It’s helpful, but not essential, to have a monitor hooked up with the output signal of your camera while you’re videotaping. This way, large groups can see what the shot looks like without squinting into the tiny viewfinder. Everybody’s got an opinion! A field monitor allows everyone to see the shot in much better detail and a group consensus can easily be reached.
However, field monitors are mostly for larger productions. I wouldn’t use a field monitor while shooting unless the crew had at least 3-4 people.
Field monitors should be cheap. 🙂
Actually, that’s true. You want to see what the average viewer will see, not the most perfect representation of your shot possible. A cheap monitor or TV set will give you just that!
A field monitor hooked up to your camera output takes a relatively sophisticated camera. Inexpensive cameras don’t come with such an output connection.
A TV field monitor is valuable because the edges of a video picture can get cut off as it goes from what the camera originally sees to what the viewer ultimately sees. To know precisely where you need to frame the edges of your shot, you have to look at it on the same thing the typical viewer would. This applies to computer editing too. What you see in your computer window is significantly larger than what your broadcast viewer will ultimately see, particularly on the horizontal axis. If your videos are uploaded to the web, this is not as important.
Make sure and compensate for this with the placement of your graphics and other important story-telling elements. This is referred to as your Safe Title. Anything outside of the safe title area of your shot is likely to be cut off. Most editing programs will have a template of lines to place over your shot in your playback monitor window to see the location of your safe title.
Videos destined only for the intent don’t need to worry about safe title because the edges aren’t lost in a digital transmission.
Thanks for reading Video Production Tips
Internet Video Gal