New Marshall 5.6″ monitor

The above video details the Marshall V-LCD56MD 5.6 inch monitor, which we recently took out with us on a shoot.  I have been waiting for this monitor for a long time..  The form factor is perfect for an on board monitor, but it includes a lot of the features that before now were typically only found on larger monitors.

The monitor is set up to receive an HDMI in, and can also loop the signal, but also includes a modular input/output.  The compatible modules include an HDMI-SDI transcoder, and a 3G-SDI loop through.  The monitor which we used on our shoot had the 3G-SDI loop through module – which I prefer when I am shooting with the EPIC, so I can loop out the signal via SDI.  However, the inclusion of the HDMI input is also helpful, as we were also able to configure this monitor so that it was received an HDMI input from the EPIC, while the SDI was supplying a feed to the EVF.  This worked well for allowing me to operate via the EVF while an AC pulled focus via the onboard monitor.

Of course, the 1280×800 LCD monitor also works well for single-user operating.  It supports 720p resolution, which is a nice resolution to operate and pull focus with.  However, it also supports the reception of a 1080p signal through both its HDMI and modular 3G-SDI inputs, so there is the inclusion of an improved pixel-to-pixel feature which blows the image up to show its native resolution.  To show Full HD it will punch into the image, and smaller resolution it will center them in the middle of the screen.  The default view scales everything down to 720p.  However, there are also other scaling options that allow you to further adjust the image.  An Input crop setting allows you to crop in to any portion of the image based on a customizable crop area that is user adjusted with the knobs no the front of the monitor.  There are also aspect ratio crops for 4:30, 16:9, and full screen, as well as a custom aspect ratio crop that you can adjust using the knobs and is graphically represented by a scale.  

An expanded marker function allows the user to set markers at the following aspect ratios (4:3, 13:9, 14:9, 16:9, 1.85:1, 2.35:1, 2.39:1), as well as show from 80% to 95% broadcast safe areas.  Again, there is a customizable marker that can be user defined using the knob on the front of the monitor.  Additionally the user can set line width, color, and transparency.  

There are also multiple features to assist you on obtaining a well-exposed/sharp images.  For exposure – there is the False color feature, which we have seen on prior models of Marshall monitors.  It displays IRE based on a gradient scale of colors, from fuchsia (<0 IRE) to red (>101 IRE).  This is great for seeing where you’re blacks and whites are clipping and there is a loss of information.    Also to assist with exposure, there is a Clip function that displays over/under exposed areas with a Zebra filter.  The user can definite the upper and lower ranges of this Threshold.  An inverted setting, will flip it so that what is exposed between the lower and upper threshold shows a Zebra pattern.  The coolest inclusion for exposure assist though is the inlayed waveform monitor.  To assist with focus there is the inclusion of a peaking filter that reacts to defined edges of color through R-G-B-W adjustable lines and variable thickness feature.

The battery module on the back can be customized with a variety of different modules to accept different battery types.  However, as you will see in the video above, I prefer to power the monitor off the same battery as I power my camera using a D-tap from the Anton Bauer mount to a DC input on the monitor.  This keeps the monitor light, and the weight of the battery centered with the mass of your camera, rather than with the monitor – throwing your rig off balance.  Additional features for this monitor include two-channel audio metering, and a headphone output.  

On the whole, I have to say that I am also extremely impressed by the menus on this monitor.  They are sharp, well-laid out, and incredibly easy to navigate.  Furthermore the customizability of each feature set really lets you set up this monitor specific to the needs of your project and/or operating style – which is exactly what you want out of an onboard monitor.  You can check this monitor out at NAB, along with a number of other monitors that Marshall has recently released (and that can also be found on the Gear Page).