The advantages of shooting with a camera like Lumix GH4 are many. One of the biggest advantages of shooting with a Hybrid camera (the H in the GH series) is the live view. Live view with Lumix G cameras is different from other mirrorless cameras because you're seeing a true live view rather than a simulated view. I can see the shutter speed effects (via electronic shutter) depth of field and any color treatments I built in camera. For your DSLR shooters this means no chimping or guessing what the shot will look like. It also means no need to spray and pray that your RAW processor will fix your mistakes.
The thing with a live view camera though is that they still have a small screen on the back so even with all the advantages of using a live view camera present having a larger display would make life even more easy. This is where a field monitor comes in handy.
Carrying a larger monitor to your shoots can make life easier but like mirrorless cameras, not all portable displays are the same. In fact some cheep monitors can make life more difficult or even ruin a shot if the color or on screen info is not accurate.
The Small Screen with BIG Results
Enter Small HD, the small screen with tools and performance like no others. Small HD is a newer company on the block. I first heard of Small HD from my filmmaking friends back when the 5DMKII came out. The praised the monitor for it's display quality, overall performance and the build quality was second to none.
Small HD was kind enough to send their high end DP7-PRO 7" monitor to me for a project I was working on with Panasonic. That project was the launch of the GH4 which, as you can imagine, was a key launch for Panasonic. Being that at the time there was only a hand full of GH4 engineering samples in the world I needed to be sure that what I was capturing in studio was perfect. There's no re-dos for a project like this.
The first thing you notice when you turn on the DP7 is just how much better everything looks on it then..well everything else. I've had the pleasure of using $30,000 production displays and to my eyes the DP7 holds it's own but in a portable package. The Small HD DP7-Pro is powered by AC or various battery packs via adaptors. Sadly there's no adaptor plate to use the batteries that work with the GH3/GH4.
Quality of the display aside, the DP7 is featured packed and I mean packed. In a way it's like my GH4, packed with tools although I might not use them all on every shoot. I mostly used the built in histogram and focus peaking of the DP7 which I engaged via the touch screen.
One feature that I didn't have the chance to work with is the ability to load into the monitor (via SD cards) LUT's to preview what your final image will look like after post. This is such a big deal when you have clients in studio. With clients in studio you want to show them what your work will look like as soon as possible. Being able to view what the treated image will look like when its finished in real time without affecting your capture is badass. You can use the built in looks of the DP7 or build your own looks in Creative Cloud to load into the DP7.
Like I had mentioned before the DP7 is feature rich and while I could write about features for hours just head over to Small HD to check out their line up.
The DP7-Pro In Action
Here's a selection of shots from my Lumix GH4 Shooting Impressions video I made for Panasonic including the final promo video where you can see the DP7 in action. See more pics of the DP7 in action captured as I was creating the Lumix GH4 Shooting Impressions video over on Small HD's shooting gallery.