SmallHD DP7-Pro OLED Monitor Provides Real Time Color Grading

Cinematographer Timur Civan is busy this time of year shooting spots for everything from toys and candy to fashion. While he often shoots with his RED Dragon, a range of other cameras are also in his kit. But, the one thing he always brings along is his SmallHD DP7-Pro OLED on camera field monitor.

The SmallHD DP7-PRO is an OLED on-camera monitor with a range of features not typically found on some portable monitors. The 7-inch, 1280x800 OLED display is able to detect and display custom 3D LUTs from any color grading application. The monitor displays high color gamut with true black point and high contrast.

Small packaging and Smart-Keys make the DP7-Pro easy to mount and use on almost any camera.

Small packaging and Smart-Keys make the DP7-Pro easy to mount and use on almost any camera.

The monitor provides 24 quick-access ‘Smart-Keys’, which can be assigned to 24 functions for instant access. No more menu maze. The monitor provides full-screen waveform and scope function displays. Two-way cross conversion (SDI/HDMI) is included.

Civan calls his DP7-Pro a “modern light meter. Regardless of which camera I am using, it goes with me wherever I shoot.” And the recent series of candy spots shot in New York was no exception.

The monitor’s firmware provides for importing and applying grades in 3D LUTS, and exporting the color grading data to go to the post-production house. For the candy spot, Civan wanted to apply a particular cine look, Kodak 2393, which was developed by Juan Melara. Civan downloaded 2393 from Melara’s website and imported it into his DP7-Pro SmallHD monitor.

Although the DP7-Pro is HDMI capable, Civan points out that he works in an all SDI world. On the candy shoot, they set the camera up in REDLogFilm and applied the Kodak 2393 LUT to the signal so it had a 35mm saturation and feel as Civan watched the SmallHD monitor.

Then the graded video was sent downstream for viewing by the director and client. “Previously, I would have had to feed a raw signal in log to the DIT who would have to down-feed a Rec.709 image to the director and client”, he said. Now the client and director see a beautiful 15-stop dynamic range "709" corrected image on the Sony OLED full size monitor.

Tools like the SmallHD DP-7 Pro can make shooting quicker and more accurate.

Tools like the SmallHD DP-7 Pro can make shooting quicker and more accurate.

For this streamlined workflow, Civan says, “my DIT builds a custom 3D look so that the director and I can see what the image looks like as nearly finished work. And the client sees what it will look like. So now, rather than going back and building several different looks for insurance, we have a choice of moving to the next set up, or the time savings allows us to work harder on perfecting the lighting to the LUT we want. There’s less guesswork. It helps us stay truer to the vision of myself and the director.”

And for the DIT, Civan points out: “it simplifies his process so he’s not directly tethered to the camera. If we are at different locations for scenes, we don’t have to drag all of his stuff with us. We just pick up the set-up on an SD card and transfer it to the new location, with the actual look to the monitor. It gives us a real consistency and helps maintain the look between setups. It is a monstrous time saver!”

“All in all,” says Civan, “the SmallHD DP7 Pro makes getting the final result quicker and easier.” For harried directors and crew, this means there’s time for refinement or just getting the project finished quicker.

Update: 

The Vitec Group today announced that it has acquired SmallHD, the North Carolina company known for its high-quality, high-definition, on-camera field monitors used by videographers, cinematographers, camera assistants and other creative professionals across the filmmaking world. SmallHD will be incorporated into the Vitec Group’s Videocom division, complementing its existing brands.

SmallHD joins the Vitec Videocom line-up of brands that serves its users in broadcast, cinematography and professional content creation. Other Vitec Videocom brands include Anton/Bauer, Autoscript, Autocue, Camera Corps, Bexel, Litepanels, OConnor, Petrol Bags, Sachtler, Teradek, The Camera Store, Vinten and Vinten Radamec.

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