Buying a decent monitor, that is worth it’s salt, is usually setting you back an substantial amount of cash, especially if you need multiple in/out puts, SDI, 10bit ISP panel, LUTs, waveform, vectorscope, andwhathaveyou.
And if you are looking for something like this under 1000 bucks, you are usually looking for a unicorn. Well, this unicorn actually exists, and the name is Osee LCM156.
The LCM156 is a (very) reasonably priced professional monitor with quite an impressive feature set – something you normally need to shell out way more money for.
It sports a 15″ true 10-bit (1.07 billion colors) color depth an RGB backlit screen and advanced IP engine. It provides Waveform, Vectorscope, Overscan/Underscan, 3D LUT Support, Status Display, SDI, HD-SDI, DVI-D, HDSDI, Composite In/Outputs and more.
Display: 15″ IPS, ,rue 10 Bit Color Depth
178° x 178° Viewing Angle
1920 x 1080 Resolution, 700:1 Contrast Ratio
Waveform, Vectorscope, Status Display
Tally: GPI – Tally, OSD – Tally
16 Channels of Audio Metering
Picture by Picture
In/out: HDMI, SDI, HD-SDI, DVI-D, HDSDI, Composite, headphone jack,
Area Marker: 4:3, 15:9, 14:9, 13:9, 1.85:1, 2.35:1, 16:9
Safety Marker: 80%, 85%, 88%, 90%, 93%, 95%, 100%
Audio: AUDIO1, AUDIO2, UNDEF AUDIO1, AUDIO2, UNDEF AUDIO2, EMBEDDED
The LCM156 is a nice little HD monitor for post, and on set. It totally fills the typical gap between on camera monitors and the typical displays you have in video village. Especially since it is only 15″ and self contained, it’s an absolute no-brainer to have it always with you, compared to bigger monitors. Especially when you are on a budget, without a large crew, and have to carry your own equipment.
For outdoor use, it comes with an optional rugged road case, that provides removable front/back panels and a super handy magnetic sun hood. The case has adjustable feet, so you can dial in an angle. You can also bolt on a Vesa mount adapter, so you can put it on a baby or c-stand. The monitor is secured in the field kit with two rails and a laser cut foam insert – everything is pretty rugged and clean, and it looks like it could easily stand the typical abuse on set, as well as outdoor conditions.
The monitor is ether powered with the provided 12V AC adapter, by a V-Mount/AB battery, or by any 12V source. The AC adapter and cables have their own little compartment in the back panel, secured with Velcro, so everything is neat, tidy and clean packed.
It sports a ton of options in the menu, for everything but the kitchen sink, as well as five customizable function buttons.
One function that really surprised me, is the picture by picture feature, that allows you to connect two cameras at the same time, and see both pictures (or switch between cameras at full screen)
Last week I finally received my LCM156, and gave it a test ride on the set the other day.
Overall I’m really impressed with the value this display provides. Even though brightness and contrast ratio are not the top of the line, with the sun hood attached, I had zero problems to see everything on a sunny day. I tried the Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6K via SDI, and also a cheapish no-name wireless HDMI connection with the BM PocketCamera. Both worked like a charm. I gonna use it at the camera (my focus puller instantly fell in love with it), as well as for directors and clients, to keep them away from the camera and breathing down my neck.
It also runs just fine from my Blackmagic SDI Decklink card.
Initial calibration was pretty much spot on out of the box. Actually I discovered that my (calibrated) DreamColor monitor is a hair on the magenta side. Though it is only 15″ it has its own place in my grading suite now – double check, peace of mind. It also comes in handy, if you have to show something to a client, and don’t want to rely on their own uncalibrated displays or on your laptop.
Actually having 10bit processing on a 10bit display is pretty much unheard at this price point, and IMHO that alone is totally worth the money. The image quality, and color quality oft the LCM156 is in the neighborhood of a (at least) $3000 range.
You can load your own LUTs into the monitor, which is a big plus, especially if you are surrounded by nervous agency chicks, that are distracted by a flat looking image. The LCM 156 can take any 33 point LUT (.cube/.bin). As I understand, there is only a Windows program for this in the moment.
In a nutshell:
If you are in the market for a very portable 10bit HD monitor, that is really good, and at at a affordable price range under $1000, this is pretty much it. If you have the budget to get the fied kit, I really recommend to order that too. It’s well build, protects your monitor and is super fast and handy, especially with the magnetic sun hood.
I would like some extra latches on the removable back panel, so I could use it as a “roof” on top of the case in rain/snow conditions, and to shield the connections and battery at the back from the weather.
False color would be also great, but considering the price – I understand, that you can’t have it all.
Also a USB out (yeah, I know I’m dreaming here) so I could power the wireless video thingy from there.