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Issue with menu dial and F1/F2, Fan (is it ever working?). Notes/ideas on: Color Bars on F1-F7, metric 3/8 Adapter, Factory Preset Black level

Hi.

First off all : The A50T (mine) is a great value for the money.

We use use a of other brands and models in my company (Small HD 5",7",17"), Atomos Samurai Inferno,  5" BM ivdeo assist HD, TV logic 056 and some others) but none of them offers so much for so few dollars.

Some are brighter, are recorders, have a vf option (SmallHD 5") have fancier menues (again Small HD , although it is anything but intuitive) or can be used as converters (tvlogic) but they all come to much higher price.

Especially with the High Bright setting on (great you can tune it) the readability even in daylight environment is great only a few other displays for a much higher price can compete, here.

Thanks to the latest FW update I saw some issues fixed (e.g. after switching off the color bars the F1 to F4 did nit work) and some nice features appeared on the list.

Never the less, I would like to give some experiences that might see a change in the future:

  • MENU DIAL
    I don't know what I did to make it working in the end, but in the beginning it did not work.
    Thanks to the touch screen I could use it and only moments before I planed to send it back, the dial suddenly works. Has anybody else seen that phenomenon?
  • FAN
    My Fan also is on but does not seem to work even if the body already is quite warm. Could it be, that only the SDI-Version has the fan ( ..more stuff working in tighter space=  more heat to sink).
  • COLOR BAR on F-Key
    I stored the Color Bars on the F7 before I updated the FW: After the FW Update the Color Bar option was gone. Why? A quick check of the monitor setting with the CB as a reference is really nice.
  • METRIC THEAD ADAPTERS
  • The 3/8 thread adapters: Coming from Germany, I should be happy about the two metric M6- Adapters. On the other hand: There is almost nothing to attach that comes with a M6 thread. Instead of that I would like to use all three thread with 1/4. ( REM: I just realized there are two additional 1/4-threads at both sides of the housing  - that is of course more 1/4" therads you will ever need!)
    Keeping the M6 for the use of the Arri rosettes is of course nice, although I believe that A50 user usually do not come from the film/pro side. But it is cool Fotga used the Arri rosette for their own articulated adapter - it really connects perfectly and the tilting angle is always in line with the monitor.
    Btw. the Screwdriver is cute but not really helpful. The blade is to small for the  the cut out in the adapters. make it wider or drop it..
  • BLACK LEVEL (BRIGHTNESS) FACTORY PRESET
    Powering up the A50 the first time, I thought I looked at the explanation for the quiet bright display: Just a brighter backlight that of course also make the black level come up higher.
    But than I brought it down from 50 to 42 - exactly the value where the left -2% bar of the Color bar really disappears. And now it is fine!  So my suggestion is to put the factory preset at least a little bit down.
    With high bright on, the number should be a little bit higher, the bars is already invisible at s.th. like 45 for the black level (= brightness).
    And why is the color bar not visible when adjusting the screen? The "eye" only works for the HDMI source but not for the reference colour bar? If you really want to be sure to adjust your display) and not the a error of your source, you should be able to use the internal color bar instead of the cameras' one.

Well, that was a mouth full but only it is only "Jammern auf hohen Niveau" (German for "complaining on a high comfort level") as the A50 really is a great bargain and a nice little monitor.

Would be nice to see the next FW coming with some upgrades ans some fixes.

Best, Stefan

P.S.
A forum for publishing ideas, experiences to other (future) users is fine, but questions (s.a.) require answers.
So, dear guys from FOTGA, feel invited to use your forum!

 

Hi Stefan,

thanks for this bug/feedback report.  I'm currently trailing the A70TLS in a German NGO video project, as your review  promised some exciting features, which are likely  unique in comparison to other field monitors of this low price range we used in the past. Here are my top Likes after the first field test:

  • 2 finger touched Zoom-In  to arbitrary region of interest. Position is kept after Zoom off/Zoom on (F-key may toggle with fullscreen view). This is why  we will recommend to buy a T model at least.
  • Preset-Key (Shortcut to reload a total configuration set) The keys 1-4,7 do save a current state , if pressed long. Unlike single function keys usually found at devices of this kind, this "P-Key" allows to bring the monitor back into a predefined setting, no matter which functions were changed in between. I  saved my basic monitor setting to F7 to be pressing after the monitor did start up.
  • Two false color LUTs. Mode 1 is  shocking color as usual, Mode 2 gives some small color markers for the most important IREs to adjust the iris, while letting the rest unchanged by luminance  (grey)
  • Custom Safety marker allowing to set a frame by percentage heigth and width.  Wish for enhancement: This is limited to centered frames only. Arbitrary positioning would be almost great. Why not picking the custom safety marker frame drectly from a zoom frame adjusted by touch?

However, I observed some bugs, which are scary production-critical or hard to reproduce.

  • the monitor may join inconsistent states, where knobs do no longer work or throw unexspected results.  It will take me some further efforts to dig both the trigger condition an the pathway to recover.
    Regarding Stefan's menu dial experience, this might be another one of this kind. My current feeling (no approved evidence) is, that such issues mostly raise in cold state, but tend to leave, if the hardware heats up.
  • https://www.fotga.com/forum/topic/just-updated-and-it-wont-turn-on/#postid-9
    At this stage, I can't recommend these monitors for battery operation.especially  warn to use the unique feature "hot-swappable supply of cameras through battery out".

Further wishes for enhancement of this great product

  • +1 vote for the color bar
  • Some functions are sadly exclusive, eg you can't use the peak focus filter while changing the color mode to monochrome grey. This combination is the common way to check focus in cases, where you can't see any of the peak colors clearly due to an almost color rich scene.
  • I like the fine peak filter threshold adjustability found in some competitor's field monitors. Two levels "low" and "high" are not enough to make the peak filter usable for focus keeping under various light conditions. Furthermore, it is great to see the peak filter visible in zoomed display also, but the peak level needs to be raised with the zoom factor somehow. Why not introducing "peak level + - " in the set of levels adjustable by F5,F6 ?
  • Some of our camera operators missed the nine grid to apply common rules of thumb for image composition.

Bottom line, I also agree with Stefan's remark, that the scope of this forum is not that clear. For me, it does not make sense to write down further issues and ideas, if FOTGA's r&d manager does not read and FOTGA's tech support does not contribute.  A short statement from someone FOTGA staff on this topic would be greatly apprechiated.

Cesar

Hi Stefan and Cesar,

First of all, thank you so much for your great support for us. I just finished checking all the details on this case. I'm sorry for the delayed reply. I will report the problems you have reported to the supervisor truthfully and deal with them asap.
Many thanks to Cesar for your responses and suggestions. We really learned a lot from your feedback, and we are working hard to improve it and provide you with a satisfactory product.
Meanwhile, we also welcome you to post product reviews so that people can benefit from your experience.

Thanks and best regards
Justin
Fotga