We have been working with the Desview R7II for around a week now, getting a feel for its strengths and how it might be made use of in the near future. Mostly as a solution for when larger complex setups aren’t needed (or are unfriendly to the environment they will be used within). This was to fulfill the need of bringing along a smaller rig that can be used indoors and outside.
This is something that this monitor handles quite well. It is a 7-inch 1920×1200 touch-screen solution that packs a lot of brightness for all use-case scenarios. Up to 2600nit brightness, actually. Enough that we easily found ourselves turning it down while using it inside during our testing of it.
It is a well-price model that currently (at the time of writing this) falls around $249. It works with any camera that offers HDMI out and there is an R7SII option that runs a little more and also offers SDI support on top of the HDMI that this one does.
It comes with a number of accessories. Inside you’ll find two HDMI cables (one micro to HDMI and the other mini to HDMI), a D-Tap cable (for connecting to your V-Mount setup if you have one), an adjustable cold-shoe adapter, storage bag, cloth, a USB drive for loading LUTs, and a user manual.
It comes with everything but a hood or silicone cover. Although, you don’t need a hood thanks to how bright the screen can get. Because of this, you never have any troubles seeing everything no matter the environment you find yourself shooting in. As for the cover, it would be nice to have one to protect the body of the unit with since there doesn’t seem to be any third-party options out there either. We may find ourselves 3D printing something if we have the time to cook something up in CAD for it.
Your experience may differ when it comes to what’s inside the box if retailers offer different kit options. However, this does seem to be the default list of contents from what we can see.
When it comes to the overall design of the monitor, it does feature mostly plastic materials throughout the body. This is no surprise due to the price you are paying for it. Despite this, it does feel strong enough to live up to normal use. You just don’t want to drop it on the ground at any point as this could very likely damage it quickly.
The only thing we ran into when it comes to build quality was one of the small screws located on the bottom. We only got as far as taking it out of the box, attaching the mount, and then sliding it onto one of the cameras here to see what it looked like. During this process, the bottom-right screw fell out and on the floor. This wasn’t a clear sign that the whole unit was going to fall apart. It just seems the one screw was stripped from the start (or maybe bad threads to begin with). It didn’t want to screw back in so the tiny screw was thrown away as it didn’t seem to be that important anyway.
It can be mounted from the bottom or the side, depending on if you use the included mount or an arm solutions to grab it from the sides (not included). The threads are metal (thankfully), so it should hold strong once mounted.
The left side of the screen contains two HDMI ports. One for input and one to passthrough to something else (ie, records). There is also a DC connection here that is used for the included D-tap adapter, or you can use a wall adapter (not included).
You can also use alternative adapter cables if you have them, you just need to make sure your cable and power source can handle the voltage/amps it requires. USB can’t accomplish this, but some camera rigs or accessories do offer certain DC connections like ours does. Which is what we have been using to power the monitor (using a 15V connection).
Of course, if you prefer to simply use batteries, this one supports the typical Sony NPF batteries.
The other side of the monitor simply has the thread for those using an arm mount. Again, this isn’t included in the box (it just comes with the cold shoe adapter).
On the bottom, there is the thread for that adapter, as well as a USB port. This port is where you’d slide the included thumb drive into for loading custom LUTs. A very handy feature for serious users. Something to brush up on if you lack the experience or understanding. But if you are paying this price for a monitor, you likely already have the knowledge needed.
This USB port can also be used for upgrading the firmware/software within the monitor.
As for the top of the unit, you’ll find a power button for turning it on and off with (by holding it down). There is also an exit button (for use within the menu) as well as two customizable hotkeys (F1 and F2). Those two hotkeys can be used for quickly pulling up certain menu options (like zebra, histogram, or loading LUTs.
The first thing to point out is the brightness of this screen. Supporting up to 2600 nits of brightness, it really can be used anywhere. No hood is needed for it, making it easier than ever to look at what’s on the screen no matter the angle or location of the screen. As mentioned, we dialed brightness down when using it inside. So it has a lot of wiggle room here and is very friendly to work with.
Next is the resolution, which is important when it comes to looking for the details in what you are shooting. 1920×1200 is the exact resolution of the screen, despite some of the usage of the term “4K” in its marketing online. It is not a 4K screen, but instead, it simply has the ability to monitor signals of up to 4K. The image of the screen, would simply be 1920×1200 regardless. This also means that the HDMI can also pass 4K through the HDMI out.
This resolution seems to be perfect for working with any content that is up to 4K. Personally, I have dropped it on both a 1080p Canon camera as well as a 4K Panasonic (GH5). The image looked fantastic with either when it comes to the resolution.
Then there is the fact that it is touch-screen. This is so incredibly friendly when it comes to moving around the menu. There are so many features built into this monitor and yet you find yourself in and out of it quickly once you get a feel for where everything is at. It helps not having to do all of this using physical buttons (outside of the few on top).
It features a number of built-in tools, like HDR, false color, peaking, histogram, waveform, vectorscope, and more. There are a lot of options to play with when it comes to getting the perfect shot.
We haven’t taken it into the field and used it for any content just yet, but it has come home with a few of us as we’ve played around with it to see if we liked it. Thankfully, the results have been pretty good for the price. Enough to say that it even competes with some of the big-name companies.
The image on the screen can very easily be adjusted to match what you’d expect the content to end up looking. Especially, thanks to the LUT support it has. Something that really allows you to dial it in to what your eyes would expect to see during post edit.
It’s bright, has a good resolution for its size, offers up 7-inches (vs the small mediocre viewfinder or screen on your camera), and is littered with features and tools to make any level of photographer or videographer want it in their collection.
This is actually a very powerful field monitor that really knows how to get the job done. It does take a seasoned user to understand everything you have to work with, but this isn’t really an issue since the menu is pretty straight-forward and you can look everything up online to understand what you are working with. Also, the ability to pinch to zoom can really come in handy when it comes to double-checking certain focus points to see how well they really are in focus.
This really is a solid monitor solution for DSLRs or any other smaller to mid-size camera solution. It’s night and day when it comes to getting a better view of what the camera is seeing.
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.