500 Series

7 reasons to upgrade to a SmallHD 500 Series monitor

SmallHD Sidefinder

For many filmmakers, an on-camera monitor does more than analyze an image; it brings confidence to the creator.

There is value in knowing (in real-time) that your shot is what you need.

Whether you’ve heard about the 500 Series or not, here are 7 reasons to consider purchasing a SmallHD 500 Series monitor in the near future:

1. Put a crisp display on your gimbal.

A photo posted by Max Mammods (@maxmammods) on

If the 500 Series monitor was fried chicken, it would be extra crispy.

It’s 5 inches of Full HD resolution with an pixel density greater than the iPhone.  What makes it an even tastier option for gimbal operators is that it only weighs 7.4 ounces.

2. Nail your focus in any environment.

The 500 Series monitor and the Sidefinder attachment are a perfect marriage.

Shooters can now use tools like customizable focus peaking and waveform on a sharp, 5-inch display OR through the adjustable optics of a high resolution EVF.

A photo posted by Eggert Media (@eggertmedia) on

Whether shooting an interview in-studio or a wedding on the beach, the 500 Series + Sidefinder are an excellent option for better or for worse shooting environments.

3. Upgrade your onboard monitor/EVF stock options.

A photo posted by O X E N M A D E (@oxen_made) on

With camera manufacturers having to compete against each other on price point, how much priority do you think they give the built-in LCD and/or EVF-loupe?

Display quality and functionality are SmallHD’s top priorities by nature (on-camera monitors/EVFs are what we do).

When the image you are creating on set is quite literally your work and your reputation, how important is the quality of the display you’re choosing to use?

4. Add color confidence for you and for clients.

Whether you like to be involved in the color correcting process of a production or not, chances are, someone has asked you, “Is that what the final image will look like?”

If a client or director has concerns about color, what’s the easiest and fasted way to eliminate this fear? (here’s a hint, it’s not trying to explain what a LOG gamma curve is).

With the 500 Series monitor and Sidefinder, loading post-production looks (or 3D LUTs) is done effortlessly; providing real-time confidence that the shot will look awesome when all is said and done.

Firmware update 2.0 brought some particularly useful functionality, adding downstream 3D LUTs and an Output Preview Page as outlined in the video below:

5. Travel lighter.

The form factor of the Sidefinder is appealing to those that find themselves living out of suitcase.

Not only is it two products rolled into one, the Sidefinder (monitor + EVF attachment) weighs in under one pound (450g).

It’s also wrinkly-free.

6. Don’t be afraid to actually use it in-the-field.

No, we’ve never put a 500 Series monitor in a blender or tied rubber bands around it until it burst, but it does pass the “usability” test with flying colors.

With a milled aluminum frame and rubberized coating, the SmallHD 501 and 502 does a great job protecting its shock mounted, LCD display.

Here are some less-than-scientific durability tests we shot outside the SmallHD office:

7. Save money when you bundle a Sidefinder 501 or 502.

A photo posted by QUILL (@quill_film) on

To see a complete list of specs and features for the 500 Series on-camera monitors, please visit us here.

Free Movie Look Pack + In-depth Color Grading Tutorial

SmallHD movie look pack

Enjoy this free LUT pack from SmallHD! All we ask in return is for a little feedback.

Get LUT Pack

Index of Looks

No Look Applied

(for reference)

Apocalypse This Very Moment

desaturated + warm overall cast

B-Boyz 2

intense contrast + strong warm/cool balance

Bob Ford

intense contrast + highly saturated warm tones

Life-Giving Tree

subtle, neutral overall balance + saturated warm shadows


heavily saturated warm highlights, cool/green shadow tones

Saving Private Damon

bleach bypass look; sharp contrast curve

The Matrices

never been done before

What are ‘looks’?

A ‘look’, 3D LUT or Look Up Table is a small file that behaves like a camera filter, colorizing footage it is applied to.

How should I use them?

3D LUTs can be dropped into many different color grading, editing and compositing applications — for previsualization or final output.

The 500/700 series by SmallHD allows you to shoot while monitoring with a 3D LUT applied, helping greatly to instill confidence in the shot as it happens – for crew and clients.

Making the most out of looks

Watch the tutorial to set up multiple pages of looks or any other feature and swipe between them with a left or right flick of the joystick on a SmallHD 500/700 Series monitor.


This look pack hasn’t been tailored for every camera and shooting scenario, so follow our in-depth tutorial on how to tweak & re-export all new LUTs using Davinci Resolve!

Shop On-Camera Monitors

See all our 5 and 7-inch on-camera monitors.

SmallHD 500 Series adds Waveform, Audio Meters, and more…

Firmware Update 500 Series

Update: Firmware 1.2 has been officially released as of 7/15/2015.

Features added to the 500 Series with Firmware 1.2

  • Increased control with the Wireless Remote

Update: Firmware 1.1 has been officially released as of 6/29/2015.

Features added to the 500 Series with Firmware 1.1

  • EVF and Remote control support added
  • Airplane mode – disables wireless radio for remote control
  • Tool menu now remembers your last location

We’re proud to be releasing Firmware 1.0 (Update: 1.2) to the SmallHD 500 Series monitors (501 and 502). As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact our support team here. Instructions for how to install firmware on your 500 Series monitor are listed at the bottom of this post.

Features added to the 500 Series with Firmware 1.0:

Image Capture – example image
Menus must be closed to use. Press capture button to hide all active tools and show capture guides. Release to capture raw image (Captures JPG Images to SD card) -Will not work if no SD card is installed.

Image Overlay – example image
Load any image from the sd card and display it at varying opacity levels over your live camera feed. Also you can have overlayed image blink on and off for framing purposes

HD Waveform – example image
Luma and RGB waveform added user selectable location and size

On-Screen Audio Meters and Headphone Output – example image
Shows 2-8 channels, adjustable size and location.

Canon DSLR Scale – example image
Fill the whole screen with image from a Canon DSLR

Image Flip / Auto Image Flip – example image
Allows you to flip / mirror monitor image (by default auto rotate will be enabled)

Anamorphic De-squeeze – example image
Monitor a non-squashed image when shooting with anamorphic lenses. Selected in settings menu & applies to all pages (includes 1.33x, 1.66x, 2x)

Color Calibration LUT
Change the built-in color calibration of your monitor using your own 3D LUT file — this is very different from applying 3D LUTs to the live camera feed on multiple pages

Known bugs with Firmware 1.1:

  • When vertical image flip is enabled an artifact may appear on the last horizontal line of pixels.
  • If you are using dslr scale, image scale, or anamorphic scale and use image capture it will not work properly.

How do I update the firmware on my 500 Series monitor?

1. Download .zip file by clicking here
2. Unzip file (extract files)
3. Read the included ReadMe .txt file to see what changes are included
4. Drag and drop .bin file from download onto your SD card (Must be 16gb or smaller – FAT or FAT32 for Windows, MS-DOS (FAT) for Mac)
5. Remove SD Card from computer or card reader attached to computer
6. Insert SD card into your 500 series monitor
7. Turn on your monitor
8. On monitor, page left all the way with your joystick to the monitor’s Setting Menu
9. Select firmware update in settings menu and follow on screen promts
10. Once firmware is installed and the on screen promt tells you to reboot your monitor – remove the power source and then re-attach the power source to reboot (power button will not work for this reboot)

500 Series monitor BTS