NEW YORK—When I consolidated my business as a New York City-based DP two years ago, one of my initial investments was in a Panasonic VariCam LT, which I’ve since used to shoot a wide variety of fashion projects, commercials, music videos, narrative work and other branded content.
My work has expanded to the extent that I recently added another camera, the VariCam 35. Shooting in 4K and 2K with two of the best cinema cameras on the market, certainly with the best looks and color rendition, I realized I needed to step up from a seven-inch OLED monitor, which just wasn’t proving big enough to handle low-light shooting, and wasn’t giving me enough information to make critical decisions.
When I had the opportunity to demo Panasonic’s BT-LH1770 16.5-inch FHD LCD monitor, my first impression was that the colors were amazing and you can really see your blacks, with an overall higher-quality color rendition that would significantly help me out on set. I decided that the bigger Panasonic monitor would let me see the true colors of the set much better, as well as the nuances in the shot. And the LH1770 would make it easier for directors and gaffers to judge color and lighting.
Since I purchased the LH1770 last summer, I’ve used the monitor on fashion shoots for companies such as Bloomingdale’s and Peter Thomas Roth and several music videos. I will shortly have it on set on high-profile assignments for EA Sports, shooting an internal video about the gaming giant’s new facility in San Francisco and, in New York, shooting promotional video for one of the company’s new NFL titles.
A REAL WORKHORSE
As I’ve worked with the monitor, I’ve realized the benefits of having it on a multicamera shoot, especially with the LH1770’s standard 3G-SDI (x2), HDMI and analog composite inputs, which in practical terms for me means it can handle up to four channels of HD-SDI and I don’t need to bring an additional powered accessory on set.
I typically can’t afford a DIT, so being able to accurately color calibrate with the monitor is big. I can dial in a look/LUT on either of my VariCams, then make a grade in the monitor based on what I’m shooting. There’s a consistency in the camera, screen and output. Also, with the monitor’s 1920 x 1080 resolution, input images are displayed without resizing. True-to-life gradation is achieved by the LH1770’s 10-bit processing.
With its solid metal housing, the monitor can take abuse and withstand the rigors of traveling. The LH1770 is proving itself as a workhorse for the price, and simply a great tool to have on set.
Nick Dabas is a director of photography based in New York. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit http://business.panasonic.com/products-professionalvideo or call 877-803-8492.