An external camera screen can make a photographer’s life so much easier. Some of them can even add to the capabilities of your camera.
They are essential tools for analyzing composition, color and exposure. It also gives a look and feeling like a true professional.
A true photographer/videographer agrees that a good external camera screen is completely worth it.
After all, you get to see a more accurate, clearer, live representation of what you are about to capture.
We’re reviewing the 8 best external camera screens in this article. So, if you are thinking of buying one for yourself, you’ll have a winner by the end of it.
Let’s get started.
- The Best External Camera Screens
- How to Choose an External Camera Screen?
- Best External Camera Screens: Conclusion
The Best External Camera Screens
- Atomos Ninja V – 4K capture with output up to 60fps.
- FEELWORLD FW759 7-inch – Sleek and portable design.
- Atomos Shinobi 5-inch – Bright screen makes it perfect for daytime use.
- Lilliput A7s – Great price-to-quality choice.
- Desview R7 – Good value for money.
- Blackmagic Design Video Assist 5″ – Bright display.
- FEELWORLD T7 7-inch – Lightweight and durable aluminum build.
- Atomos Shogun 7 – Large and bright 7-inch screen.
1. Atomos Ninja V
- COMPACT HDR MONITORING: For every filmmaker & video content creator. Bright (1000nit), 5-inch, HDR display provides accurate monitoring of the image directly from the camera.
- RAW RECORDING: Rugged, lightweight & compact. Uses - tripod, handheld setup, or mounted on a gimbal. Industry standard formats: Apple ProRes, Apple ProRes RAW, Avid DNxHR/HD & HEVC (H.265).
- EXPAND BEYOND PLAYBACK & REVIEW: Record & playback, review & tag your favorite takes to create playlists. Capture your footage with confidence & extend your creative boundaries.
- HDR display
- Fairly lightweight
- Easy to use
- 4K output up to 60fps
- SSD recording
- Might be not bright enough under the sun
The Atomos Ninja V external camera monitor is the industry leader for many reasons.
Videographers love it because of its beautiful 5-inch HDR display and the fact that it delivers 4K images at up to 60fps.
Another good thing is, the monitor isn’t as heavy as you might think. It’s fairly lightweight, allowing you to handle and use it effectively and easily.
Moreover, the display is fairly bright, but not bright enough to let you work under the sun without a sunshade.
You can use a sunshade to work in daylight. You can use this screen both on expensive and cheap cameras.
You won’t have to invest your time and energy into learning the device either. It’s pretty easy to use and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
But, of course, your camera might not have 4K capabilities and the monitor isn’t going to improve its output either.
Probably the only downfall is that the fans are a bit loud. So, if you intend to use it in a completely silent setting, know that it might add some noise to your recordings.
2. FEELWORLD FW759 7-Inch
- Wide viewing angles
- Comes with a sunshade
- Supports HDMI input
- Portable setup
- Supports 4K video output
- Doesn’t come with the battery
The FELLWORLD 7-inch camera field monitor is one of the sleekest external monitors on our list.
This means it would be relatively easier to use and carry around.
Moreover, you get a 7-inch IPS screen with a 178°/178° viewing angle, which presents you with accurate and bright images from all angles.
You also get a sunshade with the monitor, which can help you shoot effectively under the sun.
In addition, the external camera monitor supports ultra-high-definition 4K video output as well.
The FELLWORLD external monitor is specially designed for DSLR cameras, making it an ideal choice for professional videographers/filmmakers.
The monitor also supports HDMI input in various formats to ensure seamless connectivity.
However, you don’t get a battery with the external camera monitor, so you’d have to buy it separately.
3. Atomos Shinobi 5-inch
- 5-inch 1000-nit screen
- Features that include monitoring tools for focus, framing, and exposure.
- Analysis view
- HDR in the field
- Realtime luts preview
- Bright HDR display
- Lightweight and portable
- The centered battery provides good balance
- Anti-reflective coating
- Might get a little hot
Many external camera monitors come with recording capabilities, but what if it’s not something you need? You might want to avoid the extra cost associated with the extra feature.
Well, the Atomos Shinobi 4K external monitor comes without a recording feature and at the fraction of the cost of more expensive monitors like the Atomos Ninja V.
And, thanks to the anti-reflective coating and a 1000-nit bright screen, you won’t have to use a sunshade in daylight.
Moreover, the battery of the Atomos Shinobi is in the center, which helps in balancing the device, especially when you use it with a gimbal.
Plus, you can see incredibly clear HDR images on this external monitor before capturing a scene.
In addition, you won’t be facing any trouble carrying the monitor around as it’s pretty lightweight.
However, probably the only drawback of this one is that it gets hot after a while.
Overall, the external monitor offers everything a professional or newbie videographer would need, and at an impressive price point.
4. Lilliput A7s
- Comes with a sunshade and silicone cover
- Large screen
- The glossy display might need an anti-glare screen under the sun
The Lilliput A7s is probably one of the most affordable big-screen external monitors out there.
So, if you are low on budget and want a large screen for your camera, this should be a natural choice.
But, before you make up your mind, let’s take a look at other features of the external screen.
Despite the low price point, the Lilliput A7s offers 4K content, which is impressive. This external camera screen, just like others, is suitable for DSLR and mirrorless cameras.
Moreover, you get every feature you can expect in a good external screen, including levels, histogram, and focus-peaking.
The external monitor comes with a metal ball mount, a sunshade, and even a silicone case for protection.
The brightness and contrast of the monitor are also spot on.
Plus, the screen of the Lilliput A7s isn’t touch-sensitive, so you can interact with the device using buttons. This is great for users that prefer buttons over touchscreens.
In addition, the external monitor also comes with a power cord, which is rare in this price range.
Not only that but there is a battery life indicator on the screen, which again, is something that’s normally offered by more expensive devices.
However, the camera monitor doesn’t come with a battery; you’d have to buy it separately.
Plus, the screen is glossy, which isn’t ideal for outdoor use. Purchasing an anti-glare screen with it will do the trick though.
5. Desview R7
- 7“ Touch-Screen Control Panel
- 1000nit Daylight Viewable Brightness
- Support 4K HDMI Input/Output without Delay
- 3D-LUT, Waveform, and Vector Scope
- Mini Cold Shoe Accessory
- Large 7-inch screen
- 1000-nit bright display
- Intuitive interface
- Sharp images
- The mount might not always work perfectly
The Desview R7 field monitor is for those who are looking for a bright, large-size external monitor for under $300.
Desview offers a 1000-nit brightness, which makes the monitor suitable for outdoor filming or photography.
Moreover, it boasts a display size of 7-inch, which is not very common at this price point.
The external monitor also has an intuitive interface, making it easy to use even for beginner filmmakers and photography enthusiasts.
Here is a unique feature of the Desview R7 external monitor: You get to interact with the device through a touchscreen as well as buttons.
So, even if you are filming in cold weather, you would be able to use the device effectively while wearing gloves.
Moreover, it supports 4K HDMI input/output without any transmission delays, so you can watch your footage in real-time.
The Desview R7 monitor boasts a contrast ratio of 1100:1, which translates to sharp images with highly detailed highlights and shadows.
However, although the mount it comes with has a quality build, you might find it hard to tighten it in the cold shoe of the camera.
All in all, you get a large, bright, and high-quality screen at an attractive price point.
6. Blackmagic Design Video Assist 5-inch
- Excellent brightness
- Livestream feature
- SD card recordability
- Good value for money
- Can get hot due to the 2500-nit display
The Blackmagic Design HDMI recording monitor is ideal for people that use the Davinci Resolve software to grade and edit their videos.
With an exceptional 2500-nit brightness of the screen, you won’t have any trouble filming and shooting in daylight.
Another unique feature of the Blackmagic external monitor is that it comes with a livestream feature.
And, you can save your livestreams on an SD card as well.
However, keep in mind that the 2500-nit screen brightness is not common, and consistent use can heat the device up.
So, you want to keep a tab on its temperature and give it a rest when the device gets too hot.
All in all, the Blackmagic HDR recording monitor provides good value for money and a very bright display.
7. FEELWORLD T7 7-Inch
- The swivel allows manual movement
- 7-inch display
- Good-quality pictures
- Works great outdoors with the sunshade
- Great price
- Average battery life
The FEELWORLD T7 is one of the most cost-effective external camera screens out there, especially when you take into account its generously-sized 7-inch display.
Moreover, the external camera monitor has a lightweight aluminum build, which makes it easy to carry around as well as durable.
The device comes with a mini HDMI, providing seamless connectivity.
Outdoor filming can be difficult because of the glare from the sun. So, you might need a sunshade to keep the daylight at bay.
FEELWORLD T7 comes with a sunshade of its own, helping you get the most out of this screen on your outdoor projects.
Moreover, thanks to the swivel on the monitor, you can move it manually, which is helpful to prevent glare when you are working in the daytime.
Overall, the external camera monitor offers everything a filmmaker would need at a great price.
8. Atomos Shogun 7
- 7.2 inch high bright (1500nit) HDR monitor, 16:9 native aspect ratio, 1920x1080 resolution
- 15+ stops; Dynamic AtomHDR 360 Zones
- Real-time 4K recording in formats including ProRes RAW
- 4K output
- Large screen
- Bright display
- Suitable for a variety of settings
The Atomos Shogun 7 is essentially a larger version of the Atomos Ninja V. So, it’s for you if you need everything the Atomos Ninja V offers but with larger screen size.
The combination of 4K output and a larger 7-inch screen on the Atomos Shogun 7 help you monitor your footage better.
Moreover, the HDR monitor has a brightness of 1500-nit and more than 15 stops of dynamic range, which makes it suitable for a variety of settings.
However, there are a couple of drawbacks, too.
It doesn’t come cheap and might get hot during use.
How to Choose an External Camera Screen?
So, what factors to look at before buying an external camera screen?
Let’s take a look.
The larger the screen size of an external camera screen, the more detail you’ll be able to see in your footage. But, an external monitor’s size shouldn’t be too big to let you easily use it with your camera.
Brightness is important, especially if you intend to use your external camera screen in outdoor projects.
Many camera monitors come with a 1000-nit brightness, which is enough for a wide range of settings.
You can always use a sunshade if you think the brightness of your monitor isn’t enough for daytime projects.
But, of course, a higher brightness on an external monitor is always desirable.
However, too much brightness can heat up the monitor.
When it comes to resolution, the more the better.
However, higher resolution also translates to a higher price.
Most of the external monitors we’ve covered in this review article offer 4K resolution, which is the best you can get.
Another thing to be mindful of while buying an external camera screen is whether it can record your footage or not.
Most of the monitors we’ve covered do offer this feature.
Best External Camera Screens: Conclusion
External camera screens can be tricky to pick, especially when there are a lot of options available in the market.
One of the things that can keep you from buying an external camera screen is the weight it adds to your camera setup. But you shouldn’t worry about that.
An external camera screen will improve your photography game and will make you look and feel more professional. A big screen also enables you to see small details that you wouldn’t be able to notice on your small camera screen.
All the camera screens we’ve talked about offer everything you’d need as a filmmaker or videographer.
The purpose of this guide is to give you enough great choices so that you can buy the best.