Video Devices unleashes its much anticipated 7-inch HD field monitor that records UHD at 30fps and DCI 4K at 24fps in all variety of Prores codecs.
Ever since Sound Devices, a popular maker of pro audio gear, expanded into video territory, it has quickly gained a foothold in the monitor and recorder market. While it's been making video gear for the past few years, the company formally established its Video Devices brand in 2014. Video Devices drew attention at NAB 2015 for its announced PIX-E line, featuring a 5-inch HD, 5-inch 4K and 7-inch 4K recorders / HD field monitors.
Key Specs and Features
The PIX-E7, like its 5-inch cousins, sports rugged construction with real, tactile buttons, for those who put their gear through tough conditions. The die-cast metal casing houses a Gorilla Glass 2 screen, which should minimize scratches in normal use.
The PIX-E7's display measures in at 1920x1200 pixels, as opposed to the 1920x1080 of the 5-inch models. Otherwise, the IPS touchscreens are similar, save for size. They all advertise a 179-degree angle of view and you can expect that if you like the image from a PIX-E5, you'll be similarly satisfied with the PIX-E7's image quality and brightness.
The biggest draw is likely on the recorder side, as the PIX-E7 can record 4K/UHD at 30 fps and DCI 4K at 24 fps in Prores from Proxy to 4444 XQ 12-bit. For comparison sake, the Atomos Shogun (also an HDMI and SDI recorder) caps Prores recording at 422 HQ.
The SpeedDrive is the PIX-E series method of recording. The custom enclosure houses either an mSATA drive from Video Devices or from any third-party manufacturer, up to 1TB. To move your footage, simply unplug the SpeedDrive and connect it to any USB 3.0 computer port for fast transfer.
In addition, the PIX-E series features the following monitoring tools:
Four Way View
TapZoom - Instant 2x and 4x zoom to check focus
LUTs - Built-in and Custom
A recent firmware update to the PIX-E series added 6G-SDI support, meaning that only one SDI cable is needed to connect and record from cameras like the Blackmagic URSA (through its own 6G-SDI port).
The 4K recorder / field monitor market that was once dominated by Convergent Designs Odyssey 7Q models now lists strong entrants for across the range of common professional needs. The Odyssey 7Q+ still sets itself apart through its 4K/UHD 60 fps recording capability, but at a price premium. The PIX-E7 appears to be in more direct competition with the Atomos Shogun, as the bare bones versions of each (without drives or accessories) run $1595 and $1695, respectively. So, the PIX-E7 undercuts the Shogun by $100 dollars while offering 4K Prores 4444 QX 12-bit recording.
It will be fascinating to see Atomos' next move - and, we probably only have a few weeks or months to wait, as NAB 2016 will be here before you know it.