PortKeys LH5 HDR 5” High Brightness Monitor Review
High quality, low price
The PortKeys LH5 HDR monitor is a lightweight, low cost, yet high quality monitor. It offers many of the features found on more expensive monitors without sacrificing performance. I put this monitor up against the $700 Atomos Ninja V and it held its ground.
Monitors of this size a perfect for mounting on-camera. They are large enough to focus with, but won’t tip over your camera due to the size or weight. One of the only flaws I found with the LH5 is that it only has a single ¼” 20 thread mount on the bottom. Having one on the top would be very useful and is in fact is why I usually grab my Atomos Ninja V instead. The body itself is made from a lightweight but durable plastic. This reduces the weight without feeling cheap or fragile. The bezel stays tight to the screen so there’s no wasted space like on the Atomos. I really appreciate that the power button is a simple slide switch. It’s quick and easy to power on and off, but won’t accidentally be bumped. To turn off the Atomos you have to hold the power button for 5-6 seconds, which feels like forever.
The LH5 is advertised as 1500 nits, which is a great brightness for outdoor viewing. That’s 500 nits more than the Atomos and it shows. While the Ninja V isn’t what I would call dim, the added brightness of the LH5 makes it that much easier to see in daylight. The brightness is adjustable in the menu so you can dial it back in low-light situations.
Let’s talk about the menu. There are soooo many options inside. You can squeeze the display in very fine steps all the down to 50% in both horizontal and vertical directions. This would be useful when doing some odd aspect ratio or vertical video. There are many frame guidelines and marks: different aspect ratios, center crosshair, etc. You can even adjust the color temperature of the display, which is nice to balance it with your lights when you need to shoot the monitor, like I did in my video review.
The system menu has standard controls such as language, fan speed, and settings for the on-screen text. You can change the opacity of the menu, flip the entire image or just the menu and you also have user memory to save menu settings.
The LH5 has support for LUTs. A LUT can add color and contrast to your flat and dull log profile video signal. This gives you an idea of what your image will look like after color grading. I personally prefer to see the image that I'm recording so I can make exposure decisions, but the feature is there if you want it.
Where Can I Buy It?
UpdateThis product has been discontinued, but check out the new and improved PortKeys LH5H.