We caught up with SmallHD at NAB 2023 to discuss their Smart 5 series of monitors and to ask them what their plans were moving forward.
I have previously reviewed both the Ulta 5 and the Cine 5 on the site.
The Ultra 5 was launched at IBC 2022 and it is one of three monitors in SmallHD’s new Smart 5 Series 5-inch Touchscreen series, which feature the recently released PageOS 5 operating system.
The Smart 5 Monitor Series comprises the Ultra 5, Cine 5, and Indie 5 touchscreen displays. There are also two additional wireless versions of the Ultra 5 (TX/RX). The Ultra 5 is the flagship in the series.
The Smart 5 series isn’t being targeted at the same user who would buy a SmallHD Action 5 Touchscreen 5″ On-Camera Monitor. That monitor was an entry-level product for a completely different audience. The Smart 5 Monitor Series is squarely targeted at working professionals in the film and TV industry, this is especially true of the Ultra 5.
As I mentioned in the Cine 5 review, the Smart 5 series was designed in response to the significant demand for smaller touchscreen monitors with the same quality and functionality as SmallHD’s Smart 7 and Ultrabright Series. What is nice with the Ultra 5 is that users will have access to SmallHD’s camera-control licenses for ARRI, RED, and Sony VENICE. SmallHD recently added compatibility for the new ARRI ALEXA 35 to the Camera Control for ARRI license.
So why make three different monitors that are all 5″? The Ultra, Cine, and Indie in the Smart 5 Series represent three tiers of brightness, I/O capability, and physical interface options to match a wide range of on-set workflows. For example, if someone wants the top-of-the-line 3000nit powerhouse with physical buttons and an ethernet port, you can choose the Ultra 5. However, if you don’t have the budget or need for an Ultra 5 but you still want to be able to control your RED KOMODO with a daylight-viewable touchscreen, then the Indie 5 or Cine 5 would be a better option.
The whole concept behind the Ultra 5 is to provide users with a professional, solidly made, portable, lightweight, daylight-viewable solution that can stand up to anything you may throw at it.