Jump to content



Photo

New Monitor for Flyer-LE


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Michael Thackray

Michael Thackray

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 11 June 2011 - 07:31 PM

Hello,

I'm brand new to the forum, My name's Mike and I am Flyer-Le owner. I recently got a job operating for cooking shows on PBS. The monitor I have on there now just isn't doing the job. We keep having to plug the camera into an external monitor to double check lighting, and it slows down the whole production. I just have the Standard, 7" LCD color monitor. I can't seem to find a better one to match up with my rig. Any advice?
  • 0

#2 thomas-english

thomas-english

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1165 posts
  • UK

Posted 12 June 2011 - 12:48 AM

No-one should be checking lighting off a Steadicam monitor. a TB6 can make the most underexposed shot in the world look good.
  • 0

#3 Fabrizio Sciarra SOC ACO

Fabrizio Sciarra SOC ACO

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 240 posts
  • London,UK

Posted 12 June 2011 - 08:04 AM

No-one should be checking lighting off a Steadicam monitor. a TB6 can make the most underexposed shot in the world look good.


Well, of course a TB6 is not the right tool to check for exposure. There are steadicam monitors which you can trust for exposure, with nice waveforms, but I'm afraid they cost same as the Flyer. Not sure you may want to get one of those...
  • 0

#4 Jay Kim

Jay Kim

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 76 posts
  • New York

Posted 12 June 2011 - 08:25 AM

I think you need a monitor with built-in Vector Scope and Waveform display. It used to be very expensive to get a monitor with these features built-in (such as one from Astro Design) but now it gets much cheaper and you can get a 7 or 8" HD-SDI/HDMI monitor with Vector Scope/Waveform for less than $2500 USD (BON and TV Logic's monitor I saw at NAB, Panasonic BT-LH80WU, or Glidecam HD-7 monitor).
It's good to have those features but I pesonally don't understand why they need to look at your monitor to check lighting.

If you are looking for a real daylight steadicam monitor, you should look at Chris Bangma's Cinetronic monitor($5,000).
Or check this forum discussion.
  • 0

#5 Mark Schlicher

Mark Schlicher

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 776 posts
  • Nashville, TN

Posted 12 June 2011 - 11:14 AM

Mike,

More details of your situation would be helpful. What camera? Are they REALLY using YOUR camera to check lighting? Why aren't they checking lighting on one of the stationary cameras? Or are they just doublechecking your iris settings? Are you tethered to a control room? I assume that you are controlling your own iris. Are they lighting flat so you don't have to worry about iris from shot to shot, or is their lighting all over the place? Does the LD or DP know how to use a light meter or zebras???

In the low-budget world there are a host of compromises and workarounds, that vary from situation to situation. I totally get that. I operated a lot last year with a Flyer and Panasonic HVX200. I got pretty good at eyeballing exposure with the Flyer monitor, since the 200 doesn't send zebras to the sled monitor. To confirm exposure, I simply kept the onboard LCD flipped outward, so I could peek at the zebras when necessary between shots.

The best fit for your rig might be one of the Marshall 7" monitors. Depending on the model and connections you can get one for under $900. I just picked up an 800nit highbright with HD-SDI (for my Zephyr) for $1100. A much brighter, sharper image than the stock Flyer monitor (even in SD mode). Fairly lightweight (important on a Flyer) and excellent contrast, viewing angles, and color rendition. False color mode is a great alternative to zebras, and nearly as useful as a waveform for exposure/lighting checking.

Having said all this, production is insane if they are checking lighting from your rig. If production is slowed down by "having to" plug your camera into an external monitor, it's their own friggin fault, not yours. Unless I'm missing something.
  • 0

#6 Andrew Stone

Andrew Stone

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 250 posts
  • Vancouver

Posted 12 June 2011 - 11:48 AM

Jay and Mark's comments pretty much state what I would have mentioned. A bit odd having this set of problems and questions for a show destined for PBS. This is not so much a statement towards you but to the people who are requesting this of you... It's gotta be said.

Like Mark mentioned on low budget shoots you can get things kinda there on the monitor and should be acceptable for post. I would say within a half a stop given the crude settings on the Flyer monitor, Of course, things are going to change in relative terms when the light that hits the monitor goes up or down. This is more of an issue when you are shooting outside. In addition to a flip out LCD, if there is one, I would opt for one of the lighter monitors like the TV Logic, that does have scopes and can be had for under $1500. Daylight viewability isn't an issue here for your secondary monitor, as suggested, so put the money into one like the TV Logic. The Marshall is cheaper but I don't believe it has scopes.

You didn't mention the camera you have on the rig. This information is essential to give you a response that can deal with issues such as monitor connectivity, weight constraints and other matters.
  • 0

#7 Andrew Stone

Andrew Stone

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 250 posts
  • Vancouver

Posted 12 June 2011 - 11:52 AM

Jay, a point of clarification on the Cinetronic with the Flyer. The Cinetronic is close to 4 pounds. You would have to do rebuild the lower spar to do proper weight distribution. A stock Flyer could not be balanced with the Cinetronic on the stock monitor mount.
  • 0

#8 Michael Thackray

Michael Thackray

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:12 PM

Mike,

More details of your situation would be helpful. What camera? Are they REALLY using YOUR camera to check lighting? Why aren't they checking lighting on one of the stationary cameras? Or are they just doublechecking your iris settings? Are you tethered to a control room? I assume that you are controlling your own iris. Are they lighting flat so you don't have to worry about iris from shot to shot, or is their lighting all over the place? Does the LD or DP know how to use a light meter or zebras???

In the low-budget world there are a host of compromises and workarounds, that vary from situation to situation. I totally get that. I operated a lot last year with a Flyer and Panasonic HVX200. I got pretty good at eyeballing exposure with the Flyer monitor, since the 200 doesn't send zebras to the sled monitor. To confirm exposure, I simply kept the onboard LCD flipped outward, so I could peek at the zebras when necessary between shots.

The best fit for your rig might be one of the Marshall 7" monitors. Depending on the model and connections you can get one for under $900. I just picked up an 800nit highbright with HD-SDI (for my Zephyr) for $1100. A much brighter, sharper image than the stock Flyer monitor (even in SD mode). Fairly lightweight (important on a Flyer) and excellent contrast, viewing angles, and color rendition. False color mode is a great alternative to zebras, and nearly as useful as a waveform for exposure/lighting checking.

Having said all this, production is insane if they are checking lighting from your rig. If production is slowed down by "having to" plug your camera into an external monitor, it's their own friggin fault, not yours. Unless I'm missing something.


Mark,
Thanks so much for your help. I should clarify that this is a shoestring production. We are shooting in a small personal kitchen. They are not using my camera to check lighting, but rather double-checking my iris as you said. There are two cameras on set, both tethered to an external monitor. We have three men on crew, including myself. We do a few shows for PBS but we are a small company. The camera on my rig is an XDcam(EX3). The Director changes lighting from shot to shot based on where the host stands in the kitchen. I will absolutely check out the Marshall Monitor. This brings up another problem though. The director provided me with a temporary monitor(which by the way I just found out was a marshall, not sure of the model #). It fits on my rig just fine, but the connection I have doesn't fit any of the ports on the back of the new (marshall) monitor. So, I am either tethered to an external monitor, or I am forced to awkwardly run cable up my post after I connect my rig to the monitor. The monitor runs off a battery or external power, I am able to run a power source from the monitor to my rig, but thats yet another cable. Is there any adapters out the to solve the problem? I need a BNC to whatever video connection the standard SD Flyer monitor has. I'll research the connections and post the info. So overall, I am looking for a monitor that can better translate my own exposure, without the mess of a thousand cables. I am really new to operating professionally, I only saved up enough money to buy my rig a year ago, after attending the SOA workshop in Exton. I have only been doing projects like student films, so I have not been able to really upgrade my equipment to a professional level. I am 23 and currently saving up to go back to the workshop. There's just so much to learn! So please forgive me if any of my questions come off unclear. Thanks for all your understanding and help(everyone), It's really comforting to know that all this wisdom is never far away. Please let me know if there is anymore information I can provide to make your advice easier to give.
mike
  • 0

#9 Mark Schlicher

Mark Schlicher

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 776 posts
  • Nashville, TN

Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:14 PM

Um, I'm still unclear about what is being expected of you, and how you and the director are trying to accomplish it. But I think I get it. Based on what I'm understanding, I'd suggest the following:

1. The EX3 has a very good on-camera LCD on-board monitor that can be used for checking exposure and framing, as well as focus for that matter. Turn on the Zebras, rotate the monitor so its visible, balance the sled with it in position, and use that for checking/confirming iris between shots. But if both cameras are the same and the talent is lit reasonably well, the iris should be the same on both cameras and you whatever you set for one will work for the other.

2. Just keep the standard Flyer monitor on the sled. It's plenty fine for framing and that's all you should be worrying about during the shot. Forget about the director's Marshall.

3. If the director needs to watch the shot while you are shooting, he can look over your shoulder (not ideal) or position the onboard LCD so he can stand to the side.

4. If he must watch the shot from video village, then you need a flexible video jumper cable like this. Go to Radio Shack for the RCA to BNC adapter and the BNC barrel you'll need. Connect one end to the camera (via a y-cable), loop through your hand and then tape or velcro the other end to your vest. Then connect the long cable back to video village to this vest connector. They will then get a standard def signal. I don't recall if the EX3 can simultaneously send HD-SDI and composite, but if it can, then you can skip the y-cable and connect your jumper to the HD-SDI output (yes this cable will handle it). Then they can have full HD signal. For details on this technique, search the forum archives. The concept is to isolate the influence of the cable from the sled.

5. Adapter cables for the Flyer monitor, or to mount another monitor on the Flyer, are going to be somewhat pricey. Glidecam does sell a compatible adapter for their "L7" monitor that should work with a Flyer monitor (they appear to be basically the same, but confirm with Glidecam and don't take my word for it) If it does work, it will connect the Flyer monitor to standard composite video and 12/14.4V power sources. However, to connect a monitor like a Marshall to your Flyer sled, then you'll probably be looking at a custom-built adapter cable, probably $75-100. Go to trusted Steadicam cable specialists like Terry West or Fred Davis (search the archives). Tiffen might make a cable but it is likely to be even more expensive.
  • 0




BOXX

rebotnix Technologies

Boland Communications

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

GPI Pro Systems

Teradek

PLC Electronics Solutions

Paralinx LLC

SkyDreams

Wireless Video Systems

IDX

Betz Tools for Stabilizers

Engineered Cinema Solutions

Omnishot Systems

Varizoom Follow Focus

PLC - Bartech