Having an external camera screen is helpful for videographers or still photographers. There are several advantages, including better screen resolution and visualization. And an external camera screen gives you a larger display and better viewing angle options.
The Atomos Ninja V is our top choice for external camera screens. You can record 4K video at 60 fps with internal playback. And it has all the features and ports you need for high-quality photography and video recording.
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The Best External Camera Screen
An external camera monitor can be a game-changer for shooting video or stills. It gives you more freedom and flexibility. So they help improve your photography and videography.
First, you’ll see a quick rundown of our list of the best camera monitors. In the next section, we’ll look at each camera screen in more detail. And the final section looks at some key features you must consider when buying an external camera screen.
- 10-bit 4K / 60p recording with Pro-Res / DNxHR
- Assist tools for brightness, contrast, color, and focus
- 5" 1000-nit HDR touchscreen
- AtomX connectivity for add-ons and control
- Lightweight and durable aluminum body
- 4K Ultra HD resolution with anti-glare coating
- Wide viewing angle
- Adjustable backlight brightness with a 2200-nit limit
- 3D LUT (Look Up Table) support to map colors
- HDMI and audio and visual inputs / outputs
- 5.5" 1920 x 1080 Full HD display
- Bright 1500 nits for outdoor use
- Built-in dual-channel HD-SDI / HDMI inputs
- Waveform, Vectorscope and False Color
- Touchscreen and Peaking Focus Assist
- 7" 1920 x 1200 IPS LCD panel
- 4K resolution with 10-bit color support
- HDMI, SDI and mini-HDMI inputs
- High 400 cd/m2 brightness
- Rugged metal housing and sunshade
- 15.6" 4K Ultra HD resolution
- HDR capability for enhanced image details
- Supports both HDMI 2.0 and SDI connections
- Includes built-in scopes
- Has a built-in calibration sensor
- 15.6" IPS display with 4K resolution
- Multiple tools for precise color calibration
- Supports 4K HDMI input/output
- 300 cd/m2 brightness for clear visuals
- Includes sunshade for outdoor use
- 4K HDMI monitoring up to 30 fps
- Bright 1500 nit display
- Slim lightweight design
- Waveform and Vectorscope
- Built-in battery and charger
- 4K HDR monitor with 7” screen
- 1000 nits brightness for outdoor viewing
- 4K HDMI input/output
- USB-C power delivery
- Lightweight & portable
- 15.6" HDR ProRes RAW monitor
- 10-bit Dolby Vision/HLG support
- 4Kp60 recording & playback
- 8-stop dynamic range
- 2x HDMI 2.0 inputs/outputs
- Full HD resolution and supports 4K recording
- 178° wide viewing angle
- Bright 2600-nit screen for outdoor shooting
- Touchscreen with custom shortcut options
- Full of advanced features like Histogram, vectorscope, and wave form
- 7" IPS panel with 4K Ultra HD resolution
- 10-bit color depth for improved accuracy
- Built-in 3D LUTs for color grading
- Dual-purpose sunhood for outdoor use
- 2x NP-F550 batteries for extended use
- 6" IPS LCD HD monitor
- 4K HDMI input/output
- Focus Assist and False Color
- Waveform and Vectorscope
- Built-in battery and charger
- Crisp 1920 x 1200 IPS LCD display
- Supports 4K input with HDMI
- Lightweight and portable design
- Built-in Histogram, False Color, and Focus Assist
- Includes sunshade hood for outdoor use
- 7" HD monitor with 1280 x 800 resolution
- 1500 nit brightness for optimal viewing in any lighting
- 1/4 to 20" and 3/8 to 16" mounting points
- Built-in Waveform and Vectorscope tools
- Dual battery plate for Canon LP-E6 and Sony L-series
- Bright 5" 1920 x 1080 display
- Advanced focus tools for easier focusing
- Flexible mounting options
- Built-in scopes for easy exposure checks
- High-quality construction and durable design
1. Atomos Ninja V 4K Monitor
The Atmos Ninja V is a popular monitor due to the well-calibrated HDR screen and support for the following:
- 4K video up to 60 fps
- 6K Apple ProRes RAW (from the Nikon Z6 and Z7)
- 10-bit 4:2:2 chroma subsampling
- H.265, also called HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding)
- Log formats from ARRI, Canon, Panasonic, RED, and Sony
The maximum screen resolution is only 1080p. But it can still record 4K video at 60 fps and display anamorphic lens footage with 2x, 1.5x, 1.33x, or Panasonic’s 4:3 aspect ratio.
Many features are also available, including multi-level
It also has built-in playback options. So you can review your latest shots without exporting the media files to another device. And you have inputs for sound recording equipment.
The downsides are the lack of a touchscreen and the fan’s noise. But it’s a lightweight external camera screen for DSLR and mirrorless cameras. The performance is excellent. And the price is reasonable for the quality.
2. FeelWorld FW279 4K DSLR Monitor
The real strength of the FeelWorld FW279 is its large, bright screen. It’s contrasty. And the high resolution is perfect for shooting outside in direct sunlight.
The color calibration settings allow excellent color rendition. There are plenty of monitoring tools, like focus assist, zebra stripes, and histograms. It’s also designed to work with most DSLR and mirrorless cameras.
It’s a lightweight external camera screen. That makes it easy to attach to your DSLR camera rig or stabilizer setup. And there’s no need to transfer the media first.
It also has built-in speakers. This lets you watch playback with audio. Or you can also use the headphone jack for better audio playback.
The display isn’t a touchscreen, which is a drawback. But you get a lovely 160-degree viewing angle. This wide-angle view gives you more viewing options. And it makes it easier to get the exact shot you need.
3. Portkeys BM5WR Touchscreen Field Monitor
If you’re looking for a bright, contrasty on-camera monitor, then the Portkeys BM5WR may be the right choice. Its brightness rating of 2200 nits is only beaten by the Blackmagic Video Assist listed below.
Its screen is only 5.5 inches, and it can’t record video. But it offers excellent connectivity, supporting 3G-SDI, HDMI, HDMI-SDI cross-conversion, and Bluetooth.
When used with the Blackmagic Design Pocket Camera 4K or 6K, the Bluetooth connection lets you remotely control settings. These settings include zoom, shutter speed, codec, focus, and screen resolution.
The BM5WR gives you a nice wide viewing angle of 178 degrees. And the bright display is a touchscreen. This makes it super-easy to use.
It’s also made with toughened glass. This means you get a productive viewing angle and extra protection. It’s why it’s one of the best camera screens for outdoor shooting. Plus, the 1000:1 low contrast ratio is another spec that improves its use outdoors.
4. Lilliput A7s 4K Monitor
The Lilliput A7s is the most affordable 7-inch on-camera monitor if you don’t need to record your footage. It has buttons and a scroll wheel rather than a touchscreen.
It also fits onto a DSLR hot shoe, can cope with 4K video (with loop-through HDMI output), and has two customizable function keys. It offers similar bells and whistles to more expensive on-camera monitors.
Advanced functions include the following:
- Audio Level Meters: You can check if the audio is in sync and if there is room for it to be louder.
- False Color: This helps you with proper
exposureby showing colors and values.
- Color Bars: Provides a consistent reference for post-processing.
- Pixel Zoom: Allow a close-up view to see the focus distance and other small details.
There’s also focus peaking, a pixel-to-pixel scan, and an image flip. All these features are designed to make life easier for videographers.
The camera monitor has a good 170-degree viewing angle. It’s also lightweight yet durable. And you get a Velcro sun hood, silicone case, and ball mount included.
It isn’t the most advanced monitor. And it isn’t ideal for outdoor shooting. But it’s a good budget-friendly option for DSLR users.
5. Blackmagic Design HDR Monitor
The Blackmagic Design HDR monitor is at the top end of the market for on-camera monitors. Plus, it’s the only one that can capture Blackmagic’s RAW code video. (When you shoot with a model from its Pocket Cinema Camera range.)
The screen resolution is Full HD. So it’s an excellent external screen display. It’s a good option for high-quality video recording. This monitor allows you to capture 4K at 60 fps. And you can use it with pro-level DSLR and mirrorless cameras.
It has RAW compatibility. It has all the ports you need for professional recording. And it also offers 3D LUTs, professional scopes,
The screen is incredibly bright. The brightness adjustment goes all the way up to 2500 nits. And this strong illumination helps you see all the details of your shot. It also helps when shooting in direct sunlight.
6. ANDYCINE A6 Plus 4K HDMI Monitor
The ANDYCINE A6 Plus offers a lot of features at a low price point. The video assist options include a histogram, a false-color function, and peaking tools. Plus, there is 3D LUT support via an SD slot.
The Full HD display gives you good color and detail. But with a max brightness of 450 nits, you will struggle in bright sunlight.
The built-in arm does give good flexibility. It gives you a good view when shooting from any angle.
It attaches to the hotshoe at the top of your DSLR or
The A6 Plus monitor comes with a sun hood, carry case, and rechargeable battery set. And you can also use the 8V DC output to charge DSLR cameras. It’s the perfect camera monitor if you’re a beginner.
7. Atomos Shinobi 5-inch 4K HDMI Monitor
It’s also small, light, and bright enough for shooting outside. So it’s a fantastic external camera screen for the price.
It shares the Ninja V’s ability to show HDR pictures a camera’s LCD might not cope with. And there are plenty of display options, such as waveforms and histograms. Everything is easy to find in the user-friendly menu system. And it even supports 1D and 3D LUTs.
The Shinobi is ideal for vlogging cameras and social media creators. It’s a lightweight and portable LCD monitor. And there’s a special mirror mode for selfies and vloggers. The good battery life is another positive. And so is the reasonable price.
8. Atomos Shinobi 7-inch 4K Monitor
There aren’t many major differences between the Shinobi 5 and 7. But the bigger screen does give you a better image.
The Shinobi 7-inch is an excellent device when shooting photography in Live View. You can shoot from more angles. And its brightness allows you to shoot outside in bright sunlight. It also has HDR settings for even better image viewing.
9. Atomos Shogun 7 Pro HDR Monitor
The Atomos Shogun 7 is effectively a 7-inch version of the Ninja V. It is ideal for professionals working with the best cine cameras. And it’s for photographers who want external recorders with a large, bright HDR screen.
It offers real-time recording capabilities in 4K. And you can use formats such as ProRes RAW and CinemaDNG. Also, built-in presets can cope with camera manufacturers’ log video formats.
The screen has good brightness adjustability. You can go from 1500 to 3000 nits. That means you can work inside, in the dark, and outside in bright sunlight. You’ll have a detailed display no matter what the conditions.
The Shogun 7 is a lightweight and portable external camera screen. The touchscreen works well. And the interface is easy to navigate. The lack of buttons means there’s no alternative to touchscreen navigation. But it’s only a minor inconvenience.
10. Desview R7 II Camera Field Monitor
The Desview R7 II is a big improvement from the original R7 monitor. The previous model only had a brightness of 450 nits. The R7 II has a brightness of 2600 nits. That’s incredible brightness. And it allows you to shoot outdoors in the brightest of sunlight.
We’re pleased to see this model has a touchscreen. That makes it simple and easy to use. You can also use it when wearing gloves, which is handy in cold weather. The menu systems are also straightforward and uncomplicated. And you can customize the shortcut buttons on the screen for quick access to your favorite features.
The external screen has a Full HD resolution. And it supports 4K video recording. That’s ideal when using 4K DSLR cameras. You also get custom imports for 3D-LUT to help you preview the shooting image.
Other useful features include a histogram, waveform, and vectorscope. There are color temperature controls. And it supports HDR monitoring for better detail inspection.
The specifications are excellent. But it remains a compact and lightweight external camera screen. It’s more expensive than the original R7. But the Desview R7 II camera monitor is well worth the extra money if you can stretch your budget.
11. FeelWorld T7 4K Camera Monitor
It doesn’t have 2200-nit brightness. But it makes up for it with a large screen, slim design, and wide viewing angle (160 degrees). It is also a lightweight external screen. So it’s no burden when attached to your rig.
Despite being lightweight and compact, it’s a durable camera monitor. And it has a strong aluminum frame. This is reassuring when compared to some of the plastic-framed competitors.
You also get an excellent range of monitoring tools. It includes color calibration technology, a focus peaking filter, a histogram,
The low-brightness level does let you down when shooting outside. But the Full HD resolution is sharp and vivid. The T7 can also cope with higher video resolutions. So you can pair it with your 4K camera.
12. FeelWorld F6 Plus DSLR Monitor
The Feelworld F6 Plus is specifically designed for professionals using Canon DSLR cameras. The display supports Full HD screen resolution. And the input-output ports cover all the most popular options.
It has a built-in tilt arm that rotates 360 degrees. This means you can view the screen from any angle. And its slim, lightweight design makes it highly portable. So it won’t add much extra weight to your DSLR setup.
The screen is smaller than the 7-inch versions. But the Full HD resolution gives you a crisp and clear image for Live View and playback. The battery life is disappointing for a camera screen at this price. But overall, the F6 Plus does offer good value for your money.
13. Neewer F100 Camera Monitor
The Neewer F100 is a basic monitor with a large screen. It’s ideal for beginner Canon cameras. It has various “extras,” including an AV-HDMI cable and a hot shoe ball head. You also get a shoe mount and a sun hood.
Screen resolution and brightness are limited. But this external camera screen does have a 1200:1 contrast ratio. It also offers basic features such as zoom assist, scanning, and focus peaking. These are excellent tools if you’re new to using an on-camera monitor for photography or video.
The F100‘s screen comes with a high-quality mental mount. It attaches to your camera’s hotshoe. And it’s strong and sturdy. So there’s no unwanted movement when viewing your picture.
It’s a basic camera monitor. But the built quality is strong overall.
14. SmallHD Indie 7 On-Camera Monitor
The SmallHD Cine 7 is a 7-inch Full HD touchscreen monitor for professionals. It’s an all-in-one wireless monitoring or transmission solution. And it’s aimed at assistant cameras (ACs), solo shooters, and directors.
The bright, high-resolution screen is ideal for outdoor shooting. And its features include framing guides and 3D LUT overlays. The only problem is that it doesn’t support 4K recording.
The brightness and resolution give you an accurate display. And the color rendition is close to perfect.
Plus, you get a wide 160-degree viewing angle. And the touchscreen also makes it easy to navigate through the menus.
There are four other versions available besides the basic Cine 7. They are various “kits” offering camera control for different models:
- Cine 7 RED RCP2 Kit (for RED KOMODO or DSMC3 cameras)
- Cine 7 Sony VENICE Kit
- Cine 7 ARRI Kit
- Cine 7 RED DSMC2 Kit
15. SmallHD Cine 5 Camera Monitor
The SmallHD Cine 5 camera monitor boasts a large, bright, crystal-clear display. And most users will appreciate the responsive touchscreen display.
It also has various video assist tools such as professional image analysis, advanced pixel zoom, color correction, and unlimited real-time 3D LUTs.
The 1000-nit brightness and 1000:1 contrast ratio make it a good option for outdoor shoots. And the long-life battery allows you to work for longer without interruptions.
The Cine 5 has in-house software for its on-camera monitors. This gives you enhancement and editing tools without buying additional software. It is an expensive external camera screen. But it’s a pro-level piece of equipment for photographers and videographers.
How to Choose an External Camera Screen
There are several factors to consider when choosing an external monitor. These include size, weight, screen resolution, and brightness. It is also good to look for a touchscreen, recording capabilities, and the number of input and output ports available.
This is a trade-off. A smaller camera monitor will be lighter and more portable. But a larger one will give you a better view of your pictures or log footage.
The on-camera monitors in this list are all 5 to 7 inches in size (measured diagonally). But you still need to consider other factors.
There are three important factors for the optical features of external monitors:
- Screen brightness: If you’re going to be shooting outdoors in bright sunlight, you want something offering at least 1000 nits and a 1000:1 contrast ratio. This way, you don’t get washed-out colors or have to dash into the shadows to see your footage!
- Resolution: This is essential. And we mean the camera monitor’s screen resolution and the footage’s resolution. Most monitors have a 1920 x 1080 (16:9) screen. But that doesn’t mean they can’t display or record 4K Ultra HD (UHD) video (a resolution of 4096 x 2160).
High-end DSLRs and mirrorless cameras now offer many monitoring tools to help videographers. They include zebra stripes and focus peaking. But an excellent external monitor will offer all that and more… plus the ease of use from a larger screen.
Wireless monitors have an added benefit. They allow you to walk around without being tied to the camera. Some even offer a “focus following” system. This lets you adjust the focus remotely from the camera monitor rather than the camera.
In photography, compatibility is a big issue. This is especially true when it comes to external monitors.
It’s no good buying one if it won’t “talk” to your camera. So it’s important to work out which video formats and codecs you’ll use.
You also need to know which microphones and headphones you’ll use. And you want to determine whether your external camera monitor has all the right connections.
Some monitors are specifically designed to be on-camera monitors mounted on the hot shoe of a DSLR or
Alternatively, you can link the camera and external monitor with an HDMI cable. And most monitors also allow you to “loop” footage to other monitors or devices. This is handy if you’re working with an assistant on set.
Benefits of External Monitors
Are you still on the fence about buying an external monitor? Here are the main advantages:
- Easier to check composition, focus,
- It offers flexible positioning, so you no longer need to stand next to the camera
- More suitable 16:9 aspect ratio than 3:2 camera LCDs
- Easier to watch log footage with other people on set
- Always visible if you’re doing a vlog with a fixed-screen camera
- Helps visualize final output using built-in Look Up Tables (LUTs)
- Has monitoring tools that may not be available in-camera, e.g., waveforms and vectorscopes
- Better video recording quality (higher bit rates in some instances)
- Additional recording capacity
- It helps avoid camera overheating when filming for long periods
Conclusion: The Best External Camera Screen
The Best External Camera Screen is the Atomos Ninja V 4K monitor. It provides a 5-inch, 1000-nit HDR display. And it gives you 10-bit color and a Full HD resolution. It offers great value. And all considered, it’s the best camera monitor right now.
We’ve provided plenty of camera screen options. There are options for indoor and outdoor shooting. And we have monitors for beginners, enthusiasts, and professionals. So you won’t fail to find a fantastic external camera screen that meets your needs!