can you add an external monitor to a dslr camera

An In-depth Guide to Enhance Your Photography Experience

Hey there, photography enthusiasts! Are you looking to take your DSLR camera’s capabilities to the next level? Adding an external monitor to your DSLR camera can revolutionize your photography experience and elevate the quality of your shots. In this article, we will explore the possibility of integrating an external monitor with your DSLR camera and discuss the advantages and disadvantages that come with this enhancement.


An external monitor is an additional display that can be attached to your DSLR camera, providing a larger and more detailed view of your subjects. This accessory is particularly beneficial for professional photographers, videographers, and aspiring filmmakers who demand precision and finesse in their work. Let’s dive into the details of adding an external monitor to your DSLR camera.

1. Enhanced Visibility 📷

One of the primary advantages of adding an external monitor to your DSLR camera is the improved visibility of your shots. The larger screen size allows you to examine the details and composition of your images more effectively. With a bigger display, you can spot imperfections or adjust settings with greater accuracy, resulting in visually stunning photographs.

2. Precise Focus and Framing 🔍

By connecting an external monitor to your DSLR camera, you gain better control over focus and framing. The enhanced visibility enables you to fine-tune your focus and make precise adjustments to achieve the desired composition. Whether capturing still images or shooting videos, this feature guarantees optimum results.

3. Accurate Color Representation 🌈

Color accuracy is crucial in photography, as it helps convey the intended mood and tone of your subjects. An external monitor ensures that you view your images with accurate color representation. This allows you to make real-time adjustments to your camera settings or lighting conditions, ensuring your final output matches your creative vision.

4. Wider Viewing Angle ⏯️

Unlike the limited viewing angle of your DSLR camera’s built-in screen, an external monitor offers a wider perspective and flexibility to view your shots from any angle. This is especially useful when shooting in challenging positions or capturing images from unusual angles, such as low or high viewpoints. With a wider viewing angle, you can explore different creative possibilities and capture unique perspectives.

5. Simplified Playback and Review 🎥

Reviewing your shots on a larger screen simplifies the process of examining your work in detail. An external monitor allows you to playback your images or footage with greater clarity, facilitating a more comprehensive analysis of your composition, focus, and overall quality. This feature is particularly beneficial for on-location shoots or situations where instant feedback is essential.

6. Seamless Connectivity and Control 📶

External monitors often come with additional connectivity options, enabling you to control various camera functions remotely. Some models offer touch-screen capabilities, allowing you to adjust settings, change focus points, or even trigger the shutter wirelessly. This level of control enhances your shooting experience and opens up new creative avenues.

7. Improved Ergonomics and Comfort 🪑

Using an external monitor with your DSLR camera can significantly improve ergonomics and comfort during shooting sessions. By detaching yourself from the camera’s rear screen and positioning the monitor at a comfortable eye level, you can avoid strain or fatigue caused by constantly bending or squinting. This advantage is particularly valuable during extended photography sessions or when shooting in challenging environments.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Adding an External Monitor to a DSLR Camera


1. Enhanced visibility and detailed image examination.

2. Precise focus and framing adjustments.

3. Accurate color representation for better creative control.

4. Wider viewing angle for exploring unique perspectives.

5. Simplified playback and comprehensive review of shots.

6. Seamless connectivity and remote control capabilities.

7. Improved ergonomics and comfort during shooting sessions.


1. Additional cost for purchasing an external monitor.

2. Increased equipment size and weight.

3. Potential impact on battery life.

4. Learning curve to navigate new features and settings.

5. Risk of damage or loss during transport or handling.

6. Limited compatibility with certain DSLR camera models.

7. Possible distractions caused by constantly monitoring the external screen.

A Complete Overview in a Table

Feature Description
Enhanced Visibility Bigger screen size for better image examination
Precise Focus and Framing Improved control over focus and composition
Accurate Color Representation Real-time adjustments for color accuracy
Wider Viewing Angle Flexibility to view shots from various angles
Simplified Playback and Review Clarity and instant feedback during analysis
Seamless Connectivity and Control Remote control and wireless capabilities
Improved Ergonomics and Comfort Reduced strain and increased shooting comfort

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I add an external monitor to any DSLR camera model?

Yes, external monitors can be added to most DSLR camera models, but compatibility may vary. It is recommended to check the compatibility specifications before making a purchase.

2. Do I need any additional equipment to connect an external monitor to my DSLR camera?

Depending on your camera model, you may require specific cables or adapters to establish the connection between your DSLR camera and the external monitor. Refer to your camera’s user manual or contact the manufacturer for guidance.

3. Will adding an external monitor affect the battery life of my DSLR camera?

Using an external monitor can consume additional power, potentially reducing your DSLR camera’s battery life. It is advisable to carry spare batteries or use an external power source for uninterrupted shooting sessions.

4. Can I control my DSLR camera’s settings through the external monitor?

Certain external monitors offer touch-screen capabilities, allowing you to control various camera settings directly from the monitor. However, this feature depends on the specific model and its compatibility with your DSLR camera.

5. Are there any other benefits of adding an external monitor apart from the ones mentioned?

Yes, some advanced external monitors offer features like focus peaking, zebras, and histogram displays, which can assist in achieving precise focus, exposure, and overall image quality. These additional tools can immensely enhance your photography or videography workflow.

6. Can I use an external monitor while shooting both still images and videos?

Absolutely! External monitors can be used for both still photography and videography, providing an improved shooting experience and better control over your creative output.

7. Will using an external monitor make my camera setup bulkier and heavier?

Yes, adding an external monitor to your DSLR camera will increase the overall size and weight of your camera setup. However, the benefits of enhanced visibility and control often outweigh the slight inconvenience of additional equipment.

8. Can I connect multiple external monitors to a single DSLR camera?

While some camera models offer the ability to connect multiple external monitors, this feature is not commonly available. It is advised to check your camera’s specifications or consult the manufacturer for compatibility and limitations.

9. Can I use an external monitor underwater for underwater photography?

There are specialized underwater housings available that provide compatibility for external monitors, allowing you to use them for underwater photography. However, these housings are specific to certain camera models and may require additional accessories.

10. Is it possible to live stream or transfer images/videos directly from the external monitor?

Some advanced external monitors offer wireless connectivity options, enabling live streaming or wireless image/video transfer. However, this feature depends on your camera’s capabilities and the specific model of the external monitor.

11. Do external monitors come with built-in audio monitoring options?

While some high-end models may offer built-in audio monitoring options, most external monitors primarily focus on visual enhancements. For audio monitoring, it is recommended to use dedicated audio equipment or external audio recorders.

12. Are there any recommended external monitor brands for DSLR cameras?

There are several reputable brands in the market, including SmallHD, Atomos, FeelWorld, and Marshall Electronics, that offer high-quality external monitors specifically designed for DSLR cameras. It is advisable to read reviews and consider your specific requirements before making a purchase.

13. Can I add an external monitor to mirrorless cameras as well?

Absolutely! Many external monitors are designed to be compatible with both DSLR and mirrorless cameras. However, it is crucial to verify the compatibility of the specific monitor with your desired mirrorless camera model.

Conclusion: Elevate Your Photography Journey with an External Monitor

Adding an external monitor to your DSLR camera can significantly enhance your photography experience. From improved visibility and precise focus to accurate color representation and simplified review processes, the advantages are undeniable. Despite some limitations and additional costs, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks for passionate photographers seeking to take their craft to new heights.

So, whether you’re a professional photographer aiming for perfection or an avid enthusiast exploring creative possibilities, investing in an external monitor for your DSLR camera is a decision that can truly elevate your photography journey.


The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. We do not endorse any specific brands or models of external monitors mentioned. It is advisable to conduct thorough research, read reviews, and consult professionals before making any purchasing decisions. We shall not be held responsible for any misuse, damage, or inconvenience caused by the utilization of external monitors with DSLR cameras.

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