SmallHD's New Monitors Focus on RED Camera Control

SmallHD announces new Focus Pro monitors that can control the RED Komodo. 

In late 2019, SmallHD drastically reduced the price of its Focus 5 Series monitors by several hundred dollars in order to stay competitive in the market. Today, the company has refreshed the lineup with Focus Pro, a more durable version with improved connections and the ability to pair with the RED Komodo for camera control. 

Like the Focus 5 Series, Focus Pro is available in a 5" 720p LCD or a 1080p OLED version. For the most part, the internal specs of the Focus Pro are identical to its predecessor. The Focus Pro LCD model touts 800 nits of brightness, a 160° viewing angle, an adjustable backlight, and a 16:9 aspect ratio. Likewise, the Focus Pro OLED shares features of its Focus 5 Series brethren, including 350 nits and a color gamut that covers 105% NTSC on a 5" OLED. Both updated models have a single 3G-SDI connection that supports up to 10-bit 4:2:2 1080p at 60fps. 

What has changed is that Focus Pro now has 10-bit color depth as the Focus 5 Series only featured 8-bit. SmallHD also added new internal hardware to Focus Pro that allows it to control the RED Komodo. On the bottom of the monitor is a locking 5-pin connector that enables RCP functionality to control camera functions including run/stop, resolution, frame rate, shutter speed, and aperture, among others. Focus Pro also has a 2-pin power input that can be fed directly from Komodo to power the device. On top of that, SmallHD says it has improved the battery mount design to more securely connect compatible L series batteries. 

The design of the Focus Pro has changed, moving from the ABS plastic found on the Focus 5 Series to an aluminum chassis. With the sturdier shell comes an increase in weight to 9.6 oz. Additionally, there are 3 different 1/4"-20 mounting points, and an optional Focus Pro Hinge Mount designed to work with Komodo for optimal viewing while shooting. Focus Pro monitors have video assist features that includes focus assist, image flip, image rotate, waveform, vectorscope, RGB parade, histogram, and others. 

If you own a Focus 5 Series and are considering an upgrade, it may be worth it for the 10-bit processing, but if it isn't the end all be all, it might be best to save your money, at least for now.

The Focus Pro will see a software update in September that will allow it to control the RED Komodo. Like the Cine 7 series, other cameras that use the same 5-pin connector for camera control could theoretically be added to the device through software and the required control cable. It'd be a shame if the monitor ends up only being paired with the RED Komodo. 

Focus Pro is available for preorder and comes in 4 different options ranging from $599 to $949, including the standalone versions and then paired with the RED Komodo 36" camera control cable. Expect the LCD version to ship in August and the OLED model the following month. It's important to note that a separate control license for Komodo may need to be purchased separately. A firmware to control the camera will also be needed. It's expected to arrive in September.     

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