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Field Monitor for Crane..need advice

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    Field Monitor for Crane..need advice

    Hello Folks,

    I'm about to purchase the PROAM crane hence I'll need a monitor to go with that.

    Any recommendations? I did see a thread with someone mentioning about using a portable dvd player and it had worked for him. Can't seem to find that thread.

    But I'm looking to use the monitor while shooting, I'm also keeping in mind that the monitor will be used outdoors during sunny and cloudy days, so I'll need something that would be useful both weather conditions.
    I'm not sure about the size whether 7 inches or less is good. I'm a newbie at this.

    I don't want to go all out budget wise, but need something that will do that job and will last a while.

    So any advice or recommendations would be great.


    I have a Glidecam 200 Cam Crane.

    The most budget effective solution I found was a small battery-powered B&W TV like the ones at your local meijers/ABC Warehouse. On sale it cost me about $20 for the TV and some more for a long RCA cable. Luckily I was able to make my own attachment arm for it and it worked out. The picture quality is poor, but you really only need it for framing. Focus/compose with the camera VF/LCD before doing your crane moving.

    On a set one time the DP had a Kessler crane, and used a 7" portable DVD player with video inputs. This cost him about $120, but it was a 16:9 screen, which was great since he was shooting on an XL2 in 16:9. We were indoors all the time so we ran an ext. cord.

    Just keep in mind a few things.. power for the monitor if it's not battery powered? If your indoor and can run an extension cord, great. But outside you don't always have that option. A 12V cigarette plug option would be helpful, but then you'd have to buy a bescor battery pack oir something. That's more $$$.

    You need to look at your rig and figure out what and where you can put a mount and monitor.

    IMO, if you're going to get a crane, get one with a tilting head. I like my crane just fine, but not being able to tilt up/down during moves makes the shots quite limiting. I hardly even use it anymore. It's a pain to setup/tear down.

    Good luck.
    Blogger for
    KY by way of MI and Southwest CO


      I'm interested also, just got my proam delivered last week. Very happy.


        I built a crane had to get a monitor to see what I was filming. I just went to target and picked up an lcd monitor for 70 bucks. Runs off a cigarette lighter, so I bought a cheep motorcycle battery and charger for 50 bucks from Kragen auto. Its small, and works great as a counterweight. It runs my monitor for 48 hours straight. oh the monitor is horrible for color though, but I use my viewfinder or camera screen to set the camera up first.


          I've also got a GlideCam Camera Crane. I once hooked it up to a 13" CRT TV. I had to run an extension cord about 25' and stack a bunch of very unstable boxes. I would not recommend doing this. Because, obviously, it sucks.

          My roommate works at RadioShack and told me he had one of those portable DVD players for $55. 8", panel display. He brought it home and I played with it for a little bit. The picture quality is pretty terrible, but like that other person said, it's mostly about framing. And in that sense it'll serve its purpose.

          It comes with a rechargeable battery, power supply, and car adapter. It also included the mini-to-rca adapter for stereo sound and video. Not a bad deal for $55. I haven't used it with the crane yet though, but so far so good. I'm anxious to have a reason to try it out.

          Anyway, it's an Accurian 8" DVD player. RadioShack might still have them, although I think it was so cheap because they're on clearance.

          Hope that helps. Good luck.