Kraken 5.5" Underwater Monitor Review

An ultra-bright, small, affordable monitor for underwater video
By Nirupam Nigam

The Kraken 5.5" ultra bright 4K underwater monitor is one of the most affordable and compact monitors for underwater video. It has every feature needed in a visualization tool. An underwater monitor is an attractive option for video shooters experiencing limitations in magnified viewfinders and LCD screen size. The Kraken 5.5" monitor is designed to diplay an HDMI video feed from your camera so that you can ensure sharp focus and proper exposure in your underwater video.

The Kraken 5.5" is universally compatible (with any housing with an M16 or M24 port) and depth rated to 80m/266 ft. It has no need for an external housing and it retails for just $1499. 




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Why Do I Need An External Monitor?

***Recommended reading: An Overview of the Benefits of External Monitors and Recorders

If you're new to underwater video, you may be wondering why you need an external monitor at all? Unlike photography, it's essential that videographers visualize what they are shooting and make sure their exposures and colors are completely accurate. This is because it's much harder to edit video in post production than it is to edit photos. Some video shooters use monitors purely for visualization whereas others use a monitor and recorder combination to record their video as well. Recorders reduce some of the battery life and data rate constraints built into a camera body. The Kraken 5.5" monitor is a monitor only. If you are looking for a recorder, we recommend the Atomos Ninja V.



Kraken 5.5" Monitor Specifications

  • Self contained (no need for an external housing)
  • Backlit LED
  • 5.5" IPS 4K LCD Panel
  • 4K HDMI input and output (SDI input and output optional)
  • 3000nit ultra bright screen
  • Aspect ratio: 16:10
  • 4 hour runtime at max brightness
  • 80m/266ft depth rating
  • Analog stereo L/R, embedded audio display
  • Histogram
  • Focus assist - focus edge can be red, green, or blue
  • Zebra exposure and false color functions
  • Compatible with Kraken 4000 and 6000 batteries
  • Compatible with M16 and M24 bulkheads
  • Ball mount included
  • Durable, anodized aluminum construction

Kraken 5.5 Inch Monitor in the Field

Key Features

An Ultra Bright 3000 Nit Screen

With the Kraken 5.5" monitor, you never have to worry about not seeing what you're filming due to sun glare - even in sunny, shallow, tropical dives. The Kraken 5.5" monitor is capable of 3000 nits of brightness. For reference, most LCD displays fall in the 200-350 nit range. That's almost 10 times the brightness of some laptops!

4 Hour Run Time

Kraken has extended the runtime of the 5.5" monitor from 3 hours on the 7" monitor to now 4 hours. The Kraken 5.5" monitor runs on the same lithium ion battery that is found in the Kraken 4000/6000. With 4 hours of runtime, that's about enough battery life for four dives. Swapping out batteries between dives is very easy - you just remove the battery cap and put a new battery in. The batteries have a USB-C port making them compatible with many chargers.

Extensive Underwater Visualization Tools

The number of visualization tools built into the Kraken 5.5" monitor is incredible. It's clear that the engineers really know what videographers need. Important exposure tools like false colors, histograms, and zebra stripes are all available to make sure you don't over expose or under expose your footage. A focus assist helps you determine what parts of your video are in focus. A center market and nine grid are built-in for framing. And if you are using the new Marelux hydrophone, this monitor will also allow you to visualize your audio levels. Finally, if you film with Log picture profiles, the monitor comes with built-in LUTs for visualization so that video shooters can visualize an estimation of what their footage would look color graded.

Who Should Buy the Kraken Monitor?

If you are looking for a visualization tool for underwater video, the Kraken 5.5" is one of the most affordable options on the market. The monitor is completely sealed and does not require an additional underwater housing. It is equipped with a large array of visualization tools and a long burn time. So if you don't need to record your video externally and you don't like looking through a magnified viewfinder, the Kraken 5.5" monitor is a great option for many video shooters.


I was quite impressed with everything you get with the Kraken 5.5" monitor for an incredible price of $1499 at Bluewater Photo. With enough brightness to capture video in any lighting conditions, the ultra bright monitor can also reliably shoot for at least 4 hours. Moreover, this monitor is self-contained with an interchangeable battery system, making it easy to use. While not everyone needs a monitor in their gear bag, for those that do, the Kraken 5.5" monitor should do the trick!


Nirupam Nigam is the Editor-in-Chief of the Underwater Photography Guide and the President of Bluewater Photo - the world's top underwater photo & video retailer. While growing up in Los Angeles he fell in love with the ocean and pursued underwater photography in the local Channel Islands. After receiving degrees in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and General Biology, as well as a minor in Arctic Studies, Nirupam worked as a fisheries observer on vessels in the Bering Sea and North Pacific. Since then, Nirupam has been a full time underwater photographer and photo gear head. Check out more of his photography at!


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