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Electronic level/horizon indicator


DavidMcGill
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I am looking into getting and HD monitor for my sled (currently have a TB-6) and wanted to find out what options there are for an Electronic level/horizon indicator that can be imbedded in an HD image. I know about the Marshall one, but as far as I know that only works with specific models of their own monitors. XCS has one, but I'm pretty sure it is only SD. And for anyone who has the one made by Marshall, how is it working for you?

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The big problem is that nobody makes one (a good one that is) for hd. Greg's is the benchmark that has been missed by so many. I think nebtek tried it (sucked) and I never heard if they got the bugs worked out. The ones that come in most monitors suck

 

If the new one from cinetronic is like the xcs then a lot of people would be very happy. I heard Greg was working on an hd bubble (??).

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The big problem is that nobody makes one (a good one that is) for hd. Greg's is the benchmark that has been missed by so many. I think nebtek tried it (sucked) and I never heard if they got the bugs worked out. The ones that come in most monitors suck

 

If the new one from cinetronic is like the xcs then a lot of people would be very happy. I heard Greg was working on an hd bubble (??).

 

 

Greg's is on target for a summer release....

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Ron-

 

I don't think it matters much where the sensors are.

 

Having them in the monitor might be worse for some moves - like panning in place, and irrelevant for most of the others - like walking, tracking without panning, going around corners, tilting, rolling, etc. It will be marginally better having the sensor in the monitor for some other moves, like circling an actor, as the monitor moves LESS than the post in those situations.

 

Even the most simple switch while standing in place has some lateral movement, and hence some acceleration component.

 

And if your post is tilted, unless the sensor is where all the axes of the gimbal cross, the sensor will translate even when "panned in place."

 

I had this discussion way back in 1994 with the engineer for the Master Series, who claimed putting the sensor in line with the post would eliminate acceleration errors, and therefore did not need acceleration compensation. He, of course, had never worn a Steadicam...

 

It's always more about the electronics that attempt to ignore acceleration components and/or figure out what is level in spite of what the sled (or monitor) might be doing.

 

Jerry

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I thought the Phantom V level sensor was on the sled anyway? It just talked to the Transvideo to provide the graphic overlay. Am I miss understanding this? Another question is has the Transvideo on the Phantom V been specially made for this or do all the new Transvideo Cinemonitor HD series have the ability to do this?

 

Regards the sensor being in the monitor. I think another issue several ops myself included assume in/on the sled may be the best option, is that the tilt/angle on the monitor may influence the sensor operation and reaction. For example if it is table flat or at 45 degrees. Plus the monitor itself may have a slight twist or skew on it's bracket (say 1 degree or 2) that operation wise may not bother us but will screw up the sensor orientation with the sled. If it is in/on the sled base atleast it should always in theory be in the same place and axis when used from one time to the next. Most ops who use external sensors mount it on the sled base somewhere, it may be on the left or right underneath etc. Usually it will stay there in the same place for the rest of it's life. I agree exact placement isn't that much of any issue as long as it is fairly close to the sled centre (it's not like it's 6ft away from the sled!) but always being in the same place so you will learn when to compensate or ignore it's reaction. Where as if it is in the monitor it may be slightly off axis each time when set up out of it's case/bag etc.

 

Regards

Anthony

Edited by Anthony Graham
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Anthony,

 

Yes, the Phantom V (like all Steadicams with the artificial horizon) has the sensor in the sled, and it drives the monitor display, so it's not an issue.

 

Tilting the monitor should not be an issue, but it does induce the possibility of an error, as you point out.

 

I was speaking more to the idea of the Transvideo as an add-on monitor with the horizon sensor built in; it's not really an issue that the sensor is in the monitor except, perhaps, if it were poorly installed with respect to the tilting axis of the monitor. It really does not matter where the add-on sensors might be placed - but better if it is solid and square with respect to the sled's certerpost.

 

Regardless, one should always, and often, check any mechanical bubble and/or electronic bubble with the camera frame.

 

Jerry

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