Hands-On Review: Ikan D Series Monitor

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ikan's new D-series monitors include the D5, the D5w, the D7 and the D7w. The D5 and the D7 feature either a 5.6- or 7-inch IPS LCD display with 1280 x 800 resolution. The “w” tacked onto the D5w and the D7w models denotes the addition of built-in waveform, vectorscope and RGB parade. These LCD panels benefit from In-Plane Switching technology, which enables improved viewing angles and color rendition. The D7 and D7w have looping SDI and HDMI outputs, while the D5 and D5w have looping SDI outputs, but HDMI inputs only. The D-series is ideal for mounting on a camera or camera support system for video production in the field.

The D7 and D7w support horizontal and vertical viewing angles of 178 degrees, while the D5 and D5w support horizontal and vertical viewing angles of 160 degrees. Aside from screen size and their respective viewing angles, the D-series monitors offer nearly identical functionality. All D-series models have a standard feature set that includes adjustable False Color, adjustable Clip Guides, color and monochrome Peaking, DSLR scaling and moveable Pixel-to-Pixel.

As you may know, “Peaking” is a focus assist feature that displays a colored outline around the edges of any object that is in focus. The False Color feature translates exposure values into an abstract spectrum of colors, providing a warning against under- and over-luminance. Clip guides are a similar feature that allow the user to dial in an IRE limit, and portions of the image that exceed that limit will flash a purple clipping indicator. DSLR Scaling adjusts the HDMI input signal for 3:2, 16:9, Full Screen or “Normal.”

The key distinction to make with ikan's D-series monitors is the “w” of the D5w and the D7w. As was mentioned before, these two monitors include built-in waveform, vectorscope and RGB parade. For many professionals, these are essential tools. Waveform helps to gauge the overall brightness of the image and provides a visual display for the evenness of the lighting, which aids the user in calibrating the camera, adjusting exposure and lighting a green screen or blue-screen background. Vectorscope monitors the overall tint and hue of an image and helps to verify skin tones and white balance. RGB parade provides distinct displays for red, green and blue values, which helps to avoid a color cast and clipping in the individual chroma channels.

The D7 and D7w are among ikan's most robust field monitors. The aluminum housing is designed to dissipate heat, and the entire unit weighs only 1 lb. The HDMI and 3G-SDI inputs and outputs are located along the bottom edge of the panel, and most of the controls are located along the top edge. They include a menu scroll wheel, an exit/aspect input button and four user-programmable function keys.

In an effort to produce a smaller and more lightweight field monitor, ikan has built the D5 and D5w with a heavy-duty plastic housing. The entire unit weights just 9.6 ounces. Handheld and shoulder-mounted shooters will love this design. Like the D7 and D7w, the D5 and D5w locate their inputs and outputs along the bottom edge of the panel and the controls along the top edge. However, the D5 and D5w have only three user-programmable function keys.

The D5 and D5w's plastic housing has a rubberized texture. On paper, this rubberized texture is easy to overlook, but when you hold the D5 or D5w in your hand, it is a surprisingly nice design element. It lends the panel a considerably more tactile finish, so there is less danger of accidentally dropping it.

All four models also feature a 7-24 volt DC input and an interface for a variety of battery plates. B&H offers the D-series monitors with batteries and battery adapter plates that are compatible with Sony’s BP-U and L series, Canon’s 900 and E6 series and Panasonic’s D54 series. We also offer Panasonic G6 battery plates and batteries for Af100, plus Nikon EN-EL15 batteries and plates for (D600/800/D7000 users). Other options include our AB101 cable to power the monitor with batteries that have P taps, like our V Mount and AB Mount batteries, as well as ultra-high-capacity batteries. Users who have acquired a large collection of spare camcorder batteries will really appreciate the cross-compatibility.

For more information about these and other ikan products, please stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York or contact a sales professional over the phone at 1-800-606-6969 or online via Live Chat.

  ikan D7/D7w ikan D5/D5w
Screen Size 7" diagonally (17.8 cm) 5.6" diagonally (14 cm)
Resolution 1280 x 800 1280 x 800
Brightness 400 nit 300 nit
Contrast Ratio 800:1 400:1
Inputs 3G/HD/SD-SDI (x1)
HDMI (x1)
3G/HD/SD-SDI (x1)
HDMI (x1)
Output 3G/HD/SD-SDI loop-out (x1)
HDMI (x1)
3.5mm headphone jack (x1)
3G/HD/SD-SDI loop-out (x1)
3.5mm headphone jack (x1)
Viewing Angle 178 x 178° 160 x 160°
Supported Resolutions 3G-SDI
1920 x 1080p @ 50, 59.94, 60 Hz
HD-SDI
1280 x 720p @ 50, 59.94, 60 Hz
1920 x 1080i @ 50, 59.94, 60 Hz
1920 x 1080psf @ 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30 Hz
1920 x 1080p @ 23.97, 24, 25, 29.94,
30 Hz
SD-SDI
720 x 480i @ 60 Hz
720 x 576i @ 50 Hz
HDMI
720 x 480i & 720 x 480p @ 59.94, 60 Hz
720 x 576i & 720 x 576p @ 50 Hz
1280 x 720p @ 50, 59.94, 60 Hz
1920 x 1080i @ 50, 59.94, 60 Hz
1920 x 1080psf @ 24, 25, 29.97, 30 Hz
1920 x 1080p @ 23.97, 24, 25, 29.94, 30, 50, 59.94, 60 Hz
3G-SDI
1920 x 1080p @ 50, 59.94, 60 Hz
HD-SDI
1280 x 720p @ 50, 59.94, 60 Hz
1920 x 1080i @ 50, 59.94, 60 Hz
1920 x 1080psf @ 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30 Hz
1920 x 1080p @ 23.97, 24, 25, 29.94,
30 Hz
SD-SDI
720 x 480i @ 60 Hz
720 x 576i @ 50 Hz
HDMI
720 x 480i & 720 x 480p @ 59.94, 60 Hz
720 x 576i & 720 x 576p @ 50 Hz
1280 x 720p @ 50, 59.94, 60 Hz
1920 x 1080i @ 50, 59.94, 60 Hz
1920 x 1080psf @ 24, 25, 29.97, 30 Hz
1920 x 1080p @ 23.97, 24, 25, 29.94, 30, 50, 59.94, 60 Hz
Operating Voltage 7 - 24 V (DC) 6 - 24 V (DC)
Dimensions 7 x 4.9 x 1" (17.8 x 12.44 x 2.54 cm) 4.1 x 6.5 x 0.9" (10.4 x 16.5 x 2.3 cm)
Weight 1 lb (0.45 kg) 0.6 lb (0.27 kg)