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I read with interest the latest article on the Atomos NEON Monitors and was kind of gobsmacked at the prices, notable the 24" model ~AUD$9000. This made me think back to professional level photographic editing monitors and so I had a look at one supplier that I used quite some time ago when I was more into photography.

An Eizo ColorEdge CG279X 27" Monitor is AUD$3988 and, unless I've missed something, has better specs than the Atomos monitors. The only difference that I can see is that it doesn't have SDI input, but that would be easily resolved with a Blackmagic interface/converter device (I think). Or you could have the Eizo ColorEdge CG2420 24" Monitor for AUD$2452. Plus there are other brands that are a lot cheaper and still with impressive specs.

Am I missing something, or is this another case of gouging everyone involved in film production as much as is possible?

 

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Max brightness of 350 cd/m2 so it isn't suitable for HDR. NEON has onboard recording, SDI, it is upgradable in the future., and it can be used as a monitor out in the field.I do agree it is expensive, given how much you can buy a large 65" HDR LCD TV for these days. Look how much a lot of 7" monitors cost. I guess they are not making hundreds of thousands of units, so the prices are always going to be more. 

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I was mainly looking at it from a studio perspective, not field use (you'd want to lug a 24" monitor into the field?). These Eizo monitors are designed for professional, high quality editing. They provide high bit depth, wide gamut, LUTs, precision calibration etc. One of the questions asked after the review was whether you could use these for editing. Yes, but there are much better options.

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For a brand like Atomos to price a monitor up there with something like a Sony BVM (which are considered amongst the top few best monitors out there) is really brave. They must be super confident it's great!

Admittedly it's kinda different - the NEON records too, and will have a nicer User interface... but ultimately it's the quality of the image that matters.

I have always wondered why top-tier photographer/graphic design monitors (such by Eizo and NEC) are not generally as expensive as their video counterparts. SDI and monitoring tools (WFM, tally, peaking, zebras, etc) aside, as far as image is concerned, surely top-tier professionals working with colour grading etc demand similar levels of quality and precision calibration in both worlds?

Maybe refresh rate and stability are big factors. And actually as Matthew says, output power.

Having said that, NEC do have a 27" monitor that is $10,429...

Also, I do recall about 10 years ago when I worked at a major post house, they did have Eizo monitors in all their Flame and Smoke suites. They also had 16:9 Sony BVM CRTs for the main preview, but the working monitors were all Eizo, IIRC.

Oh, haha, and the Eizo CG3146 which is a 31" DCI 4K (17:9) HDR reference monitor is $30,000, but yeah - same ballpark as Sony's top BVM.

Funny old world!

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Without doubt image quality is really what counts, but I'm not quite sure whether recording capability is so important once you are looking at monitors of this size (and price). Are these monitors going to record ProRes RAW from consumer cameras? Now if you plan to use these Atomos monitors as extra-large, recording, field monitors, then those other features are clearly needed, but for studio work I doubt that to be the case.

There's no doubt that reference monitors demand the prices they do for good reason but, even so, the less expensive Eizo monitors are still probably way up there when it comes to image quality. I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of Atomos anyway, given my very limited experience with their products, and that clouds my view. I can't help thinking that Atomos is always trying to put lipstick on a pig.

But I guess my problem is that coming from the photographic industry where anything that's considered expensive, in the film industry is usually considered chicken feed or chump change. So my issue is that I'm always looking at these things in a completely different historical light. But being a Blackmagic owner, I realise that you don't have to sell your soul to own reasonably high quality gear; and therein lies the conundrum.

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Video and film equipment has always been very expensive, but it’s a lot more affordable today than it was in the past.

In the video world if you can sell a couple of thousand units of something that’s considered to be a successful product. 

The only way for most companies to sell things cheaper is to sell a lot of that product. The Eizo monitors are used across so many different industries. They sell significantly more of those than Atomos will ever sell. 
 

 
 

 

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7 hours ago, Matthew Allard ACS said:

The only way for most companies to sell things cheaper is to sell a lot of that product. The Eizo monitors are used across so many different industries. They sell significantly more of those than Atomos will ever sell. 

That's true, or perhaps do what the Vitec Group is now doing after buying up many film and photographic gear manufacturers, re-badging one manufacturer's product with another's name. Make it once, sell it under many names.

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16 minutes ago, Matthew Allard ACS said:

Still doesn’t make it cheap unless you can move lots of product. Anything made in small numbers will always be more expensive than mass produced items. 

Can't disagree with that, but then if you are offering a very expensive product because of limited sales potential, then it really has to offer something that truly makes it worth the asking price. Leica can place a high price on their cameras because they are more akin to a Veblen good, but I can't see an Atomos monitor being in the same league.

But then I'm too new to this industry and maybe enough people will see these monitors as value products. I have to smile though, Blackmagic have a 15.6" 4K broadcast monitor that appears to have similar specs, for AU$1500, so I wonder how much effort it would take to make a larger monitor that would compete and at what cost?

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On 11/14/2020 at 8:15 AM, Australian Image (Ray) said:

I was mainly looking at it from a studio perspective, not field use (you'd want to lug a 24" monitor into the field?).

It happens more often than you think, if you've got the crew to wrangle it then that size (or bigger!) is often going to be expected at video village. 

On 11/14/2020 at 3:37 PM, Australian Image (Ray) said:

Without doubt image quality is really what counts, but I'm not quite sure whether recording capability is so important once you are looking at monitors of this size (and price).

I've seen these large Atomos monitor/recorders used on sets for easy playback, for times when the crew size / budget are too small to have a dedicated playback op. Thus the built in recording is very handy for those types of shoots. 

On 11/15/2020 at 3:14 PM, Australian Image (Ray) said:

But then I'm too new to this industry and maybe enough people will see these monitors as value products. I have to smile though, Blackmagic have a 15.6" 4K broadcast monitor that appears to have similar specs, for AU$1500, so I wonder how much effort it would take to make a larger monitor that would compete and at what cost?

The bigger a monitor is, the less they'll sell. 
Thus 15.6" vs 24", which do you think will sell more for film sets? Less sold = great costs per unit, as you've got less units to spread your fixed costs across. 

I might maaaybe consider that 15.6" monitor for my purposes (on a Sound Cart), but a 24" monitor? Nah, not even if it was the same price, as I'd prefer the more compact size for my own personal needs.  Hmmmm.... maybe if I was in a very greedy mood I'd go for 24"

HOWEVER....  there is an even worse flaw for my purposes than the extra weight/size, it is the 24W vs 260W power consumption!

That is a complete show stopper of a deal breaker for me. As I need my Sound Cart to be totally self contained, and able to independently run on power power for looooong days on set. 

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Well if you're operating solo (or with extremely small crews), then it is fairly normal not to have any sort of director/clients monitor at all! (or only a very small one, say a 7" monitor)

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