Jump to content

F&V 4.3 Inch Monitor. Incredible!


Tim Naylor
 Share

Recommended Posts

So I recently configured my Ronin and quickly realized that I needed another monitor. I relegated my DP6 as my AC's Monitor and went to hunt something that was small, lightweight, etc to mount on the crossbar of the Ronin. Weight being key, I looked for a 4.3 inch monitor. Lot of Movi Ops love the Small HD 4.3 which is nice but non-SDI and low rez. I was hoping when my new small monitor wasn't working on the Ronin, I could pop it on my A7s or some other camera just to have a small on board. One of the problems I've been having with the latest slew of HD on board monitors from Small HD or Marshall is that they ditched the 5.6 size and have gone bigger to 7" and 7.7". I prefer my on boards to be small and sharp. Zacuto's EVF having used it a number of times was a big fail for me. Crap colors, not sharp, etc. Cineroid and Alphatrons I find have poor build quality as well as resolution equal to my iPhone 4s. 

What I was hoping for was a 4.3 monitor with optional EVF attachment. Big enough as an onboard, small enough to work as an EVF. But it needed to be high rez (at least 720p), have HDMI loop through (because I use Paralinx, and SDI. I pondered TV logics 5.6 at 1080p. It's an amazing monitor but too big for my needs and costly. Then I came across some press releases about F&V's 4.3 Spectra (720p). It clicked all the right boxes but was somewhat pricey (1299.00 with EVF attachment). The ads also make it look cheap (C'mon F&V hire a decent photographer already). Their NAB promo clip was dull as dishwater. As it was so new, no one I knew owned one or rented them. So I took the plunge on spec faith alone (something against my nature). I bought it from a place with a great return policy (Adorama).

After unboxing it from a very fancy magnetic lid felt lined box, I beheld an incredibly well built monitor. Built like a tank. Better built than Small HD if you can believe that. Without the EVF piece, it still has a small metal hood built into the housing which really helps with incidental sun but without having to look down a snoot. The EVF attachment is very solid with no distortion (unlike small HD's). But what blew me away was the IQ. Miles better than my DP 6. Sharp as hell and at 400 nits it's pretty bright. Accurate colors and great in low light.  It cross converts from HDMI to SDI as well as loops through both SDI and HDMI. Very handy for more complicated sets. It comes with an array of cables for power (D tap, 5V, etc) and has a built in Sony NP adaptor. One NP 750 battery will get you to lunch. 170 degree view angle. 5 assignables. Fisher Price easy menu. False Color, Histo, Peaking, and all the other features you'd expect in a pro monitor. I estimate it'll be worth the extra cash as I'll be using it on just about every job. The only downside is lack of a waveform which may be a deal breaker for some. It has a histo, false color and zebras which is fine for me for exposure. There's talk of a firmware upgrade with waveform. For sharpness and detail especially viewed in EVF mode you'll find this hard to beat. As of now, they're the only HD spec 4.3 inch monitor on the market.

Anyway, I'm not much of a review type person but when I find a piece of gear that truly fills a needed niche (pro build HD monitor that's small), I feel compelled to let people know. This being a site that promotes small lightweight one man gear, I think this monitor fits right in. Now my dream gear would be a 4.3 inch onboard 4k recorder or a 4k Ninja Blade to route to (Atomos are your listening?).

http://www.fvlighting.com/spectrahd-4.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
  • Administrators

Looks good. I'm also looking for as small a possible 4" monitor at the moment.

Found this but it's too expensive and no HDMI! http://www.newsshooter.com/2014/09/27/ibc-2014-live-show-replay-starlitehd-5-inch-oled-display-with-h-264-recording-can-be-converted-into-a-high-grade-evf/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was checking out the transvideo Starlite HD. They make great gear, especially for steadicam (their Super bright line). Unfortunately, no HDMI. Also, something tells it takes HD in but the screen itself isn't as for the life of me I can't full specs on it. I suspect retina display (960x540). Also if you use Paralinx for wireless (which is part of my Ronin package), you need HDMI.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

In a way the monitor I want doesn't really exist yet.

A smartphone screen, as thin as a smartphone, a single HDMI input, lasts for ages on a built in battery (again, size of a smartphone). Clips over the existing camera non-articulated LCD on a Zacuto Z-finder style frame with hinge. Problem solved.

I don't want to bolt on an articulated arm made of steel, just to get a screen I can angle upwards!

How many hours on the smallest possible NP sony battery for the Spectra Tim?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm using the small ones and got about four - five hours. Wasn't strictly timing it. Will know tomorrow as I'm going out to shoot. Being a small monitor, it's not a power pig. What I do like is the Arri style rosette. Found a cheap EVF mount on Ebay that mounts directly to the 15mm cross mount on the Movcam cage and it lines up perfectly especially for shoulder work. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Hi,

I have been looking for an combo EVF/monitor.  The SmallHD 502 and Sidefinder was the functionality I was hoping for, but the price had put me off.  Then I stumbled upon the SpectraHD 4 as a potential alternative.  The current price is $706.29 new on ebay (or $749 from F&V/Adorama/Amazon) with the loupe - so it is worth consideration IMHO. http://www.ebay.com/itm/371278169162?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Here's a review:

Looks like they added waveform via a firmware upgrade as was hoped, now if they could only add a LUT...

Mark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2014-12-27 at 10:02 PM, Andrew Reid said:

In a way the monitor I want doesn't really exist yet.

A smartphone screen, as thin as a smartphone, a single HDMI input, lasts for ages on a built in battery (again, size of a smartphone). Clips over the existing camera non-articulated LCD on a Zacuto Z-finder style frame with hinge. Problem solved.

I don't want to bolt on an articulated arm made of steel, just to get a screen I can angle upwards!

How many hours on the smallest possible NP sony battery for the Spectra Tim?

you are looking for the exact same thing as me, i've been trying to find a way to buy another smartphone for the sole purpose of a monitor but i dont know which is the best option right now so im doing the researcg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...