Teaching you how to choose a monitor hand by hand I

March 28, 2022

It is the basic property for monitors to monitoring images. Monitors are the necessary tools to be used more and more widely in any scales of productions that include from film productions to wedding shooting, and any other applications. Also there are many kinds of monitors in the market can be adopted. So what kind of monitor is good for your using? Obviously, it is a big question here. Ok, let us take an example of purchasing vehicle first so that we can understand it more easily.

When we decide to purchase a vehicle, generally we always go to auto shops to take a look. As a experienced sales consultant, he/she will not introduce all of types of vehicles for you, but he/she will ask you what is the main purpose of purchasing a vehicle. If only for transport, he/she should recommend a vehicle with stable performance and it should be fuel-efficient, cost competitive, but not recommend the vehicle which is function formidable or premium class. So the same thing as purchasing a monitor. Every monitor manufacturers set up the projects for each new models which need to define the new monitor basic figure and features before manufacturing. That’s the new monitor application and market positioning to satisfy every different applications’ needs.

To choose the monitors depending on the video equipment what you are using.

In terms of 7” monitors, it can be divided into professional and consumer prosumer two types. Different appearance, pixels, functions and inherent performance supply different customer needs. Although as the  same monitoring image, because of different input format, the price will be different. So before choosing a monitor, whatever professional or prosumer type, it is needed to consider the input signal format first, the second is functions. If your video equipment only has HDMI output, you don’t need get the monitor which has HD-SDI input/output unless you will have a future plan to upgrade your peripheral devices or you don’t care abut money. As most of 7” monitors are used for mobile shooting, if the video equipment is HDMI output, it is better to consider HDMI Lock function on monitor to ensure the signal conncection keeps good.

Different applications need to choose different functions.

Take film shooting for example, On camera top monitors are used by DP or focus assistant. DPs focus on composition of image, and focus assistants pay close attention to on focus. Before shooting, DPs get used to check exposure. So here is luminance function needed for DPs. This functions is similar as zebra in viewfinders,( Of course the feature of luminance is not only for this, it will be more introduced in later article.), but luminance in monitor is dynamic, and it is more accurate and visual as exposure prompt.

It is necessary to have peaking focus function for the monitor used by follow assistant. Although kind of traditional work can avoid out of focus efficiently, such in Hollywood, some experienced focus assistant don’t check monitor for focus during the shooting, Before shooting, they still keep the traditional work habit to  measure the distance by type,and record it to ensure focus, but they need to check monitor to see if  it is in focus or not. Therefore, monitors are very helpful for focus assistant as a assistance tool of focus checking. One thing to note here is that it is necessary for peaking focus function to adjust the color of peaking edge, and the width of peaking edge in order to satisfy the different needs for different shooting objects.

At the same time, point to point (zoom in) function is also indispensable. Because of the small size of the monitor, due to consideration of cost, most of them can not meet full pixels (1920×1080). Point to point function, can not only reproduce of the original pixels locally, but also help the focus puller to observe the accuracy of focus.

Whether it is photographers or focus puller, the monitor they use is better to have highlight features. High brightness refers to the brightness of the monitor, which is often signed by cd / ㎡. The brightness of common small-sized monitors is mostly 250 ~ 350cd / ㎡. It must rely on the hood to use monitor with tshock absorbershis brightness under the sun, , otherwise, the observation effect will be affected. Especially for Steadicam bumper and aviation shooting, the monitor and the photographer often formed up and down viewing angle, the screen is more easy to be interfered by strong light. If adopt monitor with the brightness of more than 800cd / ㎡, even if under direct sunlight, it will not affect the photographer to control the focus .

It should be emphasized that the number of LED backlight tube of the highlight monitor is increased, so its power consumption and heat has increased compared to ordinary monitors. Due to volume and application environment constraints of the small sized monitor, it can not be set the cooling wings and cooling fan, which not only has high requirements for the LED lamp photoelectric conversion efficiency, light diffusion and convergence perspective, light guide material. At the same time, the other materials, must have heat resistant, anti-aging characteristics, material costs will be much higher than the ordinary monitor. Therefore, the buyer need to make appropriate choice based on actual needs.
If the skin color and color chart reproduction is basically normal, indicating that the monitor’s color gamut and hue is normal. If only the skin color reproduce normally, while color chart is not saturated, then it indicate the monitor’s original color gamut can not reach the target color gamut, but the color of the property (hue) is basically normal. Even if the skin color reproduction are far from correct, then the monitor hue is abnormal, even if the original color gamut is large, it can not be used as a professional monitor.


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