When it comes to essential accessories for your mirrorless camera or DSLR, there is no doubt that a quality field monitor should be on the top of your list. Not only does having such a device allows you to frame your shots more conveniently in the field, but it also includes mandatory assistive features such as focus assist, false color, histograms, etc. that can help immensely while running your production.
The downside of most field monitors, however, is that the high-quality ones are hard to come by when you’re on the budget. Luckily, filmmaker Jason Vong has spotted a particularly interesting buy showcased in the video below – the Sokani 5-inch external monitor for mirrorless cameras and DSLRs.
In a nutshell, the Sokani 5-inch monitor sports a 1080p display, plus it can accept signals up to 4K video through the HDMI in port. The unit includes a plethora of useful features such as histogram, gridlines, aspect ratio guides, pixel to pixel, EVF mode, peaking, false color, focus assist, and even audio meters. Unfortunately, the one tool that Sokani oddly didn’t add to the monitor is the zebra tool, which will force you to check exposure using your eye or the histogram.
Other than that, all the features listed above are accessible by the four programmable and easy-to-reach function keys located on the top of the monitor, allowing for easy access to the tools you use the most. Another neat feature found with the monitor is the display itself, which is touch screen enabled. That’s especially helpful as it makes functions like zooming in on your image much more convenient versus using dedicated up and down arrow keys on some oddly positioned control on the unit.
Furthermore, the HDMI In accepts the audio signal from your camera which allows you to monitor audio through the Sokani’s headphone jack located between the HDMI In and HDMI Out port (yes, the monitor even has HDMI passthrough).
To power the device, you’ve got two options. You can use either the DC Input or a Sony NP-F battery such as the NP-F750 which comes included in the box. According to Vong, this battery is enough to let the camera last between 3-4 hours when shooting which is much longer-lasting than on some other monitors from companies like Atomos.
On the subject of power, another advantage the Sokani monitor has over its competitors is that it actually shuts off when you wanted to. Other external monitors usually leave on an indicator light when you turn them off, which ends up draining the battery. Sokani gets rid of that non-essential feature, helping you save the monitor’s battery life.
Sokani On-Camera LCD Field Camera Video Monitor Specifications
- Screen size: 5″
- Panel type: TFT
- Aspect ratio: 16:9
- Max Resolution: 1920 x 1080
- Signal input: 4K HDMI, HDMI, USB
- Signal output: 4K HDMI, HDMI
- Contrast ratio: 1000:1
- Pixel pitch(mm): 0.0573
- PPI(pixels per inch): 440
- Color depth: 24bit
- Color System: PAL/NTSC/SECAM (Auto-Detected)
- Viewing angle: 160°H/160°V
- Brightness(cd/m2): 450
- Backlight: LED
- Response time(ms): 20
- Dimensions:5.5 x 3.2 x 0.7 in.
- Price: $299
HDMI Support Formats
- 4K HDMI 4096*2160 24HZ
- 3840*2160 30HZ
- 3840*2160 24HZ
- HDMI 1920×1080p/ 23.98Hz, 24Hz, 25Hz, 29.97Hz, 30Hz, 50.94Hz, 60Hz
- 1920×1080psf/ 23.98Hz, 24Hz, 25Hz, 29.97Hz, 30Hz
- 1920×1080p/ 50Hz, 59.94Hz, 60Hz
- 1280×720p/ 50Hz, 59.94Hz, 60Hz
- 720×576i&720×576p/ 50Hz
- 720×480i&720×480p/ 59.94Hz, 60Hz
All in all, the entire monitor’s build is sturdy and compact, allowing you to easily mount it to your camera or even a gimbal. The small form-factor and lightweight construction are perfect for shooters on the go and for those who are filming in crowded locations such as event shows.
So, if you’re looking for an external field monitor for your next production, the Sokani’s contender is definitely worth a try. Not only does the device itself shows great promise, but the manufacturer has also included some great accessories with the purchase. Inside of the box, you’ll find two HDMI cables, two screen protectors, sun hood, battery and charger, DC input, friction arm, and a bullhead mount. According to Vong, the accessories included with the monitor are quite generous and well built for the price, which in this particular case, is just $299.
[source: Jason Vong]
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