NAB 2015: When is a Monitor More Than a Monitor? SmallHD 502+Sidefinder=Hella Versatile

by Karin GottschalkLeave a Comment

SmallHD showed off its soon-to-be-released Sidefinder in conjunction with the recently released 502 5-inch monitor at NAB 2015, and it looks like a high quality combination if a smaller monitor or EVF is what you need. Two solutions in one – gotta love the versatility in that!

SmallHD tells us the Sidefinder-plus-502 package will be available later this year, hopefully sometime in the northern hemisphere summer. If you can’t wait then the next best option may be buying a SmallHD 502 then adding the Sidefinder later.

I first began looking into SmallHD’s monitors when the Digital Bolex D16 appeared on the horizon and an early user related how he preferred the SmallHD DP4 to another monitor then popular with digital moviemakers.

I was intrigued as I hadn’t seen SmallHD products in the flesh and the DP4’s price, and features, looked pretty good. One of the most attractive was the ability to attach a loupe to turn it into an electric viewfinder, the SmallHD DP4-EVF.

SmallHD’s 502 HD On-Camera Monitor looks even better and should be given it is a much more recent product. I am looking forward to the Sidefinder’s release later this year, but what really caught my eye in the 502’s specifications is its universal LUT support.

Viewing a LUT-rendered image on one monitor at the same time as a soon-to-be VLog image on the GH4’s own monitor? Priceless. And the 502’s – and Sidefinder-plus-502’s – small size and light weight? Even better! There are times one needs a 7-inch monitor or 7-inch monitor/recorder and others when something smaller provides exactly what you need. [bctt tweet=”NAB 2015: When is a Monitor More Than a Monitor? When SmallHD 502 + Sidefinder = Hella Versatile!”]

SmallHD 502

Via SmallHD:

5-inches of Full HD.
The SmallHD 502 on-camera monitor features a Full HD, 1920×1080 LCD display. With a pixel density greater than the iPhone 6, the 502 is the sharpest 5-inch camera-top monitor in the world. As far as color and contrast are concerned, the 5-inch display is again, best-in-class. The 502’s LCD display is able to produce 85% NTSC Color Gamut (greater than the REC. 709 color standard), rivaling the color capabilities of OLED technology.

SmallHD 502 image 3

Simple and powerful.

The 502 makes signal processing simple. Using a custom-built processing engine, the 5-inch field monitor will accept nearly any resolution and framerate from nearly any camera.

Building upon the 3D LUT functionality of the DP7-PRO Series, the 502 will allow shooters to apply an even higher resolution, more accurate 3D LUT, in real-time. The value of a tool with this much processing power is amplified when you consider its extremely low profile and compact size.


Compact size, without sacrificing strength.
The size of the 502 hits a sweet spot for tack-sharp 1080P viewing while remaining extremely space-efficient.

Its size, weight and resolution make it an attractive option for DSLR shooters looking to attach it straight to the camera, while its robust mounting options and durability allow the display to be used on a gimbal or shoulder rig without adding bulk.

SmallHD 502 image 1

Pure joystick integration
The joystick on the 502 on-camera monitor allows shooters to experience the flexibility of a touch screen display without all the downsides. An integrated joystick prevents smudge marks on the screen, camera jiggle during operation and reduces the overall cost of the device significantly.

Flexibility and ease-of-use are taken to the next level with the 502’s bluetooth remote. By mapping the physical interface and functionality of the 502’s joystick to a bluetooth remote, shooters will be able to interface with the monitor without physically touching the monitor.

Easy image analysis.
The foundational purpose of an external monitor is to help shooters quickly and accurately analyse the image the camera is capturing (framing, focus, exposure, etc.). As advancing technology provides powerful analysis tools, how the user engages with these tools is often overlooked or neglected.

The goal when designing the user interface behind the 500 Series, was to create a powerful and flexible system that’s easy to learn.

Learn more about SmallHD 502 Here.

SmallHD Sidefinder

Via SmallHD:

The Sidefinder is a fully featured HD viewfinder with a flip-out 1080p display. It’s the brilliant, natural union between the SmallHD 500 Series Monitor and a cleverly designed, patent-pending, EVF loupe. The Sidefinder gives shooters all the benefits of using a field monitor AND an EVF, without compromising speed, agility, or quality of the image. The Sidefinder represents the highest resolution EVF and the highest resolution 5-inch on-camera monitor in one device.

SmallHD Sidefinder image 3

At its core, the Sidefinder is a 1920×1080 resolution on-camera monitor. The EVF loupe uses a 1366×768 portion of that display to create a crisp, clear image in a truly immersive environment. The Sidefinder’s pixel density prevents pixelization (you can’t see individual pixels) when magnified by the optics. In addition, the Sidefinder is equipped with a wide range adjustable diopter (-2 to +4) for a customized focus.

SmallHD Sidefinder field of view

Adjustable field of view
Create a personalized viewing experience by quickly adjusting the field-of-view on the Sidefinder EVF. Choose a wide field-of-view for greater immersion into your shot, or a narrow one to reduce eye strain. At the 40 degree default, the experience is like watching a 60-inch television from 6.8 feet away.

SmallHD Sidefinder High resolution 3D LUTs

High resolution 3D LUTs
Apply a 3D LUT to your image and share it with others on set using the flip-out 1080p display. Loading 3D LUTs of any format and any size is made easy with the Sidefinder’s SD card slot and intuitive user interface. The Sidefinder’s implementation of 3D LUTs is best-in-class, capable of displaying high resolution, 17-point 3D LUTs.

Learn more about the SmallHD Sidefinder Here.

(cover photo credit: snap from SmallHD)

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