Here we are, just a number of days since our last visit with a Desview product and we are back for another round. This time with a slight upgrade from one of the company’s flagship products. This time, we get to discuss the Desview R7SIII 7-inch Camera Field Monitor. This is somewhat similar to the R7III, only it supports both HDMI & SDI (not just HDMI), along with one other noticeable upgrade.
We have been running around with this one for a little longer than we tested the previous model, in an attempt to see how it performs in multiple scenarios (not just here in the studio). This can either be beneficial or dangerous as opinions can easily change as you spend more time with something. In this case, it wound up benefitting the R7SIII.
Technically, this would be considered the company’s “actual” flagship model. Competing against something like the Atomos Shinobi 7 but at $200 less. This is where Desview shines as a company. Providing comparable features at a price that the little guy can also afford. While also making something that any professional may consider picking up.
Like its non-SDI counterpart, the company included a semi-hardshell case to help protect the screen as you travel around. Much better than a simple drawstring bag. A little bulkier than a bag, but it also contains dedicated space for the included accessories.
Of which, it comes with a lot of. Including just about everything you could possibly need to make use of it right out of the box. The case is separated by a soft flap that gives way to the screen underneath. It’s even a little smaller than the non-SDI version for whatever reason, while maintaining the same protective properties.
The side for the accessories includes a mesh pouch that seals using zipper so that nothing takes off running on you as you open it and thumb around.
As for what’s in side, you three cables, including a normal HDMI cable as well as a micro HDMI to HDMI cable. There is also a dedicated 2-pin LEMO connector for power that counts as an upgrade from the previous DC connectors used in the past. This helps lock the connection in for a more stable experience. You have to slide the neck of the connector down to unlock before you can unplug it. The other end has a D-Plug connection.
There is a well-made aluminum hot/cold shoe adapter for mounting the monitor a camera or rig. Allowing you to properly swivel the screen into view. Along with a small allen key for adjustments and a few spare bolts.
You get a thumb drive that is used for loading LUTs onto the monitor and it does contain multiple options for you to start out with, already loaded on it. There is also a small orange cleaning cloth for wiping the screen down when you get too many fingerprints on it.
You’ll also find a simple instruction manual (start guide) to help you learn the various connections available to you, as well as what each button is for. It lists the various specs of the monitor and provides you a summarized list of some of its features. It doesn’t go into anything deeper, so we figured there was a more intense manual on the thumb drive, but that wasn’t the case. So you might be on your own if you haven’t ever used a field monitor of this level before.
Then, there is the screen. It is a 1080P 2800nits touchscreen IPS monitor with up to 4K passthrough. That way you can continue the signal to a recording solution or larger monitors if you need (or a wireless transmission system, etc).
At first, it looks almost identical to the D7III. Outside of the included SDI connections. But then you turn it over to see what’s different on the back and you find something else to get excited about.
This is one of the other big upgrades (in our opinion). The company decided to do away with the typical Sony battery slot(s) and opted for a V-Mount battery slot instead. Not only does this provide a more secure connection between battery and screen, but the potential to use all sorts of batteries capacities from various companies.
In our own experience, we have had nothing but great success with using V-Mount batteries on all of our rigs. Our mobile kits are fully powered by them. So we typically end up adapting most devices (such as a field monitor) to a D-Plug or alternative scenario that plugs into a V-Mount powered setup anyway. So this allows us to do that, or just slap its own V-Mount battery on the back.
This is only one way of powering the monitor though. If you look on the right side of the monitor, you find the 2-pin LEMO connection that the dedicated cable slides into and locks into place. As mentioned, the other end of that cable has a D-Plug connection, which is typically used with a lot of larger battery situations (like V-Mount battery-powered setups). If D-Plug isn’t your preference either, there is yet another way to power this monitor, but we will get to that in a hot second.
You will also find those SDI (3G-SDI, aka 3 Gbps data rate) connections on this side, including an in and an out. This connection can carry up to 1080p content both in and out (up to 1080i if you have a long run of SDI). No 4K via this method, but this is quite common with SDI monitors within this price range (sub-$800 range).
Having SDI in addition to HDMI allows you to use this monitor in virtually any situation. Covering any consumer/prosumer, and most prosumer scenarios.
Flipping it over to the bottom of the monitor, you’ll find a number of other connections, including a threaded input for a tripod or adapter that makes use of such. Including the hot/cold shoe adapter that comes in the box.
You get a headphone jack (3.5mm aux-out) for monitoring content directly from the monitor (there is also visual meters on the screen), along with two USB ports. The normal USB-A port is for the thumb drive so that you can load your LUTs in. The USB-C port is for yet another option for delivering power to the monitor. This is where the third option comes into play. Allowing you to connect the screen to a power bank or adapt from USB-C to a similar situation (for example, many of our V-Mount battery setups feature a plate that adapts the V-Mount battery to multiple connections, including DC, USB, and D-Plug).
There is also an 8V DC output (not to be mistaken as an input) that can be used to power certain cameras that support such a connection, allowing you to daisy the screen and camera to the same power source. Most cameras are powered by a battery, forcing you to invest into a dummy battery adapter to make use of something like this. But there are models that offer DC on the other end. You just have to make sure it matched the size of this output. There are also camera that offer alternative power connections, so this just expands your options.
Now, flipping it over to the left side of the screen, you’ll find the HDMI connections. Same as the SDI, you get an in and an out so that you can pass the signal on to something else. These are HDMI 2.0, thus can support up to 4K content carried on to the next source. While the screen itself will continue displaying the content as 1080p.
There is also an alternative threaded input for those using a swivel arm to mount the field monitor.
The top of the monitor contains its power button that you simply hold down for a few seconds to turn it on and off. There is also three buttons for user customs, allowing you to save your settings to three different uses you can switch back and forth between by simply pressing them.
The monitor is so incredibly bright, allowing you to use it no matter your lighting (inside, outside, lights-out, etc). No matter where you are, you can easily use this screen without the need for a hood. With 2800nits of brightness, it can get brighter than some laptops out there.
It comes with so many tools, including Zebra Lines, Waveform, Vectorscope, Histogram, False Color, Peak Focus, and many other options to pick from within its dense (but friendly) menu system. You can control which tools appear on the screen at all times, or none at all.
It is also a quiet monitor compared to some of the ones we’ve used before, including some models coming from Desview. There is next to no sound coming from the airflow, thus should be friendly for most shotgun mic scenarios.
You’ll also find that this model is more durable than some of the past models coming from Desview. As the company has built-in rubber shock protection on the corners. Just in case you bump it into something or experience a mild drop. I say mild as I hope you wouldn’t experience anything worse and we weren’t willing to see how far these will protect the screen from damage.
The touchscreen display is quite responsive and everything is easy to control. Including simply touching the screen to bring up the menu of options. As well as shortcuts to screen brightness and volume by sliding your finger up or down on either the left side or the right, and pinch to zoom as you would any mobile device.
As mentioned, we tested this model in a number of conditions and scenarios to see how well it performs. Both via HDMI and SDI situations. It did so well that some colleagues didn’t even realize we had a different brand on the camera than what is normally used.
Then there is that V-Mount battery slot on the back of the screen that has been nothing less than fantastic. If you plan for long days of use and are not looking to swap out your battery(ies) throughout the day, this is perfect. You’ll get plenty more performance out of a good V-Mount battery, allowing you more use or less times where you need to stop and charge your battery overnight.
That one V-Mount battery can normally power one of our mobile rigs (camera, light, audio, monitor) all day long during shows/conventions where we commonly capture a lot of interview content (sometimes 20-30 interviews a day). So you can imagine how much time you will get with it only connected to the monitor.
It looks great, it feels great, and it comes with some fantastic upgrades. This screen is bright and usable in so many scenarios. And it is packed with so many tools for any given day. The only thing it doesn’t do is record, but neither does the Shinobi 7 that we compared this to earlier in the story.
The user has so many ways to power this monitor that you are covered no matter what your preferences are. Options for either the reliable 2-pin LEMO connection, USB-C, or the V-Mount battery. It definitely feels like a premium flagship.
Then, of course, you have the option between SDI and HDMI. Allowing you to use it in any situation. Regardless of what your camera or system supports. It can even be used as a small content/preview monitor if you have a video village setup somewhere for switching, records, etc. Simply tap into an SDI DA and now you have a stream running to this monitor as you would any HDMI screen.
Only the HDMI can be used to carry up to a 4K@60 connection to other devices since the SDI is limited to 1080/60. But this isn’t abnormal for the price range. You can shoot for 12G-SDI solutions for rock solid 4K content over SDI, but you are typically spending $800-$1200 for those. So for $399, this seems like a fantastic fit.
Finally, this monitor wound up winning our Editors’ Choice award due to its incredible performance for the price.
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.