Tag Archives: smallhd dp4

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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

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For those who are mounting electronic view finders (EVF) with mini ball heads or perhaps variable friction (magic) arms, you might have run into the issue where the EVF can spin loose as you apply pressure against the eye cup or may be too much for a hot shoe to handle. Ball Heads and Friction Arms work pretty well, but they aren't the best way to mount an LCD EVF monitor.

Here's another EVF Mount that's recently become available. This one mounts to a set of 15mm rails preventing your EVF from spinning loose, and can be quickly adjusted in various angles through the slotted brackets. Starts at $115 + shipping via eBay (found here).

Hunt EVF Camtree Electronic View Finder
find-price-button 15mm Dual Rail Clamp Adjustable EVF Mount

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Towards the end of 2010, it seemed like there would be an explosion of Electronic View finders. In the end only a handful have been popular such as the Cineroid EVF (starting $548), Zacuto EVF (starting $749), and the SmallHD DP4-EVF (starting $599).

seetec evf scope 3.5 lcd hdmi
find-price-button 3.5" HDMI LCD Electronic View Finder

Here's a cheaper 3.5" HDMI EVF you will probably be hearing more about from Seetec. The magnifying loupe attaches and detaches similar to the SmallHD DP4, but that's pretty much where all the similarities end. Kicapi Productions has a video demonstrating some of the features [Thanks Kicapi Productions].

So hopefully the video above answers any questions about the EVF as you begin hearing about it from other blogs and forums. It's definitely not as high quality or as full featured as the other brands, but it comes in at about half the price. Kicapi Productions has the Scope 3.5" EVF already available to Malaysian/Asian countries at http://www.kicapi.com.

For other buyers, the Seetec 3.5" HDMI LCD EVF can also be found via eBay (click here)

seetec 3.5 lcd evf hdmiscope seetech lcd hdmi evfscope seetech evf lcd monitor
find-price-button 3.5" HDMI LCD Electronic View Finder

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If you didn't catch the news, SmallHD has a new eyepiece available for the DP4 EVF [Thanks Joel]. The DP4 originally was available with a Canon LP-E6 battery tray, but with the new eyepiece announcement, there is also three new battery tray options as part of the bundle. For a limited time, you can get a bundle which includes the new eyepiece, select the battery tray, a 1.5ft HDMI cable, SmallHD Cleaning Cloth, Prying tool, Screen Protector, and more for just $34 dollars following the link (click here).

SmallHD EyePiece Bundle

SmallHD DP4 Update
SmallHD DP4 New EyePiece and Battery Tray

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The old Focus Assist in the SmallHD DP6 HDMI LCD monitor would make the screen literally go black and show white lines in what was in focus. The problem was it was hard to see what you were trying to focus on. You can see an example in the video (above) of how dark the old Focus Assist feature was. Here you can see the new Focus assist feature (below) works much better than before acting more like an overlay.

I know i'm really late to update the DP6 firmware and it's probably been out for months, but i'm also using other LCD monitors so I was in no rush. When they said the SmallHD monitors were future proof, here's another example of how they've managed to continue to improve on the features.With a simple USB drive, you download the latest firmware from the SmallHD.com website, and then run the install. This update took only 30 seconds or so, and i'm back in business. I've had this monitor for quite some time, and although i've neglected it lately, with the new focus assist feature it feels like a totally different tool again.

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A little tour of the Ruige TL-S701HDA 7" monitor with a Panasonich GH2 from Vimeo member James Bamford. Unlike some smaller versions from Ruige, this 7" monitor has HDMI in and also HDMI out. Towards the end of the video, you'll see the linear zoom remote test. First click zooms in, second click turns on 'Focus Peaking' so you can get focused, and finally third click returns to normal viewing. Accessories (some optional) available are a Sunhood, HDMI lock, Linear Zoom Remote Trigger, Battery Adapter plates, and D-Tap power cord.

The resolution on this Ruige is higher than 7" Lilliput monitors at 1024(H)×600(V), and it's a nice 7" monitor if you need something this big. If you don't need the size or that high of a resolution, you could get a 4" SmallHD DP4 for about the same price which can later be upgaded with their EVF Loupe view finder. You can find the Ruige on eBay (click here)

Ruige LCD
find-price-button Ruige TL-S701HDA Field Monitor HDMI LCD

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Let me warn you now that this video is about 25 minutes long. It's a thorough video explaining all the bits about the SmallHD DP4-EVF. If you jump on over to about 19 minutes in, you see a Drop, Throw, Toss, Helicopter Crash, Car Crash, DP4 damage test. Yeah I know some of you might have something to say about the editing, but take a look. The DP4 is definitely a solid unit, but not something I want to try on my own. Info on the DP4 found here: http://www.smallhd.com/Products/index.html

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This ends up being a huge time saver for me as I was going to run through some of the Zacuto EVF menu options. Here's a nice run through the menu on how to scale just about any video input type with the Zacuto EVF. I'll try to run through the SmallHD DP4 menu, which also has great scaling options, but for stored custom fuctions, and camera profiles the DP4 is not as elaborate as this Zacuto EVF menu. Different packages for the Z-EVF start around $640 (click here).

zacuto-EVF
find-price-button Zacuto EVF Electronic ViewFinders


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find-price-button Zacuto Z-EVF View Finder