Sony CLM-V55 review: Sony CLM-V55

Typical Price: $499.95
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Can be used on any camera with HDMI-out, but some with limitations. Bright, clear screen. Offers peaking and audio monitoring.

The Bad Battery and charger not included. Without a special adapter, the screen can't mount on the proprietary hotshoe on the NEX cameras.

The Bottom Line This incredibly useful LCD monitor makes all the difference for photographers, offering audio monitoring and 5 inches of high-resolution screen real estate. Bonus points for being compatible with any camera with HDMI output.

8.0 Overall

Imagine a world where screen real estate goes beyond 3 inches or 3.2 inches on your digital camera. It's not really possible when cameras, and especially interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs), are being made so small, but the CLM-V55 LCD monitor changes all of that. It's a 5-inch screen offering a WGA-resolution (800x400) display for reviewing and recording photos and videos, connecting to any camera via HDMI, with a mono speaker on the back.

Unfortunately, there's no easy way to mount the screen on Sony's own NEX series of ILCs, apart from the NEX-7, given that they use a proprietary flash mount. The only way to get around this limitation would be to use a mounting bracket attached to the tripod socket, or a third-party hotshoe adapter that converts the proprietary NEX mount into a regular cold shoe. The only example we've come across so far is this hack from Wide Open Camera.

Sony CLM-V55

The V55 attached to a Sony Alpha digital SLR.
(Credit: CBSi)

The screen displays all of the same information found on the camera's LCD, and it's as simple as plugging in the included cable for HDMI to mini-HDMI to the appropriate ports, and switching both the camera/camcorder and screen on. In the box, the V55 also comes with two accessory shoe adapters for mounting the screen on a cold shoe. Using one of the adapters, the screen can tilt forwards and backwards up to 90 degrees, and can swivel 360 degrees. There's also a detachable hood that's ideal for using outdoors and in bright situations. It folds neatly back on itself with side flaps and a hood when not in use.

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