SmallHD DP7 Upgrade Visualizes Color Grades While Shooting

by steven schwartzLeave a Comment

This new feature brings post-production one step closer to the shoot. Focusing an HD camera is challenging; and most DLSR's lack focus assist. That's where an on-camera video monitor comes in. Getting exposure right is another issue, and monitor companies have responded with false color, real-time histogram, RGB parade, scopes, etc.

Shooting “log” (flat) images that look nothing like they will after the color correction enables the colorist more latitude and flexibility during post production. So, how can you show your client/producer/director how it'll look after post while you're still on set filming?

SmallHD answers this challenge with a free upgrade to owners of their SmallHD DP7. The upgrade adds the ability to load 3D lookup table (LUT) files that show how the image will look after color grading.

This is done in real time on set to get a feel for how the finished product will look. One more step in giving filmmakers more control- and that's a great thing.

SmallHD Press Release

SmallHD has created a simple and intuitive new way for filmmakers to load any 3D lookup table file (3D LUT) from their preferred color grading app onto their DP7-PRO on-camera field monitor—giving them (and the director, producer, client, etc.) an accurate, real-time view of what the shots will look like in post production after the color grading process is complete.

Until now, it has been impossible for most filmmakers to see their shots in real-time with a custom color grade applied—especially in remote locations.

The latest free firmware update from SmallHD for the DP7-PRO on-camera field monitor changes all that by allowing users to load thousands of their own 3D LUT files onto the display using an SD card. This new firmware also has a variety of built-in 3D LUTs for translating signals with a “log” profile back to the broadcast standard of Rec.709 when desired.

SmallHD Dp7 3D LUT image 1

“Most importantly, this feature will help the key players on set stay in sync regarding the final look the cinematographer is trying to achieve,” says Wes Phillips, SmallHD’s CEO. “Miscommunication regarding the overall look can be incredibly costly, and with more shooters filming in flat profiles like ‘log’, conveying their desired look has become a huge challenge for the cinematographer because the recorded footage looks nothing like the final product. We have provided a truly affordable and compact solution to this rapidly growing issue with the DP7-PRO.”

The advantages continue—3D LUTs can help shooters better achieve critical focus, spot lighting and exposure issues, and generally avoid the headache of having to “fix it in post”.

“We’re really proud of how fast and flexible this feature is,” says Dale Backus, CTO of SmallHD. “The DP7-PRO can handle every 3D LUT file we’ve tried, and can expand to handle more as they are discovered by our users. If you keep your 3D LUTs organized in folders on your SD card, they’ll show up that way on the DP7-PRO—it’s really easy to keep track. You can save LUTs of your choice onto the monitor’s internal storage, freeing up your SD card slot again. Finally, you can assign any 3D LUT to one of the 8 Smart Keys on the front of the monitor, enabling you to switch between a variety of 3D LUTs and other software features incredibly quickly.”

3D LUT Overview

In depth look on how to use 3D LUTs on the DP7-PRO

How to create custom 3D LUTs using Davinci Resolve

Pricing and Availability:

SmallHD provides 3D LUT support on all DP7-PRO on-camera field monitors, and is available to current users via free firmware update found on SmallHD’s DP7-PRO models begin at the special introductory price of $1399 with the release of the new DP7-PRO LCD model and are available for purchase through See site for ship times.

About SmallHD:
Creators of the world’s first high definition on-camera monitor, SmallHD continues to push the envelope of what’s possible in an on-camera display by providing the world’s latest technology at the best price in the industry. Founded in 2009, the company has made its name as the leading innovator of on-camera monitoring solutions for the professional cinematographer, videographer and photographer.

Does visualizing your final color grade while shooting appeal to you? Share your thoughts with others by commenting on this in our forums!

(cover photo credit: snap from SmallHD Press)

Leave a Comment