For photography or videography I really like using the Aputure VS-2 FineHD monitor. It just got 4X better.

Aputure VS-2 FineHD.

I was very happy with my purchase and subsequent uses of the the Aputure VS-2 HD monitor. It did everything I expected a seven inch, 1080P monitor to do, and a lot more. It was a screaming bargain. But, it was only a 2K monitor. It was not designed to accept and display a 4K signal. If I plugged it into the HDMI output of my 4K cameras I could see my composition while in "standby" but the second I hit the red record button the image on the screen would go black and the screen on the back of the camera lit up and became my display screen for UHD video. 

I was okay with that. No one promised me a 4K monitor for the princely sum of around $250. When I came back from my recent assignment I happened to read something on RedShark or Cinema5D (can never remember which) that indicated there had been a firmware update for the monitor. How wild!! A firmware update for a bargain monitor. I was impressed just by that. A few minutes later I went to the Aputure site and was impressed to find that the firmware update would give me monitoring capability for 4K. Very exciting, and just in time. 

I tried to download and expand (unzip) the file on three different machines and three different browsers but something kept tossing the download into a loop and it just kept making more zipped files when I clicked on it to expand. 

That's when I called in an expert. Enter Frank. A few deft keystrokes later and he sent me the .bin file like it was no big deal. I hooked up the download cable supplied originally with the monitor and carefully followed the instructions. Three minutes later I restarted the monitor, hooked it to a Sony A7Rii, and monitored me up some 4K. 

Of course, the screen resolution hasn't changed, it's just that now the monitor can handle the bigger video stream and downsize it on the fly for me to see. 

That's some pretty cool customer service. Some of the big boys could learn from that. I've bought six Aputure products in the last two months and so far not a single one has disappointed. Happy to have discovered this brand of photo stuff. 

Disclaimer: I'm happy with the stuff I've bought and used from Aputure. I paid for all of it with my own money. All bought directly from Precision Camera in Austin, Texas. Nice folks. They also don't pay me squat for saying nice things about them. I go there for the service, the great prices and a mix of products that work well for me. Sometimes I just call them and they deliver. It's so (nicely) last century.  Next product from Aputure for me? Might just be their new "Diety" microphone. Looks interesting and it's getting some great reviews.


Joe Smithberger said...

The COB 120d is pretty awesome too.

Anthony Bridges said...

After reading your comments about Precision Camera I stopped by there the last time I was visiting Austin. Great layout, lots of inventory and plenty of staff. There are a couple of pro shops in the Dallas area but I think Precision Camera is better.

Joe Smithberger said...

Great news.

Do you find that touching the monitor moves the camera too much when it is on such a long lever arm? Lately I have taken to mounting the monitor on rails directly behind the camera to keep from jiggling the whole thing when I work the functions on the monitor.

Kirk Tuck said...

Hi Joe, Yes! I find that moving the camera with the monitor mounted on the arm does cause a bit of jiggling when I make camera moves. I found a tripod head from Ikan that has 1/4 inch mounting points on the head itself and am looking forward to mounting the monitor to the side of tripod head (the head supports 17 pounds so should be stable + lower center of gravity). One current workaround is to use a much short adapter and forego the tilting. The closer the monitor is to the attachment point the less vibration is introduced.

Thanks for the comment. This may be helpful to new users.

Bill Stormont said...

Hi Kirk, I don't shoot video, but enjoy reading how you solve your everyday working "problems." I noticed in the photo that your camera wasn't in a cage—wouldn't that solve all/part of the wobbling with the monitor, if the it was attached to that? I seem to recall you use a cage at times…or not. Thanks for my continuing education!

mosswings said...

This is very petty, but as good as the equipment is, I just can't get past the company name. It reads more like a spelling error than a clever pun.

Call me OCD...

Kirk Tuck said...

Hello OCD. Put tape over the logo, enjoy the machine.

David said...

I don't know if you subscribe to the New York Times; but if you do, I recommend this recent post in the Lens Blog:


along with the response to it:


They remind me of your thoughts on the transitions going on in your own photography business.

cfw said...

I bought one (Fine HD model) a few weeks back after reading your article. I too am very pleased with it. I use it only for still landscape photography and like the focus peaking feature and false color feature. My only complaint is the glare off the monitor when in use. Even in the shade, with the sun shade installed, the glare can be an impediment. But I've never used one before, so maybe that is just the nature of the beast?

Kirk Tuck said...

Hi cfw, Most monitors are pretty lousy in bright daylight. a work around is to make a black hood that covers all four sides of the monitor so no spill light comes in. There are some pricier monitors from Atomos that are bright enough to see clearly in daylight. They work by greatly amplifying the light output of the screen. They are in the $1500-$2000 price range. See Atomos Flame.

Kirk Tuck said...

David, I do subscribe to the NYT and am also an acquaintance of Don Winslow. Great articles. I agree with both of them and, even more so, I agree with your assessment.

Greg Heins said...

Monitors in daylight? Do what the NFL officials do: get your old darkcloth out of storage.

Reflexdoc said...

Hi Kirk,

I had issues getting the firmware update to work too. Was Frank a service rep from Aputure? Did you just use their basic contact link on the website? Thanks!

Reflexdoc said...

Hi Kirk,

I had issues downloading the firmware too. Was Frank a service rep from Aputure? Did you contact him through the general contact form on their website? Thanks!

Great content as always. We appreciate your work!