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New Flyer in Bright Daylight - Monitor Hood?


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#1 Mitch Lewis

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 08:22 AM

We recently bought a Steadicam F24LEHDVLBH Flyer and it came with a TV Logic monitor (the one with HD-SDI inputs). The problem we're having is that the screen is very glossy. It looks like there's a piece of glass covering the screen. As a result when we're shooting outdoors it's next to impossible to see an image on the screen. I'll admit that I haven't tried messing with the controls (brightness, contrast, etc...). They are all set to the detents. Maybe cranking them up would help? Does anyone know if there's a monitor hood available for this monitor? We made our own monitor hood out of black poster board and it did help a bit, but there was still quite a bit of reflection on the screen. Anyone else with a new Flyer having this issue?

Edited by Mitch Lewis, 03 May 2010 - 08:23 AM.

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#2 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 09:53 AM

Making your own is fine, though I'm sure a few companies out there make hoods that would fit. Try Hoodman.

I just made a few variations (heights) but ended up using the shorter one since the taller ones interfere with the arm.

Another suggestion is to look at the angle of view, most if not all monitors have a "better" viewing angle from either the top or the bottom. You might get a better images turning the monitor upside down. Sounds strange but that is why most have a bottom, top and side mount.

The key issue here is that your monitor lacks the brightness/contrast and anti-glare coating of more expensive monitors for outside use and frankly there's not a whole lot you can do to make your monitor work outside.

Don't let price and mfr hype fool you though. I taught a Steadicam workshop last week where the $75 Best Buy wireless TV monitor had almost as good of a picture as the $4000+ monitor. We held them side by side and took photos; needless to say that Op is making a call to his monitor mfr this morning.

There's an entire monitor thread / slugfest on the Forum called "The Great Daylight Monitor Shootout". Grab a big glass of ______, kick back and read through it for everything you'd ever want to know and then some.

Robert
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#3 Janice Arthur

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 10:13 AM

Mitch;

Every thing Robert said is good but I'm going to beat you up a bit.

You haven't tryed anything yet and you just posted?

I'd say politely, go play around with your angles and controls and get back to us? Just curiosity would make you try something? "All still in detents"?

Go outside, change angles, take brightness and contrast all the way down, bring up contrast to barely see an image and then fill in with brightness.

Have fun.

JA
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#4 Mitch Lewis

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 10:18 AM

Thanks for the replies. You're right. I need to do most testing. The monitor looks great indoors and normally all our editing room monitors can stay at their detents, so that's why I left this one.

I'll go outside today/tomorrow and try adjusting the settings. But honestly, I guess my post was a nice way of asking "why did Steadicam sell a monitor with a very reflective glass screen"?

Thanks again. :)
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#5 Erik Brul

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 12:21 PM

Hi Mitch,

Everything Robert and Janice said. But this monitor was introduced with the Flyer LE in 2007 / 2008 as part of the HD version of
the Flyer LE. It has only 400 nits and this is already more then 100 nits less then the standard 7 inch monitor of the SD version.

There was a topic about the tv logic monitor, take a look at:

http://www.steadicam...l=tv logic&st=0

Maybe upgrade to another monitor ?

Cheers,
Erik
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#6 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 12:38 PM

...But honestly, I guess my post was a nice way of asking "why did Steadicam sell a monitor with a very reflective glass screen"?


Likely because you didn't know to ask which is not entirely their fault I suppose since you could have found the answer by researching the mega-zillion posts here on the subject. Please let us know what the official Tiffen answer is.

Robert
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#7 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 03:49 PM

Robert,

In fairness to Mitch, I think maybe he just put his trust in Tiffen as the "cadillac" manufacturer of rigs at his price point and needs. I'm sure it was a bit of a surprise to see the obvious shortcoming of the monitor in daylight.

Larger questions of LCD outdoor viewability aside, it's not like Tiffen offers several options for HD monitors for the Flyer, or a "no-monitor" option. So if you buy an HD Flyer, that's the monitor you get.


Mitch, it appears that, at the Flyer's price point, the TV Logic monitor was/is the best available HD monitor. It definately has compromises. Also, no LCD monitor does a very good job in the sun. And it's still a far sight better than the monitors offered on the rigs that compete with the Flyer (Glidecam, et. all)

There have been lots of recent developments for less-expensive HD monitors with improved daylight performance, including the Marshall 6.5" transflective monitor and new Nebtek monitors. As suggested, searching the forum (particularly the Daylight Monitor Shootout thread) will yield a wealth of information (and lots of strong opinions.) It will also give you some perspective on the history of the "holy grail" search for an acceptable daylight monitor.

The HD monitor option for the Zephyr is not yet announced, but I believe Tiffen has said that it will be an "improved" monitor. We await with bated breath...

Good luck!


...But honestly, I guess my post was a nice way of asking "why did Steadicam sell a monitor with a very reflective glass screen"?


Likely because you didn't know to ask which is not entirely their fault I suppose since you could have found the answer by researching the mega-zillion posts here on the subject. Please let us know what the official Tiffen answer is.

Robert


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#8 Mitch Lewis

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 04:00 PM

Mark made my point for me. (thanks Mark!)

I contacted TV Logic and they said that if you remove the protective glass screen, it will expose the internal components to dirt/dust. They don't sell a matte version of the screen. Honestly, I'm not sure if it's a brightness issue or not. If the transreflective monitors you're talking about are so bright that they overpower the reflections, then yes, my monitor is probably not bright enough. But I'm guessing it's not a brightness issue, but instead a glossy screen issue.

Thanks for the replies! :)
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#9 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:17 PM

Whoa Mark / Mitch

My apology, I didn't mean it to come across rough on Mitch; I'm of the same mindset that he didn't know what to ask and put his trust in a manufacturer as we all do. I'm sure had he asked or pushed the point he would have been pointed to an upgrade though I don't know if the Tiffen UltraBrite fits on a Flyer.

With a few rare exceptions about all we can do is try to weed our way through manufacture's sales hype which means ZERO in the real world. Thus the "Great Shootout" concept and all the effort it took for Charles and others to pull that together, yet everyone still had personal preferences and opinions. It's not just monitors either; I've pi$$ed away more money and time than I care to think about on empty mfr promises and vaporware. For what we pay for all this stuff we shouldn't be the ones testing it. Maybe I'm just a slow learner and have to find out the hard way. :blink:

As I mentioned in the previous post I saw a real world comparison last week of a $75 Best Buy TV monitor on a wireless signal come out darn near close to a current production $4000 HD monitor supposedly 700-1000 nit model wired direct from the camera/sled.

Mitch, good luck with your monitor challenges. There's good reason why certain gear seems to consistently end up in one form or another on operator's rigs who have been doing this for a long time.

Robert
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#10 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 09:45 PM

Robert,

Hope I didn't come across as rough on you, or for that matter, Tiffen. :-) I'm guessing they offered the best monitor they thought would make financial sense on a Flyer.

I am very curious about what they come up with for the Zephyr.

And I'm REALLY curious about that $75 Best Buy TV!

Mitch,

Daylight/sunlight performance, as I understand it, is a combination of anti-glare coatings, backlight intensity, and in some cases, transflective coatings. To modify your monitor,

Whoa Mark / Mitch

My apology, I didn't mean it to come across rough on Mitch; I'm of the same mindset that he didn't know what to ask and put his trust in a manufacturer as we all do. I'm sure had he asked or pushed the point he would have been pointed to an upgrade though I don't know if the Tiffen UltraBrite fits on a Flyer.

With a few rare exceptions about all we can do is try to weed our way through manufacture's sales hype which means ZERO in the real world. Thus the "Great Shootout" concept and all the effort it took for Charles and others to pull that together, yet everyone still had personal preferences and opinions. It's not just monitors either; I've pi$$ed away more money and time than I care to think about on empty mfr promises and vaporware. For what we pay for all this stuff we shouldn't be the ones testing it. Maybe I'm just a slow learner and have to find out the hard way. :blink:

As I mentioned in the previous post I saw a real world comparison last week of a $75 Best Buy TV monitor on a wireless signal come out darn near close to a current production $4000 HD monitor supposedly 700-1000 nit model wired direct from the camera/sled.

Mitch, good luck with your monitor challenges. There's good reason why certain gear seems to consistently end up in one form or another on operator's rigs who have been doing this for a long time.

Robert


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#11 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 12:02 AM

...And I'm REALLY curious about that $75 Best Buy TV...


Out of respect the op is giving the monitor manufacturer a day or so to make good; if they don't I'm sure he'll have plenty to say and I have photos to post as well.

Robert
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#12 Mitch Lewis

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:18 AM

Talked to Steadicam today. They said that they haven't had any complaints about their HD Flyer monitor. I'm hoping that it's just my stupidity for not cranking up the brightness and contrast. We'll find out this morning as I've got a big shoot outdoors.
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#13 RonBaldwin

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 10:21 AM

J

Talked to Steadicam today. They said that they haven't had any complaints about their HD Flyer monitor.


I think Toyota had the same response
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#14 Brian Freesh

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 11:06 AM

J

Talked to Steadicam today. They said that they haven't had any complaints about their HD Flyer monitor.


I think Toyota had the same response


Someone asked Toyota about their HD Flyer monitor?

To be fair, The percentage of sticky acceleration pedals in Toyota vehicles to total Toyota vehicles (or even total Priuses) was so low that from their POV it's probably an "acceptable margin" or somesuch (I admit that's just speculation on my part). It's just a worse problem than say a radio that only gets polka. Or is it?

As for the monitor, this may be obvious, but are you sure you've taken off the clear plastic sticker that monitors ship with? I've missed it myself before!
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#15 Mitch Lewis

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 02:23 PM

I'm a little embarrassed to post this, but I feel that I owe it to Steadicam to retract my remarks from my original post.

I just got back from a 2.5 hour shoot and the Steadicam supplied HD monitor worked great! This time I was smart enough to turn everything all the way up and I had no trouble seeing an image for framing. I also took the viewfinder tube off our Sony EX3, so I was able to use that as a small camera monitor as well. I'm pretty embarrassed that I had been shooting on three other outdoor shoots and never tried turning the adjustment knobs on the monitor up any farther than their detents. So "thank you Steadicam" for supplying a monitor that works well in bright sunlight.

I'll admit, if the sky hit the monitor at just the right angle then it would wash out and I couldn't see it, but that only happened once or twice. But my biggest problem was the wind. I'm starting to figure out that using the Steadicam in strong winds is next to impossible.

Thanks everyone for the replies. :)
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