I’ve been kicking myself for not taking part in the Osee 15.6″ Field Monitor group buys that were running a month or so ago. And while I’m sure its worth every penny of its $995 price tag, it’s strangely difficult for me to spend that much when I know others got it for a few hundred less. Also, it’s probably overkill for my needs. While LUT support, focus assist, peaking, waveform, etc are all necessary, I have those features on my 5″ and 7″ monitors, from which a feed can be run to a larger production monitor, making those camera assist tools somewhat redundant. Even if I were to use this monitor alone, I’m shooting with a Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera that has many of those features built-in too.
With the Osee out of the picture, I started hunting for a more affordable alternative. I found this 13.3″ 1080p panel, called the GeChic 1303H. A lot of people were using it for gaming and streaming movies.
It looked promising. But had some drawbacks, like being limited to an HDMI Micro port. But while Googling the model number, a different monitor came up: Yiletec 1303MCPT. It had some crucial improvements: a full size HDMI port, black bezel, built-in VESA mounts. Interestingly, a few different 13.3″ monitors came up, but they all had the same “1303” base in their model designation. Don’t have concrete proof but my guess is these are all the same base panel in different housings by different companies. So on a leap of faith, and encouraged by the positive reviews for the GeChic display, I pulled the trigger. It arrived today.
I was careful not to tear any plastic, or to remove the protective film over the screen while testing it out, in case I needed to make an immediate return.
I set up my rig with the Odyssey 7Q+ sending a feed over HDMI, powered it up, and my initial reaction was: nice detailed image, black blacks, but the colors are wrong. I went into the monitor’s Picture Menu and made some quick adjustments: pulled down the color saturation, set color temp, turned of noise reduction, and so on.
Within seconds I had pretty closely matched my Odyssey’s screen. The second I knew this was a keeper, I ripped off the protective film covering the screen, and mounted it to a Kupo VESA light stand mount.
Earlier I mentioned that buying this was a leap of faith. That’s because the listings of this monitor neglect some key details. I knew some specs. Brightness: 350cd/m2, Contrast: 700:1, Resolution: 1920×1080. But there were no reviews for it anywhere. I couldn’t tell how much it weighed or how much control I’d have to dial in the image.
Happy to say it met most of my hopes. It’s bright with good contrast and reminds me of my MacBook Air screen in many ways. Color rendition is good. In all likelihood this is an 8 bit display. I’m guessing it weighs about 3 pounds. The only thing about it that I’m not crazy about is the glossy finish. But it’s no different than the screen of my Odyssey 7Q+, or SmallHD 502. That being said, I am on the hunt for a suitable sunshade now.
Another concern I had was if there would be an issue with 24hz frequencies because only 60hz and 50hz were listed. So I ran through all the framerate settings the Micro Cinema Camera had to change its output and was glad to see the monitor black out and sync up with each of the 60hz, 50hz, and 24hz signals. It even displays the incoming signal frequency in the bottom left corner, confirming its compatibility without a doubt. I also can’t detect any additional lag when viewed side by side with the monitor I’m looping the signal through.
It comes with a table stand, power supply, remote, manual, and some cables. I noticed that they also have a 15.6″ version but the brightness and contrast specs were a little less good: 300cd/m2 and 600:1. If someone out there decides to give this larger version a day in court, please let me know how you like it.
Granted I’ve only had it in my possession for half a day, but I don’t have any hesitation in recommending this Yiletec 13.3″ monitor to budget conscious filmmakers who want a little more screen real estate on set. I bought the version housed in a plastic casing. There is also a metal version, but I was concerned about its weight. Either way, priced at $339 on Amazon, I think this is a steal. When I bought it, an additional $17 was taken off in the cart as a promotional discount. Even better. And a worthy addition to my arsenal.