Statement on SmallHD 501 and 502 monitors

Update 9/01: Firmware patch 1.3.2 has been released and is available for download. You must use this firmware version or higher for your camera to be compatible with the SmallHD 501 and 502 monitors.

Update 8/27: The bug and resolution have been found, and new firmware will be released for the D16 on 8/31 to accept the SmallHD signal.

Earlier this year, SmallHD released a wonderful line of new HD EVFs with fantastic color and display technology, namely the 501 (HDMI) and 502 (SDI/HDMI) models.


Unfortunately, after a handful of Digital Bolex users complained in the last two months of SSDs dismounting, frozen cameras, and potential footage loss, we have discovered that these new monitors have an incompatibility with the current D16 firmware, resulting from SmallHD using a newer EDID (Extended Display Identification Data) data standard in their HDMI signal not used in most other EVF products on the market, a standard that the D16’s firmware is not currently set up to accept. This incompatibility causes a problem with the D16’s internal SSD drive that effects its ability to record and playback footage.

SmallHD provided us with samples of their new monitors so our engineers could help to diagnose the problem and has been active in helping them solve the issue. While a recent update to the SmallHD firmware was recently released, it did not solve these critical issues. For the time being, we are currently recommending that users of the Digital Bolex do not use the new SmallHD 500 series EVFs with our camera until the newest D16 firmware patch is released. With the current D16 firmware configuration, the 500 series monitors may damage your camera after continuous use, and we will not be able to provide warranty repair for issues resulting from the use of a 500 series monitor at this time.

We thank SmallHD for working with us on resolving this issue, and additionally enthusiastically recommend their DP4, DP7, and AC7 monitors as reliable accessories for the Digital Bolex, and also support the similar products of other manufacturers like Cineroid, Zacuto, TVLogic, and F&V, whose EVFs have shown no compatibility issues.

11 thoughts on “Statement on SmallHD 501 and 502 monitors

      • Thanks! I think there is still a problem. I updated the firmware on the camera and on the monitor. The mentor iremains dark unless one is recording. Playback is fine. The monitor itself gets quite hot. Am I doing something wrong? I ordered the monitor on the basis of the bug fix.

        • Everything is in order now, excellent monitor and the Bolex firmware update is working without issue. I don’t know why when I first got the monitor everything appeared very faint unless recording. Probably something I did without knowing it.

  1. Well, I was already selling my Zacuto EVF Pro in order to buy an F&V MeticaFM HDMI Plus.
    But, now this Small HD looks tempting, if they fix it for us.
    Elle, what would you do? What would Joe do? Could you make the decision for me please.
    Thank you,

  2. Thanks for the update Elle. I was actually quite close to buying a 501 in the next few weeks for an upcoming shoot. Looks like I’ll stick with the AC7. Think the BlackMagic Design Video Assist will fare better? Much of my existing BMD gear has been incompatible so far.

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