Monitoring what you are filming, whether you work in corporate video, news gathering or just as a content creator, is essential.
Most of the mirrorless cameras on the market still don’t have the best LCD screens on them and it isn’t always practical just to keep using the EVF.
There are a huge amount of budget 5-inch monitors on the market but all of them lose a lot of the features that camera operators rely on to be affordable.
This is why I think the CM-55 from Swit stands out as the best 5-inch monitor under £300.
What I Use This Monitor For
I use this monitor almost exclusively with three cameras, the GH5S, Canon C100 and the Sony FS5. The FS5 just has a histogram and zebras for monitoring exposure and the GH5S has waveforms but they take a huge proportion of the screen, restricting what you can see.
As well as waveforms you have a huge range of other exposure tools like the LUT display which can be for any log profile of the majority of camera brands, false colour, peaking – it’s pretty much got the kitchen sink in there. There’s also an SD card slot for loading custom lookup tables. I’ve added the GHAlex daylight LUT to mine when filming with Panasonic cameras.
The menu for the monitor is designed to work exclusively around the joystick. This monitor is not a touchscreen monitor but is extremely easy to use and navigate through the options you need to display.
Batteries and Power
The battery plate is a dual plate which can take Sony NPF batteries or Canon LP batteries – which gives you the choice of a smaller and lighter setup or a larger battery to get you through the day.
This is handy when used in conjunction with the DC feature allowing you to power your camera through the monitor using a dummy battery.
Like most monitors in its price range, its brightness isn’t anything to shout about at 450 nits. On an overcast day with the sun hood, it is very usable. Outside on a sunny day, it’s not that great to use. Unless you’ve got peaking turned on, the lack of brightness starts coming through and it becomes quite reflective.
In all honesty, though, I’m extremely impressed with the CM-55 from Swit because it does exactly what I need it to do, which is be an external monitor for my mirrorless camera.
The majority of my work is in corporate video and as such, 95% of it is filmed indoors. When not using it for interviews, it becomes my gimbal monitor which again makes it much easier to see what I’m filming because of the larger screen.
This would also work well as a focus pullers monitor or as a director’s monitor receiving a feed from another HDMI monitor.
At no point during any shoot do I want to be let down by the equipment I’m using and the CM-55 has never let me down.
Whether during long-form interviews, attached to the gimbal or being used as a director’s monitor, the CM-55 from Swit is a great monitor for indoor use whether shooting for corporate, events or narrative work.