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Archive 2012 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor
  
 
timballic
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p.3 #1 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


Been out this afternoon with the DP4. Some good, some less so.

(Mainly using my Sigma 150mm at F2.8.)

The Good:
• Focus excellent. I never once felt I needed a higher resolution screen. The edges of the in focus area really "popped" and I could have increased the sharpness setting to get even more "pop".
(However, I found the special "focus assist" feature less accurate than without it)
• Composition: good in Nikon setting (with 5DII) as that shows the whole image without cutoff, and yet fills screen top to bottom with black each side.. The image size is nearly 4" diagonal, and is a big improvement on the 3" camera LCD, plus of course it swivels and tilts.
( although smallHD make a big thing about rescaling for Canon, this cut's off top and bottom, which is not helpful for stills.)
• Brightness. I set to 90% backlight and I never felt I needed it brighter, and it was a sunny day.
• Overall look of the image, contrast and saturation is good
• Small size and light weight.

Neutral comments:
• Colour slightly yellow. However there are individual RGB channel adjusts which I haven't played with, so I probably could get colour even closer. It's fine for me.
• Reflection off shiny acetate screen cover. I'm going to get this whichever Monitor I use. Perhaps a non reflective screen would be better though. It wasn't direct sun on the monitor that was the problem, but the reflection of my sunlit chest and face. (Note to self: Remember to wear black shirt!)

Problem area:
• Battery life. I had 2 fully charged EP-6 batteries and on constantly they only lasted 2.5hrs!
I hadn't expected this, as I'd read that others got 6 + hours. Perhaps it was having backlight at 90% plus non OEM batteries, ( I doubt I'd get more that 3hrs even with Canon ones.) This is a big problem for me.
• 2.5 - 3 sec blink between every action when screen goes blue. Review, view, menu etc, only 5x and 10x enlargement are without this annoying delay (I believe Magic Lantern fixes it) I could just about live with it as is.

For me the very poor battery life may be a deal breaker. At first I thought the unit had broken down, I mean 2.5 hrs with both batteries fully charged just isn't on! If it had been the 6 hours I'd expected then I'd be really happy with it and got used to the delay "blinks".

I really will really try to get the Sony monitor to compare with it now.

PS. SmallHD tell me the erratic scroll wheel isn't user replaceable, it would need a complete new main board replacement at $175 + shipping both ways, I'll live with it as it is!



May 07, 2013 at 05:10 PM
mirkoc
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p.3 #2 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


Regarding batteries, it might be that that they have to get formatted to their full capacity with few cycles of discharging and recharging. I found that with a new 5D3, it didn't last long. (If I understood correctly, DP4 and Canon share the battery type)


May 07, 2013 at 05:49 PM
timballic
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p.3 #3 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


mirkoc wrote:
Regarding batteries, it might be that that they have to get formatted to their full capacity with few cycles of discharging and recharging. I found that with a new 5D3, it didn't last long. (If I understood correctly, DP4 and Canon share the battery type)


I'm hoping that it will improve a bit with some recharges. I'll drop the backlight setting a bit too. (Yes, they're the Canon LP-E6 battery that the 5DII uses)



May 07, 2013 at 05:59 PM
timballic
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p.3 #4 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


The Sony 3:2 5" screen is (105mm x 70mm) , The DP4 4.3" 16:10 (92mm x 56mm) both are 800 x 480 resolution, which if my calculations are correct, is an area increase of 43% for the same resolution with the Sony.

I think that means that the Sony won't be as high resolution as the DP4, though I realise pixel size and density aren't included in my calculation.


Just tried 2 Canon batteries that I've used often, (i.e. fully charging), turned Backlight down to 50% and I still only got 4 hours duration! Better, but still not the 6 + hrs I expected.

I do have the Sony battery plate as well, that takes two F770 or two F970 batteries, which should boost the duration a lot, but with more expense!



May 08, 2013 at 10:56 AM
DaveOls
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p.3 #5 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


Have you thought about just getting one of those hoods that go on your LCD. I think Hoodman and a few others make them and they are much less expensive than what you are looking for. I believe that they magnify somewhat also.


May 08, 2013 at 03:48 PM
timballic
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p.3 #6 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


DaveOls wrote:
Have you thought about just getting one of those hoods that go on your LCD. I think Hoodman and a few others make them and they are much less expensive than what you are looking for. I believe that they magnify somewhat also.


Tried that!

What I want is a screen that articulates for very low angle shots, to keep my cheek out of the mud!



May 08, 2013 at 03:58 PM
 

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jcolwell
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p.3 #7 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


DaveOls wrote:
Have you thought about just getting one of those hoods that go on your LCD. I think Hoodman and a few others make them and they are much less expensive than what you are looking for. I believe that they magnify somewhat also.


I have a Zacuto Z-finder "magnifying hood" that works great for 'normal' handheld Alt shooting. I got it primarily for video, which I don't do a lot of.

Like Tim mentioned, I bought a DP6 for tripod shooting, when it's awkward to see the finder (e.g. macro near the ground, or shooting up at a near vertical angle), and for times when the larger screen is a real plus, like when using a tilt-shift lens, especially tilt.



May 08, 2013 at 04:37 PM
Kit Laughlin
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p.3 #8 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


I have been using the ikan field monitor for this purpose; $224; see it HERE.

I have teamed it with a NEX 6; HDMI out to drive it, and it comes with a full hood for outdoor use, too. I use a Panasonic battery from one of my pro. video cameras to power the unit. 100% zoom is easy (whatever the LCD or EVF sees, the ikan displays).



May 08, 2013 at 05:08 PM
timballic
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p.3 #9 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


Kit Laughlin wrote:
I have been using the ikan field monitor for this purpose; $224; see it HERE.

I have teamed it with a NEX 6; HDMI out to drive it, and it comes with a full hood for outdoor use, too. I use a Panasonic battery from one of my pro. video cameras to power the unit. 100% zoom is easy (whatever the LCD or EVF sees, the ikan displays).


Kit, can you tell me more about the 5" ikan, it's not available in UK as Ikan, but I've only just come across it, or something very like, being sold over here as Allcam and Neway CL5585H. The casing is definitely the same, dimensions and weight etc. http://www.neway.me/products_detailed.aspx?Flag=1&ID=565

How is the picture quality and "scaling" to get full screen without cut-off and battery life?

I'm very interested as the price is so reasonable.



May 08, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Kit Laughlin
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p.3 #10 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


As it takes Live View via the HDMI port, what you can see on the LCD is played out to the ikan. The resolution is better than the camera's LCD—and you are seeing the sensor's output. And this monitor can handle 1080p video out, too.

And getting full screen probably depends on the camera; the NEX 6 has a 'wide screen' option in the menu, so that's what I select, and that's what I see.

The Panasonic battery that I use is the standard small one that comes with the HMC-152 (model VW-VBG260); it's 7.2V, 2500mAh, so I expect many hours of screen life. hth, kl



May 08, 2013 at 06:30 PM
Kit Laughlin
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p.3 #11 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


I want to calibrate my ikan monitor; I am loosely familiar with the blue gun method, but am trying to load a jpeg of SMTPE color bars onto the SD card that I can play back to use—and have done so (put in the DICM folder Sony uses for stills), but the camera will not recognise this jpeg.

Does anyone know how to get the color bars onto the NEX 6 in a form it will recognise and be able to play back? I just tried renaming the color bars file as _DSC0470.JPG, following the Sony naming convention, but there must be some other invisible tag—Playback will still not recognise the file.

Otherwise, I can report that all the ikan functions work perfectly: guides, peaking, full screen, etc.: the peaking function, especially combined with the NEX 6 focussing aids, allows extremely fine focus. I am amazed that this quality is available at this price, and this newest of the Ikans has functions that the more expensive (7") ones do not.

Now: how to calibrate?




May 10, 2013 at 05:57 PM
carstenw
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p.3 #12 · Best 4"-5" Field Monitor


Bringing this thread back to the top. Any new developments from Kit or anyone else?

Jim, you wanted to tell me some details about why you sold the DP6, but after filling yourself with turkey, I guess you forgot I am considering the DP4 or DP6. The higher resolution does appeal, even if it means losing the EVF attachment.



Oct 27, 2013 at 12:27 AM
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