So you've got a DSLR that records video. You think, "Hey, I can shoot video and make buku bucks." Well guess what? There are fun video toys for you and your DSLR, and I am here to tell you about one of them today: the Elvid FieldVision 7-Inch On-Camera Monitor Version 2.
You're probably thinking, "But, but, you guys at Fstoppers say it's not about the gear!" You're right. No, it's not about the gear, but hello gear is fun! And this particular piece of gear is super helpful. I used to work for a company that did most of Walmart's retention and in-house hires (exciting stuff, I know). We did all of the videos trying to convince people to work for different categories and switch over. The people who spoke on camera were always people who were carefully chosen and groomed, and loved seeing themselves after the take. What are you, five years old?! Not to mention, there was always a ton of producers and executive types on set looking over our shoulders. Now I don't know about you, but I can't stand it when someone is breathing down my neck. It's unnerving and I hate the smell of the other person's lunch. Luckily my boss at the time got smart and bought a couple of on-camera monitors (OCM). These were lifesavers.
Not only were we able to put these suckers on reticulating arms so the client could happily judge us from three feet further away, these really came in handy when we were out in the field shooting B-roll. I can't tell you how many times we would get an artsy shot and the LCD screen was hopelessly lost in a glare, and no hand or nose pressed over the screen could save it. So when we started using the OCMs, they came with hoods, and sat perfectly on the cameras. I almost felt like a Hollywood director, just missing a chair.
The Elivd FieldVision is a great product. It's very durable and lightweight, and at only one pound — which is awesome if you're using it in your hotshoe — it's not going to feel heavy. It's honestly a perfect starter OCM. The FieldVision doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but it does have an awesome feature of focus assist. Focusing is probably one of the biggest reasons I would advocate getting an OCM. Sure a three-inch monitor is OK, but it's just that much easier to see on a monitor that's twice the size and doesn't weigh down your camera. It works surprisingly well. I was honestly thinking meh, but was pleasantly surprised by the accuracy of the focus.
The FieldVision isn't going to break your bank either, it's only $239. Comparable OCMs start at almost double the price. And the color profile? It was really spot on with no crushed blacks or washed out highlights. Plus, it most likely uses the same battery as your camera, and if you're a "real professional," this is great because it's likely you already have extra batteries. You can choose which plate to use, for me I stuck with the LP-E6 (don't tell the guys I shoot Canon!). The monitor doesn't come with batteries, so you will have to use the ones you have laying around the house.
The sun hood that comes with the FieldVision could definitely be better; it's a piece of plastic that "clicks" onto the device, then the actual hood is held to the plastic piece by Velcro. It's pretty cheap, but hey it gets the job done. I would also suggest purchasing a different mount. The ball mount that it comes with is pretty flimsy, and you can find a better one for about $20 on B&H. Also, beware the noise. When you first turn on the device make sure the volume is turned all the way down, else this horrid feedback will leave your ears ringing.
Things I Liked
- Battery compatibility
- Focus Assist
Things That Can Be Improved
- Sun hood is a little flimsy
- Some god awful feedback noise when you turn it on
- Ball mount flimsy