Marshall 5″ LCD monitor versus the Small HD 5.6″ DP6

Small HD on the left. Marshall on the right


I have both the 6.5″ and 8″ Monitors from Marshall as well as their 17″. I have been a Marshall user for over 3 years but I also have an amazing Panasonic HD-SDI monitor. All great monitors and essential tools for me whilst filming. The 6.5″ is my go to monitor every time. BUT, it’s expensive. Over $1600. It has great features like peaking, false colour etc..

It’s lower resolution than my 6.5″ which is 1024×768, the 5″ is 800×480 but it’s a REALLY high quality panel. Resolution is not the be all and end all. It costs just under $600

The Marshall has peaking for focus assist. It seems better than my 6.5″ for some reason at this, not sure why. It also has false colour to help with exposure. Edit: when you hit record on the 5d it does not do anything it just drops to 480p but as the resolution is only a bit lower than the native resolution so you do not notice it as much as you do with the higher resolution panels. BUT you can hit the pixel to pixel mapping button and it enlarges the screen making it almost the same size as without. This pixel to pixel mapping is a huge plus on the 7D, 1dmkiv and 60D as it zooms in a about 2.5x to help you get focus whilst recording which you cannot do on the Canon LCD screen.

It runs off of 4 AA batteries. This is good and bad. They last just 2 hours. So invest in some rechargeable ones or power it using a different power system. AA batteries are good simply because you can get them anywhere…I have an AC adaptor for it which helps of course but I much prefer to keep my monitors battery only.

It’s a pretty simple monitor connection wise. HDMI only.


I have the larger original Small HD but was disappointed with it. I really did not like the panel and the controls were awful. I am happy to say the DP6 in a massive improvement. The panel is 100x better than the previous one, the menu system has been totally redesigned, using a wheel at the top. The 5.6″ panel is a very nice high resolution 1280×800 and it’s pretty damn robust with a Solid Aluminium shell.

Jon Connor from Canonfilmmakers.ocm using the DP6 on a shoot

The one I have on loan is the basic version, it has HDMI, component and composite which costs $800. The HD-SDI version which really interests me as I have cameras with this connection as well as HDMI retails for $1300.

If you are a 5Dmkii or T2i user the DP6 in DSLR mode will auto scale the 480p signal to fill the screen. A really nice plus.

The menus are very comprehensive with all sorts of options. It has a nice peaking feature which simply ups the sharpness of the display. It also has a focus assist mode, but I found this hard to use and see what I was doing. I prefer the peaking in the Marshall. The black and white image with red edges to show what is in focus. The DP6, like the Marshall also has false colour to help your exposure and a histogram.

It has a USB port to allow it to have firmware updates. Another great feature. You can also add a USB powered HDMI splitter!!

The panel is a bit too reflective for me. I really much much prefer matte screens. Also the screen can scratch easily that’s why they sell an essential acrylic screen protector.

One of my favourite things they sell is the Canon battery plate for LP-E6 batteries which runs for 4 hours on two batteries. They have their own proprietary battery system too.

I have to say it’s really well made and such a massive improvement over the previous one I had. Night and day really.

So which is better?

Well that is a tough question to answer, they are both excellent monitors…let me run through their plusses and minuses.

Both are small, but that is the point. These are designed for on camera monitoring and especially handheld. Want a bigger screen then get a bigger monitor.

The panel of the Small HD is bigger and has higher resolution than the Marshall. Although I definitely found the Marshall panel to give a more accurate colour reproduction and generally more pleasant image, but that’s not to say the DP6 image isn’t really good too. It is! The higher resolution does make focusing slightly easier BUT the pixel to pixel mapping of the Marshall is better because the panel is lower resolution which makes the zoom in way more useful.  Both are reflective but the Small HD is more reflective meaning you really need a sunshade when using it, but I absolute HATE the sunshade of the DP6, but that’s because I cannot touch the fabric it is made of. I have a phobia of it 😉 For most people it’s great though!

I prefer the peaking of the Marshall to the DP6. Seems to work better. Although the DP6 keeps the image in colour with peaking on. The Marshall goes black and white. Don’t get the focus assist on the DP6, I need to use it more to get my head around it!

The DP6 has way more tweaks available in the menu for the image, the menu system is very nice and much improved BUT i still like the instant access buttons of the Marshall on the front.

The battery system of the DP6 is better than the Marshall. Using Canon Batteries is a nice plus for me but it does drain them. The Marshall only gets 4xAA battery option which last just 2 hours. Tough one that!

The DP6 has component and composite making it a much more flexible monitor. The HD-SDI even more so. But you do pay for it. The basic DP6 is 50% more the the Marshall and the HD-SDI version more than twice the price.

I have to say I am really impressed with both of them. In a way I don’t see them competing against each other. For me the Marshall is the first truly useful budget monitor out there. Every one I have used prior to this have been not good! This is sub $600 (probably a lot more in the UK as usual) and excellent and totally usable for focusing and framing etc…The DP6 is more expensive but has more flexibility, options, features. So you have to decide what is important to you and what your budget is…

There is one thing that bugs me with the Marshall is the on off switch is right at the back on the bit that juts out so when I rest it on the table when powered off it turns itself off. I also prefer the placement of the DP6 HDMI cable, dropping down is better for me than sticking out…

So after all that there is no conclusive winner. I like them both and will use them both, especially if I have a 1st pulling focus. The small size of them is great.

The DP6 is like a mini computer, with firmware upgrades promised and the ability to upgrade to HD-SDI a huge plus. It really is a very flexible little monitor. I am very impressed with it.

The Marshall has a great image and is the first usable budget monitor I have used.

I can’t decide! Just get both 😉

It’s a real shame I don’t have the HD-SDi version of the DP6. Would be really useful for the Panasonic AF-100 I get tomorrow. Oh well…


  1. Philip, leaving aside the technical stuff like getting critical focus or correct exposure, is it possible in your opinion to control the aesthetics of the scene like scene composition with a 5″ monitor. I need to invest in a good monitor and I don’t know if I should go for a bigger screen like 17″ or maybe something more handy and much smaller. Thanks. Ed.

      1. Hi Philip,

        Quick question. If I want to do some handheld shooting and use a 17″ monitor for the director, will I be flying blind once I insert the HDMI into my 7D and the 17″ marshall? Is there a way to be able to monitor what I am shooting say with the 5″ Marshall and still give the director the 17″?


      2. Hello Phillip,

        I’m a cuban cinematographer very interested in working with the dslr cameras for filming.I’ve made some short films and music videos with this technology, and I think is fascinating. It helped me a lot the review you made on the monitors Marshall and smallHD.I agreed they’re both a big quality gear.At the end I choose the Marshall, it is more useful for my needs, (more focus and exposure than size or inputs).
        so I wanted to thank you for your review. Good luck

  2. Hi Philip

    Very nice!

    I was looking for a monitor to use with both my EX3 and 5D Mk2.

    Therefore, a monitor that takes both HD-SDI and HDMI as input would have my preference..

    Like the form factor.


    1. Using the DP6 for just that purpose: EX3 on SDI and HDMI for the Canon, I really like the SmallHD even like it more then the Marshal but I have to admit: I use the sunhood, screen protector and HDMI splitter. To be honest I wish someone would make an EX3 like viewfinder attachment for the DP6, it would make the perfect viewfinder.

      Love the controls even though I was always a total instant button junkie. The other cool part of the DP6 and DP1 is you can use them to build on, rock solid case can be part of the rig, not just an attachment.

      DP1 is more of a “I want to see some picture” monitor, not great but useful, I use it as autocue monitor these days 🙂

  3. The price point on this monitor is very affordable (comparatively speaking)! Though it’s backordered at B&H, $516.35 with free shipping seems worth the 14 day wait.

    Thanks for the review Philip. Making room in my gear bag now for what seems like a great and reliable product. And, no, I’m not a B&H Salesmen…


    Cheers and have fun this weekend in my old home town Boston with the gang at Rule!

  4. The pic of the Marshall monitor above shows video image filling the screen with no vertical or horizontal black bars. Can you report whether vertical or horizontal black crop bars are visible in preview/record/playback mode with the 5D?

    Thx PB!

  5. As always thanks for sharing your thoughts on so many products for dslr shooters. It sounds very promising and at a most reasonable price as well. Any idea when this will be available for purchasing?

  6. Oops. Sorry for asking when it will be available for purchase, I just found it on marshall’s website. from your statement “they are just coming out with the new 5″ version and I have got one to try out at the moment” I assumed it was still in pre release phase.

  7. Good to hear about the ratio adjustment for the 5D/T2i, that’s a big plus and a feature I think the new SmallHD is pushing. I might yet end up getting one of these.

  8. Thanx for that info!
    Still waiting for Zacuto to come out with thier EVF. This could be an option till then.
    I wonder why Marshall did not give it a 12v dc option. This one is 5v. With a 12v option it would be possible to power it from another source like a battery belt or a V-mount plate.

    Phil, are you going to make video review of this?

    1. This is wired! my dealer (pictureland) says The Marshall has a 4-12V input. But on the Marshall website it says only 5v.
      Please somebody bring some light into this confused darkness of mine!

  9. Philip!…

    you must get your hands on the SmallHD monitors again…

    very versatile and better bang for buck than Marshalls…

    imho not fair to review without comparison to the only other viable option out there…

    especially for people like us who have other cameras with other outputs…

    best wishes!

  10. Hi Philip: Thanks for your comments about this monitor; much appreciated.

    I have 2 questions:

    – Could you comment about calibrating these (relatively) inexpensive portable monitors? If monitors in this general price range don’t have built-in colorbar generators — and I believe none of the DSLRs do either — how do you calibrate the monitor? Do you temporarily connect it to another device that can output colorbars (can the KiPro do this?) to calibrate the monitor? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on this issue.

    – Do you still have a pre-release GH2? Will you be publishing additional info about it soon?

    Thanks in advance.

  11. We just got this today and its actually pretty rocking. The best thing we did was screw it into a naga arm and then attached that to the bottom of a Zacuto plate. Then we swung it under the camera and positioned right to the camera body, effectively making it a high resolution articulated screen like a GH-1. It’s a really effective solution and feels great to shoot with, like a proper video camera.

    Check out a pic here..

    1. @Cheapskate

      If your looking into the real budget monitors, try searching for the ‘Lilliput 669GL’ non-touchscreen HDMI model on eBay. It’s fine for a real low cost alternative, sort of useless for handheld and the colour isn’t the best. But for framing on a tripod, yeah not bad. I got one for $188(AUS), then another $30 for power supply that last 5-6hrs.

    2. let us know if you find out more about this option. sounds interesting – esp for beginners who don’t want to have “all the gear, but no idea”…

  12. Great review as usual Phil! I have been struggling with which monitor to get, I’m constantly going back and forth. The one plus for me on the DP-6 is the optional HD/SDI connection, since I’m probably one of the few that still really enjoys shooting with my EX1. I agree with you that the glossy screen is a bad choice and that Matte screens are way better. I think in the end having the ability to use the LP-E6 batteries, the HD/SDI, and the ability to update the firmware makes the DP-6 a winner for me. At least for today.

    Thanks again for working so hard to get these reviews out so quickly. I really appreciate it!

  13. Phil how’d you manage a version with False Colour? I just bought a DP6 and don’t have access to that yet. I was told they are releasing it in a firmware update this week. I agree with you on the focus assist. I wish they would go with a more marshall look. B/W with red edges. Much easier to see. Don’t get me wrong. The focus assist works but not as well as the Marshall. Did you know the DP6 also has 1 to 1 pixel mapping? Its just in the menu. Also, were you aware SmallHD sells a HDMI splitter that is powered off of the USB port? Pretty handy- especially when using a director monitor as you mentioned.

    Overall great monitor. Just wanted to point out those few things.

  14. Did anyone else notice the part where Philip says he’s getting the AF-100 tomorrow? That’s kick ass! Much more important I think than a monitor. Can’t wait for your review Philip, thanks for doing all this!

  15. Philip did you find any yellowish tinge to the image or false noise or artifacts in the dark areas of the image in the DP6? Because these issues were a huge let down in the DP1x

  16. How did i choose between Marshall and HD Small monitor ? My advice is to consider :

    1 – Which Marshall quality screen you choose ?
    2 – Future capabilities : Think to your future business and capacities : HD-SDI or not, Up to date software ?
    3 – What power are you wanna use ?

    I have the HD Small for a month now.
    Answer or why did i choose he HD Small:

    1- Two screen qualities exist. A outdoor treatment Marshall monitor incredibly increase the price

    2 – Marshall told me @ ibc september show (the european NAB) that no Marshall monitor will have HD-SDI & HDMI monitor since next NAB 2011.
    Since i order mine HD Small in may and get it the 1st series in september the company offer me a great service and up date the software with lots of new capacities that they will continue to update.
    Important :
    I work in the TV broadcast field and want to quit it for more fun in HDSLR content. My advice is the actual 5D II gets a no professional output that all pro dislike, HDMI. I see this product as an unbelievable tool but get in mind that it’s also only the Version 1 !!! Even Canon was surprise of the success of their still camera 😉 So i wait for a SDI output in their next 5D model or new movie camera concept. Think in advance.

    3 – I am now on the way to buy Pro Anton Bower power batteries with all the gear who are coming : Led light, VF / Screen, 5D II, Redrock remote. My wonder goes now to V Mount or Gold Mount ? The Gold is better than the V, but V is popular on HDSLR gears. The gold has more stabilize contact in hard rough stage conditions.

    My only regrets on the Small HD are the bad profile monitor (unusable) , the high fee for for delivery.

    I am really happy of their service. It has been long to get it because they delay the release, but with new future, and they offer me to give me back the money or free accessories. I really don’t regret my choose.

    One more think as Steve Jobs : HD Small has protection that spoils the picture quality but really useful. Twice I have seen Marshall monitor drooping during stage, peace to their soul. The color quality has to be done on a calibrated monitor or in post-prod and the monitor is mostly for the focus in a shallow DOF and Low / Highlight as it s not RAW footage.

    All my best Philip & so exciting to get your Kessler pocket dolly today.
    Thanks to all the reader and their advice, to Stu Maschwitz, Vincen Lafôret, Sebastian wiegaertner and … …

  17. Hey Phil,

    Bummer about your aversion to the fabric on the sunshade – it’s the best designed sunshade I’ve ever seen!…

    I’ve been using the peaking for focus with much satisfaction…


  18. Philip, you have to check DP6 again… I compared it with Swit, Marshall and Ikan today at the SATIS, France, and there is no comparison possible. DP6 wins !

    Only the new Ikan HD may come close to it.
    Want to compare DP6 ? Try with a Panasonic BT-LH900 🙂

      1. Been using the DP6 for a week on an indie drama for the BBC on a Sony 9000. Fantastic resolution for sharping assistance and very handy to be able to power of my 7d batts. Fantastic build and excellent features for the price when you compare it to similar pro monitors. Ok it doesn’t have a waveform function but as a lightweight focus assist monitor you can’t beat it : )

  19. Thanks Philip. One really nice thing about the DP6 DUAL Canon battery solution is that it allows you to “hot swap” batteries without having to shut the monitor off.

    I believe you can pull off one battery and charge it while the other one is still powering the monitor. With an outlet to get power from your car, (formerly known as a “cigarette lighter”) you could pretty much shoot continuously in the field, alternating the three of them as you go.

    The dual Canon 5D batteries are also the lightest weight power source for the DP6. Something to consider when mounting to a hot shoe.

    Thanks again for your dedication, Philip. You’re like a window into a world we’d otherwise never see.

  20. Great review.

    I have both the DP-6 and Marshall 7″ HDMI monitors.

    I do have the SDI version of the DP-6 and use it for both My HPX-500 as well as the 5d/7d.

    I will definitely use it for the AF-100 I just pre-ordered as well.

  21. Have you ever tried using a cheap alternative to a field monitor? Thinking about laptops/photo frames/small&cheap TVs etc. – even though they might be less convenient…

    Am starting to realise the limitations of the on-camera screen, but feel it’s not worth spending cash on yet an other piece of equipment 😉


  22. Hi Philip
    I am using a 7″ tvlogic on my polecam and need another monitor
    this dp6 looks good.
    how does it compare to my logic (if you have used one) and is it brighter.
    looks too good to be true..or am i behind the times!

  23. Just got my replacement Marshall 5″ (first one was a dud). I’m new to this, but why am I not getting a screen on the Marshall during playback, just while filming and pre-filming. I go to press the playback button, and all I get is the blue screen……..what am I missing, besides not reading the manual?

  24. Hi Philip
    About (no, but you have to unless you go the AJA box route. the HDMI connection is bloody awful as you know. I tie the cable to the top of the camera to take the weight off)
    ViewFactor release Contineo HDMI cable clamp

    and I want to ask, what monitor would you choose between DP6 and Marshall V-LCD651STX-HDMI, If the price has no value???
    and Whether there is a sense conect to 7D Nano Flash, whether it is possible record 422?

  25. Hi Philip,

    I just bought the Marshall as there’s a bit of a delivery delay on the SmallHD. I’m mostly very happy with it except for a response lag of about a 10th of a second. Are you experiencing the same issue? Do you know if the SmallHD is better? For a lot of stuff it’s not going to be a problem but for shooting drama close ups it does present an issue. Any thoughts on the matter,



  26. Has anyone heard anything about the sony CLM-V55 monitor? apparently it has a 800×400 res 5″ screen with full colour peaking! i just read its set for release in march, never owned a field monitor so would be interested to hear peoples thoughts on this one? as i really liek the sound of the colour peaking feature.


  27. Just wondering if anyone here has used the Marshall monitor running on Sanyo Eneloops or has tested AA sized Li-ion batteries (admittedly higher voltage output, but maybe there’s a way)?

    The only sticking point for myself personally buying the Marshall is < 2 hour run time on 4xAAs and no Li-ion alternative.

  28. I’m new at this. I have an hpx170 that has both component and hdsdi.

    Can you tell me why I would want the more expensive verison of dp6 with hdsdi?

    Also, can I use the Marshal via an adapter with my 170 even tho it doesn’t have hdmi out?

    Thanks so much. You’re incredibly helpful to folks like me and your business model is admirable.


  29. I’m always about 6mo-1yr late on these things. Just bought the LCD50, but in pictures I have seen of it in operation, the LCD image from the 7D fills the screen, mine only fills 5/8ths at best… and after thumbing through the settings, I can only fill less or way too much, what am I doing wrong?

  30. is there any way to make these monitors wireless so they are not tethered to being mounted on the camera or a rig similar to the CPM Monitor? I love the extra features Marshall provides but I shoot a lot of fast moving subjects (car chase, fight scene etc) and would like to be able to watch while the DP shoots without having to look over his shoulder and track his movements step for step

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