19
Feb
09

Flipping the EX1 LCD screen (and saving on a flip unit…)

I know you have been trying to figure this out, so i took a screwdiver to take my 0ne-week-old EX1 apart…

Better call this “a Hack”, because this will require opening the EX1 LCD display mount.

If you use a depth of field adapter like the Brevis, SGBlade or Letus, or are planning to buy one, you can save significantly on your purchase by omitting the optical Flip unit.
Specially DOF adapters that have trouble with the EX1 (like the Brevis and the SGBlade) can be magically cured of their EX1 allergy by removing the flip unit. The problems with the EX1 have partly to do with the iris and lens of the EX1 and the size of the imaging element(s). The prisms in the flip units are a tad too small for the EX1 – resulting in banding and vignetting. Specially the SGBlade will perform better if used without the flip unit on the EX1. I can’t say if this is also the case for the Brevis – since Cinevate claims that the Brevis works better WITH the flip unit. My personal opinion is, that the more glass you add …. (fill in yourself)

But i have read that the EX1 display can not be flipped and couldn’t believe it; people have been looking for magnetic sensors, micro switches, et cetera. Since the LCD flips the image when rotated towards the fron of the camera, there must be a switch somewhere…

It was much simpeler as i thought – even so simple i did not take the trouble of taking a picture😉 The truth: my photo camera stinks…
I assume it was overlooked by the people searching for the switch, since it is so tiny. OK, here we go! 

FLIPPING THE EX1 LCD DISPLAY:
You will need a VERY SMALL Philips screwdriver.

  • Make sure power/battery is removed from the EX1
  •  Flip the LCD display in the normal vertical viewing position
  • Look from the side towards the point where the LCD is mounted to the side of the camera
  • Locate the plastic cap with two small screws, that is placed over the camera-to-lcd swivel mount
  • Remove the screws and, moving the lcd around, remove the plastic cap
  • Use a torchlight and put on your best glasses to locate the tiny little switch that is mounted close to the black rotating inner-tube of the swivel mechanism.
    You’ll have to look for a small pcb-mounted metal square with a even smaller lip that gets pushed-in when the lcd is turned over to face the front of the camera. This lip is pushed-in by a small hub on the black-plastic inner tube of the mechanism. Found it? 
  •  Put the LCD back into normal viewing position and, connect the power and switch-on the camera
  • Use a NON-METAL item (toothpick, small plastic thingy) to push the switch’ lip. The LCD will flip..! Magic! 
  • Now, the trick is (come-on be inventive…) to lock the switch in the flipped position (when needed). I suggest you jam it by hitting it with a hammer.
    Did you spot the joke?😉 I have to admit that i have not yet found an elegant way to do this, but jamming it with a tiny piece of sticky tape works fine for the time being, but you don’t want your camera to flip on you during a shoot… Suggestions are welcome! Also beer and Nikon lenses…

It’s  not an elegant solution, but if you shoot with a DOF adapter all the time, like i do, you can leave the switch jammed and the plastic cap can be put back. 

This wil in principle violate your warranty, but the parts are not marked or locked and the modification can be done inconspicuous…

Cheers!

Martin.

UPDATE:
The flip works perfect, and i can fix it now when needed, using a little piece of auto-adhesive rubber that i stick to the middle-rotating-core – it extends in a way the little hub that’s there already to push the switch when the LCD it rotated towards the front.


6 Responses to “Flipping the EX1 LCD screen (and saving on a flip unit…)”


  1. 1 Johnny Speakman
    February 19, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Hi.

    Great stuff Martin!!! Have been waiting for this for a long time. I couldn’t believe it was that simple, so i took the cap off yesterday and it works like a charm indeed. Many thanks; ordering the SGBlade without the flip unit is just within my budget!

  2. April 3, 2009 at 10:53 am

    I’ve tried this same trick two times, and both times the same result: yes, the image flips vertically, but not horizontally. So now image is right when I tilt, but mirrored when I pan. How have you guys dealt with this problem?

  3. 3 marvelsfilm
    April 3, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Lauri.
    My answer will surely surprise you… I should have posted a follow up earlier…

    I did bought a flip unit eventually. Indeed, the problem is the lack of horizontal mirroring. I put up with it at first, but got fed up with the constant mistakes when following an object; e.g. panning to follow a walking person. Everytime, despite mental preparation, i panned wrongly at first.
    So, it is a very low budget solution, but you have to suffer some stress.

    One other solution that comes to mind, is let yourself hang from a branch or beam for at least 72 hours, while staying awake, ’til your brains flip your vision for you (some neurons will fire this process automatically). Then jump behind the camera, using it without any flip tricks.
    Be aware though that you might have problems driving your car afterwards, or you should find a way to hang in their too. If no succes, wait another 24 hours before your brains flip back the image.

    Maybe buying a flip unit is still the most convenient way… The optical quality of the flip units and the achromats needed are superb since this year; the Sony EX cameras have forced the manufacturers to do a better job. Specially the sgBlade flip unit is superb.

    Cheers,

    Martin

  4. April 3, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Hey thanks for your fast response! I was afraid of that answer you gave me😦 But it’s true that there’s now only one axis reversed so it should be a bit easier to operate. Maybe I have to take your tip on sleeping upside down or wait till they solve the CA problems of the SGblade.

  5. April 3, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Depending on the type of camera you use; CA is minimal or non existant now if you align the flip unit correctly with the (off-axis) chips. The sgBlade i have is the latest model with flip and i have reduced the CA to zero. I have a HD reference monitor and we have not been able to let it show, no matter what we try! That might be good news to you… Contact Wayne Kinney from Shoot35.com – he can explain what they have changed in the last model. I thought it had something to do with the new achromat in conjunction with the new intermediate lens somewhere in the tube.

    Martin

  6. 6 Martin Salter
    February 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I have a non-flip SG Blade with EX1 – the answer is to use a Nanofash external capture device and connect it to an external monitor like A TV logic 5 inch screen on the camera. That way you get the image the right way up recorded on the Nanoflash ( as it flips the image as it records) and you get to see the image the correct way up on the monitor. This is not a budget solution but the best solution I know of. The low budget option is to mount the TV logic ( or equivalent ) upside down and then flip the images in post ( but can take a while to render )

    Everyone is shooting with DSLR’s now – but let it not be forgotten that the lens adaptor allows you to use a great camera you own to an even better spec. Nanoflash captures 50Mbps out of 10bit EX1 HDSDI output and allows full ergonomics of a video camera with no aliasing, moire and terrible jello cam ( I have a 5D so I know about all of these) Worth thinking about getting the Nanoflash for use with all future cameras as well – and with new generation of DSLR’s which will have full HD output from HDMI ports.


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