At the dawn of 2019 personal vlogs seem to be all over the place. It has never been so affordable and easy to get a starter pack dirt cheap for a beginner youtuber. But sometimes budget still doesn’t allow for some fancy bell and whistles like an external monitor so that if your camera has no flip screen you can still frame that shot easily.
What then? Youtuber MAKE.ART.NOW. comes up with a great hack for Sony A7III owners, to make do without bulking up the camera or emptying your wallet.
The screen of the A7III is limited to a 45° angle flipping, making it very useful to shoot at low or high angles, but not if you’re in front of the lens. The tutorial shows us how to unlock the hinges of the monitor to extend the rotation angle.
Obviously, this procedure has some risks, the main being that if you rip the data cable that feeds into the monitor you’ll have to rip apart the whole camera to replace it, and at the moment it does not seem possible to find the replacement anywhere.
That said, if you have the guts to take the risk, get yourself a pair of clippers and a micro screwdriver and you’ll be good to go.
So, before you start, take away any lens you’ve mounted on, batteries and plates from the camera. Behind the screen you’ll see four screws holding in place the hinge system, once you take them out you’re in the danger zone.
The ribbon in fact is not completely loose and touching it or pulling it may break it for good. Take down the pins that hold in place the ribbon cover and with a cotton swab gently lift off the adhesive that holds the ribbon.
Now on to the hinges themselves. You’ll notice that the small beak on top prevents the hinge from fully rotating, so if you bend it the piece is free to rotate. Don’t forget to cut the tab over the rotation pin.
And now it’s time to assemble back together. Rotate the screen and put back the screws you took earlier, bend the screen and flip it so you can see it from the front. Finally, the moment of truth, snap back the battery and turn on the camera, if everything was done right you should see the monitor light up.
A couple of side notes, the hinge will be stiff at the beginning, so push with adequate force, but watch out, if you push too hard you may break it, and consider shooting upside down so that you can see clearly the screen and later you can flip the image in post.
In conclusion this simple hack can make a difference in your solo vlogging shootings, but keep in mind that there are caveats in this procedure, first and foremost being that you are voiding the warranty and in case you break the camera you’ll have to pay for the repair and that means a couple of weeks without the camera, so choose wisely.