a man is looking at his external camera screen

Buying Guide to External Camera Screen: Why You Need & How to Choose

Are you a professional photographer? Or maybe you just enjoy taking pictures as a hobby? In either case, you probably know that choosing the right external camera screen is essential to getting the perfect shot.

But with all the different types and brands of external camera screens on the market, how do you know which one is right for you? Don't worry; we're here to help.

This blog post will walk you through everything you need to know about choosing an external camera screen. We'll cover the different types of screens available and the important features to look for.

By the end, you'll be an expert in choosing the perfect camera screen for your needs. So let's get started.

What Is an External Camera Screen?

An external camera screen is a portable display that connects to your camera and allows you to preview your shots. These screens are particularly useful for cameras that don't have a built-in display.

External camera screens come in various sizes, from small handheld screens to large tablet-sized displays. And they can be either fixed or articulated, meaning they can be tilted and swiveled for easy viewing.

Why Do You Need an External Monitor?

There are a few reasons you might want to use an external camera screen.

  • An external monitor allows you to view your shots on a larger screen, which can be helpful for seeing finer details that you might miss on the camera's small built-in display.

photo of a man in front of his external camera screen

Photo by Chris Murray on Unsplash

  • Many external monitors also come with the ability to encode videos, which can be helpful if you want to edit your footage or share it online.
  • An external monitor can make taking selfies more effortless. Instead ofjuggling the camera, an external monitor will enable you to see exactly where your face is in the frame and eliminate the need to guess.
  • An external monitor can also help you calibrate the colors in your shots, which is important for getting accurate results when editing your photos later on.
  • External monitors can also help extend your camera's battery life, as they use less power than the camera's built-in display. Some even come with their own batteries, so you can avoid draining your camera's power completely.
  • External monitors are also suitable for shooting in various lighting conditions, as you can adjust the screen's brightness to suit your needs. This is useful when shooting in the dark, such as at a concert or nightclub, where the lighting conditions may be too dim for the camera's viewfinder.
  • You can also use external monitors to review your images. After you take a picture, you can review it on the monitor to see if it's in focus and check the exposure. This could be helpful if you're not sure if you got the shot you wanted.
  • And finally, an external monitor allows multiple users to monitor the camera feed. This is great for large-scale shoots like movies where everyone on the production team needs to be able to see what's going on.

10 Tips for Choosing Your Camera Monitor

Now that you know the basics of external camera monitors, here are a few tips to help you choose the right one for your needs:

1. Make Sure the Screen Is Compatible With Your Camera

This is the most essential factor to consider when choosing an external monitor. Some monitors only work with specific camera models. So before you buy, make sure the monitor you're considering is compatible with your camera.

2. Consider the Size of the Screen

Feelworld FW759 external camera screen

Image Credit: amazon.com 

Do you want a small monitor that you can keep in your pocket, or do you need a large screen for critical focus and framing? Choose a size that will work for the way you shoot.

3. Think About the Resolution of the Screen

The resolution of a monitor is measured in pixels. The higher the resolution, the sharper the image will be. You'll want a monitor with at least 1080p resolution if you're shooting video.

4. Choose a Screen With Adjustable Brightness

Some monitors have fixed brightness, which can be difficult to see in bright sunlight or dim indoor lighting. Choose a monitor with adjustable brightness so you can see the screen clearly no matter what the lighting conditions are.

5. Look for a Screen That Supports Video Encoding

If you want to use your monitor for recording video, make sure it supports video encoding. Not all monitors do, so this is an important feature to look for. This can be helpful if you want to edit your footage and share it online.

6. Choose a Screen That's Durable and Scratch-Resistant

Your monitor will be exposed to various elements and risks, so choose a durable and scratch-resistant one. A Gorilla Glass screen is a good option.

7. Look for a Screen That Comes With All the Necessary Cables and Adapters

Make sure the monitor you choose comes with all the cables and adapters you need to connect it to your camera. This will save you the hassle of having to buy them separately, which can be expensive.

8. Consider the Price of the Screen

External monitors can range in price from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand. Don't overspend on a monitor just because it has a lot of features. Choose a screen that has the features you need at a price you can afford.

9. Choose a Screen From a Reputable Brand

There are many brands of camera monitors on the market, so choose one from a reputable brand that has a good track record.

10. Read Online Reviews of the Screen

Once you've narrowed down your choices, read online reviews to see what other photographers think of the monitors you're considering. This can be a great way to get unbiased opinions about a product and will also give you an idea of what to expect from it.

5 Best External Camera Screen

Now that you know what to look for in an external camera screen, here are five of the best screens on the market:

1. Lilliput A7s: Best for Beginners

Lilliput A7s

Image Credit: amazon.com

The Lilliput A7s is a great external camera screen for beginners. It has a 7-inch display and a resolution of 1920 x1 200, making it perfect for those who want to start shooting video with their DSLR or mirrorless camera. The Lilliput A7s also has a built-in speaker, so you can playback your footage without having to connect an external speaker.

Features

  • 7-inch display
  • 1920 x 1200 resolution
  • Brightness: 500 nits
  • Battery: Sony ( L style)
  • Built-in speaker
  • HDMI input
  • USB power input

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use, making it great for beginners
  • It comes with a silicone rubber case for protection against shock or falls.

Cons

  • No touchscreen feature
  • Low resolution

2. The Atomos Ninja V - Best Overall

The Atomos Ninja V

Image Credit: amazon.com

The Atomos Ninja V 5" HDR On-Camera Monitor is an excellent choice for those looking for a high-resolution screen. It has a resolution of 1920 x 1280 and comes with a built-in recorder for capturing 4K video.

Features

  • Brightness 1000 nit
  • Resolution 1080p
  • 10-bit HDR
  • 5" screen
  • Batteries: Sony (L style)
  • 4K recording

Pros

  • High resolution
  • Bright screen
  • 4K recording

Cons

  • None

3. FEELWORLD FW568: Best Budget External Monitor

FEELWORLD FW568

Image Credit: amazon.com

The FEELWORLD FW568 is a great budget-friendly option for those looking for an external camera screen. It has a 5.5-inch display and a resolution of 1280x720, making it great for those who want to start shooting video with their DSLR or mirrorless camera.

Features

  • 5-inch display
  • 1280 x 720 resolution
  • HDMI input
  • USB power input

Pros

  • It is affordable
  • It is lightweight

Cons

  • One HDMI input option is available.

4. SmallHD Focus 5": Best Small External Screen

SmallHD Focus 5"

Image Credit: amazon.com

The SmallHD Focus 5" On-Camera Monitor is an excellent option for those looking for a small and portable screen. It has a resolution of 1280 x 720 and an articulated design that allows you to tilt and swivel the screen for easy viewing.

Features

  • 5-inch display
  • Supports UHD 4K
  • SD card slot - Yes
  • Touch screen display
  • 1280 x 720 resolution

Pros

  • Small and Lightweight

Cons

  • The touch screen can be difficult to use if you are not familiar with it.
  • It is a bit pricey.

5. Feelworld FW759: Best Large External Screen

Feelworld FW759

Image Credit: amazon.com

The Feelworld FW759 7" IPS On-Camera Monitor is a great choice for those needing a larger screen. It has a resolution of 1280 x 800 and an articulated design that allows you to tilt and swivel the screen for easy viewing.

Features

  • 7-inch display
  • 1280 x 800 resolution
  • Connects via HDMI or AV
  • USB powered
  • LED Backlight

Pros

  • Large display for easy monitoring
  • Flexible viewing angles
  • A tilt arm is included on purchase
  • High resolution

Cons

  • Its chassis is made of plastic making it fragile.
  • It lacks the touchscreen feature.

Conclusion

So there you have it, the ultimate guide to choosing your external camera screen. Remember to consider all of the factors we've discussed when making your decision so that you can be sure that you are getting the most out of your investment.

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