$35 external monitor: Kindle Fire tablet

on April 2, 2016

OK.

 

SO I just posted this RAVE review on why I love the Aputure monitor for shoots.

 

But I have to let you in on a little secret: I wasn’t ALWAYS using an external monitor- officially that is.

Last Christmas, Amazon had a “Fire Sale” sp to speak, and their entry level Kindle fire (normally $50), went on sale for $35.  Now, just know that I purchased the first generation Kindle Fire for $185 when it came out a few years ago, and it was mostly a disappointment.  I was looking to get an iPad for cheap, but what I really got was a lot of frustration at TRYING to do things that I did on my iPad, and the Fire just failing miserably.  But hey, it was less than $200.

SO naturally I was skeptical with this 5th Gen fire.  The screen is better, and it has a MicroSD expansion slot, so I could put in lots of memory, and at the very least, I thought, it would be a cheap e-reader and Netflix device.

Hey- it’s $35.  It’s worth a gamble.

So I got it and started setting it up.  And just like I had anticipated, it’s proprietary OS had it’s limitations.  But as long as you don’t try to make it compete with an iPad, it’s fine.  It’s actually a GREAT e-reader that I can take to the coffee shop, and even check my email.

Then, like a good hacker, I wanted to see how far I could push this little piece of machinery.  I started taking advantage of the underlying Android OS and started side-loading Apps that weren’t Officially supported.  (Dropbox is VERY helpful for this).

Then I found this site that makes APK (or installers) for Android apps to be installed on your Kindle:

Sony Playmemories for Kindle

I found this Sony Playmemories App that let me use the Kindle as a Smart Remote- on a 7 INCH SCREEN.

I can’t even tell you how great a deal this is.

It’s great for setting up your camera on a coffee table, and taking street photography shots without interfering too much with the mise-en-scene.

However, the ONE THING that I wish it would do, is let you record in a Picture Profile WHILE USING the Smart Remote.  For some reason, it disables that function while in smart remote.  But other than that, you can change ISO, aperture, shutter speed, even focus points- all from the app.

The fact that there is no PP means you can’t record in Slog-2, which makes it a dealbreaker for a lot of Pro work, but as a field monitor for anything else, it’s more than paid for itself.  It’s a steal at $35, and even at the full $50, you just cant go wrong.