SmallHD has just released a new monitor that is daylight viewable and can control a RED Komodo/DSMC2 camera: the SmallHD Indie 7. This 7-inch touchscreen display has a maximum brightness of 1000 nits. It has all the monitoring tools expected from a monitor, plus it’s compatible with the Teradek Bolt 4K RX module for easy wireless capabilities. Let’s take a closer look at all the features!
SmallHD Indie 7 – Similarities to 702 Touch
The SmallHD Indie 7 is the company’s latest on-camera monitor. SmallHD’s lineup now consists of the FOCUS 5, FOCUS Pro, and 503 Ultrabright 5-inch monitors, and the 702 Touch, 703 Ultrabright, Cine 7, and Indie 7.
I have to admit the new Indie 7 looks very similar to the 702 Touch that was released last year.
As you can see, both monitors have a lot in common, including:
- The 702 Touch and Indie 7 feature a 7-inch 10-bit (8+2) 1080p LED touchscreen display with a 1000:1 contrast ratio.
- They have an HDMI input and output port at the bottom and two SDI in and out ports. HDMI to SDI and SDI to HDMI cross conversion is possible.
- There is also a micro-USB 2.0 port at the back, a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top, and an SD card slot to load up custom LUTs.
- The monitors have the same 18.9oz/510g weight and size of 4.67 x 1.32 x 7.09in/10.1 x 2.54 x 17.78cm.
- The chassis is made out of robust anodized aluminum.
- There are four 1/4″-20 mounting points to mount it on your camera: one at the bottom, one at the back, and two on the left and right sides.
- You can power the monitors using two Sony NP-F style batteries or the power input barrel connector at the bottom (2.0mm ID/5.5mm OD, center pin positive).
As you can see, there are not a ton of design changes between the two.
SmallHD OS4 & Monitoring Tools
Also, SmallHD’s OS4 powers both monitors. For me, this user interface is one of the best on the market. You’ll find all the monitoring tools you need, including:
- Pixel Zoom.
- Frame Guides, Preset Aspect Ratios & Customizable.
- DSLR Scale and Custom Scale.
- Anamorphic De-Squeeze.
- Image Rotate and Image Flip.
- Focus Assist and Peaking.
- False Color, Zebra, Waveform, Vectorscope, RGB Parade, and Histogram.
- Image Capture and Overlay.
- Custom LUTS, LUT Downstream, and LUT Import.
- Audio Meters.
I can’t stress enough how well thought-out and comprehensive SmallHD’s monitoring tools are. We here at CineD think that a lot of monitor manufacturers should take good notes on how to design such a great user interface.
However, the SmallHD Indie do have a couple of differences with its predecessor.
SmallHD Indie 7 – New Features
First of all, the SmallHD Indie is a little less bright than its predecessor at “only” 1000 nits (compared to 1500 nits for the 702 Touch). It means that the monitor is daylight viewable, but it’ll fall a little short on really bright sunny exterior shoots.
Also, the Indie 7 covers 100% of the Rec709 colorspace (around 75% of DCI-P3) while the 702 Touch covers 100% of DCI-P3.
But, the most unique feature about the Indie 7 is that you can purchase it as a monitor-only version, or upgrade it via an optional license that allows you to control the Red Komodo or a RED DSMC2 camera via the monitor’s touchscreen display.
If you connect the monitor to your camera via a control cable, you’ll be able to start/stop recording directly from the Indie 7 and adjust various settings such as framerates, shutter speed, ISO, color temperature, clip playback, and so on. This feature is not new as it is already available on the Cine 7.
Finally, the SmallHD Indie 7 is compatible with the Teradek Bolt 4K RX module. This neat integration allows you to power the monitor via a V-Mount/Gold Mount battery and get the signal from a Teradek Bolt wireless emitter directly to your Indie 7 with no cable mess.
Pricing and Availability
The SmallHD Indie 7 monitor-only retails for $899.99, a bundle to control the RED Komodo is available for $1149.00, while the Indie 7 Bolt 4K RX is $2399.99. All products are available now.
I think the monitor-only version is well priced if you don’t need an ultrabright monitor to use for exterior shots primarily. As a direct comparison, the SmallHD Touch 702 is $1299.00 but doesn’t have camera control capabilities, and the SmallHD Cine 7 is $1799.00.
What do you think about this new SmallHD Indie 7 monitor? Do you already use SmallHD monitors? If not, what is your go-to on-camera monitor? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!