SmallHD EVF 502 Sidefinder with SmallHD 502 On-Camera Monitor

SmallHD EVF 502 Sidefinder with SmallHD 502 On-Camera Monitor

SmallHD EVF 502 Sidefinder with SmallHD 502 On-Camera Monitor

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Product Highlights

  • Removable Optical Loupe
  • -2 to +4 Diopter Adjustment
  • 1366 x 768 Resolution as EVF
  • 5" 1920 x 1080, HDMI & SDI Monitor
  • 441 Pixel-Per-Inch Display
  • 3-Second Boot Time
  • HDMI & SDI In/Out with Cross Conversion
  • User-Definable Presets
  • Discrete Display/Output 3D LUT Support
  • Joystick Menu Navigation
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SmallHD EVF-502 overview

  • 1Description

The SmallHD EVF 502 Sidefinder with SmallHD 502 On-Camera Monitor is a combination of optical loupe and SmallHD 502 HD on-camera monitor, creating a flexible high-resolution EVF that can quickly transform into a 5" on-camera monitor. The optical loupe mounts on the 502, causing the 502 to resize the image from 1920 x 1080 to 1366 x 768. This keeps the loupe at a reasonable size while presenting you with a clear image with sufficient pixel density. The loupe incorporates diopter adjustments from -2 to +4, which is a generous adjustment range for those without 20/20 vision. The loupe incorporates a 1/4"-20 threaded mounting hole and accepts optional mounting accessories.

The other component of the Sidefinder is Small HD's 502 HDMI & SDI On-Camera Monitor with 3D LUT Support, which brings Full HD resolution to an on-camera monitor the size of a smartphone. The screen packs 441 pixels per inch, providing a sharp clear image on a very small screen. It features SDI and HDMI inputs and outputs with cross conversion, and takes just three seconds to boot up. The unit is 3/4" thick and weighs about nine ounces, so it is light enough to mount on your camera without weighing you down.

Small HD has developed a menu system designed to be easy to navigate with the built-in joystick. The Pages system allows you to create and store up to eight preset configurations. You can easily see the effect of your configurations on the image, swiping between them with the joystick. The 502 supports 3D LUTs, and you can save those as a configuration page as well. You can apply a configuration page setting to either the monitor's screen, the output, or both at the same time. You can also assign a different configuration setup to the monitor's screen and the output.

The optical EVF loupe mounts onto the SmallHD 502 via an included solid aluminum mounting bracket with a high-grade friction hinge that allows you to turn the Sidefinder into a 5" on-camera monitor without needing to remove the optical loupe; just flip the loupe out of the way.
When used as an EVF, the 502 reduces its image size to 1366 x 768, allowing the size of the optical loupe to remain manageable while providing a sharp image that does not suffer from pixelization—the appearance of individual pixels discernible within your image. When you swing the loupe away from the 502's screen, the resolution on the 502 automatically resets to 1920 x 1080.
The loupe incorporates a diopter adjustment from -2 to +4, accommodating most camera operators that do not have 20/20 vision.
You can adjust the Sidefinder's field of view from approximately 40° (the default setting) to approximately 20°.
The SmallHD 502 on-camera monitor features a Full HD, 1920 x 1080 LCD display with a pixel density of 441 ppi. The 502's LCD display is able to produce an 85% NTSC color gamut (greater than the REC. 709 color standard), rivaling the color capabilities of OLED technology.
The monitor supports HDMI and SDI inputs and outputs, and cross-converts between them.
You can apply a 3D LUT to the monitor and still view your video in real time.
The configuration system, Pages, allows you to create and store up to eight presets. Presets can include focus and exposure aids, camera metadata, and 3D LUTs. Once created, you can navigate between the presets merely by swiping the built-in joystick. You can see up to three presets displayed at the same time as you swipe between them, which is different than having to engage a menu system and trying to remember what each preset is. You can see the effect of your configuration on the video.
In the Box
SmallHD EVF 502 Sidefinder with SmallHD 502 On-Camera Monitor
  • 502 HDMI & SDI On-Camera Monitor with 3D LUT Support
  • Aluminum Mounting Bracket
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    SmallHD EVF-502 specs

    Diopter Adjustment -2 to +4
    Field of View Approximately 20 to 40°
    Mounting 1/4"-20 Threaded mounting hole
    LCD Size 5" Diagonal
    Resolution 1920 x 1080
    Input and Output Connectors Input

    Weight 9.0 oz / 255 g
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 7.2 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 12.2 x 8.2 x 6.9"

    SmallHD EVF-502 reviews

    EVF 502 Sidefinder with SmallHD 502 On-Camera Monitor is rated 3.6 out of 5 by 9.
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from BNC faulty. Sidefinder doesn't stick. Major design flaws The good: Screen is nice. Clean image. Menu design is good. You can add tools for color, focus, LUTs etc. Great. Huge plus. Easy to use. Small. Lightweight design. Unfortunately very fragile unit. The bad: The BNC connection on the back is secured by a rubber piece. It has broken off on two monitors we used on set. Both had to be sent back. Very bad design. Any slight stress on the BNC port will break it. The sidefinder doesn't fully click in for EVF function. It slightly constantly loosens and I have to use a rubber band to hold it in place. Otherwise the auto mirror function turns on and the image is flipped in the EVF. Useless design. Especially when shooting documentary and a lot of hand held. Be very cautious before using this. It is not built to last.
    Date published: 2016-09-01
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Dig It I bought this EVF/Monitor for a few reasons... to replace my Zacuto EVF with something that has a larger screen and to get my SmallHD DP7 PRO OLED off my camera (which is beautiful but too large). I really can't complain too much about this monitor as it does exactly what I wanted it to do for a reasonable price. Things do bug me about it... it gets ridiculously hot and it worried me at first but I emailed SmallHD and they said it was normal for how compact they made it. I haven't had any issue with it running all day on many shoots but it still worries me being that hot. And yes the SD door is a pain in the butt to open without a tool or a really strong fingernail and then it's hard to take out. Irritating but not impossible and I'm not taking it out too often... just for updates or to put a LUT on there. What I do love... It's small but big enough to pull focus. The peaking is amazing just like with the DP7 PRO OLED. Love the joystick for going through the pages. I dig putting this on the top of my a7R II or a7S II and flying it on my Helix. It's the perfect size for that. It basically lives on my C300. Focus is so hard for me on the C300 without some kind of external monitor. I don't have have any light leak issues where the eye cup is but I use a Bluestar Eye Cushion and that works perfectly. So yeah, it's not perfect but it's close enough for everything I use it for. I dig it.
    Date published: 2015-10-19
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome It was either this or a much more expensive Gratical HD. Although there a little reflection when looking through the Sidefinder I think this was a better option for our Sony FS7. Blows the stock VF out of the water. This has a bit ore functionality over the Gratical because it's bigger and you can actually monitor without the Sidefinder. You also can't beat the price!
    Date published: 2015-12-21
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don't but it. It has light leaks. I was expecting a reasonable viewfinder at this price point, especially that's made by SmallHD, a quite cool company. Unfortunately, it sucks! Why? It has light leaks inside the viewfinder, which denies the whole assumption for viewfinder:) Other people wrote about similar problems. Don't buy it.
    Date published: 2017-11-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent EVF and Monitor The combination of hi-definition monitor and EVF is an excellent all-around EVF solution. The SDI and HDMI ports make it quite versatile and the software supports metering, dynamic LUTs, pass through, anamorphic for 1.3, 1.5, 1.66 and 2x. Very nice. I would have liked slightly higher quality loupe optics, but otherwise an excellent tool.
    Date published: 2016-03-04
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from SmallHD EVF 502 Sidefinder This EVF/Monitor combo has been the perfect solution for hand held work with my C100. With all the custom pages you can create it's easy to keep exactly the information you need displayed and then switch to a different page to check things like exposure using false color between shots. That it comes with LUTs to apply is also great. Being able to use it both as a regular monitor as well as an EVF is perfect and, as always, it's high quality and easy to use.
    Date published: 2016-03-04
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Some major design flaws, I returned it While the monitor is fantastic the sidefinder has some major design flaws which lead me to return the whole kit a week after using it. 1. Eyepiece is small and circular. You have to smash your eye in really deep to see the full image, and even then you get light leaks around the edges. The viewing area should be larger, and the plastic cup should be elongated on the right side to cup your eye better. Thats the most important park of an EVF and they totally missed the ball on that aspect. 2. The monitor swings away from the eyepiece so you can use it as a monitor instead of an EVF which is great, but when you close it back up it rarely makes a solid connection and pops loose. It seems to be held closed by magnets which are not strong enough. It will pop open about a quarter inch causing the screen to flip the image and you have to reach up and close it again. 3. I used a PTAP to LP-E6 dummy battery to power it, and it was always sliding off and losing power. There should be a way for batteries and dummy batteries to lock in better. 4. In EVH mode, the HDMI connectors are on the left side, making the cables stick out to the left making the camera bigger and obstructing my field of view with my left eye. I have to add right angle hdmi connectors to get them to run along the monitor and not be sticking out. Those are the three main flaws that made me return it. A few more pieces of feedback which can hopefully be improved in a future model would be to put a hinge on the monitor so when you open it to use it as a monitor you can also swivel it up or down. A power connector so it can be powered off ptap without a large dummy battery.
    Date published: 2015-09-17
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great resolution, but with issues First off, the resolution is pretty amazing even with the inferior output of my Canon 60D. I really wanted to love this monitor, there were a couple quality issues (noted below) and I have become so used to the Magic Lantern overlays for getting good shots teh 502 with Sidefinder just did not work for me (see #6 below). For someone with a different camera, this may be just the ticket, but for me, it was not. Here is why: 1. There is a small back light leak in the upper left corner of the screen. 2. There at least two stuck pixels (there were 4, but two righted themselves) in the screen (lower middle). 3: The monitor emits a high pitch whine between 75 - 95 brightness setting which is picked up by a microphone when it is close to the monitor. 4. Iwear glasses and find the viewfinder eyepiece small, making it hard to see the full image, plus there is significant image pincushion/distortion when looking through the eyepiece. My $16 LCD loupe is beautiful and large compared to size of the Sidefinder eyepeice. 5. The SD Card is nearly impossible to remove easily. I have small fingers and still have a pretty hard time extracting it from the hole. Which one has to do multiple times to upgrade the firmware and load LUTs etc. 6. I use Magic Lantern on my Canon 60D and the top and bottom of the overlay information is cut off with no way to scale the image on the 502 screen to see it properly. Bottom line: Quality control issues with the screen and Sidefinder loupe could be a lot better (larger eye opening). Also the whole thing gets pretty HOT when in use (even inside). Battery lasted about an hour depending on what I was doing. Plus: I would not recommend the 502 to anyone with a Canon 60D who uses Magic Lantern overlays, as you will not be able to see all the information you are used to seeing. Granted, the screen has peaking and histogram etc, but I actually find the Magic Lantern offerings to be superior, save for the Wavefrom on the 502. Could be it is just what I am used, but I am curious to hear other what Magic Lantern users think of this monitor. So, I am returning it and considering a DP4 instead. I hope this review is helpful to others.
    Date published: 2015-08-25
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