Video review: Ikan's 5.6 inch D5 HD field monitor

By Dslrnewsshooter contributor Rick Macomber:

Ikan D5 Field Monitor Review from Rick Macomber on Vimeo.

Ikan’s new 5.6 inch D5 field monitor has an IPS panel with 1280 x 800 HD resolution. It’s amazing how fast monitor technology is moving forward. HDMI and HD SDI with loop-through capability seems commonplace now compared to just a couple of years ago. The HDMI input on the D5 is also complemented by a 3G-SDI input/output and an audio out jack for headphones. There are four 1/4 20 metal mounting threads on this piece of kit – one on each side – for adding accessories or for mounting it on an articulating arm.

It has all the standard bells and whistles like false color, color peaking, and DSLR scaling with four options: normal, 3:2, 16:9, or full screen. The D5 also lets you set upper clip levels so they’ll flash purple on any overexposed images. Another nice feature is 1:1 movable pixel-to-pixel mapping. All of these can be customized into easy to use preset buttons on top of the monitor. The menu button uses scroll wheel design.

The Ikan D5 in action

You do get some nice power options with this monitor. Ikan’s BP-5 battery plates are compatible with Sony L, Sony BP-U, Canon 900, Canon-E6 and Panasonic D54 batteries. Ikan also makes its own 65 watt hour ultra high capacity IBS-1170 battery that comes with a push button life indicator.

The D5 Field Monitor Basic Kit comes with AC adapter and a DV battery plate. The Deluxe Kit adds a DV battery and charger, DV battery plate, a camera shoe mount, a snap-on sun visor and a soft case. I found little use for the sun visor as it was too small to actually provide any shade relief. Ikan has not yet designed a proper sun shade/hood for this model but they tell me it’s in the works. For now, Hoodman makes one that fits 5 to 6 inch flat panels.

More and more companies have jumped into the field monitor game since the days when Marshall and Small HD were the only game in town. There are many to choose from, but few are quality made. Ikan’s biggest competition in the monitor wars in both price and design is Small HD with their solid, milled aluminum shell. In a promotional video they actually whip one of their monitors against a wall and when they retrieve it… lo and behold it still works! I wouldn’t try that trick with the D5, but then again, why would you? For the money, the D5 is fine piece of kit that puts out a darn good looking HD picture.

On camera model: Heajee Leah Kim

Canon C300 cinematographer: Paul Antico

About DP/Director and photojournalist Rick Macomber:

Rick is the winner of four Emmy Awards, nominated for eight Emmys in Videography and Editing and ten time first place winner for the Boston Press Photographers’ Association. His coverage of the Cambodian refugee camps in Thailand for CBS Boston has won him a prestigious Boston Press Photographers “Best of Show” award.  Rick has also covered major breaking news stories around the globe including 9-11 from Ground Zero in NYC and the 50th Anniversary of D-Day from the beaches of Normandy, France.

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