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Good small HDMI monitor for D3 or D300?

Joseph Wisniewski , Apr 04, 2008; 10:34 a.m.

Does anyone know of a reasonably priced, moderately small LCD monitor with HDMI input. Something like this 7 inch XENARC, except with HDMI...


I'm looking for a monitor for use with D3 live view in some awkward positions, and want something that can use the highest resolution the D3 produces from the HDMI port.




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Ilkka Nissila , Apr 04, 2008; 10:48 a.m.

Would color profiling be possible when using the HDMI output?

Pete S. , Apr 04, 2008; 11:02 a.m.

Small and highest resolution are probably not compatible. I don't have an answer for you but I would have looked for professional video monitors for field use.


Shun Cheung , Apr 04, 2008; 11:08 a.m.

Video monitors is probably the way to go. But I too wonder if this monitor is mainly to aid composition, why do you need HDMI? How to power this monitor will likely be a bit of a problem too.

Peter Hamm , Apr 04, 2008; 11:33 a.m.

You don't need HDMI for this use imho. A very small HD monitor will look the same to your eyes as a very small SD monitor for this use.

Todd Wilson , Apr 04, 2008; 01:54 p.m.

I agree with Peter here, HDMI and moderately small, what is the point? At 7 inches the eye would not be able to appreciate the benefits that HDMI have to offer.

Joseph Wisniewski , Apr 04, 2008; 02:37 p.m.

Ilkka, color profiling is not possible with HDMI, nor is it necessary, because it is a small monitor in a large environment, and the eye is adapted to the environment, not the monitor. Adjustment of white point may be, depending on the monitor. That should be done to attempt to make the monitor "color neutral", in short, what it is outputing should mimic the photographed scene.

Peter, the highest resolution is not necessary. The D3 and D300 liveview on HDMI is 640p, 640x480, and there are lots of little 640x480 LCD monitors. It's a nice resolution for DVD playing. The little XENARC I mentioned is a 640x800 monitor, but will do 640x480 at the proper aspect ratio, with black bars on the sides, in VGA mode.

Shun, Peter, and Todd, I'm guessing none of you have actually tried this, and are working from assumptions, correct?

"A very small HD monitor will look the same to your eyes as a very small SD monitor for this use". No, it won't. The D3 and D300 have two video outputs, composite NTCS and HDMI. Using the composite NTSC gives you all the color transformations you'd expect from NTSC, while the HDMI has RGB component color. So, even from a distance, it will look considerably different.

As far as the 7 inch issue, that's a 3.5x5.25 display. At 640 (HDMI), that's 120dpi, at 320 (composit) it's 60dpi. If you've never used a D3, the difference, as far as being able to judge focus, is quite noticeable even on the 3 inch screen on the camera, let alone a 7 inch screen.

Should have known better than to ask here.

Frank Skomial , Apr 04, 2008; 02:42 p.m.

Small LCD TVs most likely will not have enough LCD pixels to display all HDMI can provide, even if the LCD TV provides HDMI input and is advertised as such (!).

You need to know for sure.

My example, I got Sony Bravia 20" multisystem LCD TV with HDMI input, but mostly I got it to playback PAL and SECAM videos without any fuss. The TV was advertizes as HDMI compliant, but has only 640 x 480 pixels. That is, the TV accepts the full quality HDMI signal and converted to 640 x 480, and that all it can do.

As long as you understand edvertising, and your expectations match that ? - I was a bit disapointed with my HDMI comliant LCD TV... read the small text, and get TV from a reputable dealer.

Shun Cheung , Apr 04, 2008; 02:51 p.m.

Joseph, sorry that I don't have the answer to your original question, but your request is a bit unusual so that I was trying to figure out what you are trying to achieve. I believe I have used a D3 before, and I have also connected it to my home (relatively small) 40" TV via an HDMI cable, but I have never used live view for the purpose of focusing a macro shot.

Joseph Wisniewski , Apr 04, 2008; 03:39 p.m.

Frank, if your TV were 7 inches (maybe 8) it would be perfect for what I need. I only need 480p. I do agree, the way those TV folk advertise is pure rotten.

Shun, yup, unusual, that's me, so I guess it carries through to my questions ;) There are two uses for the HDMI port on the D3, live view and viewing on a big TV. I've used the D3 live view with our Canon projector before. It has digital DVI inputs, and a bog standard HDMI to DVD adapter gets it up and running, which makes it really fun for macro classes and demos.

But what I want right now is a device for focusing and composing in the field, instead od crawling around in the dirt (someone put most of the really cool macro subjects really close to the ground). Since the D3 and D300 don't have tilt-out screens, the requirements are simple. It should look good enough so that it's not frustrating to use as a composition and focusing tool. It should be small and light enough so that I can either put a bracket for it in the camera's hot shoe, or clamp it onto the tripod. It should be small and light enough so that it can ride in my backpack fairly easily, including a reasonable amount of battery power, and a shroud for bright days.

The XENARC meets all my criteria, and I've used them before and know how they do in different lighting conditions, but it's not HDMI, and it really looks bad on NTSC. I've tried a small LCD VGA with an HDMI to analog VGA converter, but the converter was larger, more expensive, and drew more electrical power than the darn display. If there were a small, cheap, low power consumption HDMI 480p to VGA converter, I'd be in...

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