We all know the limitations of the small low-resolution screens on DSLR cameras when we're trying to judge critical focus and exposure. There have been small monitors available before now, but Sony are trying to broaden the market and the CLM-V55 is a tempting, and relatively low-cost, option. Definitely a rival to ikan and Marshall. Thanks to CREWS TV for spotting this story. All the spec and more after the break.

UPDATE: Marshall release a loop through monitor.

This is what CREWS TV had to say about the CLM-V55:

"Shooting video with a DSLR means you are stuck with operating from the small low-resolution screen to judge critical focus and exposure. The other option is to use the HDMI output which, although it blanks the camera’s LCD, at least let you use a professional monitor to assess framing, focus and exposure. This is why the small monitors from Marshall, SmallHD and ikan have set the standard for off-board viewing and become critical tools for DSLR shooters.

The Sony CLM-V55 is a  5 LCD HD monitor purpose built for the Sony Alpha DSLR range, but there is no reason why it should not do just as well for the Canon DSLR range or any other range that needs a small, bright, sharp monitor. It was bright enough to use outdoors, where we were still able to see a clear image.  The image was still distinguishable in the direct sun but you will need to use the included sunshade if you really want to see what is going on."

Here's the spec:

  • Clip-on LCD monitor attaches to DSLR camera
  • Large (5") WVGA panel offers superb high-resolution view while shooting HD video
  • Tilt/swivel for comfortable viewing at any angle
  • Colour peaking and pixel magnification for precise focus confirmation 

The clip-on screen tilts and swivels to any angle for comfortable framing in any position – even self-shooting when you’re in the picture.

Pixel magnification mode assists with accurate focus confirmation, giving an enlarged pixel-perfect view of a selected portion of the Full HD image. It’s complemented by a colour peaking function that highlights the edges of accurately-focused areas of the video image.

An intuitive control wheel allows quick, positive adjustment of a wide range of monitor settings without interrupting shooting. Adjustable parameters include aspect ratio (16:9/4:3), volume, brightness, contrast, colour tone (phase), colour temp and auto dimmer. On-screen markers aid precise framing by giving precise indication of a TVs 16:9 or 4:3 actual display area. 

The CLM-V55 can be used with a wide range of Interchangeable Lens Digital cameras by Sony and other manufacturers equipped with an HDMI jack and capable of live view shooting. The CLM-V55 is easy to attach to the cameras either via Auto-lock Accessory Shoe or Accessory Shoe of which shape is compliant with the ISO518. The supplied adaptor simplifies mounting on any camera or HD camcorder that features an auto-lock accessory shoe or ISO shoe.

Signal connection from camera to monitor is via the supplied HDMI cable, while power can be supplied using a battery pack or AC adaptor (both optional). The CLM-V55 comes with a detachable LCD hood for more comfortable viewing when shooting outdoors in bright sunlight.

Find out more information on the CLM-V55 LCD video monitor by Sony here. It's available from March 2011.

UPDATE:

But that's not all, Marshall have now come out with a loop through monitor, in case some multi-tasking is required.