Portkeys: A New Challenger for Affordable Onboard Camera Monitors

Posted by Charlie Swords on

Portkeys’ lineup of onboard monitors could be some of the best options for upgrading your camera’s monitor or viewfinder starting from only $299. 

An external monitor or electronic viewfinder (EVF) is a must nowadays with more and more shooters turning towards cameras without great monitoring options out of the box, such as the Sony A7iii, Canon C70, Sony FX6 and other similar cameras.

We’ve had the chance to try these monitors and send them out on rental jobs and we have been impressed by the quality and durability they offer at such a low price.

 

The biggest feature that got us excited is the brightness of these monitors, matching up against far more expensive monitors in this class. 

For example the Portkeys LH5P is a 5.5” monitor with 1700 Nits brightness at only $789 AUD. 

 

Compare this to the industry leader at this size in SmallHD’s 503 Ultra Bright Monitor, which is admittedly slightly brighter at 2200nits, but will also set you back approximately 3x as much. That’s almost the price of a second body for mirrorless shooters.

1700 Nits of the LH5P is more than enough brightness to use outside in sunlight while maintaining a quality image. Which means you don’t have to muck around with sun hoods and you can always be confident that your image will be viewable in all conditions. 

 

  

 

The Portkeys LH5P (and their other monitors) also come with all of the monitoring features you have come to expect including false colour, 3D LUT support, histogram, custom RGB, etc. So it’s not a case of getting the brightness, but losing out in other departments. 

Another new and useful feature on the LH5P is support for wireless camera control on a number of cameras including the Sony A7iii and BMPCC 4K/6K/6K Pro.

This allows for remote control over a number of functions including REC, iris control and focus. Which enables a host of interesting opportunities by controlling the camera from afar, particularly for solo shooters and small crews.

 

 

We’re still playing around with this feature, but it creates a lot of options for how you can shoot, especially as support for more cameras is hopefully added in the near future. A much wider range of cameras are also currently supported for control functions with a wired connection.

At Cinemachine we’ve developed a foolproof system for testing the durability of gear. Sending it out as a rental. If something is flimsy or likely to be damaged the rental house gauntlet will reveal that very quickly. We’ve been sending out Portkeys gear for the past few months and so far we have to say that they are standing up to everything that has been thrown at them.

So overall if you are looking to spec out your on camera monitor, Portkeys are a newcomer to the scene that are worth a look for bright, tough and affordable monitoring options.

 

Cinemachine currently has the following Portkeys products available to rent or buy. Feel free to come down for a demo and try out these products today.

 

Portkeys LH5P 5.5” 1700nit Touch Screen Monitor - $789

  • 5.5″ HDMI 4K30 Touchscreen Monitor
  • 1700 Nits Brightness, HDR Preview
  • Wireless Camera Control Sony A7MIII and BMPCC 4K/6K/6K Pro
  • Control Camera Functions such as REC, Focus, Iris, and more
  • HDMI Input and Output up to 4K30p

SmallHD 503 alternative

 

Portkeys HS7T 7” 1200nit Monitor - $769

  • 7” High Brightness 1920x1200 FHD Panel
  • 1200 Nits Brightness
  • 4K HDMI In/Out Put without Delay (HS7T Monitor Support to In/Out Put 3G-SDI)
  • Ultra Thin Design 20mm Thickness
  • 178° Wide Viewing Angles IPS Panel

SmallHD 702 alternative

 

Portkeys PT5 5” Touch Screen Monitor- $299

  • 5″ 1920 x 1080 Supports up to HD 4K Video
  • 500 Nits Brightness
  • Wide Colour Gamut, 10bit (8+2FRC)
  • Monitoring Tools include Focus Peaking, False Colour, Histogram, Custom RGB, and more
  • 1000:1 Contrast Ratio

Portkeys LEYE 2.4” Camera EVF - $769

 

  • 2.4" LCD Display, 8-Bit Colour with 1440 x 900 Resolution
  • 300 Nits Brightness, 1100:1 Contrast Ratio
  • Supports up to DCI 4K Input via HDMI
  • -3 to +8 Diopter Adjustment
  • ARRI-Style, 1/4"-20 & NATO Rail Mounts
  • Histogram, False Color, Waveform, 3D LUT Support

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