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Marc DW

Camera LCD without an EVF

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Hi team. I'm currently an FS7 owner and for various reasons I'm looking to get a smaller rig - of particular interest is the new Sony FX6 or Canon C70.  Both look like great cameras, but after 15 years off relying on an EVF, operating a camera without one scares the bejesus out of me.  I think controlled lighting indoor interviews would be ok, but outside, and news gathering gets me worried.  

I know I can add a gratical or other EVF/Z-finder , but then I need power and the weight/size goes up. So, I'm looking for opinions either way on shooting with a camera LCD - I'd love to have my mind put at ease by experienced shooters, and what their solutions/ideas are around this issue. Both are professional cameras so are these LCDs simply good enough?   Cheers, Marc

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I havnt used the fx6 in anger, but have read several accounts, on the fx6 forums, of owners saying the supplied LCD is pretty much useless in anything close to bright daylight exteriors.. no big surprise really .. I would think then the only alternative and looks like some folk have done this.. shift the supplied screen to the back and have a high NIT screen rigged up where the Sony one used to be .. ideally I would think you need over 1000 NIT ..  the other problem is then getting it far enough in front of you for shoulder rig anyway or holding the whole camera out in front of you ..  plus you lose the EVF being the 3rd point of contact ..   personally I wouldn't be sure the weight saving is worth the other hassles .. 

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Thanks Robin, great points and I'm beginning to think I'm wanting my cake and eating it too.  The main reason is the body breaking down a bit (elbows, shoulder) - the normal problems associated with holding heavy equipment in front of the body.  Also travelling light is very liberating. Maybe the only compromise is an expensive third-party EVF.  Thanks again, Marc

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2 hours ago, Marc DW said:

Thanks Robin, great points and I'm beginning to think I'm wanting my cake and eating it too.  The main reason is the body breaking down a bit (elbows, shoulder) - the normal problems associated with holding heavy equipment in front of the body.  Also travelling light is very liberating. Maybe the only compromise is an expensive third-party EVF.  Thanks again, Marc

Yes Im all for going light weight .. I used to lug a 3kg CN7 zoom around ,by comparison the fx9 / 28-135 is super light weight , and I can put it on my shoulder without an easy rig ,which I ended up having to use with the f5/ CN7 combo .. but then I think you get to point of diminishing  returns when the camera body is so small you have to hold it out in front of you ,which is way more knackering than much longer shoulder mount .. if your on a tripod most the time without big zoom lenses then sure the fx6 would be great .. using an easy rig with the fx6 seems to be contradictory to me.. great as they are they are totally useless for handheld work unless your standing still doing long interviews .. thats about all the advantage .. the weight is on your hips ,anytime you walk the whole thing sways from side to side .. 

 

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Shooting without an EVF is a young man's game.  I ran around one day last week with a friends Komodo with the smallHD Focus Pro they have on it.  I like the little camera, but I need an EVF.  I was just crossing my fingers and guessing about focus.  AND we were inside and it was already dark when we were outside.  If it had been sunny, it would have been 100 times worse/un-doable.  If I end up getting a Komodo, I'll probably rig it with a Gratical Eye.

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Hi R&G, yes I'm getting the advice I knew was in my heart but refused to believe - either of these cameras are pointless for professional use without an expensive EVF.  To think my first ever working video camera was the Sony PD150 back in 2003 - it had an LCD AND viewfinder!

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Would the viewfinder loupe from the FX9 be an option to put on your FX6?

https://www.xdcam-user.com/2021/01/yes-you-can-use-the-fx9-viewfinder-with-the-fx6/

 

But in my opinion, shooting without an EVF is putting much less strain on my eyes. Back when I was still shooting with the usual 2/3" ENG style cameras, I hated the tiny little display in the viewfinder. After a ten hour day, my right eye would need to adjust to looking farther than 2 centimeters, and my left eye would be twitching from squinting all the time. I wouldn't want to work like that ever again, to be honest.

Even now when shooting handheld with the Amira, which has a very good viewfinder and a pretty meh LCD screen, I'll use the screen like 95% of the time and just look through the EVF for critical focus a few times. Peaking is good enough for me on the LCD.

If the Amira is set up on a tripod, I always have a 7" monitor attached, most likely a Shogun Inferno which is crazy sharp. Neither the LCD nor the EVF is getting any use in that case.

I agree that in some extremely bright scenarios, an EVF would technically be the better option, but I rarely find myself preferring an EVF over the LCD with built-in helpers like peaking, false color, etc.

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Thanks Julien that's really interesting. I'm going to look into the FX9 viewfinder as an extra. Right now I'm also using a Canon R6 with a 5" Shinobi (especially on the gimbal) and have been going ok - in fact I have not looked into the viewfinder much at all when shooing in video.  The Shinobi at 1000nits is pretty damn bright, and there is always the Small HD Ultrabright that is apparently 2200nits so definitely food for thought.  Cheers, Marc

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6 hours ago, Marc DW said:

Thanks Julien that's really interesting. I'm going to look into the FX9 viewfinder as an extra. Right now I'm also using a Canon R6 with a 5" Shinobi (especially on the gimbal) and have been going ok - in fact I have not looked into the viewfinder much at all when shooing in video.  The Shinobi at 1000nits is pretty damn bright, and there is always the Small HD Ultrabright that is apparently 2200nits so definitely food for thought.  Cheers, Marc

The problem seems to be the Fx9 Loupe is too heavy for the "weak" fx6 screen hinges ,and the whole thing just droops .. you would have to exchange for the full fx9 screen / loupe ..

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On 2/17/2021 at 9:33 AM, Julien said:

Would the viewfinder loupe from the FX9 be an option to put on your FX6?

https://www.xdcam-user.com/2021/01/yes-you-can-use-the-fx9-viewfinder-with-the-fx6/

 

But in my opinion, shooting without an EVF is putting much less strain on my eyes. Back when I was still shooting with the usual 2/3" ENG style cameras, I hated the tiny little display in the viewfinder. After a ten hour day, my right eye would need to adjust to looking farther than 2 centimeters, and my left eye would be twitching from squinting all the time. I wouldn't want to work like that ever again, to be honest.

Even now when shooting handheld with the Amira, which has a very good viewfinder and a pretty meh LCD screen, I'll use the screen like 95% of the time and just look through the EVF for critical focus a few times. Peaking is good enough for me on the LCD.

If the Amira is set up on a tripod, I always have a 7" monitor attached, most likely a Shogun Inferno which is crazy sharp. Neither the LCD nor the EVF is getting any use in that case.

I agree that in some extremely bright scenarios, an EVF would technically be the better option, but I rarely find myself preferring an EVF over the LCD with built-in helpers like peaking, false color, etc.

For me, it’s the exact and total opposite.  It puts tremendous strain on my eyes to try to focus on a monitor, especially an “on-camera sized” monitor, that close.   Now, without my contacts in, my up-close vision is decent, but still(and depending on light levels and how tired my eyes are), I can’t really focus them on anything closer than 8”-10”, anymore.

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10 hours ago, Run&Gun said:

For me, it’s the exact and total opposite.  It puts tremendous strain on my eyes to try to focus on a monitor, especially an “on-camera sized” monitor, that close.   Now, without my contacts in, my up-close vision is decent, but still(and depending on light levels and how tired my eyes are), I can’t really focus them on anything closer than 8”-10”, anymore.

Yeah same for me , I'll  put upon an on board (small HD focus) for a long interview ,slider /dolly shot but anything else ,EVF is the better for me .. apart from seeing anything outside 🙂 .. its the only way I can really concentrate totally on the frame ,and for hand held its a very important 3rd point of contact to keep the camera steady .. hats off to screen users ,I don't even see how its do able hand held .. 

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It's interesting and funny to see how personal preferences can differ. 😄

I agree that a 7" monitor up close to the face isn't ideal, that's why I mostly build my rigs with the monitor about 30 cm (like 12" I guess) away. This is comfortable enough to focus my eyes on, I can concentrate solely on the screen if I choose, plus it lets me see whatever else is going on around me, which can be crucial in some hectic scenarios.

As for the third point of contact, that's true as well. My shots might even be steadier while using an EVF, I'm not sure. But as long as the camera has a certain weight to it (to minimize the micro-jitters, like you get from shooting handheld with a light camera), I'm convinced it looks just fine.

All in all, I'm thankful that we do have such an enormous amount of options to fit everyone's needs and wants. Now it's up to each of us to find their specific preference.

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8 hours ago, Julien said:

It's interesting and funny to see how personal preferences can differ. 😄

I agree that a 7" monitor up close to the face isn't ideal, that's why I mostly build my rigs with the monitor about 30 cm (like 12" I guess) away. This is comfortable enough to focus my eyes on, I can concentrate solely on the screen if I choose, plus it lets me see whatever else is going on around me, which can be crucial in some hectic scenarios.

As for the third point of contact, that's true as well. My shots might even be steadier while using an EVF, I'm not sure. But as long as the camera has a certain weight to it (to minimize the micro-jitters, like you get from shooting handheld with a light camera), I'm convinced it looks just fine.

All in all, I'm thankful that we do have such an enormous amount of options to fit everyone's needs and wants. Now it's up to each of us to find their specific preference.

Maybe it’s because I have been shooting sports since the beginning, but I usually shoot with both eyes open, except for critical focus checks.

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23 hours ago, Julien said:

It's interesting and funny to see how personal preferences can differ. 😄

I agree that a 7" monitor up close to the face isn't ideal, that's why I mostly build my rigs with the monitor about 30 cm (like 12" I guess) away. This is comfortable enough to focus my eyes on, I can concentrate solely on the screen if I choose, plus it lets me see whatever else is going on around me, which can be crucial in some hectic scenarios.

As for the third point of contact, that's true as well. My shots might even be steadier while using an EVF, I'm not sure. But as long as the camera has a certain weight to it (to minimize the micro-jitters, like you get from shooting handheld with a light camera), I'm convinced it looks just fine.

All in all, I'm thankful that we do have such an enormous amount of options to fit everyone's needs and wants. Now it's up to each of us to find their specific preference.

Yeah each to their own as you say .. TBH when I bought an fx9 .. and embarked on my crusade to make everything smaller / lighter and just less gear in general .. I did think .. oh maybe I can work off that small screen and even not have the loupe .. in my dreams it sounded good !.. but soon realized it wouldn't work for me ..and the only way would be, as you do it , a bigger ,brighter monitor about 1ft in front, hung low where an EVF would sort of be .. but then I would use up an SDI / and have to power it etc .. so the loupe became the more light weight option .. and what I was used to anyway ..  but  of course no right or wrong .. as I say ,I mean I admire folk who can work that way .. I just dont think I can .. and old eye sight its a major draw back ..  

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