A quality monitor for a bargain price.
A couple of years ago, I started looking into adding a video monitor to my camera rig. This was when I was traveling to conferences and conventions like CES and I wanted to be able to see what was being recorded. One big consideration for a monitor was its portability. Older field monitors were bulky and couldn’t be attached to the camera easily. I wanted something that could be mounted to the camera along with my lighting and microphone. So, I looked at the smaller HDMI field monitors from companies like Small HD. Their 5-inch monitor range in price from $400-500. And while the quality is incredible, that was just not in the cards for me. When I was about to call it quits on the search for a budget-friendly 5-inch HDMI monitor, I found the ANDYCINE A6 5.7-inch HDMI Field Monitor.
The ANDYCINE A6 5.7-inch HDMI Field Monitor is compatible with popular brands of DSLRs like Sony, Nikon, and Canon as well as gimbals. It features a 5.7-inch IPS screen. It’s lightweight and is the perfect size for most shooting jobs including use with gimbals and handheld stabilizers. It has 1920 x 1080 as its native resolution and a brightness rating of 460 nits. The monitor will support a 4K HDMI signal input. The monitor is powered through built-in DC-8V power or a portable battery. It also comes equipped with an HDMI input port and 3.5mm earphone jack.
- Focus Assist or Focus Peaking (red, green, blue – three colors optional highlight over parts of the image in focus)
- Image Flip
- Zebra Exposure
- Color Temperature adjustment
- Anamorphic de-squeeze (1.3x, 2.0x, 2.0x MAG)
- Nine Grid (zoom one of the images to realize the full screen)
- Zoom (4x, 9x, 16x)
- Safe Frames (80%, 85%, 90%, 93%, 96%, 2.35:1)
- Ratio Markers (4:3, 13:9, 14:9, 15:9, 16:9, 1.85:1, 2.35:1)
- Viewing Angle: 80°80° (LR) 80°80° (UD)
- HDMI Input/ Output Support Format
- 1080i (60/59.94/50)
- 720p (60/59.94/50/30/29/25/24/23.98)
- 1080p (60/59.94/50/30/29.97/25/24/24sF23.98 23.98sF)
- 4K UHD 3840×2160p (30/29.97/25/24/23.98Hz), DCI 4K 4096×2160p (24Hz)
- 1X ANDYCINE A6 Monitor
- 1× Mini HDMI Cable
- 1× Sunshade
- 1×Tilt Arm
- 1× F970 Battery Plate(already mounted)
- 1× Operation Manual
Out of the box, the monitor is pretty much ready to go. It comes with the cables it needs for operation, but no power source. It is compatible with NP-F550 from RAVPower (a battery that is largely used with Sony cameras), which I already had on-hand. So, that is the power source I decided to go with. In addition to the Shoe Mount, the monitor also comes with a Sunshade and frame. The sunshade and frame piece together with Velcro, which works wonderfully, but I have to admit that when I went to stow the monitor in my camera bag, I pulled the sunshade off the frame and the Velcro that is on the frame stuck to the bag. This made sure that the monitor was secure and moving around in the bag, but it did make it harder to pull the monitor out of the bag quickly. The sunshade is a great add-on and I recommend using it. In bright light, it makes it much easier to see your subject.
There are three 1/4-20 thread points on the monitor — top, bottom, and right side. I ended up using the Shoe Mount so that I could place the monitor onto my camera and then I mounted a microphone to the cold shoe spot of the shoe mount. You can use these other mount points for more accessories if you wish. They are included since the main shoe mount is used for the monitor. The mount arm swivels, which is wonderful for reviewing your video from all angles — or if you want to watch your own performance while on camera. The A6 monitor is very lightweight (only 1.65 pounds) and the body is made primarily of plastic. The shoe mount is a metal frame, which is great for stability-sake.
This monitor is not a touchscreen and its main navigation control is maintained through the 8 buttons that reside on the top of the monitor. A breakdown of the controls
In addition to the operational buttons there are also several ports included on the monitor.
- USB Upgrade: This is for updating the firmware on the monitor only.
- 3.5mm Port: For headphones and audio output.
- DC IN 12V: DC power input interface, polarity as the input power
- DC OUT 8V: DC power output interface, polarity s the input power
- HDMI IN: v1.4, HDMI signal input up to 4K@30Hz
I want to note here that the barrel output for powering the camera is only available with a DC coupler that is sold separately. The headphone jack is useful for video playback, but not really reliable for audio monitoring. I would plug headphones directly into the camera for accurate audio monitor since there is a slight delay between video and audio when using the monitor.
While the ANDYCINE A6 5.7-inch HDMI Field Monitor has a lot of features going for it, I would say the screen is the best part. The 1920×1080 native resolution is solid and it gives you full 1080p providing a nice, sharp picture. This is perfect for checking focus and great news for your final video product. The color on the monitor is very accurate and much better than a lot of budget monitors out there. One of my favorite features of this monitor is that it includes image flip, which is ideal to use when you are utilizing the swivel on the mounting arm.
I used this monitor a few time while in the field. I was concerned about the exposure of my video since I was using the Canon 5D Mark IV and it was a particularly bright day. So, I plugged the monitor in and was easily able to tell where my exposure points were too hot using the false color feature of the monitor. I also used this monitor to check focus and placement of myself on camera when I was shooting a ‘talking-head’ video. In addition to the 5D Mark IV, I’ve also used the monitor alongside my Canon EOS-R and it’s been tremendously helpful — especially when I’m on camera. Any time I’ve used the ANDYCINE monitor, it’s not let me down.
This is a remarkable little monitor and I was shocked at the premium quality I was getting with such a budget-friendly option. I think that the menu system is user-friendly but it did take me a little time to get used to where things were located. Once I did, I flew through set-ups and found my production quality improved simply because I could monitor my progress as I shot. I can recommend this monitor for semi-pro use. It’s affordable and works great.