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Sony 5″ video monitor for DSLRs

For some time, I have been using a 7″ Lilliput external monitor for my Alpha and other HDMI output cameras. This is fairly bulky, with its external battery pack, and is mounted on a flash bracket holding it to the side of the camera. The main use of the monitor is for interview-style filming with it facing the subject (self filming) but it also has uses making location shooting simpler. Such monitors are usually mounted within video rigs, off camera, often at waist or chest level even when the camera is held above and forward of them.

The cost of the Lilliput is around £150-£200 depending on supplier and battery/mains power choices. Similar monitors from Marshall and other makers typically cost two to three times this, because they are sold for the photo market – the Lilliput is sold to the in-car entertainment sector, and therefore is not marked up by 300% to allow for the deep pockets of camera owners relative to car owners.

Sony’s new 5″ monitor is much lighter, and comes with mounts for hot shoe and Alpha shoe, and a neat lightweight HDMI-miniHDMI cable (oddly enough, that’s about the hardest thing to find – a short, skinny cable). It costs $395, but for that you do get a folding hood which is neat. They have many photos of it and not one shows it facing forwards, but the use is mentioned in the publicity.

It does not draw power from the HDMI, but requires either a mains adaptor or a battery pack, which is not shown in any of the photos. Sony have done the same as LED-video-light makers – provided a bay for fitting the regular Alpha camera battery as a power source. The press release implies that the battery pack is a separate item (‘optional’) instead of making the point that you use any large Alpha battery (including old ones left over from the A100). I find it very convenient that my video light accepts the same batteries as my camera system, and not very convenient to have a bulky rechargeable pack for my 7″ monitor. (NB: all that white space is part of Sony’s image we have linked to – nothing like wasting a bit of bandwidth by not cropping pix, is there?).

Here’s the press release:

—————————————————-

A new clip-on LCD monitor from Sony gives DSLR camera owners a bigger, better view of their footage while shooting HD video.

The CLM-V55 is a portable video monitor featuring a high-resolution WVGA (800 x 480) (5”) LCD panel. Attaching easily to most Interchangeable Lens Digital cameras and compatible HD camcorders via the supplied adaptor, it displays video footage during shooting/playback with excellent clarity and a wide viewing angle.

The clip-on screen tilts and swivels to any angle for comfortable framing in any position – even self-shooting when you’re in the picture.

The CLM-V55 is loaded with pro-style features to help photo enthusiasts and videographers shoot high-quality HD video footage with their Interchangeable Lens Digital camera.

Pixel magnification mode assists with accurate focus confirmation, giving an enlarged pixel-perfect view of a selected portion of the Full HD image. It’s complemented by a colour peaking function that highlights the edges of accurately-focused areas of the video image.

An intuitive control wheel allows quick, positive adjustment of a wide range of monitor settings without interrupting shooting. Adjustable parameters include aspect ratio (16:9/4:3), volume, brightness, contrast, colour tone (phase), colour temp and auto dimmer. On-screen markers aid precise framing by giving precise indication of a TV’s 16:9 or 4:3 actual display area. The LCD monitor’s on-board mono speaker is complemented by a headphone jack for accurate audio monitoring during shooting.

The CLM-V55 attaches easily to a wide range of Interchangeable Lens Digital cameras from Sony and other manufacturers that support HD video shooting. The supplied adaptor simplifies mounting on any camera or HD camcorder that features an auto-lock accessory shoe or ISO shoe. Signal connection from camera to monitor is via the supplied HDMI cable, while power can be supplied using a battery pack or AC adaptor (both optional). The CLM-V55 comes with a detachable LCD hood for more comfortable viewing when shooting outdoors in bright sunlight.

The CLM-V55 LCD video monitor by Sony is available from March 2011.

12 comments to Sony 5″ video monitor for DSLRs

  • buckwheat

    I just pick up a Minolta af9000 body with a program back, and auto winder
    does anyone know the value of the kit, and it fires, and rewinds, but i cannot figure out how to open the film compartment.

  • buckwheat

    Well again thank you Admin, this is a great site, keep up the good work.

  • admin

    Grips – yes on both counts. You take your choice.

  • buckwheat

    Thank you again Admin, does Sony make a battery grip for the Alpha 580? or is there a after market brand out there?

  • admin

    Live view which works well with the monitor can be found on the NEX-3, NEX-5, Alpha 33, Alpha 55, Alpha 560 and Alpha 580 (all these can take the view with accurate focusing, from the sensor). Acceptable live view for composition, but not focusing, can be had from the A300, A350, A330, A390, A500 and A550.

    At photoclubalpha we like the A580 enough to have this as a regular camera in use, replacing our A700. The image quality is exceptional. A more professionally-specified body will be arriving this summer, but in the meantime, the 580 could be the last traditional optical finder APS-C model in the Alpha range.

  • buckwheat

    Thank you again Admin, what Alpha camera does have live view? ,and what do you think about the Alpha 580.

    thanks

  • admin

    Only to do what the screen already does. The Alpha 700 has no live view. But it will present a larger menu display, large review image, and larger playback. That’s all. You can use the remote control to show pix on the small monitor just like you can on a TV, as a slideshow etc.

  • buckwheat

    Thank you Admin, now for my next question I have a Alpha 700, will the CLM-V55 work well with the camera?

  • buckwheat

    Does anyone know with the clm-v55, do you have live view after you take a photo?, and I have seen several photos of a mic attached to a light bar bracket with the clm -v55 what brand is the mic?

    thanks daved.

    • admin

      You get exactly the same on the CLM-V55 as you do on the camera rear screen or EVF, it replaces the output completely. So if you have set the camera to no review, you get immediate resumption of live view; if you have set the A55/33 for a review, you get a fairly badly interrupted view; with the A580/560, you return to live view immediately after using Focus Check LV (off sensor); with the A550, A500 or A450 you do not return to Live View after shooting in this mode; with any other Sony model having an HDMI output, you get Quick Focus Live View and return to this after each shot. Using image review may slow down the return to live view.

      If the pictures are Sony, it’s probably a Sony mic. If not, AKG, Audio Technika and Sennheiser all make affordable DSLR-targeted stereo narrow angle mics which fit the A55/55/560/580 all of which have a standard mini stereo jack providing 5v phantom power.

      David

  • TallPaul

    From the press photo, its hard to see how that cable will reach on a 180 degree rotation.

    The quest for the short HDMIminiHDMI is a long one, you can get 0.5M HDMIHDMI leads but I have found the shortest HDMIminiHDMI is 1M.

  • Hi,

    Have found this link that gives a view of the hood-http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/01/slr-video-monitor-brings-the-big-screen-to-your-camera/

    I have been looking for a off camera monitor for some time, for my A900. That said my use would be for stills photo (focus etc), so it may not be ideal for that.

    But for video it looks an ideal weight to carry piggy back on the hot shoe.

    Regards
    John