The OLED 27 comes to us in a flurry of new SmallHD releases, each one occupying a unique and indispensable niche both on set and off. The 27 shines as a simple display monitor, but it's also an incredible investment for any editor, DIT, or colorist seeking more vibrancy in the suite.
The SmallHD's OLED 27 will run you a staggering $11,999, but hear us out before you click away—this reference monitor was built to deliver a professional, high-fidelity image that leaves nothing to the imagination.
SmallHD's Biggest and Boldest OLED Yet
The OLED 27 is the latest addition to SmallHD's growing OLED series. These products are 4K reference monitors that serve a dual role within your production pipeline, providing a colorist's perspective as you shoot that comes with you right back into the suite.
Rear I/OCredit: SmallHD
Is this display made for cinematographers or image technicians in post? Arguably, both.
The OLED 27 is marketed as a "set-to-suite" HDR preview monitor, and we can't help but agree.
Along with a 4K HDMI to 4K HDMI cable, its 24-volt supply line, and a handy little cloth to keep things glossy, you'll also enjoy the following out of the box:
- Screen Size: 26.9in (68.3cm)
- Resolution: 3840 x 2160
- Brightness: 550nits
- Color Depth: True 10-bit
- Gamut: 110% DCI-P3, 135% Rec. 709
- Backlight Type: OLED
- SDI: four 12G-SDIs in, four 12G-SDIs out
- HDMI: one HDMI 2.0 in, one HDMI 2.0 out
- Power Input: one 3-pin XLR
This premium display boasts a contrast factor of 1,000,000:1—essentially, this means that the brightest possible value that the device is capable of will be one million times brighter than absolute zero. Your darker values and blacks will be deep and rich, allowing everything else on-screen to come alive in the most vibrant way possible.
To compare, this $400 monitor by LG offers you a contrast ratio of 1,000:1. Anybody serious about image depth of value will agree. Side-by-side, there is no comparison.
The PageOS Software Platform
Many dedicated preview monitors come equipped with a suite of tools designed to aid your work in the field.
The OLED 27 is no exception—PageOS 4, the latest iteration of SmallHD's proprietary digital platform, comes fully loaded with everything you'll need to succeed:
- Small4K video-processing architecture
- Built-in waveforms, histograms, and vectorscopes
- Color Pipe HDR color-rendering
- An included calibration assistant
- Pomfort Livegrade, which allows you to use the 27 as an Ethernet-driven second coloring display—a live image signal, directly from your camera, dropped right into your lap
This last point is probably one of the most exciting and innovative things about all of SmallHD's new 4K production monitors. You're literally able to grade each shot in real-time through applied creative LUTs as you shoot, adjusting as you need to.
This device is compatible with the zero-delay Teradek Bolt 4K ecosystem, as well, with two built-in two-pin locking power outputs. It's a great workflow, and this monitor makes every second a pleasure.
The OLED 27 in the Field
We'll be honest. Twenty-seven inches is a lot of screen to wrangle, but this device's unibody smart chassis makes it just as durable as some of SmallHD's more modest offerings, including the smaller end of the Cine series.
A few features to note—tons of assignable function buttons, 12.3 stops of dynamic range, and a host of attachment points, including a dovetail mounting rail along the back—there are a million ways to configure your set-up. Focus-pulling features, frame guides, and exposure assistants help you make each shot memorable (and technically sound), but it's also the perfect preview monitor for your on-set colorist or DIT.
The 27's chassis body is composed of aircraft-grade aluminum tough enough to withstand the ins and outs of production. At a scant 13 pounds, it's a high-value, field-tested companion you won't want to be without.
The OLED 27 in Post
This display is a filmmaker's monitor through and through. It's built to travel, but it's also capable enough visually to stand in as a studio monitor, as well. It's easy to calibrate, and all the same PageOS tools remain just as useful after the fact.
The image quality remains just as strong in post-production and may even confer an extra dimension of consistency. It all depends on what you prefer—the ability to work through the exact same interface before and after is extremely appealing to us as cinematographers who often color our own footage. It takes the thinking out of the process without compromising the technical integrity of the source material.
While other dedicated 4K coloring monitors like those from Flanders Scientific and Sony may offer you more color bit depth and more tools to play with, the OLED 27's performance as a pure reference monitor will not fall flat apples-to-apples. It's the ultimate window into your grade from start to finish.
SmallHD's OLED 27: Here, There, and Everywhere Else, Too
We love SmallHD for many reasons—reliability, quality of craftsmanship, and, of course, an incredible picture every time. It's pricey, but this velvety-smooth experience is so worth it.
If you've got stars in your eyes already, you can order one straight from the source.
No Film School's complete coverage of NAB 2022 is brought to you by Blackmagic Design, Atomos, and Creative Solutions (makers of Teradek, Wooden Camera, and SmallHD).