Balancing monitors

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  • #175337

      Hi fellows,

      I wonder what kind of monitors you guys use on cameras and in video village.

      I find it very hard to keep the same look(contrast/color) between different monitors. And it’s pretty sad when you realize that the director is looking at a different image than yours.

      I usually use a 7′ Atmos Shogun on the camera. However, I was surprised to find that it’s almost 1 stop brighter and less contrasty than the 19′ Atmos Sumo(from the same brand and both by default setting).

      For other brands like SmallHD, I find that there are too many versions out there. And the look of each version is very different from the others. And they sometimes tend to be a little stylized instead of accurate.

      Can you tell me what kind of monitors you guys use in the industry? And how do you keep them the same look?


      Many thanks!







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      M Ryan

        Check out Flanders Scientific..

        You will need to calibrate your monitor, even if it is an FSI – you can get an i1 pro or similar device, and calibrate with that.. ideally every monitor on set should be calibrated.

        Calibration is definitely a rabbit hole, and is usually done by a dedicated pro – might be worth looking for an expert in your region and consulting with them.

        Good luck 🙂



          Personally I’ve never been on a set where all monitors looked the same but it might be different on higher end productions.

          Try to get the DP’s and director’s monitors as close as possible. Same brand/model/ settings might help, check backlight settings for example. Btw budget monitors are looked down on but they improved a lot the last years and there are good options.

          Generally I am of the opinion that small differences don’t matter much.


            ACs and operators usually crank-up the camera’s onboard monitor to help with framing and focusing so I never use those as a judge of the image. The best monitor on set is at the DIT cart, the second best is on set with the director, on a stand to be mobile. Both are large monitors. After that, it is hit or miss in terms of the quality at different stations but today a lot of crew people have an image streamed to iPads. If the director really needs to be mobile they will use one of those.

            James Parsons

              On the union productions where I AC, the DP and/or DIT have monitors calibrated at the rental house, and the ACs and OPs and other monitors on set are usually left at factory settings for everything but brightness and contrast, which we dial in to suit the conditions on set or location.


                Our DIT monitor is always a P3 monitor. Before we shoot, I have not only this monitor (and the back up) calibrated, but I also get the other monitors on set, which are normally Rec709, calibrated as close as possible. AND, I have the editorial monitors calibrated as well. If things start to drift during the production, I arrange for another round of calibration. It’s very important to us that everyone is seeing what we’re shooting since we are shooting it as we want to see it in the end. We don’t plan to “fix” things in the DI.

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