Phil Arntz reviews the VFM-055A 5" OLED viewfinder monitor; Is It a True LCD-Killer?

At IBC 2017 TVLogic introduced their latest 5” viewfinder monitor in their VFM-series, the VFM-0055A. It is TVLogic's first 5.5-inch OLED (organic LED) on-camera viewfinder monitor with native 1920x1080 resolution.

It offers truly cinematic image quality with deep blacks, wide-gamut color reproduction, a very wide viewing angle, and support for multiple video formats via 3G-SDI and HDMI 1.4 inputs. Useful functions include cinema camera log-to-linear LUT conversion, HDMI-SDI cross-converted output, waveform and vector scope, markers, focus assist, audio level meters and much more. Comparing it with the previous model in the range, the VFM-058W, it has a lot of advantages and improvements such as Anamorphic De-squeeze, 3D LUT import via USB, HDR Emulation and Split zoom, but reading the review from DoP Phil Arntz, there are still plenty reasons to use this existing monitor too.

Phil says;

The TVLogic's VFM-058W has been one of the go to monitors for focus pullers, camera operators and cinematographers for a while. Rental houses loved these monitors as they stand up to the abuse of the production environment.

As a Director of Photography, the announcement of the VFM-055A excited me. I am always looking for a more accurate rendition of contrast and colours and onboard monitors are often lacking in that regard. Usually i'd find myself going between camera and a larger reference monitor, however on some jobs this is just not an option due to time constraints. The VFM-055A Monitor by TVLogic bridges that gap.

TVLogic's new VFM-055 is a fantastic monitor for those Director of Photography's who are always close to the camera. The OLED technology gives you an accurate representation of your image, with deep blacks and accurate colour rendering.

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It's small enough to be an on-camera monitor and the color and black rendition is superb. I've found myself trusting this small monitor more and more and it's definitely hard to go back to a non OLED on board monitor. Nothing comes without trade offs, so you are trading accurate colours and deep blacks for some brightness as compared to the 058W, which means that you will need a sunshade for exteriors or bright studio days. All in all, the VFM-055A sits nicely alongside the 058W. Perhaps it's best seen as an onboard monitor that reassures you as a director of photography rather than a replacement of the 058W which is well loved by Focus Pullers all around the world.

 

TVlogic is always working on improvements of their products and the latest firmware update for the VFM-055A is now available from the download section within the Aspectra website. 
Visit the TVLogic booth SL1205 at NABSHOW 2018 in Las Vegas.