Recently, we had the unique opportunity to meet up with Ross Grasse, VP of Dealer Relations, of ikan corp at Showcase Photo & Video in Atlanta. Ross was in town to exhibit some of ikan's hottest products at the Showcase open house event. The event was packed with video production professionals eager to get their hands on all of the latest gear that was on display.
As you can see from the video, Ross is a super nice guy who knows his stuff. We really enjoyed spending some time asking him questions and sharing our positive experiences using ikan gear.
The first product that Ross demonstrated was the ikan D7w. We actually have our own that we've been using on set for the past 3 months. We love it so much that it's hard to imagine shooting without it. At 7″ with 1280×800 resolution, the pixel density is a whopping 216 pixels per inch which equates to a super sharp image to ensure accurate focus pulling. The colors are YUV accurate and it has all of the great ikan software features like waveforms, false color, pixel-to-pixel, focus peaking, check fields, etc. The D7w features HDMI and HD-SDI with loop-through and plenty of options to power it via a plethora of battery choices or via ikan's usual 7-24V DC input.
I really appreciate how ikan alway uses a flexible voltage range for DC power with their monitors because it allows me to power the monitor from large capacity V-mount batteries connected to a battery plate power supply. Different battery plate power supplies have different voltage outputs so having the range is super helpful when it comes to compatibility since it doesn't need to be an exact voltage match with your battery plate. For example, my battery plate power supply has a 12V output, which is within the D7w's voltage range of 7-24V so it works perfectly. With one of ikan's 95Wh batteries, I can power my D7w for more than 12 hours!
Next up, Ross showed us the MD7 high bright monitor with 1100 nits brightness capability. For comparison, the D7w has 400 nits so the MD7 is nearly 3x brighter which is what you will need if you want to shoot in direct sunlight without having to use a sunshade. The MD7 is packed full of features that are unique to the model since it is ikan's top of the line production monitor. I was most impressed by how it can display up to 16 channels of audio level meters!
Then, Ross took us through the cost effective VK7i. This monitor is truly an amazing deal. At $499, you get the same 7″ 1280×800 panel used on the D7w so the picture quality is just as good! The main difference between it and the D7w is that it is HDMI and composite only so there is no HD-SDI and it also doesn't have waveforms. However, if you are a DSLR shooter, you don't need HD-SDI so if you're looking for a great picture with ikan's nice software features like false color, pixel-to-pixel, focus peaking, check fields, etc. then you certainly won't find a better deal.
The next product that Ross demonstrated piqued my interest the most. He showed us the D5w monitor with the P+S Technik viewfinder combo which ikan calls the D5w-PS. In my opinion, I would take this setup over anything else because I love the versatility. To start with, the D5w is a great monitor that is essentially exactly like the D7w except with a 5.6 inch display instead of a 7 inch display. At 5.6 inches with 1280×800 resolution, the D5w has an amazing pixel density of 270 pixels per inch. With this ppi, the clarity is out of this world considering your eye will barley be able to distinguish individual pixels (think retina display). Then, couple the D5w display with the amazing optics from P+S Technik and you have a viewfinder that outmatches anything out there on the market. I really love that the viewfinder mounts securely to the the D5w via 1/4 20 screws into the monitor's female threads. Ikan partnered with P+S Technik to custom fit the viewfinder to the D5w so it's a match made in heaven. When you look through the viewfinder, everything is enlarged and crystal clear so it's like living in the world that your camera is shooting. Also, with the viewfinder attached, shooting in direct sunlight is no issue at all since it shields all of the surrounding light. Lastly, it's really cool how they designed the viewfinder to be easily removable in those instances when you don't desire it.
So that wraps up all of the monitors that Ross showed us. There is one more monitor that I was hoping to see, but since it's not out yet, Ross didn't have it on display. However, ikan is soon to release the first of its kind 1920×1200 9 inch production monitor for the amazing price of $999. I can't wait to get my hands on one of those! Thanks for taking the time to demonstrate your great products, Ross. We hope to meet up with you again soon.
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