Reliability and rock-solid software have positioned the Video Devices PIX-E5 as the primary monitor for freelance editor/videographer.
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM — As a freelance Editor and Videographer at Hanged Man Films, Ken Eakins understands the importance of bringing trustworthy gear to the set. High-quality, reliable audio and video equipment are critical to his work, which is why he relies on Sound Devices and Video Devices equipment for all of his projects.
Eakins has used Sound Devices mixers for as long as he has been involved in the industry. “Sound Devices is an absolute must on set, especially the 633 mixer with integrated recorder, which easily adapts to any size project,” he says. “When we shoot on larger projects and use bigger cameras like the ARRI ALEXA or RED EPIC, the Video Devices PIX 240i is our go-to proxy-capture device. Like the 633, it’s robust, and has all the inputs we need. Most important, it’s a tank.”
When Video Devices released the PIX-E5 recording monitor, Eakins quickly added it to his inventory. “As a PIX 240i user, I was instantly at home with the PIX-E5,” he adds. “After some very disappointing experiences with other 4K recorders on the market, it was a breath of fresh air to finally have the PIX-E5 in my workflow."
"The physical buttons are a must-have feature on a recording monitor, as well as the nice physical dial to cycle through menu options. Not having to dive through a load of touch screen menus to find what you are looking for is very handy," he continued. "As a monitor, the PIX-E5 is incredible. I especially love the four-way option to quickly check exposure and color temperature. We often work with smaller cameras like the Sony a7S and Canon EOS 5D Mark III, and being able to bypass the internal codec is a must, so to have that ability in such a small, robust and flexible package is great.”
Eakins has used his PIX-E5 on three commercial projects so far, and appreciates how neatly it fits into his workflow. “The screen is great, the scopes are reliable and the software has been rock solid,” he says. “I also really love the SpeedDrives™. With other recorders, if you're offloading to a DIT workstation on set, someone needs to remember to bring an SSD reader. With the SpeedDrives, you can connect the USB straight into your workstation. Anything that simplifies the acquisition process is welcome. They're also super fast. We offloaded a 250GB card the other day in about five minutes, which is amazing.”
All of Eakins’ cameras sit on adaptable Zacuto Recoil® rigs. On the shoulder, Eakins mounts the PIX-E5 to the rear or side of the camera (depending on the focus puller’s requirements). It has become his primary monitor, as well as his main acquisition source on smaller cameras. In addition, he uses the SDI inputs to create proxies for larger cameras, which saves him and his crew hours in post transcoding.
Eakins recently relied on the PIX-E5 during a shoot for a Zumba® instructor. Having the five-inch unit on set with a Sony a7S provided him with a non-intrusive rig, which allowed him to acquire 4K images without overwhelming the talent.
“I chose Video Devices because I’ve worked with its direct competitors, and the PIX-E5 doesn’t rip you off with proprietary media, and doesn’t feel like it will shatter if you look at it the wrong way,” adds Eakins. “I’ve only used the PIX-E5 professionally a couple of times, but I already absolutely trust it and that’s not something I typically say about camera equipment.”