The SmallHD Focus is a $500 US camera-top monitor that’s designed for use on smaller, DSLR-sized rigs and to bring daylight viewability (yes that is a word) to a segment of the market that hasn’t been catered for before. Chuck Fadely, who shot the video above, made sure to check the unit outside here at NAB and reports above that it is indeed viewable in the Vegas sunshine.
Smallest price for a SmallHD
It’s the cheapest price for a SmallHD monitor launch but it has the same menu interface and tools as other SmallHD monitors, combined with a touchscreen for ease of use. Waveforms, focus assist and the company’s Pages OS are all present though, which the company anticipates will add a lot of functionality to the class of camera that they think it’s likely the Focus will be attached to.
Mount and coldshoe
The SmallHD Focus mounts to the hotshoe with a tilt mount that’s able to flip the screen 360°, for either the onscreen talent or the operator to check the shot. This will also make it possible to use for selfies or vlogging and could make it a good option if you’re YouTubing outside. Clips on the back of the mount aim to keep cables tangle free.
There’s also a coldshoe mount on the side of the bracket so you’re not losing the only place to mount a microphone by using the monitor.
Pass through power
The SmallHD Focus is powered by a single Sony L-series battery, and features a clever power output feature. You’re able to make use of the comparatively large capacity of the L-series and use it to power camera as well as the monitor via a battery eliminator. In the video above, Wes Phillips from SmallHD says that a Sony a7 series plus SmallHD Focus could run for two and-a-half hours when powered in this way. That’s quite an improvement over Sony’s standard NP-FW50 batteries, which can top out at around an hour of record time.
It’s an HDMI only connection – at this level only the Blackmagic Video Assist really offers SDI connectors – and it’s not a full sized HDMI port. That seems sensible in that the cameras the Focus is aimed at will most likely only have an HDMI out, although a bit of a shame as well, as anyone who’s cursed the God of HDMI Cables That Fall Out At Inconvenient Moments will attest.
SmallHD Focus Price and availability
SmallHD are very keen to emphasise the price point – it’s $500 US – and the SmallHD Focus is scheduled to start shipping in June.