Shooters Create Port Protector for HDSLRs

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

When I was a camera salesman in college, the required accessory that I would push my customers to buy with that new lens was a 1A Skylight filter.  And when they asked “why do I want to spend $20 on a piece of clear glass,” I would reply with one word … INSURANCE.  Because I can count on two hands the number of times I trashed my filter, but saved my lens.  That seems to be the kind of preventative thinking that SmallHD is using in creating their HDMI Port Protecctor …

Have you ever tripped over your tripod and either watched it plummet to the ground and land on the HDMI plug or the plug pulls out at a bad angle, breaking the connectors inside?  That’s a costly repair.  I happened to me on my Canon 7D while shooting a commercial for a local boy scout troop.  Fortunately, for me, it landed just right and just bent the plug, but it could’ve been much wor$e.  Like, $1,000 worse!

What’s where the Small HD Port Protector comes in.  Designed for the Canon 5D Mk. II, the concept is that the external port cable housing screws to the camera itself and then envelopes the HDMI port.  Once done, you slide the cable lock in place, and it can’t be moved, it can’t be skewed, and it can’t be pulled out.  You can hang the camera from the plug itself and it’ll just dangle as the port protector takes all the weight and stress.

It’s easy to install since it uses a single screw that attacked to the camera strap attachment point with a patent pending connection.   This enables a secure attachment to the body of the Canon 5D Mark II without interfering with the tripod or hot shoe mount points and requires no additional hardware for installation.

And the bonus is that if you have a lose connection or trip over the cord lightly, the camera will usually stop recording, having lost HDMI sync.  With the Port Protector, it can’t lose it’s connection and as such, won’t stop recording at a crucial time.

Other advantages are that the Port Protector are:

  • Prevents $1000 (or more) repair fees to fix camera’s HDMI port
  • Avoids wrecking your footage …(the 5D Mark II stops recording in the middle of a shot when it loses HDMI sync)
  • Does not add significant weight (only ~1 oz.)
  • Comes with Free 1.5 foot HDMI Cable

The cost of the port protector is $49.  Which may seem like a lot considering it’s made of ABS plastic and has only one attachment point to keep the camera connectors safe.  But at the end of the day, you’re really not going to want a heavy metal connector on what is already a heavy camera, and you’re certainly going to want it’s number one feature …. INSURANCE.

Now, will it protect that expensive prime lens if you trip over the tripod and it goes crashing down glass first?  No.  But that’s what that 1A Skylight if for, isn’t it?  Sadly, though, it’s only available for the Canon 5D Mk. II and won’t even fit on the Mk. III, or with a battery grip or neck strap attached.  But Small HD is taking design requests, so they’re planning on make it for other makes and models.


About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.

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