PORTKEYS BM5 I I | GEAR REVI EW
“THE BM5 PUNCHES WELL ABOVE ITS PRICE POINT, WITH LOTS OF CUSTOMISABLE FEATURES”
shoot, I went to adjust the ISO on my camera and it kept skipping up and down as if I had pressed the button too many times. This isn’t always the case, but it does happen from time to time and can catch you off guard. This response issue is something that should be fixable with firmware updates. My other main issue is the layout of the camera control menu itself. It’s certainly not bad, but I do feel it could be a lot more user-friendly and streamlined. Again, this is something that is fixable with a firmware update and I’m sure over time Portkeys will develop its UI. Good UI takes time and user feedback to perfect – just look at older versions of Blackmagic Designs’ UI, now it’s known as one of the most streamlined and user- friendly interfaces on the market! I love this monitor; its build quality is solid, and it has an amazing feature set for its price point. Aside from my personal dislike of the UI and occasional lag, the camera control is fantastic and it’s the perfect partner for a BMPCC 4K or 6K.
very unique camera control feature. You can control a variety of different cameras, such as Canon, Sony, Z Cam, Panasonic and Blackmagic Design, with future support for touchscreen control for the newly released Red Komodo camera. To control the functions of a specific camera, you need to choose which camera control cable you want with your monitor during purchase from your chosen supplier, with replacements and other cables available separately. Although, to take full advantage of the monitor control with certain cameras such as the BMPCC 4K/6K, you need to purchase the BT1 module separately, which retails for £118 and screws into the rear of the monitor and connects via a Lemo cable for power. This is the main reason I purchased the BM5. Connecting my BMPCC 6K to the monitor once the module was attached was quick and easy: just type in the Bluetooth code from the camera on the monitor. I’ve also turned off the monitor and the camera’s Bluetooth function multiple times and it has always reconnected automatically without having to be re-paired, which is fantastic. Sadly, my main issue with the monitor lies with its Bluetooth control – sometimes the response feels a little lagged. While on a
The BM5 has HDMI in, but not out, and an SDI in and out with cross conversion (from HDMI to SDI). It’s rare to see cross conversion on a lower priced monitor, but I’m glad Portkeys included it. Plus, having the SDI loop through it great. The monitor has a scroll wheel for controlling the menu, meaning the monitor can be controlled without having to use the touchscreen, which is a godsend while wearing gloves! The BM5 also has four custom function buttons, which can be set to trigger any of the built-in monitoring features. The BM5 punches well above its price point with its features, all of which have a degree of customisation, such as waveform, RGB parade, false colour, vectorscope, peaking, zebra, frame guides for different aspect ratios, grids and custom 3D LUT support. I do wish there was more depth to the customisation – for example, the aspect ratio guides could have a custom opacity setting and the peaking could have more options for intensity. These are very minor complaints, however, and can be easily remedied with firmware updates should Portkeys wish. CAMERA CONTROL So, on to the most unique thing about this monitor: its fantastic and
BELOW On the set of the micro- short, Two and a Half Minutes, produced by Smooth Demon Productions
DECEMBER 2020 | DEF I N I T ION 41
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