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EVF or Monitor and why?

Discussion in 'Filmmaking' started by thercman, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Sep 21, 2013
    So I have been looking into both EVFs and monitors. Basically I am at a crossroads between purchasing the Zacuto Z-Finder EVF Pro and the Marshall 7" MD monitor. I think having both for different situations would be ideal but its not in the budget. With that said I am trying to gauge the pros and cons of each in order to determine which one to get. This is how I am comparing them.

    First the monitors pros: For indoor interviews it would provide excellent viewing, easy focusing and allow me to conduct an interview without having my face near my rig to see a little screen. A monitor would allow much better use on a jib. If I wanted to do low walking shots with my rig it seems that a monitor would be better than an EVF. When doing panning shots on a tripod it seems like it would also make life easier. The Marshall monitor has so great features to include adjustable focus peaking for color and grade. It is also cheaper than the EVF by $160. The cons: It is much larger than the EVF creating a bulkier rig. Even with a shade it may not be as viewable as the EVF in direct sunlight. (with a 1000:1 Contrast / 800 Nit Brightness I'm not sure if it really matters though).

    The EVF pros: Definitely more portable by keeping the rig compact. With it placed up to your eye focusing should be more precise. Also with it placed up to your eye the rig has another point of contact creating a more stable shot. Cons: When used as a monitor its no larger than my GH3's screen. (old eyes) If you accidentally allow sunlight to hit the optic on the viewfinder your out almost 1k. Its expensive.

    I am new to all of this so I am hoping those of you with experience would share your thoughts on which you would prefer for all around use, the monitor or the evf and why.....
     
  2. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    What about the smallhd evf. What do you mean if you allow sunlight to hit the optic your out 1k?
     
  3. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Sep 21, 2013
    When I compared the Zacuto with Smallhd the Zacuto had better reviews/specs. It had more options, it didn't suffer from ghosting etc. Of course this was my impression from what I read and the videos I saw....

    Edit: Basically I have just decided to purchase the Zacuto over the competition. Mostly I am hoping that people here could help me with which one would be of more use to me, the evf or monitor. At this point I am leaning towards the monitor...


    From Zacuto's site:
    "WARNING A Z-finder is a magnifier and as such, do not allow sunlight to enter the Z-Finder, for even a moment, while it is attached to the EVF. The light can be magnified by the lens and potentially cause damage to the EVF screen. Always use the included Sun Mask and immediately put lens cap over lens when not in use."
     
  4. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Sep 21, 2013
    So which one do you guys use more, an EVF or a monitor?
     
  5. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I prefer a monitor!
    The only time I have found an EVF better is when shooting ENG style{with little or no rig!}. If you go ENG style it is possible to simply use an add-on magnifier VF for the rear LCD.

    Body movement can be transferred through the EVF and create unwanted camera movement. Every rig I have ever seen for a moving camera{either on a hand held rig or mounted on a dolly,jib,crane, etc..} used a separate monitor, sometimes remotely located.

    I do recommend a visor/sunscreen for outdoor use on a monitor{they can even cut glare from indoor lighting}. There are many out there or you can make your own{I made one once out of black foamcore and gaff tape}.
     
  6. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Sep 21, 2013
    Thanks for the reply.... I have read the same type of comments over at the Red Forum. That they use a monitor as the primary way to focus etc. They made comments about being able to move around without having tunnel vision and so on. I was messing around filming my chickens carrying the rig for low shots and even on my shoulder using the camera's LCD screen. What a nightmare. It is only really usable for framing and I was just hoping the auto focus has the intended subject locked because there is no way to pull focus like that.

    If I go with the Marshall I'll get the sun shade made for it since it is only $18...
     
  7. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Sep 21, 2013
    Do you guys think its worth the extra money for the Marshall over say a Lilliput 663/o/p??
     
  8. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Probably but not as much as the price difference. The Lilliput model you referenced is very well equipped, it even includes a sun visor at no extra cost.

    At work we have several Lilliput monitors and they work just fine{had them for 3+ years used every week without any problems}. I have also used or have seen in person monitors from Delvcam and VariZoom and they were as good as the Lilliput. On the other hand avoid those Chinese no-name brands. They are always inferior and often pure junk.
     
  9. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Sep 21, 2013
    It is so hard buying these things site unseen. I have to base everything off reviews and videos. *sigh* One thing I try to look at beyond specs and features is customer service. Not sure how Lilliput fairs with service. Both monitors offer the same resolution (same as my Samsung Note 8 which is pretty good). The Marshall has better contrast ratio, brightness and the ability to adjust the colors and thickness of the peaking lines. (cool feature) However I am not sure if it is worth double the price. For the money I am saving I can buy a jib.... Maybe I'll try the Lilliput with the hopes I won't be disappointed.

    I wish I could compare the two side by side. That way I could say for certain which would better serve me.

    I am surprised there aren't any focus peaking Apps out there yet. Or least I haven't found one.
     
  10. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    focus peaking apps? for what?
     
  11. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Sep 21, 2013
    Well, tablets have some amazing screens on them. If there was an app for focus peaking you could plug an HDMI cable up to the tablet and use it as a monitor.
     
  12. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Sep 21, 2013
    After comparing all the monitors I went ahead and ordered the Lilliput 663o/p. It should serve my needs and with the $300 I saved by not getting the Marshall I also ordered a mini jib. Jibs just add so much extra to a video!
     
  13. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Post a review of it when you get it. It looked very nice on the Amazon page but would like to hear from somebody who has one in hand.
     
  14. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    Can you summarize the results of your research? When I was last looking at this topic I found that I liked the price and features of the smallhd products. What has changed in the past two years? Thanks
     
  15. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Sep 21, 2013
    Since I have no access to any of these monitors all my research was done using youtube, blogs, and forums such as this. The Lilliput 663/O/P is $379 vs the smallhd AC7 at $599 before a sun screen and battery plate so think $699. Features are pretty much the same, focus peaking, assist, false color, and DSLR scaling. Both have the same resolution and brightness. The Lilliput is made from metal with the exception of the swappable battery plate in the rear. Until I can compare the screens side by side I have no idea which one looks better, which really is why you buy them right, for focusing. I went with the Lilliput and used the extra money to purchase a jib. To be honest I believe these monitors are WAY WAY over priced. You can buy a iPad which better resolution and a computer inside it. To me these companies charge outrageous prices because video industries have money to blow on gear. You and I however don't. If they want to sell more products the prices need to come down. They could make up for the lower prices in volume.
     
  16. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The prices have come down a HUGE amount for video production equipment in the past 10 years. It used to be a 100 times worse! Granted some things are still pricey but they are usually well made and last. If you are on a super tight budget you could use a cheap portable TV screen. This is what we did in the old days{10 years ago}.

    BTW there is a device that takes the HDMI signal of the camera and transmits it to devices via WiFi
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/859076-REG/Teradek_CUBE_255_Cube_255_HDMI_Encoder.html
    Sadly it costs $1500 but I bet it works great.