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 five major awards when it premiered at this year’s National Association of Broadcasters convention.
“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: ¼-20 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, $1499, comes with both SDI and HDMI connectors while the Sidefinder 501, $1199, provides HDMI connectors only.
SmallHD products are available through SmallHD.com and top video equipment houses worldwide.