Over the last few years, we have seen a lot of monitors from Chinese manufacturers flooding the internet with low costs and really great features. The OSEE G7 is a 7” on-camera monitor that boasts an impressive 3000 nit brightness making it viewable in direct sunlight without the use of a hood.
Curtis Judd, the man with he golden voice and microphones to match, takes a look at this new panel and gives us the full details; cutting through all of the hype to let us know if this is just another in a series of low-cost, disposable monitors or if this bright, glowing star will shine on behind the scenes for years to come.
If you’re in the market for a new monitor, check out the link below and consider giving the Osee G7 a shot.
Curtis Judd is a super-reviewer with a YouTube channel that is around 11 years old. If you haven’t checked him out yet, I highly recommend you give his content a look. With clear, consistent, and honest reviews he is one of the few voices I completely trust when I am looking for detailed information on film and video products. I can’t say enough good things about his channel and his insight.
The OSEE G7 is a mid-tier field monitor that comes in at a slightly higher price than the competition it is facing from companies like Portkeys and Feelworld. But unlike the competition, Osee sells its monitor as a complete kit with every accessory included.
What’s in the Box
- Osee G7 Monitor
- Hard Shell Case
- Friction Arm
- V-Mount Plate
- P-Tap Cable
- AC Adapter
Even with high-end monitors, all accessories are offered a la carte and often at prices that seem outright insane. So getting everything that I will likely need for this monitor in a complete kit really caught my attention. You won’t need to pick up a $20 p-tap cable, $40 sunhood, $60 case; it’s all sold together and made to work together. This is really rare these days.
Size & Weight
The OSEE G7 weighs in at 450g (1lb) without a battery and is made of a polycarbonate plastic with a solid aluminum frame that makes the whole monitor feel solid.
For mounting the monitor, there are 2x 1/4 20 threaded screw holes with Arri locating pins meaning you won’t have to deal with it loosening up when you’re on the go.
Inputs & Outputs
The monitor features 3G-SDI and HDMI with loop through, but sadly it does not cross convert. There is also a 1/8” headphone output, and a built-in speaker.
The OSEE G7 can receive a 4K signal over HDMI at up to 30fps, and 2K signal over SDI at up to 60fps.
A lot of new monitor manufacturers have moved the inputs to the bottom or the sides of the display which can often make them difficult to access.
The OSEE G7’s inputs are all on the rear of the monitor so you can get to them quickly. It’s a small thing, but trying to unplug an SDI cable that is recessed in the side of the monitor on a busy set can actually pretty tricky.
The one real downside of the G7 might be its latency. Although it is on par with the majority of on-camera monitors we see in this range, there is no visible difference in latency when passing the signal over SDI and depending on what you’re filming the latency might be too much for focus pulling.
But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, this monitor will still work for 99.9% of all applications and can make a fantastic reference or director’s monitor.
The most important thing about any monitor is the screen, and the OSEE G7 really doesn’t disappoint. It comes calibrated to REC709 out-of-the-box, offers an image of 1920 x 1200, and color quality that is consistent with cameras in the mid-tier range.
What really catches all of the headlines is the 3000 nits of brightness that the monitor is capable of outputting, meaning that you can film outdoors with complete ease. Several years ago, I purchased a 2500 nit on-camera monitor and it completely changed my comfort level filming outdoors. In 2020, I’d say a high brightness monitor is a must for a working professional.
The OSEE G7 runs on a single Sony NP-F battery, and you can expect around 3 hours of runtime with a NP-F900 (the big ones) at full power. When shooting indoors at decreased brightness levels you can expect some really impressive battery life.
Unlike a lot of the budget monitors, the OSEE G7 actually has a battery indicator that displays battery information in volts, not percentages. Once you get used to the runtimes of the batteries in your kit, it’ll be second nature to you when you’re getting low on juice.
In addition to Sony batteries, this monitor comes with a V-Mount plate, P-Tap, and AC adapter to let you choose the powering options that are best for you.
Whatsmore, it has a power switch instead of a power button meaning your batts won’t slowly drain out if you forget and leave them connected like with most monitors.
The OSEE G7 is not a touch screen monitor. All of the tools and features are accessed through a single joy-stick control on the front of the monitor, and users can create scenes to call up what they use the most in one quick press.
- False Color
- false color is optimized for various cine cameras
- Super False Color (their unique false color)
- Vector Scope
- RGB & Luma Waveform
- Focus Assist
- Focus Peaking
- Image Resizing
- Image resizing allows you to fit the tools for your scene on screen without obstructing your shot.
- Image Zoom
- Zooming to 2x and 4x is available by pressing in the joystick then moving it around to pan and scan.
- The monitor comes with 33 built in LUTs for popular cameras and allows you to load in 16 additional custom LUTs of your own.
- Anamorphic Desqueeze
- Preview footage from anamorphic lenses with 1.33x, 1.5x, 1.66x, 2.0x, and 2.0x magnified aspect corrections.
One of the unique features of the OSEE G7 is its built in accelerometer, which automatically flips the monitor based on how you have it mounted and also acts as a monitor / camera level.
OSEE faces some heavy competition releasing a monitor in this price range ($728). The PortKeys HS7T, and the Feelworld LUT7 offer a lot of the same features at half the price of the G7, but the G7 has a superior build quality, better UI, and comes with everything you need as standard.
It is a little disappointing to learn that the latency is a little too high for focus pulling, but this would certainly be a fantastic director or client monitor. It isn’t often that I get the luxury of a 1st AC to pull focus so I tend to rely heavily on the DPAF in my C200 so this might not be an issue for me.
If you’re looking to save a few bucks, there is an HDMI only version for $422. With monitors getting brighter and brighter, I often feel like I’m a moth drawn to a flame. Shooting outdoors used to be such an issue in the summer sun. I have spent many shoot days with my face stuffed into a sunhood, barely able to see what I was shooting.
For me, bright monitors are an absolute must. I do, however, tend to find that monitors from PortKeys and Feelworld lack a bit of color information. It isn’t a deal-breaker but the images aren’t as vibrant as they look in my SmallHD monitor.
Speaking of SmallHD, this design and user interface are awfully similar to their lineup and I wonder what Vitec Group, their parent company, has to say about that?
Nevertheless, I love that this monitor is capable of such a high brightness and I would consider it to be an excellent buy. With 3000 nits, you’ll be seeing things easily on a bright summer afternoon.
Just don’t forget your sunscreen; 3000 nits isn’t bright enough to give you a burn, but the sun actually outputs around 1,600,000,000 nits of brightness so you’ll want to plan accordingly.
[source: Curtis Judd]
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