Recently, there’s been a boom in nanowire research and development. It seems as though everybody and their granny is looking into nanowire technology for the future of touch-screens—and it’s no wonder. Nanowires made of copper, silver, and even gold look set to bring us more cost-effective, longer-lasting displays for a multitude of devices in the coming years. Clearly, the colossus that is the smartphone industry is the main driving force behind this nanowire revolution. When you’re paying hundreds of dollars for an object which goes absolutely everywhere with you, the last thing you want is for dropping it once to shatter your home screen and your hopes and dreams along with it. With the current popularity of smartphones, tablets, plasma displays, and all things touchscreen, it is no wonder that the current go-to material—indium tin oxide or ITO—is disappearing, fast. Demand for touchscreens, of course, will remain ever present. However, the world’s ITO stockpiles cannot keep up, leading researchers and technology start-ups from across the world on the hunt for the perfect alternative: affordable, conductible nanowires. Nanowires: What are they? Before we can discuss nanowires, and how they may affect the camera industry in the coming years, it is probably a good idea to get to grips with what nanowires actually are. Fortunately, the definition for a nanowire is much simpler than the technology behind them: they are simply a wire with a diameter of no more than a few of nanometers—with one nanometer equaling to 0.000,000,001 of a meter! The companies that seek to revolutionize the touchscreen industry are doing so by suspending these nanowires in inks and then spreading these inks to form a film—a film that is, for the most part, empty space; this allows the films to remain transparent while the nanowires themselves remain conductive—just what industries need to keep their touch screen technology flowing! The Benefits of Nanowire Technology The diminishing levels of ITO available coupled with the ever-growing demand for screens mean that the race is on to get the first mass-producible nanowire screen technology out of the research labs and into our electronic devices. Looks like it is time to find out what benefits we, the consumers, can reap from this surge in nanowire research and production. Replacing Indium Tin Oxide One of the major benefits that producing screens via nanowire will have is the reduced demand for Indium Tin Oxide—something that the world is currently running fairly low on. As stock depletes, the price for the material will obviously increase and this is obviously going to be felt in the pockets of consumers as manufacturers up their prices. A More Efficient Manufacturing Process Screens made from ITO are also problematic due to how they are created. It is a complex and inefficient process, whereby the Indium Tin Oxide is deposited onto glass inside vacuum chambers. Obviously, the issue here is that not all of the expensive ITO lands where it is needed—meaning that the vacuum chambers themselves must be cleaned after each stage so that the rare material that’s left on the interior of the chamber may be reused. Of course, the simpler process behind rare metal nanowires has an awesome advantage for consumers; it means that nanowire screens will cost less! Improved Efficiency Nanowires offer better conductivity and lower sheet resistance than currently available techs—allowing for better optical quality while simultaneously reducing production costs, as we mentioned above. I find it fairly crazy that, before they’ve even properly hit the market, nanowires have already had an enormous impact on nanotube and graphene ITO alternatives. From the depths of research labs, nanowires have already destroyed the majority of the market for two competing technologies. Impressive. Flexibility While it may not be something on your immediate technological wish list, it is certainly an interesting development. By coating nanowires onto plastic sheets—as simple a saran wrap—companies have been able to develop flexible, functioning prototype screens. The video below has a few more details pertaining to the 18” roll-up OLED showcased by LG at CES 2016. Lower Costs I mentioned it earlier but it bears repeating. By utilizing minute amounts of pure, precious metals, researchers have been able to beat the performance offered by ITO at a fraction of the cost of the process involved in manufacturing items with Indium Tin Oxide. For consumers, that’s what I would call a win-win situation! Should Filmmakers be Getting Excited about Nanowire Technology? Personally, I think so. Even outside of filmmaking, we see an increasing number of screens as the technology available to us continues to advance into the realms of Science-Fiction. Whether camera displays begin to adopt nanowire technology in the near future or not, we’re probably all going to be experiencing the apparently improved performance that they can bring to the table in one way or another. Some of the best and brightest minds in the world are researching and developing nanowires, including teams at Stanford, MIT, Harvard, and Duke. That usually means two things: the tech will arrive on the market sooner than we might expect, and the applications will likely be extremely useful—or at the very least, incredibly interesting! We’ll have to wait and see if nanochemistry hits a roadblock with improving and producing nanowires and whether manufacturers take this new technology in their stride. However, with working proof-of-concept models already surfacing and the potential for lower costs, I’d wager that nanowires are going to be a big hit; even if we do have a while to go until these newer, tougher, or flexible screens are in our hands.Read more
SmallHD has expanded its 700 series line with announcement of two new 7″ monitors. Taking the slimline, smartphone-like interface goodness from the original 702 and reducing the resolution and OLED brightness output, we are presented with the much more cost effective 701 Lite and 702 Lite monitors. Just like the 500 series, we get SDI/HDMI and HDMI only flavours in the 702 Lite and 701 Lite respectively. The original 702 monitor boasts itself as a daylight viewable monitor, sporting a 1920X1080 display at 1000 nits in brightness. These features are where the Lite version differentiates. Both the 701 Lite and the 702 Lite feature a 1200X800 display at 450 nits of brightness. For real world reference, the Atomos Shogun is 400 nits in brightness, and the Odyssey 7Q+ has a 1200 X 800 display, so the 701 Lite and 702 Lite are on a level playing field with these more or less, subbing the cheaper cost for the lack of recording abilities. Speaking of cost, the 701 Lite and 702 Lite come in at $699 and $899 respectively, a hefty saving on the $1494 SmallHD 702. Being an owner of the 502 monitor, I can say that the software in the 500/700 series from SmallHD is fantastic. Smartphone users will instantly become accustomed to the swipe functionality on the toggle joystick. This is great for setting up a host of pages for your display; one clean, one with a LUT, one with overlays for example. Looks like you get all the exposure and focus functions in the SmallHD 701 Lite and 702 Lite. Customisable peaking, focus assist, zebras, graphs etc.. LUTs can be loaded via SD card and sent downstream. The dual battery type/slot is genius. Canon LP-E6 up top, Sony NPF down low. One feature that has been lost with the 500/700 series is the lack of power from USB. The DP4 and DP7-Pro monitor could power the likes of the IDX CW-1 transmitter (or Radian example), making wireless link setups very compact. The current 500 and 700 series monitor all provide 5v at 0.5A, short of 0.7A-1A required for such wireless accessories. I would not expect to see a change in the Lite versions here, but it would be great if it were addressed across the line at some point (if not for the next generation). SmallHD 701 Lite Specification 7″ 1200 x 800 IPS LCD Display Brightness 450 cd/m2 Backlight LED SDI in/out HDMI in/out Custom Exposure/Focus Aids LUT support inc downstream send Weight 10 oz / 283 g (no battery) SmallHD 702 Lite Specification 7″ 1200 x 800 IPS LCD Display Brightness 450 cd/m2 Backlight LED HDMI in/out Custom Exposure/Focus Aids LUT support inc downstream send Weight 10 oz / 283 g (no battery)Read more
The new Aputure Full HD Monitors bring more affordable options to an already competitive market. A quick look online for 7-inch external monitors will bring up a long list of offers of varying prices, features and resolutions, with most affordable options falling into the 800 x 480 category. Once you filter out your search to HD monitors only, you will find the list is populated mostly by products in the 4-digit price range. Enter Aputure, the Chinese manufacturer that brought us the affordable Amaran range of LED light panels as well as the innovative DEC Wireless Remote Adapter. The new Aputure Full HD Monitors – a recent upgrade to their VS line – offer HD resolution at a very competitive price. These new FineHD incarnations bring several improvements over the previous VS-1 and VS-2. In addition to the leap in resolution to HD, both models boast improved Fine IPS screens with better contrast and brightness. This is useful for challenging outdoor shooting environments. A battery level reminder, input selection and shortcut functions are other improvements at the operating system level. These Aputure Full HD Monitors start with an RRP of under $200 with the VS-1 FineHD. But in terms of features, the improved resolution is pretty much it. This, of course, may be all you need as an alternative to the LCD screen on your camera. But if you require any kind of assist functionality, then the VS-2 FineHD is worth looking at. At an RRP of $279 you get the same HD 7-inch screen, plus features such as histogram, focus peaking, zebras, false colour and audio level meters. You also get a battery to use with the included Sony NP-compatible plate. Some features lacking in these models are support for LUTs, HDMI output and SDI support. But products offering these features at this resolution cost many times more, so it is easy to forgive the “basic” functionality at this price point. Even the VS-1 FineHD doesn’t seem so basic if you can output the assist functions you may have available in your camera to the larger display of the Aputure. For shooters wanting to invest in their first field monitor who are happy to compromise some of the higher-end features, HD resolution just got a lot more affordable. Check out the monitors on their site – we will post links to B&H once the items become available for pre-order. What do you think? Will you up your game this year with an external HD monitor?Read more
SmallHD has announced a new 7″ LCD monitor. The 702 is the first of the 700 series line offering 1080p resolution and daylight viewable brightness. The 702 looks very much like a larger version of the SmallHD 502; sleek design with joystick and single button on the front. It has both HDMI and SDI in and out (expect cross conversion) and a very neat solution for offering both dual Canon LP-E6 and Sony NP-F batteries natively. It looks like one of the main selling points of the 702 is the high brightness display. We’ve seen this feature in their DP7-PRO High Bright, SmallHD label the new 700 series monitor as daylight viewable. The 702 offers 1000 NITs of brightness, if you’re not familiar with that measurement it is said to be 2-3x brighter than a traditional LCD. The DP7-PRO High Bright offers 1500 NITs, but the new anti-glare reflection coating is likely to compensate. “The LCD panel features optically bonded glass with anti-reflective coating. This greatly reduces glare and helps the high resolution, color accurate display remain visible.” Unsurprisingly like the 500 series monitors the SmallHD 702 will run on the Page Builder OS, expect the handy swipe between pages interface, customizable focus and exposure assists, 3D LUT support including custom & sending downstream. Pricing starts at $1499.00 and if it’s further more like the 500 series we may see a cheaper HDMI only version too at a later stage.Read more
A couple of months ago SmallHD announced the 502, a new super lightweight 1080p 5″ monitor. Today they’ve introduced a HDMI only version, the 501. Check out our article on the 502 here, a compact and lightweight monitor, ideal for small mirrorless cameras and gimbal devices due to its 1lbs form factor. The 501 promises nearly all features of the 502; 1080p screen, LUT support, vast exposure and focus aids, plus compatibility with the new Sidefinder accessory (turns the compact monitor into a high resolution viewfinder). The difference? The 501 is HDMI only. The 502 packs a lot of punch in the peripheral department. SDI and HDMI in/out as well as cross converting either signal. The 501 is simply HDMI in/out only. Making it more affordable than its SDI abled bigger brother. This comes as no surprise, as SmallHD recently announced the discontinuation of the DP4, their previous entry level HDMI only monitor. Here’s the specification list for the SmallHD 501: Panel Type LCD Size Diagonal 5 Resolution 1920 x 1080 Pixel Density (PPI) 441 Aspect Ratio 16:9 Native Active Area 5.0 in Brightness 400 cd/m2 Contrast 1500:1 Color Gamut 85% NTSC (100% Rec 709) Color Depth 24 Bit (8bpc) Viewing Angle Full 179 Degrees Backlight Type LED Adjustable Backlight Yes Temperature Adaptive Color Yes Dual LP-E6 battery slots Pricing of the 501 is currently at $899, a $300 saving against the 502.Read more
Don’t do that, better get something worthwhile for a person you like. But to better connect to your camera, you can now do so with Transcends new WIFI SD cards. WIFI connectivity is something enjoyable as it can make our work on set faster and more convenient.Read more
We thank our sponsor B&H who has made cinema5D’s news coverage of IBC 2012 possible. Get your gear through B&H to support this platform: www.bhphotovideo.com [UPDATE 27/09/12]: 5% DISCOUNT for cinema5D readers on any new FSI equipment: Use the following coupon on checkout: “CINEMA5D” (LINK) (valid until October 31st) Here we found a company that produces some really really nice color correction monitors: Flanders Scientific Inc. Their grade-1, 10-bit 17″ full HD panel (CM107W) is $3300 while the very popular (LM2140W) 21,5″ panel (8 bit) is $2490. These monitors looked really really nice and in terms of the size I’d prefer the 21,5″ or the very similar 23″ model. It is 8-bit, but it looked superb. Up until now the company offered their free of charge calibration service to US customers only, but coming December they’ll have established a European office that offers the same service to FSI customers in Europe. [UPDATE 27/09/12]: Bram told me that even though their large monitors don’t have an hdmi input, they do have a DVI connector. So you can use a simple DVI to hdmi adapter to get hdmi connectivity. (LINK) I also did some research on 8-bit vs. 10-bit panels as I wasn’t sure if I’d get a Canon DSLR-looking image on the LM-2340W panel when grading 10-bit footage. Apparently most computer monitors and also television sets are 6-bit, even my Macbook Pro is 6-bit. See, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera footage looks just fine on the Macbook, so I take it 8-bit will be just fine for basic color correction that doesn’t have to be ultra spot on. All the new FSI monitors just received a firmware update to now support 12-bit processing by the way. Great job Bram, keep up the good work. Check out their stuff on the website: www.ShopFSI.comRead more
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