Now here’s an interesting concept from the folks at SmallHD – it’s a monitor screen for location filming that comes with built-in colour grading.
Sounds peculiar, doesn’t it? Well, while the idea’s not to do away with post production, it should save you time when you get to the edit suite. What they’ve done is implement colour profiles into the monitor so that whilst you’re shooting with a flat “look” to give you maximum flexibility in post, the monitor will display the image as if it had been subjected to a grading in edit.
This means you can view what the final image might look like while still on set rather than having to imagine how it might look from a washed out look that you’re actually recording.
The concept is best illustrated perhaps with an image, kindly supplied by Small HD. On the left, the image as the camera is filming it. On the right, the image as shown by the monitor when an appropriate Look Up Table (LUT) is applied:
For cinematic shooters struggling to explain to ignorant clients (we mean that kindly, not argumentatively) why the image looks so pale, this should come as a welcome relief and deflect awkward questions.
The tool is actually part of a firmware upgrade for the company’s DP7-Pro monitors (version 3.0). One other neat feature is the ability to overlay a JPEG image via SD card onto the live video with selectable transparency.That means it’s much easier to work out how you need to set up a shot for later graphics – handy for graphics-enhanced pieces to camera in news items for example – or camera alignment for 3D.
The firmware also enables the DP7-PRO to capture screen shots from the video, providing a handy reference for continuity purposes.
There are 3 versions of the monitor: the DP7-PRO LCD (SB), DP7-PRO OLED and DP7-PRO High Bright (HB) and the starting price is $1399 USD.