By technical editor Matt Allard:
Before the start of NAB I caught up with Dale from SmallHD to run through the new 502 monitor and Sidefinder viewfinder. The 502 is already available and the Sidefinder will start shipping in June.
The SmallHD 502 has a 5-inch screen with a Full HD 1920×1080 resolution and a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch – more than an iPhone 6. But resolution isn’t the only factor in making a good monitor and SmallHD claim the 502 will also have best-in-class colour and contrast. The LCD is capable of producing 85% of the NTSC colour gamut. This is more than the REC.709 standard and SmallHD says it rivals the colour from more expensive OLED type displays.
The monitor can handle both HDMI and SDI inputs and outputs. Better still it can cross-convert between the two – great for use with wireless video transmitters.
A joystick and back button handle navigation of the display controls. Power is from two Canon LPE-6 type batteries. It weighs in at a mere siz ounces and is 3/4 inch thick.
The 502 also has customisable look up tables (LUTs) to allow for users to view what they shoot in a way that looks close to the final video once graded. Image analysis tools will also be included – exactly which isn’t clear yet but we expect a histogram, peaking and frame guides at the very least.
The 502 has a nice size and the display is clear and bright. Navigating through the menu and options is easy and very responsive. The only negative aspect I found when trying it out with the Sidefinder was that when I looked into the eye piece the left hand corner showed the reflected image from the 502 monitor.
The monitor’s small size will make it appealing to users of DSLRs and cameras like the a7S and GH4. I predict it will also be popular with owners of brushless gimbals or Steadicams thanks to its small size.