With every new generation of cameras we see some huge improvements: ergonomics, runtimes, image quality, it’s a race that never ends. It’s not the same for the whole surroundings of the camera, though. Generally speaking, the gear and accessories for filmmakers don’t seem to progress at the same pace. Surely, we’ve seen a few evolutions, laser meter to measure your talent’s distance for instance, but not much more.
That is especially true if you look at field monitors and you’ve got some budget constraints. Tossing aside the big guys like Atomos, SmallHD, and Odyssey, if you look for budget options, it feels like a trip back to 1995. Now, a new and improved model by AndyCine seems to adopt some nice improvements. Here we have the trusted opinion of Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter.
AndyCine has three different monitors at this point: the A6 Lite, the regular A6, and the A6 Plus, the latter being the one we’ll be talking about. The A6 lite is not worth considering, at least in Caleb’s opinion, and we know he’s got the expertise to give valuable suggestions. With that out of the way, let’s start at the price point.
As you probably imagined the monitor is called Plus, but it’s not only a matter of names. Starting from the $230-ish market price, it costs 50/60 bucks more than the previous model. What are we gaining with this price increase?
Physically, there is not so much difference. The swivel arm is the same as it’s the ability to power your camera. We have two main add-ons, though, the first being the touch functionality on the screen and the second – a fully revamped OS.
We should add on the list the HDMI in/out, and greatly improved battery mount – less fragile and capable of mounting both Sony NP-F as well as Canon LP-E6. That is a pretty clever design choice, we can only hope that more manufacturers would embrace in the future.
But enough appetizers, let’s go straight to the main course: the touchscreen and the OS. The AndyCine A6 Plus features a button to toggle on and off the touch functionality located on top.
A double-tap will recall on screen the menu and there is a quick-access menu you can invoke swiping up. Each quick-access function (there are six possible menu voices) can be easily customized with a couple of taps.
One very nice touch, they’ve added in the OS is the two swipe areas on the sides. In fact, if you swipe up or down your finger on the left side of the monitor, you’ll automatically set the backlight brightness, pretty useful feature on a sunny day, for example. If instead, you swipe on the right side you can adjust the volume output.
Handy, right? But we’re not done yet! Are you used to pinch and zoom while browsing on your iPad? Well, that works here too… This feels so many years ahead of all the other Chinese low-budget monitors you can currently find on the market.
Furthermore, the AndyCine A6 Plus comes with all the bells and whistles you’d expect in a field monitor, like all the video assists: false color, peaking, histogram and such.
A cool feature you’d expect to find only on much higher level monitors is the LUT capability. You can load LUTs, preview the image with your preferred conversion LUT and get a feel of the colored image when working with Log video.
Caleb’s con list is so short we can sum it up in a few words. The main complaint is the 4K60p absence, but at that price point, it’s understandable. The glossy screen could be annoying, but again, you get what you pay for. Now, it’s reasonable to ask – is it worth the expense?
It depends. Surely you’re future-proofing your gear if you pick a monitor like that, but going back to a normal budget monitor feels like going back to the cave era. It’s not a game-changer, but once you get used it is so difficult to go back.
Imagine using again your 90’s Nokia phone. It’s a good phone to call and receive SMS, but would you actually buy it now? Yeah, we don’t think so.