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The SmallHD 502 On-Camera Monitor & Viewfinder Are Gorgeous

By Kishore Sawh on April 20th 2015


With everyone and their mother toting a new iPhone or some lesser counterpart, everyone’s now used to having large, ultra clear, high resolution screens at their disposal. It’s sort of a wonder, given our affinity for screens this size, that camera monitors haven’t followed suit, as they tend to be either smaller or significantly larger. So it’s exciting when a company like SmallHD announces a new 5” on-camera monitor called the SmallHD 502.

Given its screen size and weight (under a pound), it’s even reminiscient of a modern mobile phone. But most modern smart phones tend to have higher resolutions than most on camera monitors which are typically around 720p – not this one. The 502’s resolution even bests that of an iPhone 6 in terms of pixel density for full 1080p performance.

[REWIND: Samsung Releases New Curved Monitors | Easier On The Eyes, And The Wallet]


Furthermore, it is capable of producing 85% NTSC Color Gamut, making it about best-in-class in terms of color, and rivaling the capability found in OLED tech. It also allows for HDMI and SDi compatibility in and out, and powered by dual Canon LP-E6 batteries. Oh, and it also has 3D-LUT integration.

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.


In conjunction with the 502, the company has announced a new EVF/HD viewfinder called ‘Sidefinder,’ calling it,

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.

The duo is sure to be exciting for many camera operators out there, and is certainly an intriguing and unique pairing. It may be small all together, but it’s also light so there isn’t much excess added to your rig, making this perfect for an easy workflow and easy for operation right on any DSLR or gimbal.

Find more about the 502 and SmallHD here.

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dave Smith

    Like I said previously the DIY version is much cheaper and does all this gadget does they just adopted the open source software. This is just a repackaging of something you can do your self for $50 if you want to use your own phone or 300-500 if you want a dedicated tablet

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    • Duy-Khang Hoang

      The Camranger and the TP-Link Router + Open source software solution are not competitors to this product. If you think they are, then you are not familiar with what this product offers.

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    • robert s

      @dave smith would like more info on doing what youre suggesting please. maybe some links info would be greatly appreciated. cheers

      @Duy-Khang Hoang interesting name
      I welcome free market. looking at the comments many here think the product is insanely priced. im not a mindless zombie. I like to consider worth as well. the product looks capable but that price tag is not only a bit high, but completely overpriced. someone will always come along (most likely asians) and clone it for less money. im all for competition. buying asian or cheap doesnt mean low quality btw. I refer you to the great inexpensive and very reliable flashes and triggers being sold today.

      but more than anything anyone is allowed to express a comment be it positive or negative.

      this product has its specific use. mostly for expensive productions. its good to get exposure for the product here but those who frequent here are not who its aimed for so not many can appreciate the many features it has altogether, minus the crazy price tag. My needs are quite simple though. basic exposure focus peaking and such. the tablet will be great

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  2. Vanessa Godinez

    I freelance over th℮ internet and earn about 80-85$ an hour. I was without a job for 7 months but last month my paycheck with big fat bonus was $15000 just working on my computer from my home for 5-6 hours.

    Here’s what i have been doing……..

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  3. Thomas Horton

    Looks like a good idea, but I agree, the price is unreasonable.

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  4. robert s

    another hysterically overpriced american product at $1200 that wont last long.

    im certain one can buy an asian phone from huawei zte xiaomi etc and just use a cable out and be left with $800 in pocket change. even an excellent 7″ HD lcd costs $500.

    or get a tablet and use that

    and at the end of the day, you have a tablet!

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  5. Ed Rhodes

    why not just create an app that lets you use a phone? this is ridiculous. Who would pay more than double what a new Flagship phone would cost?

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    • Dave Smith

      Actually there are a number of apps for your phone as well as solutions for your phone like cam ranger and the $50 DIY version of cam ranger. I would just love it, if for once, SLR lounge would come out and say it’s overpriced and here are some cheaper alternatives.

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    • Duy-Khang Hoang

      It’s a limited market to be sure. There are apps (as Dave Smith has mentioned) that allow you to stream the liveview feed from your camera wirelessly to your phone. In most cases these devices have limited framerates and leave a lot to be desired for anybody serious about videography. Manfrotto recently released their Digital Director product that allows you to use your iPad as a large screen for photo/video capture that creates a wired interface between your iPad and your camera so that things like slow refresh rates can be overcome… it costs $500USD and does not come with the iPad. One day we may hit a point where we wireless speeds (and power draw) are fast enough (and low enough) that phones/phablets/tablets can be used as cheap monitors for amateur to pro-amateur work. Another consideration that you may have overlooked is that the product in the article also provides 3D LUT capability that I have not seen on any of the regular consumer devices. In terms of alternatives, there are cheaper, but none of them actually do everything that this device does. For those that can handle the bulk and spend a bit more, there are products like the Atomos Shogun that doubles as a recorder. It’s all about choices, and in this case, this product is not targeted at most people.

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    • Raymond Craig

      I’ve yet to see a phone that can allow you to monitor things like 3D LUT’s in realtime. Not to mention waveform, vectorscope, focus peaking, and so on. Up until now you’d be looking at something like the Zacuto Gratical for over $3K for these features and color accuracy. Pricy – yes. But you’re crazy if you think there’s any phone/app out there that can do these things yet.

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    • robert s

      @Raymond Craig

      very few people need those features.
      all I care about is focus peaking and exposure because that DSLR screen is hard to work with in weddings. this is good for production sets but im sure they use bigger screens for that anyway.

      $1200 is for a select few.

      at least fess up that you work for the company with your new account and one post
      I would have more respect if you came and introduced who you are in the company and gave your side of why this product warrants $1200. because I certainly dont see it. just like I dont understand how an 8″ softbox with the name labelled Joe mcnally can cost $110. just extremely overpriced products.

      I think im going the tablet route like in the link I posted in my below post. its more than what I need. I dont care to control my camera. only want a nice big screen for focus peaking and exposure when Ill shoot weddings. all the rest can be done with the camera. I do plan on having a mount and not just velcroing it to the back though. something that uses a mini rail and an articulated arm.


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    • Duy-Khang Hoang

      @Robert S
      The responses for this thread are related to the notion that this device is “expensive”, all the while they ignore what the device is capable of and who will find value in what it offers. It clearly is not targeted at people like yourself (and myself) who do not have a need for it’s feature set. The only post so far that compares the relative value of this device to other devices that have similar capabilities was the post by Raymond Craig. I don’t know if he works for the company or not, I don’t care frankly since he isn’t promoting the product, merely showing that there may be a market for this device given the alternatives mentioned costing more. I just find it odd that you find the free market to be a source of displeasure. Nobody forces anybody to buy a product at the price they can’t see value in. Just like how you can buy a CPU cooler that costs more than the CPU it is cooling when all it is, is a hunk of metal compared to the things that a CPU can do. Or that you can buy light modifiers costing more than the lights you are using them with. I have no use for this product (and therefore cannot see the value), but I can at least appreciate what it is trying to offer in this marketplace.

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    • Raymond Craig

      @ROBERT S Give me a break I don’t work for this company. I do however work for a video production department at an ad agency, and would use these features in my line of work. Can I afford this product right now on my salary – heck no. As I said it is pricy and out of my range at the moment. But it’s still cheaper than some of the options I’ve seen so far. I’ve been following this product since first teased on their site and was hoping it at least came under $1K but no luck. As you said it’s not for everybody, but don’t assume I work for the company just because I’m new and disagreed with someone’s blanket statement.

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  6. Dave Smith

    $1200 ???? Talk about WAY overpriced. I guess there’s a sucker born every minute.

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