pick up an Android tablet. Thereís an app called DSLR Controller which you can connect to your camera using a USB On The Go cable. What this app does is give you full manual touch-screen control over your camera. So itís like a giant live-view, remote release and tethered monitor all in one Ė a must if you struggle focussing at awkward angles when itís nearly dark!"

This opens the field!



Nov 23, 2012 at 03:12 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #9 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


I have a NEXUS-7 and have tried using it with my D800 with various apps, and I haven't found anything I like yet. Typical missing feature: focus peaking. In other words, it is like the screen on the back of the camera, but larger, nothing more.

The ability to remote control the camera from a monitor which is on the camera is pointless, IMO. If you could use Wifi or something, then it might be more interesting.



Nov 23, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Mike K
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p.1 #10 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


As far as stand alone monitors, I believe the Small HD are currently the best for manual focus applications. The DP6 and DP7 have 1280X800 resolution and their software has presets for Canon and Nikon output. Software features of 1:1 and peaking are of great help. On the con side, I have found the mini HDMI cable ends to be fragile and have already had 2 fail.

In the subsequent threads from the External Monitor article referred to above, interest always comes to programs like the DSLR Controller or Cam Ranger and questions arise about how to interface with apps for iPads for diaplay. While the latest iPad or android tablet could provide plenty of pixels, I would guess the limitation is with the camera output: the HDMI is an uncompressed video/sound ouput in real time, but what can one hope to get out of the mini USB port? While the better external monitor interfaces all depend upon the camera HDMI output, the wired and wireless controller apps all use the camera USB output. I would like to find out what real time image resolution is available via USB? To use a tablet like the external monitor, the tablet would need an HDMI input.
Perhaps the next generation of cameras with wireless connection (Canon 6D) will provide other high quality video output capabilities?
Mike K



Nov 23, 2012 at 08:29 PM
 

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carstenw
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p.1 #11 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


I believe that the Surface RT has HDMI out, but then it probably doesn't have such an app yet.


Nov 23, 2012 at 10:44 PM
FlyPenFly
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p.1 #12 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


EyeFi + iPad Mini or iPad retina?

I wonder how many monitors can beat those IPS screens for the cost.

I think the new Nexus 10 also has an amazing screen from what I read.



Nov 24, 2012 at 12:37 AM
timballic
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p.1 #13 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


Using the SmallHD DP6 "resizing" (re-scaling?) to fill the frame, does this work with 3:2 ratio images of 5DII stills without any cut off or do you still have some black bands as the smallHD native screen ratio is 16:10?



Nov 26, 2012 at 11:23 AM
timballic
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p.1 #14 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


jcolwell wrote:


BTW, I put together a nifty package for the DP6, using a Pelican 1200 case. It holds the DP6, LP-E6 battery back, 4x LP-E6 batteries (none on the back, as compression against internal padding can turn the unit on), StrongArm, Sunhood, LenMar LP-E6 charger, and mini.HDMI-HDMI cable. I ordered a small RRS B2-FAB-F 38mm flat back QR clamp for the top of the StrongArm, to simplify assembly and breakdown. I'll post some photos later.


I'm looking forward to seeing the setup.



Nov 26, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Propellor
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p.1 #15 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


I use the DP4 both for video and stills and am very pleased with it. Especiallly if you also get the viewer with it. I nail focus 99% of the time with it. Even with my deteriorating eyesight .

I van highly recommend it and have no commercial interest in the company.



Nov 26, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Mike K
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p.1 #16 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


timballic wrote:
Using the SmallHD DP6 "resizing" (re-scaling?) to fill the frame, does this work with 3:2 ratio images of 5DII stills without any cut off or do you still have some black bands as the smallHD native screen ratio is 16:10?

Let me expand on the FM article using the Small HD DP6. You will notice on the LCD of your 5DII that the LCD is approximately 4:3 aspect ratio with the 3x2 image at the top, and the exposure information, which is displayed on a black strip on the bottom of the LCD. With the Canon version of preset scaling selected on the DP6 the entire LCD view is reproduced as is: 3x2 image above and black strip with exposure information below. All of the pixels in the vertical display are used, with some narrow black strips on the left/right edges.

The really nice and unique feature of the Small HD monitors is that they have a 1:1 scaling setting, which I have programed into one of the top buttons on my unit. In the 1:1 mode one pixel on the camera's output is one pixel on the DP6; there is absolutely no rescaling, so resolution is as good as its going to get from a particular camera LCD setting. With 1:1 activated and the standard LCD display you will see not quite the full scene image; with about 10% of the top of the scene and about 5% of the right hand edge of the image being clipped from view. In the 1:1 mode the image fills every pixel in the 1289X800 DP6 screen, and none of them are interpolated (or extrapolated). There are no black bars anywhere: also no exposure information. The "lost" portion of the image in 1:1 is not viewable in a scrolled magnified mode either. To see the entire LCD image simply switch off 1:1 to check full image composition.

Scroll through the LCD options by pressing Info button on the back of the camera several times, One of the views has the image filling the camera LCD with no exposure, camera parameters nor histograms. On the DP6 the horizontal pixels match those of the camera LCD and just a few % of the top and bottom of the image are missing; very little. Now press 1:1 and in the DP6 one looses approximately 10+% of the view from each edge. However in this setup the cut off areas of the image are viewable via scrolling the camera magnified area. The resulting DP6 image fills the screen and is really sharp, as the camera HDMI output clearly has the greatest resolution in this mode, and that enhanced resolution is being faithfully presented on the DP6 1:1 display feature.

These software features make the Small HD monitors excellent devices for Live View manual focusing.

Mike K



Nov 26, 2012 at 10:51 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #17 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


Excellent hints, Mike. I'll have to try them out.


Nov 27, 2012 at 12:50 PM
buggz2k
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p.1 #18 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


Dang it, I've always wanted one of these, any sales going on?


Nov 27, 2012 at 08:23 PM
buggz2k
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p.1 #19 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


Ouch, they are expensive, just like everything else, sigh...


Nov 27, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Mike K
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p.1 #20 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


They have sales from time to time.
From the article:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/smallhd/

From time to time Small HD has sales of "B stock" which are units with several dead pixels. I got one with a $300 discount. I only see the dead pixels when using "focus assist +", which is a form of highly amplified focus peaking. Get on their mailing list if you want to be notified of B stock sales.
Mike K



Nov 28, 2012 at 05:09 AM
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