Back in 2012, on-camera monitor specialists SmallHD released an innovative product for the Canon 5D mark ii. The HDMI port protector was a brilliant, simple design; it solved a massive headache I (like many other filmmakers) was having whilst operating my DSLR with an on-board monitor. Now, they’ve doing it again, for the more current 5D mark iii.
HDMI as an output for cameras is fundamentally flawed; it’s originally designed for consumer grade electronics that are expected to receive little to no adjustment past the point of installation. This is very clear when you start to rely on it for monitoring/recording with a DSLR; the slightest touch of a cable can cause the signal to drop.
It’s less apparent on camcorders as these usually utilize the larger and slightly more robust HDMI port and are often located in a safer location (usually indented on the back of a camera). Most DSLRs have a mini HDMI port located on the left side of the camera; this is destined for disaster and will regularly receive knocks and bumps from user operation.
The 5D mark iii Port Protector locks the HDMI lead into the port, it also protects the lead from any movement, and eliminates the concern of signal drop from cable knocks. Does it really work? Yes, after purchasing the port protector for the 5D mark ii I never once experience signal drop out. What’s more, I initially went through around 1 mini HDMI cable every 3 shoots on my 5D mark ii due breakage of the connector; I never needed another lead after purchasing the SmallHD port protector.
Whilst the original SmallHD port protector was a well engineered and cost effective product there was one inevitable snag, it is only compatible with the 5D mark ii. It was only afew months after the release of the port protector that Canon released the 5D mark iii. I like many upgraded to the camera bodies, but with the absence of a HDMI port protector.
SmallHD has finally answered to demands with a Kickstarter campaign for a port protector for the 5D mark iii. In the revision the port protector has gained use in offering protection to the both the HDMI and the USB port.
Whilst a HDMI port protector design is not unique for a DSLR, the durability and effectiveness of the SmallHD port protector certainly is, watch the below video for a demonstration of the product:
Key Features of the 5D mark iii port protector by SmallHD:
- Based on our battle tested 5D Mark 2 Port Protector
- Only $40 on KickStarter (other solutions start at $100)
- Protects your 5D Mark III’s HDMI and USB ports from damage
- Holds HDMI & USB cables securely in place
- Super lightweight (about 1 oz.)
- Does NOT interfere with other ports or 1/4″ 20 tripod thread
- No tools required—fast installation
- No extra accessories required (like baseplates) to attach
- Mimics the natural appearance of the camera
- Comes with 1.5ft. HDMI to mini-HDMI cable for 5D
SmallHD has chosen Kickstarter as the format for funding of this project. This is due to the product falling outside of the nature of their normal product line, and their uncertainty of the demand for the product. I think this is a smart move considering that this product is specific to one camera body only, and users have the benefit of getting the product at a discounted rate.
The campaign starts today, and will run for 30-days with a pledge for $22,000. Pledge’s range from $0-1,000, early birds get a heavily discounted pre-order of the port protector at $25 with free US shipping, a reward for a pre-order of the product outside of the early deal will require a $40 pledge. With the retail value of the port protector set to $59.99 plus shipping, these rewards offer some substantial savings.