SmallHD 701 vs 702 Comparison

SmallHD 701 vs 702 Comparison

Monitors are a critical part of image-making.

Me using my 702 on the Alexa Mini during a recent shoot.

Me using my 702 on the Alexa Mini during a recent shoot.

A good monitor is a lifesaver as a DP. Consistency in the way you monitor helps you deliver consistent imagery. A few months ago I decided to take the plunge and invest in a SmallHD 702 monitor, and I've never looked back. It's a WORLD of difference from always shooting off built-in monitors on cameras. I'll be doing a video soon on how I setup my 702 for shooting.

B&H recently had a flash sale on the on 701 Lite for $399 and I know a lot of people picked them up, so today my good friend and fellow DP Matt Derderian brought his over so we could throw them up side by side. These were non-clinical and non-exhaustive tests, merely running the same signal into both monitors and offering my thoughts on what I saw. I tried to take a few pictures, but obviously I wouldn't judge anything too hard off the pictures.

702 on the left at 1% brightness, 701 on the right at 100% brightness.

702 on the left at 1% brightness, 701 on the right at 100% brightness.

The first thing we noticed was that these panels are very different. The color, contrast, and brightness were very obviously different, at least on the 2 units we had. The brightness difference was huge - the 702 turned all the way down is the same as the 701 turned all the way up, and when both are turned all the way up the 702 is SIGNIFICANTLY brighter. The 701 seemed to be a bit warmer and have a little more contrast in the shadows.

Both monitors at 100% Brightness.

Both monitors at 100% Brightness.

The second thing we noticed was that the resolution difference seemed pretty much negligible. You could tell the 702 was a little sharper in fine detail, but I didn't find that it created any issues with pulling focus or anything. I would be entirely comfortable having the 701 be an AC monitor or something similar.

The 701 seemed to clip shadows faster than the 702, as you can somewhat see in this picture.

The 701 seemed to clip shadows faster than the 702, as you can somewhat see in this picture.

Overall both monitors seemed quite close to what we were seeing on the back of the c100 itself, which was often splitting the difference. If you need perfect color and contrast responses out of your monitor you might want to avoid the 701, but if you're looking for a budget second monitor to use as a client monitor or AC monitor you'll be totally happy with the 701.


What is your favorite monitor?

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