SmallHD's Sidefinder combo monitor/EVF now shipping

Written by Patrick Jong Taylor

SmallHD / RedShark NewsSmallHD Sidefinder now shipping

First announced in the days leading up to NAB 2015, SmallHD's innovative Sidefinder, which marries one of its 500-series field displays with an electronic viewfinder in a convenient, flip-out design, is now available for purchase through major film gear retailers.

Vitec Group, the larger company that houses some of the most recognizable brands in the photography and film equipment industries, such as Manfrotto, Sachtler, Teradek, Gitzo, Anton/Bauer and Litepanels, to name a few, also lists display brand SmallHD in its ever-growing ranks. Over the last six or so months, SmallHD has dinstinguished itself through the release of its acclaimed SmallHD 502 field display, a 5-inch full-HD field monitor with HDMI and SDI-in and its cousin, the 501, which is identical in every way to the 502 except it only features HDMI input. But SmallHD's biggest announcement may have been for its new Sidefinder product, which uses one of those 500-series SmallHD displays in tandem with a flip-out EVF loupe. SmallHD dropped word of the Sidefinder pre-NAB 2015, but customers would have to wait until it was ready to ship. For those in that camp, I'm happy to report that your wait is drawing to an end.

The Sidefinder has begun shipping and should be available for order at your favorite film equipment retailer.

According to the company, the Sidefinder is "both the highest resolution EVF and highest resolution on-camera monitor on the market—all in one compact unit" with a display that "provides more than double the viewing area of current combo systems." It supports the "four most popular EVF mounting standards: 1/4-20 threads for typical EVF mounts, a quick release for 15mm rod systems, NATO rail, and even the Arri rosette standard for high-end EVF mounts." For control, SmallHD has eschewed touchscreen operation for onboard or wireless joystick, meaning no more fingerprints mucking up your view of the image. In addition, a recent firmware update for the 500-series displays has added even more features, including anamorphic desqueeze, LUT support, image analysis tools and audio meters, among others.

For those in the market for a field display, an EVF, or both, the SmallHD Sidefiner 502 (HDMI and SDI) will run you $1499, while the Sidefinder 501 (HDMI-only) model arrives with a retail price of $1199.

Need more information? Check out the full press release for the SmallHD Sidefinder shipment on Page Two!


Full press release

SmallHD’s Award-winning Sidefinder™ Now Shipping

Cary, North Carolina: July 8, 2015—SmallHD's new concept in multifunctional on-camera displays is now shipping. The true high-definition Sidefinder™, a combination of HD electronic viewfinder (or EVF) and 5-inch fold-out Full HD monitor, earned 5 major awards when it premiered at NAB 2015.

"The industry response to our Sidefinder announcement has been overwhelming, and we are incredibly excited to finally get it into the hands of experienced shooters," explains SmallHD co-founder Wes Phillips. "As a bonus, the Sidefinder is even more feature-rich than we showed at NAB due to a recent firmware upgrade that is now pre-installed on every Sidefinder."

The Sidefinder is both the highest resolution EVF and highest resolution on-camera monitor on the market—all in one compact unit. The union between the SmallHD 501 or 502 field monitor and a specialized EVF loupe, the Sidefinder works seamlessly as both a feature-rich professional 5-inch field monitor and a top-of-the-line HD viewfinder. Its ample screen provides more than double the viewing area of current combo systems. With its patent-pending "folding" design, the unit features a small form factor while boasting the largest screen in class. Its shape allows operators to slide the eyepiece close to the camera, eliminating a common source of neck strain during shoulder-mounted operation.

The Sidefinder ships with a special bracket that can accommodate the four most popular EVF mounting standards: 1/4-20 threads for typical EVF mounts, a quick release for 15mm rod systems, NATO rail, and even the Arri rosette standard for high-end EVF mounts. These four options provide nearly unlimited mounting configurations, allowing the Sidefinder to easily attach to existing rigs without the need to purchase additional hardware.

In pursuit of simplicity and speed, every software tool on the Sidefinder is easily activated by a swipe of the joystick. And to improve ergonomics, an included wireless joystick remote can be positioned on a tripod handle, camera rig handle, stabilizer grip—or any convenient spot—enabling complete control over the Sidefinder without requiring the operator to move even an inch.

"A lot of thought went into the decision to shy away from touch-screen control," Phillips continues. "Providing a tiny remote that can be mounted at your fingertips was a huge reason.  Now shooters can have full control of the monitor and swipe instantly to any feature without compromising a stable shooting position by taking their hand off the camera. And unlike touch-screen control, operators are not forced to put fingerprints all over their display."

The Sidefinder's software tool set includes multiple industry-standard and customizable framing guides, both focus and exposure-assist tools, HD Waveform, on-screen Audio Meters, and 3D LUT support via SD card. It features Image Capture of 1080p raw images from the live camera feed, and Image Overlay so users can load a JPEG—including an image capture—from the SD card and display it over the live camera feed. Canon DSLR Scale enables a full-screen image when using Canon DSLR cameras, and Auto Image Flip is just the thing for quick mounting readjustments. The Anamorphic De-squeeze function displays a properly scaled image even when shooting with anamorphic lenses. The Display Calibration LUT permits the user to replace the factory-generated Rec.709 color calibration with another 3D LUT from a color management app like Lightspace CMS.

The Sidefinder is available in a choice of two versions that each offer the full features of SmallHD's powerful 500 Series field monitors. The system includes the Series 500 Monitor, EVF Loupe, and wireless remote control. The Sidefinder 502 (MSRP $1499) comes with both SDI and HDMI connectors while the Sidefinder 501 (MSRP $1199) provides HDMI connectors only.

SmallHD products are available through SmallHD.com and top video equipment houses worldwide. For more information or to order visit: https://www.smallhd.com/sidefinder

About SmallHD

Founded in 2009, SmallHD has made a name as the leading innovator of on-camera monitoring solutions for professional cinematographers, videographers, and photographers worldwide. Creators of the world's first high definition on-camera monitor, SmallHD continues to push the envelope of what's possible in an on-camera display by combining advanced cutting-edge technology with accessible pricing.

Tags: Production

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