PortKeys LH5H Touchscreen Monitor

The next evolution of PortKeys monitor
The PortKeys LH5H is a 5.2" high brightness monitor designed for use with professional video cameras. It represents the continuing evolution of PortKeys products by incorporating and improving features of past products. It resembles the PortKeys LH5 monitor in size, weight, and shape, but is so much more sophisticated and full-featured. It also includes some features of the popular BM5 monitor.
Main Features:
  • 5.2" high brightness 1700 nits screen
  • touchscreen control
  • lightweight (170g) plastic body
  • HDMI in and passthrough up to 4K30
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • camera and follow focus motor control

Physical Design

The retail packaging is simple and clean.
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It really does look and feel like the PortKeys LH5, which I guess should be obvious due to the name similarity. It has the familiar plastic body, which is very lightweight without feeling too cheap. The screen is "toughened" glass, which I guess means it's less likely to break or scratch. There's a single 1/4" 20 threaded mounting hole on the bottom, which is disappointing. It would be very helpful to have multiple mounting points around the body to accommodate more mounting positions. Also, the plastic around the hole is a little too thin. I've seen photos of cracked plastic around the hole just from adjusting the monitor on a swivel mount. It seems like such a simple priority that I wonder why this is even an issue.
The top has four custom function buttons, the power switch, and menu navigation buttons.
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They've removed the scroll wheel and replaced it with up and down arrows and an enter button. The placement is odd and confusing though, with the "menu" button placed between the arrows. You're not quite sure which one you should be pressing. The old scroll wheel was more intuitive and effective.

Connections

The bottom has the 1/4" 20 mounting hole, the Camera Remote port, and the USB jack for firmware updates.
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The bottom has a full size USB connector for plugging in the included thumb drive for firmware updates. It also has the Camera Remote port, which is a USB micro for connecting to compatible cameras. With the appropriate cable you can control camera features such as record start/stor, peaking, autofocus trigger, and more. The amount of control varies greatly depending on the camera. Z CAM has a huge amount of control available, while cameras like Panasonic and Canon have very few controls.

The buttons and connections are more or less in the same place as they were on the LH5. It has HDMI in and a passthrough output on the left side. The LH5H accepts signals up to 4k60, which beats the BM5's silly 1080 limitation. The HDMI connections feel solid and I haven't had any issues with intermittent connectivity like I did with the original LH5. The headphone jack is sandwiched between the HDMI connectors, making it difficult to insert or unplug a headphone cable. It grips very tightly too. The headphone output works well enough, but volume can only be adjusted through the menu. With the original LH5 you could simply rotate the thumb wheel to adjust volume.
The left side has the HDMI input and output, and a headphone jack.
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The back has a simple NP-F battery plate.
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Touchscreen Interface

The LH5H features a "toughened" glass screen with touch control.
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The biggest update with the LH5H is the touch screen menu. You can now access and control everything through the on-screen menu just by touching. While it's not as responsive as something like an iPhone, it's better than some touchscreens. I'm personally not a big fan of touchscreens. While they can be nice to use when well-designed, like on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema cameras, I prefer hardware buttons when they aren't well-designed. The LH5H menu is okay, but they've adopted some swipe gestures to access different screens and I find it hard to remember which swipe does what. In addition, many of these menus eat up precious real estate on the screen. It's only just over five inches to begin with and becomes even smaller with the on-screen buttons.
You have all of the common monitor tools built-in: waveform, false color, peaking, zoom, crosshairs, aspect overlays, anamorphic desqueeze ratios, and more. You can assign these tools to on-screen user-assignable function buttons, but I'm glad that they kept the four physical function buttons. Again, the on-screen buttons take up precious space and just aren't as reliable as a hardware button.

Titla Motor Control

The Tilta Nucleus Nano motor getting the full voltage from the PortKeys LH5H.
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Like some other PortKeys products, you can control follow focus motors like the Tilta Nucleus Nano and M. With a single cable connected to the motor you can control the focus, trigger calibration, and set A and B points. This feature is really handy when you need it. The on-screen interface presents a line on which you can move your finger and change the focus. I don't think anyone would use this instead of a true follow focus wheel, but for certain setups it makes sense. For example, if you are doing product shots and want to program an A to B pull, you can do that very easily here. You can also set the speed of the focus pull. The LH5H also feeds the motor the full voltage instead of dropping it down like the BM5 and other PortKeys products do.

Pricing and Final Thoughts

At $299 USD it's a pretty good deal. You get a bright monitor that supports 4K HDMI signals. It has a lot of customizable helper tools and can control features of your camera. It also has the Tilta motor control feature. You can do a lot worse for the same money. It suffers from a lack of mounting points and a weak plastic base around the 1/4 20 mounting hole.
You can purchase this monitor at Amazon and the PortKeys store.