Director/Producer/Cameraman Federico Pardo used the ikan V5600 Deluxe Kit during the production of the documentary COTTON-TOP. In the following essay, Fredrico describes the challenges of shooting in the treacherous jungles of Colombia and how the ikan V5600 performs in the harshest of conditions.
The film was shot in November of 2009 in the Tropical Dry Forests of Colombia were physically challenging and the overall ruggedness of the production required a lightweight and reliable external monitor. IKAN production tool for this natural history documentary shot on the new DSLR Canon 7D. As one of the pioneers on DSLR filmmaking I would highly recommend the IKAN demanding field productions.
As mentioned above, the DSLR Canon 7D was the camera used for the production. During principal photography the camera was the ideal production tool for advanced cinematography. When shooting with the custom made jib in the field, IKAN allowed me to carry it everywhere, its 5.6” screen was the cinematographer when doing macro-cinematography, it from a more comfortable position.
To better understand why IKAN's V5600 Deluxe Kit was vital during the production, here is a summary of a standard production day. To get to the locations (open savannas, tropical forests or rural areas), we would normally hike a couple of miles or drive on backcountry roads. It was important to carry the gear (camera, monitor, sound, support and lights) with us at all times since I needed to be ready to shoot anytime.
Most valued features of the ikan V5600 Deluxe Kit:
- Compact size and lightweight.
- Easy and fast installation.
- Battery and AC powered.
- Camera shoe mount support.
- Comes with ready-to-install cables.
- HDMI mini component.
The design and performance of the IKAN V5600 monitor is outstanding. Nonetheless,regarding the overview and the use of the V5600 for documentary film production in the field, there are a few elements that are worth reviewing.
1. Monitor's ¼ 20 Screw Mount: the first issue I had right after opening the V5600 Kit was mounting the monitor on camera shoe mount. The monitor's plastic body is hiding/covering the real thread where the ¼ 20 screw goes. Screwing in the shoe mount wasn't easy and it made the plastic squeak showing signs of weakness. Overall, this attachment system doesn't feel strong and it would greatly enhanced with a metal piece that holds the screw not only deep inside the monitor's body.
2. Monitor's ¼ 20 Screw Mount: Additional to the previous comment. Having ¼ 20 screw mounting holes in every side of the monitor would be really helpful.
3. Brightness/Exposure Check: IKAN's V5600 works great to achieve critical focus, check the frame and supervise camera motion. However, it was extremely dangerous to rely in the exposure by using the monitor. The brightness of the display is not accurate with that of the camera so it is difficult to trust it. This could be fixed with a menu through which brightness/contrast/saturation can be adjusted.
4. Screen adhesive protector: fingerprints, dust, and fog are terrible enemies for a screen. It would have been really useful to have a couple of “invisible” screen protectors. Investing in a screen is as important as taking care of it. I still haven't found a protector of the proper size without having to invest in a bigger one (more expensive) and cutting it.
As mentioned before, I'm completely satisfied with the performance of the V5600 monitor and it is certain that its kit will be part of my upcoming productions. The main purpose of this feedback is to help ikan stay at the front of the market for documentary film production tools.
Learn more about the work Frederico Pardo on his website at: http://www.federicopardo.com/