As time has passed, the demand for more compact technology has accelerated. Photographers have come to expect their tools to be as compact as possible while still including the dizzying range of features of their larger counterparts. With small-footprint cameras becoming the norm, one element of the filming setup is sadly being neglected: the digital viewfinder. While the video reproduction quality of the modern DSLR’s viewfinder is often excellent, the small overall footprint of the camera often means compromises must be made regarding the size of the incorporated screen. Camera operators have sought to solve this problem by using an external camera screen, which allows them to not miss the fine details of their shots during production. With the myriad of options available to photographers and videographers along with the rapid advance of photographic technology, it can be difficult to choose which monitor is right for you. In this article, I will take you through what I feel is the best on-camera monitor for each filming situation so you can make the right decision when choosing a new external camera screen for your setup.
The first factor to consider when choosing an external camera screen is how to ensure it is compatible with your camera. Many cameras come with video out ports to allow you to view the footage on a separate screen, and the main consideration is this: does your camera use HDMI or SDI?
General Use Camera Monitors
If you only need an HDMI or SDI connection for your use case and are looking for a general-purpose external camera screen, Feelworld has many options available to you at very reasonable prices. In this section, I will break down my personal favourites in the range and explain why I think they’re the best options in this situation.
The Feelworld F5 Pro V4
We believe the F5 Pro V4 offers an unbeatable combination of value and quality that both camera enthusiasts and professionals will appreciate. At just 245g, the unit is so light that you hardly realize it's there. it's easy to attach to most setups with its ¼-inch screw mounts on the top, bottom, and right of the case. Its touch screen makes it simple to use, and the HDMI ports with passthrough give it a broad range of compatibility with a variety of cameras and broadcast monitors, allowing directors to follow the footage and make sure they get the perfect shot on the first try. additionally, users can attach the F5 Pro V4 to a tilt arm to adjust the angle of the screen for optimal viewing.
The Feelworld FW759
We love the FW759 external camera screen because it offers most of the incredible features users of Feelworld camera monitors have come to expect at an incredibly low price. With its sharp resolution of 1280x800 and great brightness of 400nits with an 800:1 contrast ratio, the Feelworld FW759 offers a great viewing experience with excellent Rec.709 colour reproduction. At just 300 grams, this external camera screen impressively comes equipped with the features professionals find most useful, such as Peaking Focus Assist, Colour Temperature Adjustment and the ability to change the Aspect Ratio intuitively and conveniently. Furthermore, the Feelworld FW759 external camera screen has multiple input options including 4K HDMI and AV, allowing it to support most DSLRs and camcorders. Its wide array of features and excellent screen quality make the Feelworld FW759 external camera screen our best value option.
SDI General Use Camera Monitors
If your camera has an SDI connection, Feelworld offers a great range of options that provide all the features professionals want at a great price.
The Feelworld FW703
Peaking Focus Assist, Scan Modes, Image Flipping, Zebra Exposure, Colour Temperature Adjustment, Pixel to Pixel Scaling, Aspect Ratio Adjustment, Zoom, Brightness Histograms, and a host of other features required by professionals are all included as standard on the Feelworld FW703 SDI external camera screen and are all easily accessed via the device's conveniently located buttons on the top. Both 3G SDI and HDMI connectors are built into the Feelworld FW703 SDI external camera screen. The Feelworld FW703 SDI Camera Monitor's 3G SDI interface makes it the perfect choice for professional television projects. The 1920x1200 Full HD IPS screen on the Feelworld FW703 SDI external camera screen has a sharp pixel density of 323PPI and is excellent. The 450nits of brightness and built-in sunshade on the Feelworld FW703 external camera screen make it possible to use this monitor both inside and outside. All feeds look fantastic on its IPS screen, and it is compatible with DSLR cameras and more thanks to its 4K UHD HDMI input and output. Additionally, this monitor has 3G SDI ports for input and output. These can be used to connect to other monitors, enabling the entire crew, including the director, to see what the camera is recording during production.
Ultra Bright External Camera Screens
Another consideration to make is the environment you will be filming in. If you often find yourself needing to shoot video in the great outdoors, the brightness of your external camera screen should be one of the first things you look for. Generally speaking, the brighter the external camera screen is the better, as a bright monitor will let you get the shots you need without having to set up a cumbersome and obstructive sunshade. When filming in direct sunlight, another factor to take into consideration is cooling. In hot environments, your technology must have the ability to keep itself cool to maintain stability and high performance.
The Feelworld LUT5
Look no further than the Feelworld LUT5 Ultrabright external camera screen if you require the smallest setup possible. It has a small, 5 point 5 inch, 3000nit screen that is incredibly bright and can accept feeds up to 4K 30Hz on its 1080p IPS display. We adore the 368PPI resolution, which provides a genuinely crisp and sharp viewing experience, and we are especially fond of the mounting options, which enable you to attach the monitor to even tiny cameras to benefit from its small size. Due to the LUT5's factory calibration to Rec.709 standard, you can be sure that it is suitable for accurately monitoring colours, as well as the ability to upload unique 3D LUTs in .cube format. It is more user-friendly than ever to access the great professional suite of features that professionals have come to expect from the Feelworld range thanks to its excellent touch screen and physical controls. Even better, it includes a cleverly created cooling system to help increase stability in warm, sunny environments.
Feelworld FW279 and FW279S
The FW279 is one monitor that experts adore. With a weight of only 340g, it is incredibly light and can be quickly mounted to a gimbal or camera without adding much weight. Excellent 2200 nits of brightness make it the perfect choice for outdoor use, where direct sunlight would typically be a problem that would affect output. It can display this content with excellent Rec. using its HDMI inputs and outputs, which support up to 4K 30fps. On its 7-inch 1920x1200 IPS screen, there are 709 accurate colours. It has a fantastic contrast ratio of 1200:1. It offers the same great features that customers have come to expect from Feelworld camera monitors, including histograms, peaking filters, false colours, exposure adjustments, and embedded audio, all at an affordable price and all looking great on its ultrabright screen. The FW279S is another option and offers the same professional features with the addition of a loop-out 3G SDI port setup for broadcasting.
Looking for more ultra-bright external camera screens? Check out this article here if you want a more detailed overview of the Feelworld Ultra Bright range.
Do any of these external camera screens take your fancy? At Feelworld UK Limited, we pride ourselves on being able to provide great tools for creators at a great price, all with fast UK shipping. Discover the rest of our range of camera monitors here, and SEETEC broadcast monitors here.