The Feelworld F7 is a 7" monitor that you can find that has some killer features, including: false colour, audio levels, peaking and magnification for around £120; how much value does something like this have when it comes to being on set? - and not on set - Let me discuss with you my verdicts :
These days, you might be running around with an Atomos monitor / recorder. Which is great, they're great products; but it's a bit much when you want a quick and easy way to monitor your stuff on the fly without having to spend a hefty amount on something that might not merit the full value of the purchase
Step in the cheap and cheerful.
SmallHD do make some of the best field monitors out there, but they can also get quite expensive - they're still relatively cheap, but you can find some absolutely insane monitors at a fraction of the price.
But, the Feelworld F7 is a 7" monitor that I bought for around £99. Add in a couple of Sony NP-F batteries and a dual charger, call it around £140. It's a monitor I thought I'd gamble on, since it was cheap enough and it boasted some pretty great features.
Firstly, it accepts a 4k signal, which is paramount these days - it'll convert the image from your cameras down to it's 7" 1920x1200 screen. A really nice resolution for this size.
Secondly, it includes all the bells and whistles you'd want. Audio levels, false colour, crop markers, anamorphic de-squeezing, peaking, histograms - though, sadly not a waveform - and - I think my favourite - HDMI out. All in a light and very nice display.
Note: Its super easy to hook it upto a magic arm on a gimbal without it bearing too much more of a weight load
It's made of plastic, although it does feel very solid, and includes a small clip on frame where you can attach a Velcro equipped sunhood to help in those brighter environments.
There's 3/4" screws on each edge of the unit, which means putting it on a magic arm and screwing it to anywhere makes it a very simple task - and has three user-mappable function buttons beside the power switch - which, might I add is the same size and texture as every other button. I've accidentally turned this thing off more than once.
The monitor does map out some very accurate colours to my GH5 - there's not a lot of difference between the F7 and my camera, they're both very similar. Not identical, but not so much that it would cause problems. It's decent resolution, keeping everything crisp and with the addition of some crop markers, bullet-proofs me on focus and composition.
It's a very solid monitor, but here's where it gets even better :
It's a bit of a complicated setup, but check the image.
So I have a HDMI out into my F7, then another HDMI out from that to my second monitor. I can keep an eye on my exposure values with the false colour, but still have the program monitor in Premier up fpr a full screen preview.
Note: If you don't use false colour, you really should - it's an incredible tool to guide you correctly exposing a scene - in fact, I might just write another blog on it, but please check out how useful it can be in the meantime on YouTube.
It's not just a production tool, it can be used as a post-production tool too, which for the sake of how much the unit cost, has far been worth it. It's helped me out in one way or another on every shoot since. Even if it's not been on set.
Does it trump any of the brands that you know and love? Certainly not, but it does give them a run for their money; and whilst a Shogun, or SmallHD monitor might be better equipped with HDR, Waveforms, brighter nit screens - I don't think that this can really be faulted too much for it's price.
If you liked this small impressions, please check out the rest of my blog where i'll keep you posted on news, hands on impressions and potentially reviews.
and as always, Happy Shooting!