Using an external video Monitor with a camcorder
I figure most of us are shooting with hand held camcorders therefore using 2.5 x 3 inch screen the video camera comes with, give or take. The onboard screen will work in a pinch. But for the astute videographer, a great resource or tool if your camera has the jack or output option is an external video monitor. External video monitors such as this one which is a 480P ProAm 7″ On-Camera LCD Video Monitor Kit will help while at the shoot.
Most can be connected via HDMI or Component or 1/8th, pending on the camera and the video monitor output. The bigger screen will allow you to see more of what will be seen in final production, for your DVD or TV or ?? When using the small LCD screen on the camcorder it may look fine at shoot time, however when you get into editing and on a 20″ monitor you might end up seeing a mic boom stick overhead; or see the lighting or a cord in the shot you did not see in your onboard monitor. Because the camcorder does its best to show you what is being recorded it really does take the center of the shot and actually centers it. So when one views that same shot on a larger screen those edges that were not visible or cut-off before are now bigger then life.
Another way to do it is to check your Viewfinder if it has one, instead of using the LCD. The viewfinder is a bit more true to the video shot. Although it does get a bit confining to look through the viewfinder in some scenes or shots. Also a lot of cameras skimp on that viewfinder option to cut costs, or you have to buy their “flagship-model” to get a viewfinder. That is why it is nice to pick a Camera out such as this one Canon VIXIA HF M300 Camcorder that has multiple video monitor outs, so one can hook up a video monitor and see what you are bringing back to the studio to edit. Now you can be a stickler and stay true to the 1080P HD screen like this one ProAm® 7″ 1080i HDMI HD LCD Video Monitor Kit but hey we are just monitoring at this point and I am sure even 480 will let you see unwanted stuff in your shot.
Or you can get this one and watch Air TV or a DVD, mp3 or basically a portable entertainment center if you get some down time…Noah Envizen Digital Quartet 9 ED8890A 9-Inch LCD Portable Digital Television and DVD Player
Either way, spending a hundred or two for external stuff in my opinion; is better then getting a view finder and a one inch bigger flip screen. Plus you can move it to another camera if needed. These are just couple of things to keep in mind while shooting video and the use of an external video monitor. I hope these tips helped out. Happy shooting, and as always to be considered a real comment please include the word(s) external monitor for camcorder in the beginning of your comment.
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* Quick note** If your camera only has the option to have one jack out (either audio or video out) and is turned on and off via onboard computer such as the Canon Vixia HFM300. Make sure your external video monitor has a headphone jack like the ones above so you are able to monitor your sound through the external monitor via headphones into the monitor as you only get one choice with that Canon and many other video camcorders.
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