One of the highlights of this year’s NAB 2017 announcements, at least for me personally, as I hope for many of you, was the 5-inch SmallHD Focus daylight viewable touchscreen for mirrorless and compact cameras. Bringing touchscreen functionality to the very desirable 5-inch compact form factor, SmallHD are also introducing the Focus as their most affordable monitor to date at $499.
Designed to be used with small, low profile cameras such as DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, i.e. Panasonic GH5, 5D Mark III, Sony A7sII, Sony a6500, and many more, the SmallHD Focus features an innovative fiction-based L-shaped mounting bracket instead of the traditional cold/hot-shoe ball mount scenario. The unit can still be mounted to your DSLR/mirrorless camera via a ball-mount of course as it features a 1/4 20-inch mounting point in the bottom, but the SmallHD L-shaped solution is so much more elegant and it also allows a 360 degree tilt rotation.
SmallHD are also working on a swing-away accessory, which will help position the monitor side-ways so your AC or client can see, without compromising the cold/hot-shoe mounting mechanism. The L-shaped bracket is included and also features a cold-shoe on the side for mounting additional accessories such as compact LED lights like the Aputure M9 LED, or a compact shotgun microphone.
The new SmallHD Focus provides daylight visibility thanks to its 800nit brightness and the 1280 x 720p resolution gives you a crips image. SmallHD have prepared an informative video on the features of their latest Focus monitor.
SmallHD Focus Features
5-inch 1280 x 720 Touchscreen Display
800 nit brightness
10-Bit IPS LCD Panel
3D LUT support via SD card
Sony NP-F (L-Series) Battery Mount
3.5mm Headphone Output
Camera Power Output
Includes FOCUS Tilt Arm
Swipe OS is the clever user interface on the SmallHD FOCUS monitor. It allows users to access professional monitoring tools like Waveform, Focus Assist, and 3D LUTs with a simple swipe of a finger. Much like the rest of the SmallHD on-camera monitor lineup, the FOCUS is packed full of professional-grade software including Anamorphic De-squeeze, Audio Meters, False Color, Image Capture/Overlay, and more.
I had the opportunity to check out the SmallHD Focus at the Media Production Show in London last month, and found the monitor to be quite well made and super compact. The L-Series Sony batteries on the back do not add too much weight unless you use the biggest NP-F970, which are quite chunky, but should be able to power the unit for several hours.
I do prefer the medium-sized NP-F 770 or 750’s, which are perfect for the Focus in my opinion. Below you can see the Focus mounted on a GH5 – a perfect combo indeed.
SmallHD also offers an power-out option with popular dummy batteries for Canon LP-E6, Sony NP-FW50 for A7sII, a6500 etc., and Panasonic GH5. By using the power output on the SmallHD and the correct battery for your camera you can power both the monitor and the camera from the same NP-F L series battery.
The SmallHD is due to start shipping in the upcoming couple of weeks (19th July according to SmallHD’s website). You can learn more about the monitor over at SmallHD’s website and order via the links below.