Having changed from making my videos on a 6″ screen phone to a camcorder with a puny and 3″ screen I needed a way of seeing what I was doing better in front of the camera. Not only was the camcorder screen small but it was also offset from the axis of the lens which made positioning my hands during the unboxing process awkward. I needed a larger screen which I could monitor more intuitively. Having looked around I was surprised to find this kit, containing almost all I need was available for less than £100.
You certainly get a lot of kit for your money, just £99.99 when I ordered. You get a 7-inch 1080p monitor, battery pack, battery charger, hard carry case, and a full complement of cables. Although one HDMI cable was included with the kit, the micro HDMI cable I needed was not, but luckily was included with the camera. Sadly, no power adapter is included but it does have a standard power-in port.
Build quality is better than I was expecting, everything seems well made and robust, although the screen shade is rather flimsy but does fold up for storage. Getting all the items into the storage case is a squeeze but can be done. On one side of the unit are ports for: USB upgrade, OSD control, Headset, AV In, HDMI In, DC Power In. On the rear are the battery slot and speaker grill.
Setting it up initially was easy enough, it just worked straight from the box when connected to my camera. Tweaking the settings was more troublesome, although a range of options is available through the on-screen menu system. There are a number of buttons on the front of the device under the screen, most of which I suspect entry-level users like me will not need. From left to right: Mode, Vol Down, Vol Up, Menu, Multifunction 1, Multifunction 2, Custom 1, Custom e2, Power, Status LED. With these, you can configure Picture Mode, brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, colour temperature, red, green, blue, tint. You can also change the menu system language, screen aspect ratio, image flip, focus assist, and a few other deeply arcane options. Custom buttons and shortcut keys can be defined.
The screen itself feels rather dated to me. The On-Screen menus look and bit clunky and the video quality although fine for simple use could be better. After much messing around I was never able to get a screen image I was fully happy with. However, since all I need is to check for sharpness and composition it does the job well enough. I doubt many high-end users will be going for his set up and if all you want is a bigger version of your camera screen to check composition and sharpness this will be fine.
For non-demanding users this well made and easy to use monitor kit is still a bargain indeed.