HDMI LCD Monitor


Known primarily for their affordable quality lighting solutions, F&V extends their product line with a new high resolution 4.3" inch EVF LCD monitor.

fvlighting spectra evf hdmi sdi lcd display

The Spectra HD4 EVF carries a 1280x720 HD display with a 900:1 contrast ratio. Software overlays include Histogram, waveform, vector scope, peaking, false color, adjustable frame guides, etc.

fvlighting evf spectra HDMI lcd

Additionally the small unit offers both HDMI + SDI Input, HDMI loop through, SDI Loop through, and HDMI to SDI and SDI to HDMI Conversions. There is also a Tally light above the unit when working with multi-cameras. The unit shown was still a prototype and the loupe will most likely see a redesign. To stay informed about the new Spectra HD4, check out the website at FVLighting.com (here).

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There are times when you need to send video back to a monitor or switch, but because most DSLR and Mirrorless cameras only offer HDMI out, you are limited to how far you can position the camera. To exceed the limits of HDMI, this HDMI to SDI Converter will allow you to use SDI cables for longer distances.

Wireless kits with HDMI input, like the Radian Pro Kit from Camera Motion Research allow a camera operator to move freely, but they will still have limitations and can be prone to drop outs if the feed has to be sent through walls, the receiver is too far, or if there is interference. Running an SDI cable with the Wireless HDMI Receiver attached at the end can help you minimize the distance your between your wireless system while still having the entire camera system over 100 feet away.

Radian Pro Wireless Camera Motion Research
find-price-button Radian Pro Wireless HD Video System with HDMI

So if you're looking for a way to get your cameras moved further from where you need to send your feed, these HDMI to SDI (not SDI to HDMI) converters are probably the cheapest you can find. It does require power, or in my case, i'm using an adjustable voltage Tekkeon battery pack. I've also tested this converter with a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and it works if you're looking to send a long video feed from that camera. Check it out via Amazon (click here).

Cheap Budget HDMI to SDI Converter GH3
find-price-button HDMI to SDI Converter Supports 720P/1080P

100 foot ft BJG SDI Cable
find-price-button 100 foot Black BJC 3G HD SDI cable, BNC to BNC

Other Products You May Be Interested In
If you need a cheap SDI to HDMI converter, like when adding an inexpensive EVF to a BlackMagic Cinema Camera, here's the one shown in the video.

Cheap SDI to HDMI Converter
find-price-button USB Powered SDI to HDMI Converter

If you can afford to spend more on a product that converts an HDMI signal to SDI, can be powered for 11+ hours through a Sony NP-series battery, and also adds conversion, check out the more expensive Atomos H2S Converter (here).

find-price-button Atomos H2S or S2H Connect Converter


Here's a video overview of Aputure's latest VS-3 7" IPS LCD HDMI Monitor. You'll notice we have this hooked up to the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera [#BMPCC], and we've confirmed that it can display the 10bit uncompressed 4:2:2 output.

One main concern for affordable monitors is always color accuracy. This is a highly subjective subject, but Aputure claims the colors on these monitors are pre-calibrated before shipping out from the factory.

I'm not saying it's going to look as good as a SmallHD AC7, but keep in mind the Aputure VS-3 is a sub $400 dollar display that offers many advanced overlays the AC7 does not - (audio meters, etc.). The monitor offers an HDMI pass through so you can still send the signal to another monitor or wireless video transmitter.

Aputure V-screen VS-3 HDMI Display Monitor BMPCC
find-price-button Aputure VS-3 V-Screen 7" IPS LCD HDMI Monitor

VS-3 Product Introduction
Aputure's V-Screen VS-3 is an ultra-thin 7” IPS monitor featuring a crystal clear WSVGA display, wide viewing angle, low power consumption, multiple aspect ratios, and includes essential functions such as Volume Bar, PEAK, False Color Display, Zebra Marking, Brightness Histogram, etc. It supports multiple signal inputs, including HDMI/YPbPr/AV (Audio/L/R). It also has a universal mount, double power supply, and sunhood to help you to shoot anywhere.

Aputure BMPCC LCD 7 Inch Display
find-price-button Aputure VS-3 V-Screen 7" IPS LCD HDMI Monitor

Main Features

  • IPS panel
  • Anti-reflection multi coating
  • Supports up to 1080p input
  • PEAK focus assist
  • Highlight focus assist
  • Zebra marking-70IRE or 100IRE
  • Histogram for precise exposure control
  • False color to check exposure
  • Includes Audio Bar & 3-color level displays
  • Pre-calibrated color
  • HDMI loops-through
  • No image deformation or black in 5D Mark II scan mode
  • Firmware updates via USB
  • 7 languages
  • Includes sun hood
  • Additional Information, availability, and pricing for the Aputure V-Screen VS-3 7" IPS LCD HDMI Monitor can be found via eBay (click here).

    Aputure VS-3 LCD Screen BMPCC 7 inch 10bitAputure VS-3 LCD Monitor
    find-price-button Aputure VS-3 V-Screen 7" IPS LCD HDMI Monitor


    The reason why these Seiki 4K Displays are so cheap is that they are just stripped down to bare bones. You won't find a tuner, or a set of quality speakers. There's no fancy aluminum housing with a coated glass screen. You won't find a Smart WiFi interface with Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu. It's simply a display, but for the price - a damn good display!

    While i'm not quite ready to start editing 4K videos, or watch 4K content, the MacBook Pro Retina (I have the old version) is able to utilize the full 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160. I'm currently running an external Thunderbolt Display as my main monitor, but as I was looking for a second display, I decided to try this 39" 4K model. The colors are amazing, fonts are sharp, and images look great. I would not advise this to be a primary monitor for creative graphics use, but definitely a worthy addition as a secondary display.

    Seiki 4K 60hz Display Monitor Macbook Pro Retina Mac Pro DesktopSeiki 4K TV HDMI Video Monitor Display Macbook
    find-price-button Seiki 39" 4K HDMI Television 3840 x 2160 Display Monitor

    My system can only support a 30hz refresh rate at full 4K, but considering this is my secondary display for static content it's not a big deal. Seiki also offers a 50" inch 4K Television (found here), but would be just too big as a monitor.

    Now when the 39" version of this 4K TV hit retailers it was announced for $699. Over on eBay it's still listed for $580 (seen here). That's an amazing price for a 4K television today, but right now they are on sale for just $480! (found here).

    [Update: 01.16.2014 it's currently listed at just $404]

    Seiki 4K HDMI Monitor Macbook Pro Review Sample
    find-price-button Seiki 39" 4K HDMI Television 3840 x 2160 Display Monitor


    Here's an overview of the Aputure V-Converter Extra Scope product that takes an HDMI input and outputs a variety of overlays to any HDMI monitor, display, or television.

    When the Aputure V-Converter product was first announced, the specs listed it would take a 1080p input, but only output a 720p signal. A recent firmware upgrade now allows the unit to output to full 1080p. I'm sure all the new products shipped will have this update, but if you need to download it, check the Aputure website (here).

    The V-Converter can be powered from a Built-in lithium battery, but it's not a product I think fits the run-gun type shooter. With a $340+ price tag, mobile shooters may want to just look into a portable LCD monitor with these features already built in.
    Aputure V-Converter Extra Scope CheesycamCheesycam Review Extra Scope V-Converter Aputure
    find-price-button Aputure V-Converter HDMI Extra Scope Pro Overlays

    In my opinion, the V-Converter is a product that will mainly appeal to those who will be working on set, in a studio type environment, or on location that requires a large stationary monitor. It will be helpful in any setting in which you need to look across the room, check exposure, see if audio levels are peaking, and what's currently in focus. It may be a product that compliments video shooters who have a workflow streaming Wireless HDMI Video (like with these Radian Pro Kits).

    Aputure V-Converter Extra Scope Review Cheesycam

    Considering how cheap large LCD HD televisions are these days, this little product can add-on big features normally only found on very very expensive studio monitors. You can find more info about the Aputure V-Converter HDMI Extra Scope (here).

    Aputure V-Converter-HDMIprice v-converter aputure scope hdmi overlay pro monitor focus peaking exposure
    find-price-button Aputure V-Converter HDMI Extra Scope Pro Overlays


    If you're working (or planning to work) with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera #BMPC you may quickly realize the LCD screen can be very difficult to work with outdoors. Other cameras may not be as bad, but can still use a little help blocking out ambient light.

    One quick down and dirty way to block glare is to simply attach one of these inexpensive folding LCD Sunhoods. The design was originally used for flip out LCD screens on your Panasonic GH3, Canon 60D, T4i, C100, etc. The sunhood attaches via two simple straps stretch over your LCD (or BMPC camera body). It's not a perfect solution, but it's better than nothing. Starting at around $10 dollars, these sunhoods are available from 3"-4.5", and if you're specifically looking to use one with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema, you will need the 3.5" size (found here).

    BlackMagic Pocket Cinema BMPC Sunhood Shade LCD View Finder
    find-price-button 3" / 3.5" / 4" / 4.5" LCD Sunhood

    Your basic sunhood will assist with directional glare, but won't completely block out all incoming light. It also will not serve as a second point of contact for added stability - what LCD ViewFinders are popular for. There are literally dozens of great LCD Viewfinder products on the market, many that you've already seen through this blog so I won't go too much into detail here. If you have a specific camera in question, just leave me a comment.

    Now while a few companies like Zacuto and Kamerar have announced LCD View Finder loupes that attach to the back of the BMPC, they are not available just yet.

    Magview copy 2
    Kamerar MagView LCD View Finder

    Another option available now are EVFs (electronic view finders). The benefits to working with an EVF outside of blocking bright light, is that screen can be relocated to a more ergonomic position on a Shoulder Rig, or can articulate to offer better shooting angles when mounted on a Cage system for example. Depending on the EVF, many can also offer additional overlays such as Focus Peaking, False Color, Zebras, and other waveforms to help you with focusing and judging exposure.

    Some of the more popular EVFs that range from $600.00-$1000.00 on the market are the Zacuto EVF, SmallHD DP4, and Cineroid EVF (available in different models).

    Zacuto EVF
    Zacuto EVF
    SmallHD DP4 EVF
    SmallHD DP4 EVF
    Cineroid EVF
    Cineroid EVF

    If you're looking for uber budget, you've probably heard about the most affordable Seetec (a.k.a Feelworld) 3.5" HDMI EVF starting at just $250 (found here). Now before you decide to dive in to this unit, there's a few things you need to know. This lower end EVF CANNOT DISPLAY THE SIGNAL from a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera #BMPC due to it's uncompressed 10bit 4:2:2 HDMI output.

    The more affordable EVF systems are typically just HDMI, so this same information will apply to the larger BlackMagic Cinema Camera #BMCC. If you purchase an SDI to HDMI converter, you can use many of the more affordable HDMI EVFs, but not the Seetec version. In fact one person complained about how a cheap SDI to HDMI converter did not work with the BlackMagic Cinema Camera, but didn't realize it was really his monitor that didn't work. He didn't rule out the monitor because it worked with other cameras. In summary the SDI to HDMI converter was working properly, but the HDMI monitor they chose did not work with the feed.

    Hopefully this bit of information will save you guys the pain of making a purchase only to find out it doesn't work. If you want an EVF for the BMPC, you'll need to at least look at the other high end displays. As far as a cheaper EVF for other cameras, YouTube member Shawn Barner provides a nice 26 minute detailed run through of this Seetec product.

    For other mirror-less and DSLR cameras like the Canon, Nikon, Panasonic GH3, Sony, etc, the Seetec can really help if you're on a budget. Over the last year, several people have been using this EVF successfully. While not quite at the level of the more professional EVF systems, this EVF is still a great start for those who need a small lightweight portable screen to shade from the bright glaring sun, and to relocate a video feed to a more ergonomic placement on a shoulder rig. Available via eBay around $250 US (click here).

    Affordable Cheap EVF LCD View Finder CheesycamEVF LCD View FinderLCD EVF View Finder HDMI
    find-price-button 3.5" Seetec HDMI EVF Electronic View Finder


    It seem like every time I post a video stabilizer review, I often receive the same question - 'How can you adjust focus?'. Typically i'll just answer this question by replying with a text comment, but i'm sure it's still not very clear. Hopefully this article can help visualize a few ways focus can be achieved when a camera is balanced on a stabilizer, thrown on a video crane, or other device where adjusting the lens would be cumbersome or impossible.

    One option to adjust focus (without physically touching the lens) can be by use of an electronic follow focus system. In the video below, Vimeo member Nicholas D shares how he's setup his camera on a SteddiePod Stabilizer with a Cinematics USB follow focus [Thanks Nick]. The USB systems will be limited, as they will only work with certain cameras (mostly Canon) and only with compatible auto focus lenses - not manual lenses.

    Barber Tech SteddiePod
    Barber Tech SteddiePod
    Cinematics USB Follow Focus
    Cinematics USB Follow Focus

    An alternative could be to use dedicated Wired or Wireless electronic follow focus systems attached to the outside lens gear. The benefits to these systems is that they can be used with pretty much any lens that supports manual focus. The throw can be remapped for shorter or longer focus movements at the dial, and higher end systems allow to you store focus points. The full wireless systems are helpful when you need another person to manage focus so that the camera operator can move about freely.

    If you plan to work with a Wireless Follow Focus, Camera Motion Research has announced the new Radian Pro kits that will send a Wireless HD Video stream via HDMI to a remote monitor. There are ways to achieve this through a DIY solution, but the Radian Pro claims to use a more commercial version transmitter / receiver that can transmit through a broader range of channels for longer distance, low latency, and clearer image. The Radian Pro is available in both a Unicast or MultiCast version (multiple video streams).

    For myself, I may not use a WFF for every project, but I do use Wireless Video when operating on longer cranes/jibs or even just to share a feed for others to view (so they aren't hanging over your shoulder). Add a remote Pan/Tilt head to this combination, and you'll be able to man a camera from a distance away while focusing and zooming. Great when you have to leave a camera somewhere you can't be seen like on stage, or perhaps even at a church during a wedding, or in the middle of a racetrack.

    Sorry for the lack of great examples, but hopefully this article is somewhat helpful and gives you ideas of what you can do with such tools. Remember that these are not limited to just these types of Stabilizers (a.k.a Steadicam). These are the same tools that can be used on those amazing Brushless Motor Camera Gimbal Stabilizers everyone has been recently obsessed about.

    find-price-button Camera Motion Research Radian Pro Wireless HD Video Kit via HDMI


    Look what just popped in this morning. Unfortunately i'm catching a flight out to New York and won't be available to test it for the next few days.


    IMG_3084 IMG_3087

    If you're not familiar, this is the new V-Converter from Aputure which takes an HDMI feed from your camera and outputs an overlay of helpful scopes inlcuding Peaking, Exposure/Zebra, Audio Meters, etc. to any HDMI monitor (including your basic HDMI television). Typically you can purchase a basic monitor for one price, and if you want these extra features you'll pay good money for it. This new V-Converter is designed to add some of these scopes to even the most inexpensive HDMI displays.

    More information about the features of this product can be seen on the product listings (found here).

    Aputure V-Converter
    find-price-button Aputure V-Converter


    Here's a bit of early information on a new product soon to be released by Aputure. Typically if you want professional overlays in a monitor, you'll have to pay good money for it. This new Aputure V-Converter HDMI Extra Scope will take an HDMI signal input and output to another HDMI display with additional features such as Peak Focus Assist / False Color / Zebras / 70 or 100 IRE Zebra Markings / and Brightness Histograms.

    Aputure HDMI V-Converter (2 of 10) Aputure HDMI V-Converter (3 of 10)

    Product Description:
    Turn basic monitor into professional monitoring
    Create your own exciting professional monitoring with V-Converter, and turn low cost basic monitor into one with advanced functions such as PEAK, Zebra marking, False color, Histogram, audio meter, etc. You can also easily add new software updates for new functions via USB in the future.

    Big screen HDMI monitoring
    When you are working with HDMI video input, you can use V-Converter to convert the incredible functions into big screen televisions or video projectors. Enjoy pleasure of big professional monitoring with unbelievable ease, and check every fine detail precisely.

    Amazing editing solution
    V-Converter has standard tech monitoring software inside which accurately check brightness, focus, and audio while editing. Imagine the flexibility of being able to reduce much space of editing computer and escape from different projects.

    Precision audio metering
    You can check 3 colored audio dynamic range with two bright audio level meters on the monitor. Audio bar shows levels in green, yellow and red. View audio scope quickly and directly. Prompt & Precise focus assist V-Converter features PEAK and Highlight focus assist functions. Double functions are perfect to ensure an advantage with correct exposure in the field.

    Intensity extreme exposure quality
    Gives you 3 functions to gain unmatched exposure quality including False color, Zebra marking and Histogram. Check exposure in ease even with small LCD screen or in bright sunlight.

    Amazing HDMI view monitoring
    V-Converter is compatible with wide range of HDMI signal input, supports up to 1080p 60FPS signal and converts signal to 720p output. Take V-Converter wherever you need to work, it will let you truly enjoy super monitoring resolution.

    Aputure V-Converter

    The new Aputure V-Converter can take any cheap display, or maybe your 60" HDMI television from home and turn it into a monitoring solution in the studio. Sounds like a fun product that can add big value to outdated or even cheap displays. The V-Converter specs state it will be manufactured by aircraft grade aluminum with a built in Lithium-iOn rechargeable battery. Stay tuned for more updates on this product.