External monitors are vital pieces of kit in any videographer's bag, but what about using that big screen you carry around with you already? Here is how you turn your iPhone into an external monitor on the Panasonic GH5.
Firstly, you need the right mounts for your camera. Search online for a readily available “hot shoe universal phone holder,” something like this. Then you will need to download the Panasonic Image App from the App Store.
Next, on the GH5 under the spanner menu you’ll find the Wi-Fi function. Follow the instructions to connect the remote access functionality with the Panasonic Image App. In an ideal world this would be the last step, but for some reason Panasonic has designed the app so that the monitor will not utilize the full width of your phone screen. Therefore, there is very little benefit in using your phone as a monitor for the GH5 with this app.
So we have to rely on third-party apps to do the trick that Panasonic (whom are usually pretty hot on user experience when it comes to video) should really be doing in the official app. There are several options out there, but the one that grabbed my attention was the FieldMonitor App that got reviewed on DSLR Video Shooter’s YouTube channel this week.
It’s a paid $20 app, but this certainly seems worth the investment given the vast options, controls, and waveforms available in-app. I think the app designers have done a wonderful job in providing a genuine alternative to a traditional external monitor. I’d like to mention at this point that this is not a sponsored article, and there are other external monitor apps available in the App Store.
One of the first pieces of kit that goes in my bag when shooting video with the Panasonic GH5 is an Atomos Ninja Inferno. It’s hands down the best external monitor for this camera, but you’ll end up spending way over $1,000 after batteries and memory are included.
The latest GH5 2.0 firmware update has introduced ALL-I video recording options, which has reduced the gap between shooting in-camera compared to recording in ProResHQ in the Ninja Inferno. So there may be occasions when you want to pack light, but still monitor your footage on a larger screen. The FieldMonitor App seems to be an excellent alternative. Just make sure you are prepared for your phone’s battery to get eaten up quickly.