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class="style5">SDX900 and Monitor Out

>Published : 5th may 2005

>Does anyone here know if it is possible to route action safe and centre markers out of the monitor out port on the SDX900? I worked a concert last night where I used a 16:9 LCD monitor shooting 4:3 footage and had a hard time seeing where the edges of the shot were as the venue was quite dark.

>A number of us tried to surf the menus and get the markers and TV safe box out through monitor out but we never succeeded. We were able to get telemetry out (tape counter, etc.) but not the markers. It just didn't seem possible to do.

>My solution was to switch the 16:9 monitor into 16:9 mode and just watch the shot in stretched form, using the bezel of the monitor as my framing reference and adding judicious amounts of headroom to shots. That worked fine but there must be a more elegant solution.

>Panasonic's system of allowing you to set all your viewfinder parameters in menus but forcing you to turn them on using a tiny button on the side of the camera drives me nuts. I love the look of the camera but some of the user controls are pretty wacky.

>Art Adams, DP [film|hidef|video]
San Francisco Bay Area - "Silicon Valley"
http://www.artadams.net/
Local resources : http://www.artadams.net/local


> believe this works - though I can't be absolutely certain - can't remember everything off the top of my head – so I will try to check it out tomorrow when I should have access to an SDX900 - go to SYSTEM SETTINGS, OUTPUT SEL and set it to VF. This sends the viewfinder signal LUMA only (no color) to the Video OUT connector on the camera. If you need color, try setting the VIDEO OUT CHARACTER switch to ON and under SYSTEM SETTINGS, the OUTPUT CHAR menu item to STATUS.

>Robert Goodman
Author Goodman's Guide to the SDX900/Photographer
Philadelphia, PA


class="Paragraph">>Does anyone here know if it is possible to route action safe and centre >markers out of the monitor out port on the SDX900?

>I believe the other BNC output on the camera will display the frame lines as well as more info. Can't remember if it's "Video Out" or " Monitor Out".

>I just did my first shoot with the Cine Alta and I couldn't get the
frame line display up in the monitor either...

>Dave Luxton
Cinematographer
Edmonton, AB


class="Paragraph">>Does anyone here know if it is possible to route action safe and centre >markers out of the monitor out port on the SDX900?

>Just used two SDX900s for 3 weeks not too long ago. Was a decent camera.

>Yes, as Goodman described you can send VF Zebras & Framelines to Video or Monitor Outs. If you set it to VF I think the zebras come with it if they're activated. That's how we did it when I had to pull iris while on Steadicam and all I had was the Steadicam Op's TB6 monitor to judge exposure. Really saved me - I couldn't have done that on a Sony F900 - I've been complaining about that for about 4 years now.

>But I know we also sent the framelines to set up the TB6 lines. Eric Fletcher was the Steadicam Op, he can tell you more about all that.

>BTW, beware of the 2 zebras on the SDX900, they look really similar, but that's another story I usually like to do after several cocktails.

>Also, for some lame reason, the keypad area under the flap where you set the time code - there's also an "Output On/Off" switch there. Make sure it's "on". Why you would want that switch is beyond me - if you don't want to send something over the cables, simply unplug them. Once it took us 10 minutes to figure out why we had no video at the village due to the bumped switch.

>Mark Doering-Powell
LA based DP


class="Paragraph">>I believe the other BNC output on the camera will display the frame >lines as well as more info. Can't remember if it's "Video Out" or >"Monitor Out".

>Haven't used this particular camera (Although I did just get my copy of Goodman's Guide - call me a boy scout, I like to be prepared) but on most cameras it's "Test Out"

>George Hupka
Director/DP
Downstream Pictures
Saskatoon, Canada


class="Paragraph">>on most cameras it's "Test Out"

>"Test out" and "monitor out" are two different things. Starting with the D30 (it might have been around before this but I don't remember it) there were three spigots : test out, from the camera head; video out, from the deck; and monitor out, also from the camera head, which would show you a color picture with all the markers, action safe boxes and telemetry from the viewfinder overlaid. On the D30 test out and monitor out are right next to each other.

>On the SDX900 there are two spigots labelled video out and monitor out. There is no clearly labelled test out.

>We had the monitor out output set to status. We were able to get all the telemetry out but none of the frame lines, no matter what we did. The frame lines and cross hair were clearly visible in the viewfinder but not on the output.

>Art Adams, DP [film|hidef|video]
San Francisco Bay Area - "Silicon Valley"


>If you get only the chrominance signal from the other output available in the camera(using a composite to s-video converter)its possible to assemble a s-video cable where you get in the jack LUMA from viewfinder (via the BNC as Goodman suggested) and CHROMA from camera.

>This s-video mini-din connector fits in the monitor input...and I think it works nice (I tested this with Panasonic DVC-200, taking Luma from VIDEO OUT BNC and Chroma from S-VIDEO mini-din 4pin output).

>Pedro Dolosic
student
Brasil


>Robert wrote:

class="Paragraph">>I believe this works - though I can't be absolutely certain - can't >remember everything off the top of my head - so I will try to check it out >tomorrow when I should have access to an SDX900 -

>No need to check, you beat me to it. That is the correct way to get the VF markings out of monitor out.

It is Black and White only, I don't think it's possible to get color, (it would be great if possible!)

>Illya Friedman
Account Rep
Wexler Video
Burbank, CA


class="Paragraph">>Does anyone here know if it is possible to route action safe and centre >markers out of the monitor out port on the SDX900?

>Why don't you just use a grease pencil or tape, to mark your monitor? TV cameramen have done that for generations!

>Lew Comenetz
Video Engineer


>The STATUS choice does not provide frame lines on the output. The VF choice does provide the viewfinder output though black and white only. There are two outputs on the camera - video out intended for recording and monitor out intended for viewing.

>Robert Goodman
Author/Photographer
Philadelphia, PA


>Pedro,

>More details, please. Sounds like a good solution.

>Robert Goodman
Author/Photographer
Philadelphia, PA


>Art Adams wrote :

class="Paragraph">>We had the monitor out output set to status. We were able to get all the >telemetry out but none of the frame lines, no matter what we did.

>Try setting output to "VF". I'm fairly certain that's how we did it - not color of course.

>Wish I had an SDX in front of me - I thought the menus were fairly intuitive and I know I could figure it out if I messed with it. If that doesn't work, I'll dig up my user's manual and see if it reminds me (there's a page in there that shows the entire hierarchy). Wonder if I can email the Operator File in a zip archive, and try them out via SD card too. Just to track down how we did it.

>Grease-pencil works too - but once a monitor got bumped from under- to over-scan between takes. In the heat of the moment it wasn't caught for a take. monitor's reticules travel with the scan size and are better for off-angle viewing.

>Other example where sending framelines help: Aligning framelines on a wobbly Steadicam dock. "Sending" is technologically feasible and I bet will be part of future cameras. Or it should be.

>Mount your camera on a Technocrane, and... wait we're not ready yet, we gotta get the 2.35:1 framelines onto the operator's monitor. Would be so much simpler to send 'em.

>Mark Doering-Powell
LA based DP


>Lew Comenetz writes :

>>Why don't you just use a grease pencil or tape, to mark your >monitor? TV cameramen have done that for generations!

But that takes away from the air of Technical Mystery we strive to Maintain!

Steven Bradford
Video Magician
Tempe Arizona


>Lew Comenetz-Video Engineer :

class="Paragraph">>Why don't you just use a grease pencil or tape, to mark your monitor? >TV cameramen have done that for generations!

>It was an LCD monitor.

>Art Adams, DP [film|hidef|video]
San Francisco Bay Area - "Silicon Valley"


>Goodman

>My idea was to re-encode the chroma information lost in VIDEO OUT when you switch the viewfinder signal to this output - as you suggested.

>Taking the CAM OUT(unaffected signal from camera head) composite video into a Y/C splitter, then applying only this C signal to a passive Y/C to composite converter. In this converter you may input the monochrome signal from camera VIDEO OUT.

>The result may be a coloured viewfinder image in the passive converter output...

>Hope this works!

>Pedro Dolosic
student
Brazil


>I was the EIC on the job that Art is referring to. The detail that is being left out here is that, in addition to recording the cameras ISO at the camera heads, we were also recording a composite switch (from the video out connectors). I was more than just a little nervous about the possibility of inadvertently sending the character display to tape.

>We didn't have paintboxes (RCP EC3s), so (at least on the other cameras) once I had made my menu modifications I made sure to turn the character switch on the side of the camera OFF. I mucked around with Art's camera a little bit also, and am fairly certain that I had switched the character switch back ON, but I was more than a little brain-dead at that point...

>I know I've run into this issue before, and been able to solve it, but damned if I can remember how...

>Louis Block
Video/Audio Technician
www.flyingwombat.com
San Francisco Bay Area, California


>Adding back in the Chroma works just fine.

>I have a box that goes between my viewfinder and the camera to get me viewfinder info on my JVC DV500 and it has a cable to steal the color info from the other output. Works fine and there's no termination or false signal strength issues. I get exactly the same image except the viewfinder info is there. I usually use this for an onboard LCD but often on my field monitor as well. BTW, there's no good reason the viewfinder info can't be sent along without chroma.

>Even the little DV cameras such as the DVX100A do that. It's just because the VF is setup for B&W that the chroma isn't already present, but they could certainly add it.

>Does anyone else find it incredibly difficult to see zebras when viewing a color image? Maybe there's just too much information on screen.

>Mitch Gross
NYC DP


> Mitch Gross wrote:

class="Paragraph">>Does anyone else find it incredibly difficult to see zebras when viewing >a color image? Maybe there's just too much information on screen.

>Zebras needn't consist of white stripes... there are other ways.

>Jeff "zebra herder" Kreines


class="Paragraph">>Does anyone else find it incredibly difficult to see zebras when >viewing >a color image?
>Maybe there's just too much information on screen.

>Did you get a chance to see the colour HD viewfinder at NAB - I've gone blank on the name, but it's a Scottish company that makes it.

>Instead of zebras, you can program the viewfinder to use colours as an exposure meter - so if you use the Zone system, for instance, you could program different colours to represent each zone. Or just use a screaming red for 'over 105'

>They showed me a preset that seemed rather psychedelic to me... But I'm told you can get used to it.

>George Hupka
Director/DP
Downstream Pictures
Saskatoon, Canada


>The company is called Accuscene.

>Dave Satin
Video Engineer


>That would be the Accuscene

>It was written up in the April American Cinematographer. If you look closely and don't blink you will see yours truly mentioned as a local DP

class="Paragraph">>Did you get a chance to see the colour HD viewfinder at NAB - I've gone >blank on the name, but it's a Scottish company that makes it.

>Alan Hereford * Cinematographer
Northern California


>If you are recording the VIDEO OUT signal, the VIDEO CHARACTER OUT switch should be OFF.

John Goodman


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