7 reasons to upgrade to a SmallHD 500 Series monitor

By | 500 Series, Sidefinder
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.

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


How do I attach the SmallHD Sidefinder to my camera or rig?

By | Sidefinder

What makes the Sidefinder easy to mount to your camera or rig is the side-mount bracket.

The side-mount bracket allows for simple, balanced rigging, for all the popular EVF style mounting options (1/4 20, 15mm rod, NATO rail, ARRI Rosette).

Side-mount Bracket

Sidefinder + Side-mount Bracket


The side-mount bracket is included with every Sidefinder and ships pre-installed.  The Side-mount bracket can be removed by using the allen wrench, included with the Sidefinder (see 00:12 of the video below).

How do I mount the Sidefinder using 1/4 20 threads?

There are 1/4 20 mounting points in several location on the Sidefinder; the most efficient location being at the bottom of the side-mount bracket.

If you own or plan to buy an EVF mount (tray style) that relies on 1/4 20 mounting points, we suggest using both 1/4 20 thread mounting points on the bottom of the side-mount bracket (see 00:30 of the video below).

How do I mount the Sidefinder using a 15mm rod system?

The 15mm rod and clamp are the legos for camera support systems. Together, they provide shooters with customizable support options for cameras, lenses, microphones, external displays, and more.

We’ve made mounting to a 15mm rod system simple and convenient with the Universal Mounting Kit for the Sidefinder (watch video below for demonstration/install instructions).

What is the best EVF mount for the SmallHD Sidefinder?

The best EVF mount for your rig is the one that suits your needs and your budget. That being said, we have seen several shooters use the Wooden Camera UVF Mount and rave about it.

If you are on a tight budget and are willing to loose a little build quality, CoolLCD makes a variety of EVF mounts that are worth looking into.

A photo posted by QUILL (@quill_film) on

UVF Mount by Wooden Camera

Wooden Camera UVF Mount V2

A photo posted by Erik Naso (@eriknaso) on

How do I mount the Sidefinder using NATO Rail?

NATO rail is another flexible mounting solution that is built into the side-mount bracket of the Sidefinder. There are many different NATO rail clamp accessories like the EVF accessories below that will help you mount the Sidefinder in the optimal position.

How do I mount the Sidefinder using ARRI Rosette?

There are many ways to add a Rosette style mounting to the Sidefinder. What’s important to note is that although the ARRI style rosette is the most common, other sizes exist (example: RED rosette).

The Sidefinder is designed to work specifically with an affordable rosette accessory that mounts via 1/4 20 to the side-mount bracket.

Bolt on Rosette Mount

A photo posted by Kevin Keiser (@kkeiser) on

Do you have an EVF mounting solution to share?

Let us know with a comment below; we’d love to add it to the list!