How To Choose An On Camera Monitor

We get a lot of customers that are after on camera monitors, but come in with a price budget in mind,
rather than looking at how a feature of the product may add value to their shoot. So choosing your next on camera monitor based upon feature, should be of serve you for a longer period of time.

There are many manufactures that make on camera monitors, varying in sizes and features. It may seem overwhelming at first but taking the time and talking with people who understand can make this process easier.

Monitor Size, Weight

When you start to look at monitors one aspect you need to decide on is what size monitor do you require. External monitors are larger than your on camera EVF or LCD, and can provide you with a better viewing angle,  and allow you to position it to where it's most needed. Commonly you will find most on camera monitors range between 5 to 7" and include features like peaking, zebra, false colour and allow custom LUTs to be applied.

Remember the bigger the monitor the heavier it will be for your camera rig, you don't want to finish the day feeling like you have been lifting weights all day.

Monitor Frame Rates

Some cameras offer the ability to record and output higher frame rates. You will want to check that the monitor you choose can support the frame rates that your camera outputs.

Monitor inputs

Most professional camcorder will come with either SDI, HDMI or both.  You will find that DSLR cameras have HDMI. SDI is a professional connecter and provides a more secure connection to you camera and monitor. HDMI is a consumer connecter and commonly found on DSLR cameras.
Choose a monitor that best suits your camera, or if you are lucky enough, camera's.

Monitor/recorder options

There are now many manufactures producing monitors with the capability of recording on board to varying types of media. The recording quality will generally be of broadcast quality, and no matter what camera you use, you can rest assure you will end up with a high quality file.

Monitor Resolution & Touchscreen

On camera monitors come in two styles when it comes to menu navigation control; touchscreen and physical buttons. Monitors that use physical buttons will tend to be larger to that of their touchscreen cousins. If you choose a touchscreen you will find that greasy finger prints will be noticable on the screen surface. At the end of the day, the decision will be a personal preference.

Monitor Viewing Angle, Brightness and Contrast

As a camera operator or a camera assist you tend to move position relative to that of the camera. Choosing a monitor with a larger viewing angle and choosing a monitor that uses IPS panels will ensure best viewing angles.

A monitor with a higher brightness and contrast tend to produce a more pleasing imagery and also make viewing the image easier in high bright locations.

We hope this article has provided some insight to help you choose your first or next on camera monitor.