I'm considering buying a new on-camera monitor (perhaps the SmallHD monitor) and have also been looking into buying a more traditional video camera to use alongside my HDSLRs, and I keep reading that it is a significant drawback to not have HD-SDI monitoring capabilities. I haven't used HD-SDI before, so I'm looking for some insight into this.
For example, the Panasonic AG-AF101 has HD-SDI, and the comparable Sony NEX FS100 does not. Also, for the SmallHD monitor, there is a $400 difference between the version that has HD-SDI and the one that just has HDMI, composite and component. I want to make sure I get these purchases right... so why is this such an important feature? I haven't needed it up until now and I'm wondering if it's something I may need to invest in as I transition from doing mostly web video to occasional projects meant for broadcast. Thanks.
HD-SDI uses professional locking connectors and inexpensive, widely available cable. HDMI has consumer oriented, non-locking plugs and cables will actually be more expensive if you need to make a longer run. I have the HDMI only version of the DP6 from SmallHD and it works great with the output of the Panasonic GH2. I've actually never had a camera that outputs SDI, but my Kona card does output HD-SDI to my Panasonic broadcast monitor. Basically, anything with HD-SDI is going to be more expensive, but probably more robust. You have to decide whether or not it is worth it for you.