SmallHD DP4-EVF Unboxing

First look at what's in the box with the Small HD DP4-EVF. First impression, this thing is much bigger than I anticipated. It's a very nice external monitor, and sadly it might be enough to replace my DP6 (might be up for sale soon?). The menu with the click wheel on top, is the same as the SmallHD DP6 allowing you to change through a variety of features. Also included is the Focus Peaking and False color to help you with exposure. If you're familiar with the SmallHD DP6 features, you'll fall in love with the DP4 as both an external monitor solution and as an EVF. So the question on everyone's mind is, how does the Small HD DP4 hold up to the Zacuto Z-EVF? I don't have a Zacuto ZEVF to compare it to right now (yet), but i'll leave the comments open if someone has something to say, and i'll have more of my opinions in a bit. You can find more about SmallHD DP4-EVF following this link.

Oh and the Diopter for the Small HD DP4 question? Thanks for the comments, The SmallHD DP4 uses 46mm thread on 'Close up' Filters a.k.a Macro Filters (like Cinevate's Cyclops). These Close up filters come in a variety of magnifications like +1 to +4 or more. Found below.

Close Up Macro Filter
find-price-button 46mm Close UP Macro Filters for Diopter

Even without a side by side SmallHD DP4 vs Zacuto ZEVF comparison, there's no doubt the Zacuto EVF is the smaller of the two. If size (or lack of) is of importance for your work, then Zacuto's EVF Electronic View Finder still lands as the smallest most affordable EVF solution. Hopefully i'll have the two side by side pretty soon. You can find it via B&H (click here) or via Amazon (click here).

Zacuto EVF
find-price-button Zacuto EVF

47 thoughts on “SmallHD DP4-EVF Unboxing

  1. Just an update on the eye cushions. The Bluestar long oval (#6013) can be made to work with the Small EVF. It is a tight squeeze and I decided to enlarge the hole, however it does work fine. This definitely makes the eyepiece a lot more comfortable.

  2. entienne01

    Got mine yesterday and just started using it. Initial thoughts:

    - Quality build
    - Great resolution
    - Good size to function as both external monitor and EVF
    - Easy to use; similar to DP6 in overall functionality

    - Choppy image when viewing through viewfinder; waiting for response from SmallHD
    - Slightly yellowish hue (seems to be common from other posts); waiting for response or firmware update

    Compared to the other current EVFs available, this one is the largest of the bunch with slightly lower price. So far so good.

  3. entienne01

    hey, digifilmer, i just got mine and noticed the same choppiness. not sure how to resolve? anyone?

  4. Joe

    @ Ibrahim

    I got my dp4 yesterday. And I have this yellow tint as well.
    Hopefully there will be a fix soon.

  5. Ibrahim Serra

    Hey again all.

    So I have received my DP4 and been using it for a bit, one thing I noticed straight away is a kind of warmish yellow tint to the image, I have tried to dial this down by reducing the reds but its not completely gone, I have contacted Small HD and they told me they are releasing a firmware update soon that will address these colour issues...

    Just a heads up to anyone who is experiencing the same problems.

  6. Regarding ERR and monitor, I haven't found any errors with the DP4 and my Nikon or Pentax cameras. SmallHD is releasing a firmware update for the Nikon because 1:1 isn't presently working properly. I hit "factory reset" a couple times on the monitor, so this might help with buggy problems.

    Regarding colour on the DP4, I changed the hue slightly, but I actually found the DP4's colour to be very accurate with my Nikon D7000. Focusing is a dream with this monitor. Love the clarity of the image as well as the focus assist feature. I cover some of this in my video:

  7. digifilmer

    Using a 5d, during live View and recording, the dp4 seems slightly choppy or ghosty. Footage plays back just fine though. Curious if anyone else getting that.

  8. Luke Kwan

    I used my rig this morning at children church. I might make a short clip to show at my church.

    I only used it for 30-45 mins, and here's what I found...

    1) Battery assumption is most likely wrong. I hadn't charged all of my batteries fully and I grabbed a battery that was pretty low. It worked for 5-10 mins on the dp4 until it shut off. I didn't have any ERR on the 7d.

    2) I didn't baby it but I made sure I was aware my left hand was not near the hdmi port.

    3) Now with the ability to have focused video for the first time since owning this camera,(10+ months) ireally want follow focus and a slider!!!

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  10. Emm

    Post author

    @NY Guy - It appears to be issues with the HDMI, maybe not the monitor itself.

  11. Spotbox


    I've run into this problem a few times as well and I believe Ibrahim is correct about the HDMI cables. I've found it best to be completely powered off when connecting or disconnecting my Liliput. I'll see what happens when my DP4 arrives.

  12. NY Guy


    That doesn't sound too good - 70% happy with a purchase? But seems like they have good customer service and will get to it ASAP. I hope all the first run buyers aren't beta testers. Doesn't seem like any extensive beta testing went on like with the ZEVF.

  13. Luke Kwan

    i'll try that. In 1 of the the instances above, the hdmi cable may have been moved, but the 3 other times it happened everything was on my tripod.

    Has anyone had another other instances where ERR would show up when using smallhd screens?

    since the weekend, small hd hasn't sent any responses yet.

  14. Ibrahim Serra


    Thats great to know, thank you Emm. I just received a response from SmallHD regarding the colour accuracy of the DP4 and they stated that they are releasing as firmware update that will "make the color accuracy much better on the dp4."
    They say it will be released in a week.... so good news!

    Take Care and thanks for all your hard work


  15. Ibrahim Serra


    Regarding your 2nd issue with the 7D displaying 'err' on the top lcd, I have experienced this when connecting or disconnecting HDMI cables, did you disconnect the DP4 or could the cables have been knocked? HDMI can cause the 7D to display err depending on which order you plug the accessories in and whether they are switched on or not. experiment plugging in the DP4 in different combinations and that may help you with what is happening.

  16. Luke

    i wanted to add a couple of things...

    1) when i contacted smallhd, they are 2nd air my a new vf and it is shipping out on mon.

    2) During the reception, after the entrance, the dp4 ERR again! and wouldn't turn on anymore! I replaced the battery and it had one more glitch the rest of the night.
    I got home from the wedding around 11pm, and I started to download all of the videos. When I get home tonight, I will do more troubleshooting to see if I can get it to replicate exactly when the ERR shows up. But I speculate the ERR on my 7d is caused when the dp4 battery is Low!

  17. Luke

    I stayed away from the zacuto evf, marshall, manhatthan, and lilliput.

    I shot a wedding last night and the dp4 is nice! I had
    about 3 hours to learn what I could because my dp4 arrived at 2pm and the wedding started at 5pm!

    I do have a few bug reports that I have sent to smallhd and taking care of it.

    1st. The VF has 6 magnets total. 3 on the vf and 3 on the vf frame. Mine vf ram was missing all 3 magnets. During the wedding I had to shoot over the people in pews, So I had my camera up high. I need to tilt the dp4 backward so that I could see. Without the magnets on the frame. the VF kept falling down and hitting my forehead!

    2nd I'm still trying to isolate what causes the problem, but at this time I believe a low battery is the culprit. So I the ceremony ~45 mins long, with 1 LP-e6 fully charged. The last time I looked at the battery meter I was at 6.8v~ I removed my camera from tripod and set it down on a table. I looked down and my 7d had "ERR" on the screen. It has never done that in the time i've owned the camera. I pulled the battery and cycled power, but nothing would reset the camera. So I unplugged the dp4, and then pulled the batteries (i have a grip) and cycled powered. Then my camera came alive.

    I arrive at the reception and within 5 minutes the bride a groom arrive. My camera is ERR again! It wouldn't unlock even though I tried the steps above. They walk in the recpetion area, and the entire bridal party is in front of me and I don't have a working camera! I tried the cycling one more time and my camera came back. I was able to at least catch some of the moment.

    This happened to me at least 4 times. The Engineers at small hd are looking into the problem!

    3)Once I learn how to use the peaking and false color filters, I'm sure I will like them. But they didn't help at all during the wedding yesterday.

    I'm about 70% happy with my purchase so far. I love the screen and what it will do for me in the long run, but these problems need to be addressed asap. I'm glad I have 30 days to decide.

  18. Emm

    Post author

    @Ibrahim - I find the color to be very good, and there are many options to adjust brightnesst, contrast, color, etc. Coming from a Lilliput, you'll be a million times more happy you went with DP4.

  19. Ibrahim

    Hey Emm

    Thanks for showing the product. I ordered one the other day... Do you know if they can be calibrated and color matched to the Canons LCD? I read that the DP6 had problems with a yellow hue. Do you think we can use the to be colour accurate? I'm coming from a Lilliput which has been getting so frustrating... let me know your thoughts.

    Thank you

  20. Emm

    Post author

    @Lev - Just like the DP6, SmallHD makes it specifically compatible to scale Canon cameras. That's the reason I went with the DP6. If you shoot Canon, SmallHD has paid special attention to these needs. The DP4 can be adjusted to fit as well.

  21. Emm, are you going to test it with the 5dmkII? I'm looking for a field Monitor for my 5dmkII, but it seems, that most monitors on the market have troubles to work correctly with this camera: actual image is smaller than the screen during the recording, wrong aspect ratio etc... Or maybe you can suggest some other monitor that would be free of this issues (and preferably not too expensive)?

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  23. Emm

    Post author

    @Stephen Berke - Yeah! I noticed a threaded eyepiece, I didn't think it was for screw on diopters. Looks like that would work.

  24. @Spotbox,

    From what I understand, Small has added threads to the viewfinder attachment which would allow you to use screw on diopters, ND filters, etc. I believe I read that It was a 46mm mount.

    Not as good as a built in adjustable diopter, but still better than nothing!

    I've got mine on order, I've been looking forward to this for a while. Now I just hope that a future upgrade includes "scopes" ala TV Logic.

    A guy can dream...

  25. Joel

    1 thing that is very cool on these smallHD monitors is 1:1 mode ...essentially enables you to display source image at full res providing for a perfect focus.

  26. Emm

    Post author

    @entienne01 - I'm not sure yet, i'm still playing with the DP4, but it's a very sharp screen. I'll do some closeups later today.

  27. Phil

    Just Bought one. First monitor for me. Hope it doesn't take too long to get to Western Australia!

  28. random

    yet to see what the image quality looks like and how it compares to Canon's own screen.

  29. how does the sun hood fit? have you tried that at all? mine doesnt come in until monday and im pretty anxious for it. =D

  30. entienne01

    Hey, Emm, if you sell your DP6, how much would it be for? I'd be interested. I'm looking at one tomorrow so let me know. Thanks!

  31. Emm

    Post author

    @sphipps - The software looks the same. I haven't run through the menu totally, but looks identical.

  32. sphipps

    @emm does the dp4 have the same abilities to control aspect ratio like the dp6? ex. for anamorphic lens monitoring?

  33. Emm

    Post author

    @itsjohnny2 - The monitor alone is a great price, a really great first monitor choice.

  34. Emm

    Post author

    @Olphus - The cup can be turned, and I don't have a cushion this big to test. Maybe they make them in extra large..

  35. Joel

    Emm - Really surprised to see how big the 4 is compared to the 6.

    My problem is using it on the gini attached with the mini magic arm like you have at the end of your video. It just seems to me that any efv to really work well -- on a shoulder rig -- would have to be firmly mounted on the camera.

    The pressure you would put against the efv looking into it I would think would need that solid mount point.

    Also, could you mount it with the magic arm to be in the right position with the rig?

    Inquiring minds want to know .... but I am sure your next video well tell!

  36. Olphus

    Can the eyecup turn the other way for left-eye shooters?
    Do the Blue Star Eye Cushions fit the eyecup?

  37. Diesel

    NICE! In the infamous words of Iron Man upon meeting Natalie Rushman/Romanoff aka Black Widow in Iron Man 2..."I want one". This is a purchase I'd make just on the rep of the company. Zacuto who!? Lol.

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