We know, we know, your new Canon or Sony has a fancy built-in monitor on the back of the camera. It’s great—we get it. 

However, while we all love just how much better, more intuitive, and much more interactive built-in touchscreen monitors have become over the years, you’ve never really experienced true filmmaking breathability until you’ve upgraded to an external video monitor.

Whether you aim to attach your monitor to your camera and use it as a better onboard device, or if you want to hand it to your director friend while you go run-and-gun, there are a million reasons to try out different monitors on set. 

And now, with the new SmallHD Action 5 monitor, we might have the best intro monitor option currently on the market. Let’s check it out.

The SmallHD Action 5

If you’ve heard of SmallHD, then you’ve probably heard of their external monitors. Hopefully, you’ve seen one or two on set here or there, but if you’re truly in the dark, SmallHD is a great brand that has been making great products in this space for years.

Bundled under the Creative Solutions banner along with Teradek and Wooden Camera, SmallHD is quickly becoming a staple for on-set workflows. 


With the new Action 5, we get a true beginners monitor (or perhaps a nice secondary or backup option for a more seasoned pro), which boasts all the exceptional brightness and toolsets you’d expect—but without too much heft in terms of weight or price.

This SmallHD Action 5 features a lightweight 5.5” LCD touchscreen with 2,000 nits of brightness, 1080p resolution, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, 440 PPI, and Rec. 709, plus everything you’d need in terms of basic one-touch functionality and tools.


What People Are Saying

The SmallHD is literally being dubbed a “newcomer's” monitor as it’s truly meant to be your first foray into external monitor territory. No matter if you're an aspiring filmmaker, YouTuber, or content creator.

Dave Bredbury, Product Manager for CS Cine, says:

“The Action 5 is the perfect on-ramp into the SmallHD ecosystem of monitors; it offers a simplified user interface, daylight-viewable display, and a lightweight form factor that you would expect from SmallHD–all without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a newcomer looking for your first monitor or a professional who needs a secondary or backup solution, the Action 5 offers one-touch functionality and the most user-friendly OS on the market, based on the same SmallHD UX and UI found on the biggest Hollywood film sets.”

This new tiny-boi weighs in at 10 ounces, yet includes all the HDMI attachments and battery plate support you might need to combine with any Sony L-Series or Canon LP-E6 batteries. The HDMI I/O is right by the power input and provides ¼”-20 mounting points and should be a shoe-in to fit any camera shoe mount.


Specs and Price

And ready for the kicker? The SmallHD Action 5 is coming in at well under $400 (currently at $329), making it a truly affordable, plug-and-play monitor for those finally ready to get out from the viewfinder.

SmallHD Action 5 On-Camera Monitor

New Release!
  • Bright 2000 cd/m² Display
  • 1920 x 1080 Screen Resolution
  • 1000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • Rec.709 Color Gamut Supported
  • Uses Sony NP-F or Canon LP-E6 Batteries
Monitor Only

While it's not the cheapest 5-inch monitor on the market, SmallHD's pedigree really shines at the price point and stands out amongst the competition. If you're looking at a monitor at half the price, consider investing in the SmallHD ecosystem. You may get better support down the road.

You do get what you pay for, after all. 

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