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Adorama Flashpoint 7-inch LCD Monitor

All of the items Adorama's Flashpoint product line are priced in the $200-$400 range, but quality-wise they're very good. They're not the most refined and precision instruments available, but they get the job done, and this 7-inch, 1280x800-resolution LCD monitor, which lists for $400, is no exception.

In this article we’ll complete our tour of the Adorama Flashpoint line of Cinema products with a look at the Flashpoint 7-inch LCD monitor shown mounted on my camera in the image on the left. In general, all of the items in this product line are in the $200-$400 price range. It puts them really at the bottom end of the market price-wise, but quality-wise they’re very good. They’re not the most refined and precision instruments available. You’ll find a lot more expensive brand-name items, but they really do a good job. They get the job done, and this 7-inch LCD monitor, which lists for $400, is no exception.

Video Connections

It’s a 1280x800 resolution monitor, which is very high resolution for a 7-inch monitor. A lot of monitors in this size will come in a lower resolution, and having high resolution is one of the important factors when you have to monitor HD footage. It has an HDMI input as well as a standard RCA video input on the back. It takes component as well.

It has a little button for SDI, and if you flip the monitor around, you can see SDI In and Out connections that are covered by a plate. SDI is indicated, but not available. When I looked in the manual and in the menu I see options for SDI and HD-SDI, but it’s just not available in this model at this time.

On this model, HDMI in with HDMI loop-through output is all that’s available in the high-definition digital range. This is too bad, at least for me, because I really enjoy working with SDI and HD-SDI. I do a lot of video switching and webcasting, and when we’re doing long runs of cabling it’s really important for me to have that HD-SDI cable. It’s a solid professional standard. It doesn’t have that interconnect that really lags when you connect an HDMI in--that flicker, that adjustment before your input displays. Plus you can't run HDMI over a longer length. And I know that when you’re monitoring just a camera feed, HDMI is probably just fine because it’s going from the camera right up to the monitor. That’s not a big deal. But when you also want to have an additional output going to your video switcher or the webcaster, that’s when you need to have HD-SDI, and you can add an external converter, HDMI to HD-SDI, but honestly I’d prefer to start off with that SDI and convert it to HDMI for use on a monitor.

Powering the Monitor

The monitor itself is very bright. It ships with the Velcro lens hood shown in Figure 1 (below) as well as a mount on the bottom.

Figure 1. The 7-inch monitor with Velcro lens hood. Click the image to see it at full size.

I do have it equipped with the Sony NP-F970 battery. It a standard L-series Sony battery; it’s really nice to have a DC option. It does have an AC option as well. It comes with a standard plug and a little DC adapter, but this isn’t where it ends. It actually adds on the piece shown in Figure 2 (below)--not the most elegant-looking solution--one end connects to the power cable, one plugs into your camera, and you have an available 12-volt out if you want to power something else, and there’s a four-pin XLR connection. I’ve actually got four-pin XLR lights that work on this system, so that is possible and then they have extra wires, but for me the tradeoff between offering all of these extra connections and the fact that I’ve got these loose wires and this extra big long ugly thing isn’t worth it. I’d rather just have one plug go straight into the LCD monitor and call it a day, but some people might like having all this extra stuff.

Figure 2. The multi-pronged DC adapter isn’t the most elegant solution. Click the image it see it at full size.

The mounting goes in the back of the camera, and on the back there’s a power switch that will switch you between Type-2 battery, and Type-1, the 12-volt, which comes in through the AC adapter. You could also use these with any other systems that give you that four-pin XLR power, whether it’s off your camera or off of an Anton/Bauer V-lock type of battery.

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