SmallHD Introduces The 502 Series On Camera 5″ 1080p Monitor Plus Sidefinder EVF Loupe

March 25, 20152 Comments

SmallHD 502_2


With monitors getting bigger it’s nice to see a smaller lighter 5″ model that is loaded with features and is full 1080p. The new SmallHD 502 looks to be just that. I expect we will see more models in the 500 Series in the future.

Using a gimbal without a monitor is tough. I’ve done it and I sure wish I had one this small and light. Some are already pretty heavy like the DJI Ronin. Add a monitor and it makes it even worse. The 502 weighs only 6oz. without batteries but it uses the small and abundant Canon LP-E6 models.  The DSLR/Mirrorless shooters will like the form factor too.

SmallHD 502 - Pages


The 502 features a joystick for navigating the menu. SmallHD wanted to make the user interface a priority in the design by making it simple and easy to navigate. The joystick replaces the need for it to be a touch screen. The benefit is not getting the screen smudged up with finger prints. With Pages you pick what tool you want to use like false color or focus peaking. The 502 features several tools to assist you in getting the shot. A bluetooth remote is also in the works that will allow the user to change the settings. Attach the remote to a rig and select different tools without touching the display. The Joystick also controls Pixel Zoom on the fly. Push it in and it zooms into the image. Push it to the right or up and the zoom goes to where you need critical focus. Thats very cool.

Here are some specifications to chew on.

  • Full HD, 1920×1080 LCD display. With a pixel density greater than
    the iPhone 6, the 502 is the sharpest 5-inch camera-top monitor in the world.
  • 502’s LCD display is able to produce 85% NTSC Color
    (greater than the REC. 709 color standard), rivaling the color capabilities of OLED technology.
  • 441 Pixels Per Inch
  • 179-degree field of view
  • 3D LUT functionality
  • SDI/HDM in and out
  • 6oz.
  • 3/4 inch thin
  • Uses Canon LP-E6 type batteries and has D-tap input
  • Friendly user interface
  • Pixel Zoom
  • Image Capture
  • Advanced Scopes
  • Cross Conversion
  • 3 second boot time
  • Bluetooth Remote

smallHD Sidekick

Another interesting option is turning the 502 into an EVF with the optional Sidefinder loupe. The Sidefinder is a very innovative idea however i’m not sure if eye fatigue will kick in due to the large viewing area. SmallHD has a way to help with this.

Sidefinder viewing area

Adjustable field of view

Create a personalized viewing experience by
quickly adjusting the field-of-view on the Sidefinder
EVF. Choose a wide field-of-view for greater
into your shot, or a narrow one to
reduce eye strain. At the 40 degree default,
the experience is like watching a 60-inch television
from 6.8 feet away

The Sidefinder has a diopter. Yes I need that. It’s -2 to +4. Magnifying the screen also enlarges the pixels however the Sidefinder’s pixel density prevents pixelization. The Sidefinder is a 1920×1080 resolution on-camera monitor. The EVF loupe uses
a 1366×768 portion of that display.

While the 502 monitor is now shipping the Sidefinder kit will be in the summer and retails for $1499.

Looking forward to seeing the new SmallHD 502 monitor at NAB. It looks to be filling a much needed niche for on-camera full 1080p viewing. We all know we can use all the help we can get when using small cameras with crappy EVF’s and displays. Price is announced at $1199 for the 502 and with the Sidekick it’s $1499.

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About the Author ()

I'm a broadcast DP In San Diego. I enjoy sharing what I'm working on and testing new equipment. This blog is also part of giving back. I've learned so much from so many people.

Comments (2)

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  1. Seems like a winner to me. One thing I would like these manufacturers to consider is making also optical finders to go with their screen. For exemple I have a Ninja 2 (the screen is just OK), but with a finder it would be good enough for focusing. This SmallHD at 1080p would be a perfect candidate for a removable finder. Maybe something like Zacuto Z-finder-type.
    I suppose we are getting spoiled with all the available equipment, and we always want more…

    • Erik Naso says:

      Some issues with large screens and a loupe is your eye gets tired looking around a big area. Thats why on ENG cameras the viewfinders monitor is very small. Similar to the Zacuto Graticle design.

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