During photokina we payed a visit to the Aperture booth, had a chat with Ted Sim, and we totally fell in love with their new products. Actually, we have been using Aputure’s LEDs for quite a while now, so we were not surprised. What we were surprised with is the price points for the various products. THe fact that they can deliver a $500 field monitor with vectorscope and color parade is quite awesome.
Whether you’re shooting video or stills, field monitors can be invaluable. For video the advantages are obvious. Nailing focus is a lot easier on a big screen. That works for stills, though, too. Field monitors get very expensive, very quickly, though.
In this two part video series, YouTuber GreatScott, takes us step by step through the creation of a DIY field monitor. It also doubles up as a great monitor for Raspberry Pi, or to extend your regular computer desktop.
When shooting in the great outdoors sun hitting your laptop or monitor can become a serious thing and actually keep you from actually seeing the screen. This is why Laptop visors (or monitor hoods) were invented. Think a black box with an opening on one side to allow screen viewing and keyboard access. They are usually not that expensive going from $20 for a basic kit, to $85 for a nice one, to as high as $250 for an Optimus Prime grade hood with a tripod mount and pouches.
While can buy wireless HD monitors on the market, but even the cheaper kits are not very cheap. This is why I turned to making my own DIY wireless HD field monitor.
I’m going to use the device both as a standalone, wired unit (via the hdmi-cable) when shooting video so I get all the benefit from the resolution. I’m also going to use the wireless link when I’m doing aerial and flash photography.
The idea was to find an affordable 7″ monitor with a high resolution (1280×800) and with an in-built battery. I also planned to include a video link, that I had purchased earlier, to this project so the monitor box should also have enough space for a receiver. I wanted to use a higher end IPS monitor for better view angles and use in the sun.
I’m a convert.
Not to any particular religion, but instead to the idea that a field monitor is the most important piece of equipment you can have on a video shoot after the camera, a lens and some kind of support.
This represents a sea change in my worldview. As a still photographer for decades, until recently I thought the bane of my video production existence was audio. But a Zoom H4n, a shotgun, a couple of lavs and a wireless system later, I’ve changed my mind.
And that’s because while I took for granted my ability to obtain tack-sharp focus every time, I’ve learned the hard way once again that assumptions are the mother of all screw-ups.
Turns out it was easier to focus in the good old days of film, manual lenses, split image rangefinders, and coarse microprisms on ground glass than it is today through on-board electronic viewfinders (EVFs) and LCDs.
There’s a reason why third party EVF’s and monitors are so popular.
I recently had the opportunity to review a 7.7” diagonal field monitor, and it was a revelation (no religious undercurrent intended).
We are big fans of CamRanger, while other options have been around for a while (both DIY and pro) they came up with a well packed product for camera remote control that has all the features you can possibly think about.
But if you are looking to spend a bit less money, don’t care about appearances and have the extra time to fiddle around, here is an Android driven alternative for $30. This hack from DSLR Film Noob is using an android tablet and a TP-LINK TL-MR3040 wireless router. It does require a bit of firmware hacking, but nothing that exceeds jailbreaking a phone or updating an Xbox. [Read more…]