We had DOP Sam Ardley review TVlogic’s F7H Mark 2 for us and tell us about his experience using it on set. See what he has to say about using the monitor for his latest project.
TVLogic F7H Mark 2 Review by Sam Ardley DOP
My name is Sam Ardley, I’m a DOP/Lighting Cameraman specialising in TV Documentary, reality and entertainment. As a kit owner/operator, I always strive to keep up to date with new technology and present the most appropriate equipment packages to suit my clientele.
With regard to monitors, I’ve always generally stuck to TV Logic, (I own the 056W viewfinder monitor, the 055a OLED monitor, and now the F7Hmk2), due to their full circle of excellent features. My main criteria for a monitor are sharpness, colour accuracy, and high brightness for outdoor viewing.
This time around, I was after a director’s monitor. My previous director’s monitor was another brand. However, I’d forever had complaints of the colours being oﬀ, and the monitor image feeling a bit soft. This previous monitor of mine unfortunately had no calibration options. And although bright with a great interface, the lack of colour accuracy and sharpness really let it down. I consulted Top-Teks with my monitor requirements and I tested a few in the showroom – and the TV Logic F7H mk 2 stood out impeccably, ticking every box.
F7H MK 2 On-set
Paired with a monitor cage and a wireless link – I set out on various shoots in varying environments to test it on location. First shoot – THE VOICE (ITV) Contestant backstories. Framing up and lighting my first Master Interview with the monitor was fantastic – it presented my shot with great contrast, colour accuracy (matching my viewfinder image perfectly) and sharpness. I used the new ‘PEAKING BOOST’ function to closely check focus on the shot, as we were shooting almost wide open at T2 on a 50mm prime lens. I also assigned one of the user buttons to deliver the various brightness modes enabling my director to easily switch between them in all the diﬀerent environments we’d encounter during the day.
The monitor includes ‘ Indoor 1’, ‘Indoor 2’, ‘Outdoor’ and ‘Max Brightness’ – the latter setting delivering an impressive 3600 NITS of output. Moving to the outdoor location in full daylight, my director quickly switched to the outdoor brightness setting, which was enough alone to view without a sun hood. Again, the colour accuracy and 1920×1080 resolution stood to produce a gorgeous image that really popped, even in full daylight.
Outdoor & Indoor Film For Sport Events
Next up, I was shooting promo content for RUGBY X – a huge new sporting event at Wembley stadium, which again required outdoor and indoor filming, the brightness presets were superb as we were in 3 locations; 2 indoor and 1 outdoor. We were able to tailor the monitor’s screen brightness to our environments. A daylight filled indoor sporting arena; ‘Indoor 2’ with its subtly enhanced brightness worked perfectly. Next up, a darker indoor studio – ‘indoor 1’ worked for us. Finally, in direct sunlight, now was the chance to flex the muscles of the monitor and put the MAX 3600 NITS into action. It didn’t disappoint – delivering brightness and clarity to rival sunset!
Using LUTS On F7H Mark 2
Shooting on my SONY F5 camera in s log 3, the internal and output LUTS are switched oﬀ by default when you enter high speed mode – leaving the viewfinder and monitor with a flat log image. Not a problem for the F7H mk2. I selected a pre-loaded custom LUT created with LUTcalc online, matching my original LUT from the camera. Next, I assigned it to a user button. And just like that, a rich, punchy image on the monitor during slow motion filming. Perfect for giving the director and myself an accurate idea of how the image would look after the grading process.
Overall, the user interface is pretty intuitive and easy to use. The user buttons can be configured to several essential monitoring tools for operators or directors – like previous TVLogic models. For me assigning a LUT and brightness presets to these buttons were the most useful! My directors easily learnt these buttons and put them into practice regularly. The preset buttons on the front bezel are also extremely useful. F7H mk 2 gives users the ability to save the current monitor settings to a button. You can then load them according to your filming environment demands, all at the touch of a button.
TVLogic F7H Mark 2 Review – Conclusion
The image quality in my opinion is second to none. Superior sharpness, colour accuracy, rich contrast, and resolution is a tick list of essentials. I would highly recommend this monitor to any DOP. Whether for personal reference usage, or client reference monitor, it can truly be trusted in every filming environment.
Sam Ardley – Director of Photography
Love Island series 2-5 (PSC) – ITV2,
‘Inside Prison: Britain behind bars’ – ITV1
The Voice (VTs) – ITV1
Soccer Aid (2018, 2019) – VTs ITV1
The Yorkshire Ripper: A Very British Crime Story – BBC