Sony CLM-V55 clip-on monitor
Did you ever wish you could have a better, and bigger main LCD on your camera, one that makes it easier to focus and compose on? The Sony CLM-V55 is one such product. This screen is great for old folks that can’t see too well anymore, or anybody else that has problems seeing the standard 2.5″ or 3″ camera LCDs. Even if your current camera screen is VGA quality, like most Sony DSLR, SLT and NEX cameras screens are now, the Sony 5.0″ portable monitor is a big step up.
Inside the box is the monitor, folding hood, accessory shoe for Sony, and shoe adapter for other brands, gray carrying pouch, 18″ (450mm) HDMI cable and owner’s manual. Funny, the pouch has an orange tag stitched at the seam with “Sony” printed on it, a rip-off of the “levi’s” tag.
You don’t need to have a Sony camera to use this item, any camera or camcorder that supports HDMI output will work.
This is the back of the monitor showing the battery compartment and sun shade (hood) extended, this device just snaps on the monitor and folds up when you don’t need it. A battery is not included, but takes the same one (NP-FM500H) as most intermediate and pro Sony DSLRs. It also takes some big video camera batteries, like the NP-QM71D or NP-QM91D. Note; the battery level for the CLM-V55 is not indicated on the LCD, the little light by the power button turns green when the batter has power, and red when it’s low. It’s supposed to turn white in AC mode, but I couldn’t confirm that because I don’t have the AC adapter.
The speaker (monaural) is on the back under all the holes. It also has a 3.5 stereo mini jack for head phones, and the monitor has a sound level adjustment.
The monitor has a standard 1/4″-20 tripod socket, with the other hole being a plug receptacle to stop rotation. There is no need to mount the LCD to the camera’s hotshoe, it uses no power or signal, the hotshoe is just providing a place to mount the screen. You can put it on a tripod beside the camera if you want. There’s a bracket made by Sony for mounting the screen and camera together using the camera’s tripod socket.
Mounted on A580.
Mounted on the Sony proprietary hotshoe and plugged in with included HDMI cable. You can only view one screen at a time, if you turn on the CLM-V55 monitor, the camera screen turns off automatically. There may be a way to keep both screens on, depending on camera HDMI control.
On the Sony A900/700, when you turn off the CLM-V55 power, both screens are blank, you need to unplug the HDMI cable to get the camera screen to power up. Again, there could be a work-around, but I’m not aware of any at this time.
The big screen shows the exact same thing as the small screen, including focus areas, grid lines, digital leveler, camera settings, help menu etc. You can tell the difference in screen size very easily in this photo.
This is the front view, showing the battery mounted in place. The LCD swings around to the front if you want, and back and forth 90°.
This is the “peaking” screen, it turns black and white in this mode, with the “peak” in-focus areas in color. Even the normal display data is rendered as as “peak.” This feature isn’t very handy in my opinion, it shows areas that are supposed to be in focus, but really aren’t. There seems to be a broad focusing range for being “peak” and you’ll wind up with an out of focus shot if you strictly go by this feature. I’d rather just check the screen. In this shot, the window blinds are showing “peak” but everything in the image is sharp, not just the blinds. I was focusing on the curio cabinet.
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