Here I have something new for this blog – external monitor for the camera. One of the essential tools for many filmmakers. That is not a full review, more like a first impression which will be followed by the more in-depth review, so I decided to make it as a 2 part series.
Display size: 5″
Resolution: 1920X1080 with 4K support
Dimensions(W x H X D): 156mmx78mmx20mm
HDMI: HDMI In
Audio out: Headphone(3.5mm Mini Jack)
Power In: Micro USB DC In, SONY NP-F and Canon LP-E6 batteries
Power Out: Dummy Battery
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In the Box
This monitor comes with 3 different HDMI cables, mounting bracket and sunhood. So you need to get a battery or a powerbank, and you are ready to rock. Mounting bracket/Tilting arm is good if you want to be able to rotate the monitor, and it also has a cold shoe mount for microphone for example.
A great looking, relatively small on camera monitor. Made out of good plastic with metal plate inside for rigidity. There are 2 mounting points with a standard 1/4 tripod connection one of them can be used with a mounting bracket. The monitor is lightweight but doesn’t feel flimsy, joystick clicks well and all in overall feels solid.
On the front there is just one joystick. There are no buttons, no touchscreen – which is quick an elegant solution in my opinion. I don’t like touchscreen on this kind of devices and a bunch of buttons would make it look cheaper.
On the bottom of the monitor there is a 3.5mm headphone output for sound monitoring – an awesome feature, as many cameras don’t have this ability. There is also 2.5mm remote control connection(which I haven’t tried yet), 1/4″ mounting point and SD card slot for user uploaded LUTs.
On the right side there is another mounting point and micro USB power input.
And on the left side there is an HDMI input and power output for a dummy battery.
Who would need one?
Well, anyone who does at least one of two things – shooting himself/herself or operating the camera with high precision – using manual lenses or shooting complex lighting conditions, anything of this sort. But it can be really helpful for anyone.
I need it for both cases:
1. I don’t have a flippy screen as well as I have a recording time limit, so I need some kind of external tool to check framing and recording status. So, I used to use a plastic mirror on top of my camera, it is cheap but not good, the image is small and if the viewing angle is a bit wrong – you can’t see a half of the screen. A phone app is not an option as well as Fujifilm’s app is awful – it lets you to record only 720p video, which is ridiculous.
2. I like to use manual focus lenses and that is really difficult to see if you are a little bit out of focus using a small camera screen. Also, this monitor provides a few extra features for focus and exposure control as focus peaking, zoom, zebra, histogram, false colors and others.
Most of this features might not be present on your camera, but they are useful not only to nail your focus or to make sure that exposure is correct – they can also help you to better understand your image. You can learn to analyze histograms and work with false colors and that is something I plan to do.
This monitor has a lot of features and I haven’t tried most of them yet, so I’ll come back with a next review and will talk about my favorite tools and how I set it up and end up using it. So keep tuned!
Why this monitor?
Simply because for the price most of the monitors on the market would cut some features of, like user uploaded LUTs or an extra mounting option and so on. Looking at the overall package this monitor has all the required features without cutting anything off, which is amazing taking into account that is cost only $200 that is amazing.
Keep in mind that my requirement may be a bit different from yours, like with touchscreen and buttons.
Other features worth mentioned
This monitor has 450nits brightness by the spec which is more than enough for the most cases. Might not be the best when shooting in the bright sunlight outdoors, but for this case you may want to put sunhood on. Or there is another monitor from Osee – 7 inch with 3000nits – that is an overkill for me personally, but awesome nevertheless.
On the other hand lower brightness level will considerably save you the battery and keeping this in mind I’m thinking to get something like USB-charged LP-E6 battery (haven’t tried yet) to save on weight and size. This monitor can also power your camera with the right dummy adapter, so having a bigger battery like NP-F750 might be a good idea.
There is a 3.5mm headphone output for audio monitoring which is a great feature as not all cameras let you monitor your sound during recording. With this Osee T5 you can monitor through the headphones as well as with audio level on the main screen.
First impression conclusion
This monitor is lightweight and relatively compact at 5.5 inches which is great for run’n’gun filmmaking, to film yourself and to travel – when the size and weight does mean a lot.
Personally for me – it will help me to see better what i’mm doing, but most important it’s actually a piece of gear that can help me to deeper my understanding of the process and help me to improve my videography/filmmaking, so I’m looking forward to using it a lot.
If you are still unsure if you need an on camera monitor, this one or any other, you can wait for my next review where I’ll talk about it more in depth, and you can also follow me on Instagram where I’m sure will keep showing it, so you can judge how is it in a long term.