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Looking for some advice regarding adding an external monitor to my UW video kit. I'm currently using an FX3 in a Nauticam housing. Framing is really a challenge using the internal display. However, is it really worth the additional expense (particularly the housing) of adding an external monitor? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I've already taken a mortgage on my wife (yes, they actually do that ;-)) to pay for my system. The thought of spending an additional $4000 or so really isn't all that attractive unless it significantly improves the process.

 

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There was a recent thread on the subject in the photography forum:

But, what exactly is the challenge with framing on the internal display? Is it the angle? Visibility in sunlight? Size? Some of that can be solved with a much cheaper and less bulky magnifier hood.

 

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The monitor is a very important accessory for underwater video.
Of course, one can do without it. I myself did not have it for years and still brought it home. But if you want to improve, the monitor becomes indispensable. It is a matter of efficiency, maximum result with minimum effort. As I wrote some time ago: Shooting video underwater without an external monitor severely limits the ability to edit the image composition and in some cases it is simply impossible to shoot certain footage without damaging the underwater life around. This is the pure and simple reality.

 

All underwater monitors on the market are field monitors housed in a case. Most are sold as one piece except Nauticam and Marelux who sell very expensive housings for very expensive Atomose SmallHD monitors and recorders. 

 

Staying with monitors, I believe you can save money and get excellent results with a one piece monitor and housing without spending a fortune on an Atomos Shinobi.
 

I have for years had a 5" Hugyfot monitor that is nothing more than a boxed Feelworld monitor. It has only 400 nits of brightness. Very little for sunny tropical surface waters. Yet until yesterday they were all like that and we survived.
BTW the new generation of field monitors are all at least 1000 nits. for land shooting I have a Chinese Osee T5+ monitor and it's really fantastic. Beautiful colors, bright, perfectly visible under the sun and lots of features. wish I could bring with me underwater. Be careful because over 1000 nits they have a fan and get hot and noisy.

 

Factors to consider:

  • Weight in the water. A seemingly bulky housing has the advantage of weighing less in the water and creating fewer problems for kit trim.
     
  • The routing of cables relative to one's housing. Actually, no one swim around with their monitor mounted like the Eiffel Tower on their housing, but sometimes the position of the bulkheads of the housing and monitor combined with the length of the cable make it difficult if not impossible to mount the monitor in the desired position.

Maybe with the help of other members we can come up with a rough list of models currently available on the market!

 

I'll start with an odd thing I noticed days ago.Some friends of mine use SUPE (Scubalamp) strobes with satisfaction, and I had seen that their new monitor was just introduced:

 

https://scubalamp.com/products/um55-monitor


Then yesterday by chance I came across a clone. Oh God I don't know who is clone of whom.

 

https://fotocore.com/products/monitor-mr6

 

Both sites are missing very important information such as weight in water and there is not a shred of user manual.

 

 

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I can't speak from personal experience as my monitor just arrived yet but these are the scenerios where it will be particurally helpful to me:

 

-Holding camera underwter off the side of a boat

-Holding the camera on the bottom in shallow water close to a subject and can't get down to the camera for a variety of reasons (spook the animal you're photographing, snorkling, etc).,

-Just want to frame the shot better and need a bigger scren to do it

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2 hours ago, brightnight said:

I can't speak from personal experience as my monitor just arrived yet but these are the scenerios where it will be particurally helpful to me:

 

-Holding camera underwter off the side of a boat

-Holding the camera on the bottom in shallow water close to a subject and can't get down to the camera for a variety of reasons (spook the animal you're photographing, snorkling, etc).,

-Just want to frame the shot better and need a bigger scren to do it

 

Exactly.

Which monitor did you get in the end?

 

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Hi Davide,

Thank you very much for your (usual) incredibly detailed and informative reply. I must say I'm rather disappointed in your recommendations - I had hoped you were going to have the opposite opinion. Thank you much for costing me more money 😉. Can you also recommend a good place for me to stay since my wife is going to throw me out of the house...

 

On a serious note - do you find that with the additional housing that the bulk of the system makes working with large pelagic marine life more difficult because of the additional drag?

 

Once again, thanks to Davide and all the WP members for their insight and recommendations. It's truly helpful and appreciated.

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9 hours ago, Davide DB said:

 

Exactly.

Which monitor did you get in the end?

 

 

 

Wasn't an easy decision and talked to many people. Ultimately I was on a tight budget for a monitor which really limited my choices even with used gear. I got a great deal on a lightly used Kraken 7" for about $1300. It's 2200 knits, comes with a bulkhead,HDMI cable, and different HDMI adapters. If it fails I can't just replace the monitor but talked to a couple people who had good experiences and the Kraken support was responsive to my questions.

 

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44 minutes ago, brightnight said:

 

 

Wasn't an easy decision and talked to many people. Ultimately I was on a tight budget for a monitor which really limited my choices even with used gear. I got a great deal on a lightly used Kraken 7" for about $1300. It's 2200 knits, comes with a bulkhead,HDMI cable, and different HDMI adapters. If it fails I can't just replace the monitor but talked to a couple people who had good experiences and the Kraken support was responsive to my questions.

 


Congrats - nice deal!  Curious to know your thoughts after you’ve used it a few times.

Edited by ChipBPhoto
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2 hours ago, ChipBPhoto said:


Congrats - nice deal!  Curious to know your thoughts after you’ve used it a few times.

 

Will definitely post results. Waiting for my Seaskin drysuit build to be finsihed so won't have it in the water until late May.

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My take is when you don't have drag issue there is little current and your subjects are well behaved that you need a monitor this could be a good idea especially if your eyesight is giving you issue with the LCD

If instead drag is an issue the environement is less controlled and the subjects are more wide angle a monitor is not necessary

I shoot also topside wildlife and my preferred option is the EVF with a monopod or similar a monitor has too much lag

However for macro and standing subject I think a monitor may be a great addition as I do not shoot that stuff I still have not bought one

To clarify I have both a Shinobi and a Ninja and those devices have some challenges especially the second. I would frankly never record on a device connected with a cable, for the monitor in case of failures you can go back to the LCD

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You want to read this thread. It also touches the subject of FX3 being actually best Sony camera for hybrid shooting 

I am currently in Maldives on a maiden voyage with Shinobi and I can attest that without HDR monitor it’s really and 100% impossible produce HDR videos underwater 😁. Some review will be coming. 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, RomiK said:

I am currently in Maldives on a maiden voyage with Shinobi and I can attest that without HDR monitor it’s really and 100% impossible produce HDR videos underwater 😁. Some review will be coming. 

 

Do you shoot HDR only?

A general review of the Shinobi would be nice.

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Let's see what alternatives are currently on the market and their approximate prices.

 

Housing + monitor

  • Marelux MX-SHINOBI (SDI) +  Shinobi 5" - 1000 nits - (?) - 2400 USD (2100 + 300)
  • Nauticam NA-Shinobi-H + Shinobi 5" - 1000 nits - (-180 g) - 2400 (2100 + 300)
  • Nauticam NA-Ultra5 + SmallHD Ultra 5 5"  - 3000 nits - (+480 g) - 5100 USD (2900 + 2200)

 

Standalone Monitors

  • Anglerfish HD57 4K 5.7" - 550 nits (-145 g) - 1800 USD

  • Kraken KRM07-2200 7" - 2200 nits (-560 g) - 1900 USD

  • Weefine WED-5 5" - 480 nits (-260 g) - 1000 USD

  • Weefine WED-7 PRO 7" - 500 nits (-280 g) - 1600 USD

  • SUPE M5.5 5.5" - 3000 nits - (?) - 1000 USD (*)

  • Fotocore Monitor MR6 6" - 2600 nits - 1300 USD (*)

  • Dive & See DNC-5A H1 5" - 450 nits (-300 g) - 2500 USD

 

Surely I am forgetting someone. I have omitted the more exotic models. and I wrote in bold the brightness and weight in water where indicated. 

The only one that floats is the nauticam SmallHD Ultra which is positive by almost 500 grams/one pound. It is also the most expensive and I find it really hard to justify its cost for non-professional use.

 

(*) From the photos and technical data this appears to be exactly the same monitor. Hard to tell who actually produces it. It is laughable that the two data sheets do not even agree on size and brightness.

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Davide DB said:

 

Do you shoot HDR only?

A general review of the Shinobi would be nice.

Yes, I only shoot Slog3 and through PQ conversion deliver in HLG (I can see eyebrows raised everywhere 😂 ). I work in FCPX. Shinobi in Nauticam attached to camera by my special prototype bracket 😁 is just awesome no problems to use in currents and jumping from boat. The thing with HDR exposure is that you need to expose so much that in (especially) low contrast environment the camera monitor will show white screen basically. And did I say forget about what you think you know about ISO when exposing for Slog3 on Sony A1 at least 😁🤙. Next dive coming shortly 🤙

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1 hour ago, RomiK said:

You want to read this thread. It also touches the subject of FX3 being actually best Sony camera for hybrid shooting 

I am currently in Maldives on a maiden voyage with Shinobi and I can attest that without HDR monitor it’s really and 100% impossible produce HDR videos underwater 😁. Some review will be coming. 

 

 

How does a monitor related to HDR? The atomos products do not have HDR display they are standard SDR just very bright and do HDR emulation (badly)

 

Edited by Interceptor121
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2 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

How does a monitor related to HDR? The atomos products do not have HDR display they are standard SDR just very bright and do HDR emulation (badly)

 

Everything is going to HDR, like it or not. It's just a matter of time. Now you can have your opinion about the quality of this or that but as well as we all can have wet dreams we have to deal with what we have as for tools and as for consuming the results. And so we have Shinobi as HDR monitor and YouTube or private (OLED the best) TVs. As far as I understand HDR in video is far away from what HDR was originally in still photography - rather than relatively flat image of HDR photos in the past it's a high highs low blacks images of iPhones and MacBook Pro XDR displays. And OLED TVs with deep blacks. Matter of fact deeper black you have lower the highs you need in order to deliver. Lookup YT video of one of Hollywood best colorist describing how he grades movies for HDR. So your opinion of how this or that company deals with what you think is HDR is a bit irrelevant as it's not you who defines this standard. And so yes, Shinobi IS an HDR monitor. With all of its 1000 nits brightness. Not meaning this sounding disparaging btw. From practical standpoint a monitor is extremely related to HDR as without it (HDR monitor) you can't properly expose, not using the built in camera screen and by a long shot. In some situation you see just the waveform and practically nothing else. I am attaching couple screenshots from an iPhone video which might show the issue at hand.

Screenshot 2024-03-29 at 5.56.59 PM.jpg

Screenshot 2024-03-29 at 5.57.34 PM.jpg

Screenshot 2024-03-29 at 5.58.07 PM.jpg

Edited by RomiK
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Here are screen grabs from an iPhone video which might demonstrate

On 3/26/2024 at 4:24 AM, Davide DB said:

 

Maybe with the help of other members we can come up with a rough list of models currently available on the market!

 

I'll start with an odd thing I noticed days ago.Some friends of mine use SUPE (Scubalamp) strobes with satisfaction, and I had seen that their new monitor was just introduced:

 

https://scubalamp.com/products/um55-monitor


Then yesterday by chance I came across a clone. Oh God I don't know who is clone of whom.

 

https://fotocore.com/products/monitor-mr6

 

Both sites are missing very important information such as weight in water and there is not a shred of user manual.

 

 

 

After 40 dives with Shinobi and some experience with it - and after some experience with Kraken marketing facts where company admitted you cannot install LUTs on their monitor indeed 🙈🤣 I would caution anyone before buying these cheap chinese monitors. There are many issues in what you want to see on that monitor and what your camera can produce and you really - in 2024 with all iPhones and Samsungs with HDR screens - do not want a monitor which only mimic SDR images coming from cameras... it is really more complex issue. But off course without aspirations for HDR video they will work well for photography 👍👍. But also and it was mentioned in this thread the buoyancy is an issue and bulky monitor with housing might end up being better choice then more compact brick. Good luck everyone in selecting their monitor.

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40 minutes ago, RomiK said:

I would caution anyone before buying these cheap chinese monitors. There are many issues in what you want to see on that monitor and what your camera can produce and you really - in 2024 with all iPhones and Samsungs with HDR screens - do not want a monitor which only mimic SDR images coming from cameras... it is really more complex issue. But off course without aspirations for HDR video they will work well for photography 👍👍.

 

I would not be so sharp with judgments. I don't shoot HDR video and I am doing great with my Chinese monitor with Hugyfot housing. 5 years, hundreds of hours of shooting and never a problem.

 

To paraphrase, there is no such thing as just Arry Alexa and everything else sucks.

 

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1 hour ago, Davide DB said:

 

I would not be so sharp with judgments. I don't shoot HDR video and I am doing great with my Chinese monitor with Hugyfot housing. 5 years, hundreds of hours of shooting and never a problem.

 

To paraphrase, there is no such thing as just Arry Alexa and everything else sucks.

 


True. I only wanted to express frustration with these bricks coming up as I really wanted to give Kraken a shot with their proclaimed 3000nits brightness but today I am glad I didn’t as displaying HDMI signal is one thing and processing/conforming that signal into different standards is whole different ballgame. There companies such as Atomos $ or SmallHD $$$$ come to play. I also was using 450nits Weefine Wed7 on about 30 dives and know this wouldn’t be an avenue (for me anyway). That 1000nits HDR Shinobi brightness of properly interpreted Slog3  is a gem. 

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Posted (edited)

Wow, looks like i unleashed a firestorm... 😉

I'm only shooting video in Slog-3, both landside and underwater. So having all of the functionality of the Atomos Ninja V (in my opinion) makes it worth the expense. It's really indispensable for landside work. It's actually one of the least expensive recording monitors (the SmallHD is about double the price). Also, if I need to record in ProRes RAW, I have the capability to do that. I don't believe the "stand-alone" monitors have recording capability. So my issue isn't with the monitor, my issue is with the housing expense. The monitor housing is almost as much as the housing for my camera. 

After considering all of the commentary (thank you everyone), I'm convinced I need to "bite the bullet" and get the monitor housing. 😭

BTW RomiK - you mentioned you were in the Maldives. I'm planning a trip there in late June. Any recommendations or insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

 

Bob

Edited by BobM
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2 hours ago, Davide DB said:

 

I would not be so sharp with judgments. I don't shoot HDR video and I am doing great with my Chinese monitor with Hugyfot housing. 5 years, hundreds of hours of shooting and never a problem.

 

To paraphrase, there is no such thing as just Arry Alexa and everything else sucks.

 

Nothing is going to HDR. I started shooting HDR in 2018 that is 6 years ago. There are compatibility issue but more than anything display problems.

Phones do better than others in this respect.

Slog3 profiles are not for HDR they can support HDR but are flexible so you can use them for whatever you prefer

 

For what concerns monitors Atomos Shinobi and Ninja are not HDR screen they have a constrast ratio of 1000:1 which is standard SDR.

The benefit is that they are bright however as HDR is defined by the contrast not by the brightness it won't make any difference if you monitor a log profile with a cheap monitor 400 nits or 1000 nits or 2009 nits except if it is bright you won't be able to see the dim one.

Nobody monitors in HDR when doing either broadcast or production. Sony suggests a LUT that takes your slog into rec709 compressed space which is then broadly supported by any device

In terms of HDR processing it is apparent from the post of @RomiK that his colors are clipped and out of gamut, this is due to two things

1. Overexpose slog that is not always a good idea but is a terrible idea in HDR as the curve is logarithmic you don't need to play with exposure

2. Using slog3/sgamut3 clips the colors in a way that is not predictable you need to use the cine gamut


What monitor you use makes no difference at all to the rendering and as HDR is absolute not IRE related all tools waveforms, false colours etc do not work as expected so the idea you need to monitor in HDR is also flawed (hence everybody monitors rec709)

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8 hours ago, BobM said:

Wow, looks like i unleashed a firestorm... 😉

I'm only shooting video in Slog-3, both landside and underwater. So having all of the functionality of the Atomos Ninja V (in my opinion) makes it worth the expense. It's really indispensable for landside work. It's actually one of the least expensive recording monitors (the SmallHD is about double the price). Also, if I need to record in ProRes RAW, I have the capability to do that. I don't believe the "stand-alone" monitors have recording capability. So my issue isn't with the monitor, my issue is with the housing expense. The monitor housing is almost as much as the housing for my camera. 

After considering all of the commentary (thank you everyone), I'm convinced I need to "bite the bullet" and get the monitor housing. 😭

BTW RomiK - you mentioned you were in the Maldives. I'm planning a trip there in late June. Any recommendations or insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

 

Bob

I still am in Maldives 😁🤙. Emperor is a good company I was with in October. Now on Horizon 3 things are more flexible but that’s not always a good thing 🙈😁

 

Before you spend money on Ninja housing I would strongly recommend to read through the link below and especially the end of that review. My conclusion was that if I absolutely didn’t need to record raw I would be better off with Shinobi and now my experience from actually using the monitor underwater confirmed it was a right choice. IMO exposure tools are absolutely necessary when exposing for HDR as camera monitor can’t be trusted for that and is impractical to use. Also it seems the Luts are recorded if used for interpreting on monitor etc… just read it and judge for yourself. Good luck and happy shooting in Maldives 🤙

 

https://www.pauljoy.com/2021/12/atomos-ninja-v-vs-shinobi-as-a-monitor/

 

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9 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

Nothing is going to HDR. I started shooting HDR in 2018 that is 6 years ago. There are compatibility issue but more than anything display problems.

Phones do better than others in this respect.

Slog3 profiles are not for HDR they can support HDR but are flexible so you can use them for whatever you prefer

 

For what concerns monitors Atomos Shinobi and Ninja are not HDR screen they have a constrast ratio of 1000:1 which is standard SDR.

The benefit is that they are bright however as HDR is defined by the contrast not by the brightness it won't make any difference if you monitor a log profile with a cheap monitor 400 nits or 1000 nits or 2009 nits except if it is bright you won't be able to see the dim one.

Nobody monitors in HDR when doing either broadcast or production. Sony suggests a LUT that takes your slog into rec709 compressed space which is then broadly supported by any device

In terms of HDR processing it is apparent from the post of @RomiK that his colors are clipped and out of gamut, this is due to two things

1. Overexpose slog that is not always a good idea but is a terrible idea in HDR as the curve is logarithmic you don't need to play with exposure

2. Using slog3/sgamut3 clips the colors in a way that is not predictable you need to use the cine gamut


What monitor you use makes no difference at all to the rendering and as HDR is absolute not IRE related all tools waveforms, false colours etc do not work as expected so the idea you need to monitor in HDR is also flawed (hence everybody monitors rec709)

@Interceptor121 My jab at your Malpello video hit the nerve didn’t it ? 😂😂😂 Listen it’s fine to have encyclopedic knowledge but for the sake of readers you really shouldn’t be giving advices where you don’t have practical experience. There is so much blabber in what you write here it’s difficult to put the facts straight. I really recommend you to borrow housing, do few dives and then give advices. The lens analysis you have are fine but the monitor and HDR standards blabber are just nonsense 🤙

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