AbelCine Camera Technology Specialist Dives into the Age of Production Monitors

What monitors are the best in the game and why

Published on in Advice / Tips & Tricks

By: Geoff Smith, Camera Technology Specialist, AbelCine

Production monitors are in a period of flux. As we transition from the familiar REC709 HD signal standard into an uncertain future, the idea that there is one “standard” monitor in the broadcasting/high-end video/digital cinema production space is no longer true, if it ever was. However, there are a few models that we like, use and consistently recommend to our customers at AbelCine.

Since most of us are still monitoring (as well as editing, coloring, and finishing) in REC709, Sony’s ‘A’-series OLED monitors, the PVM-A170 and PVM-A250 (at 17” and 25” respectively) offer among the best REC709 viewing environments short of Sony's own reference monitors (those with model names prepended with the ‘BVM’ designation). The deep blacks and infinite contrast ratio provided by OLED technology, especially at the professional level, makes these displays a premium option when viewing under controlled conditions on set or in an editing or color grading suite. If you’re working in a bright environment, we’ve been impressed by the Atomos SUMO19M monitor, a 19-inch version of their popular Shogun line of HDR monitor/recorders which can manage 1200 cd/m in brightness and sports a rugged, field-friendly design.

Additionally, though lacking the deep blacks seen with OLED, are compelling LED LCD-based monitors from Flanders Scientific and Canon (Flanders also has some OLED models available as well). Canon’s 17& "and 24” 4K production monitors (models DP-V1710 and DP-V2410/11 respectively) provide a rich toolset (including an HDR waveform monitor) high brightness and compatibility with Canon and ARRI cameras for native Canon Log and LogC monitoring. Flanders Scientific displays, long favored by DITs and colorists, have what we find as the most varied and sophisticated signal analysis tools integrated into their displays, providing customizable false color, side-by- side viewing of multiple inputs and legendary color accuracy. Popular models include the CM171 (17”) as well as the DM240 24” and DM250 25” OLED.
Finally, Sony's BVM-X300 is their flagship professional 4K reference and mastering monitor with robust HDR capabilities as well as critical color accuracy (and OLED’s absolute blacks). If you need to color grade and/or master a project in UHD or DCI 4K and HDR, it’s the go-to option. By changing a few simple menu settings, it can also serve as a reference/mastering monitor for the SDR “trim pass” of a project or for standalone REC709 deliverables.
While no one monitor stands head-and-shoulders above the rest as a do-everything Swiss army knife, rest assured there are quality professional options for every level of project and budget.

About Geoff Smith

Geoff Smith joined AbelCine in 2015 as a Camera Technology Specialist with a focus on workflows from capture to post-production. He has been a technical editor of AbelCine's blog since 2017. Geoff has a background in technology from web development to content management at companies like VMware, Lucasfilm and Silicon Graphics (SGI). Prior to joining AbelCine, he worked on an independent feature as a DIT and Assistant Editor. A passionate photographer, his editorial and fine artwork has been published in newspapers and magazines, as well as exhibited in New York City and online. Originally from New York, Geoff graduated from California State University, Chico earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Design with an emphasis in Media Arts.

ProductionHUB ProductionHUB Logo

Related Blog Posts
5 Actionable Tips for Creating Your Production Budget
5 Actionable Tips for Creating Your Production Budget
Whether you're shooting a low-budget feature, a Hollywood blockbuster, or a commercial for a local business, creating and managing a budget is crucial for your production. It's important to start budgeting your productions from the get-go because it can help inform some of your creative decisions. For productions that have a large crew, it’s especially important to have a production budget so that you can pay your cast and crew in a timely manner. There’s no better way to burn bridges and tarnish good relationships than not paying on schedule.
Published on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
In Review: JVC GY-HM200SP 4K Camcorder Delivers Winning Shots
In Review: JVC GY-HM200SP 4K Camcorder Delivers Winning Shots
It is not unusual over the course of the year to get quite a few different professional camera packages to try out. They range from super high end to entry pro level. But that’s ok by me because I am always looking for the right camera for the program, not overkill. That said the JVC GY-HM200SP 4K CAM was really quite a pleasant surprise. But I’m not really sure why I was surprised. I think I might know. Normally, we only get to hang on to a camera for a few weeks at most. This time however we had a chance to stretch that review period out over a longer time which was some of the local high school football season and couldn’t have been happier with the results. Yes, and the team won some of their games too! But before I get to deep into the games lets get a snapshot of the physical make up of JVC GY-HM200SP.
Published on Monday, January 15, 2018
4 Things High-Paying Design Clients Expect from You
4 Things High-Paying Design Clients Expect from You
The first time you sit down with a client, it can be a difficult meeting. You are assessing how the client will be as a boss, and your client is trying to get a read on your abilities as a designer.
Published on Friday, January 12, 2018


There are no comments on this blog post.

You must be logged in to leave a comment.