I purchased the ikan DH5 5-inch HDMI on-camera monitor because I wanted a small 1080p monitor that would complement my Sony a7S II without adding much weight to my rig. The viewfinder on the a7s II is not very detailed, so it’s difficult to pull focus even with focus peaking enabled. However, the DH5 is so detailed that I can accurately pull focus without even enabling focus peaking. The DH5 has focus peaking, of course, but I actually prefer not to use it so I can pay attention to the whole image. The DH5’s incredible pixel density makes it obvious what’s in focus. The brightness and color of the DH5 is great, and it’s even possible to use it outdoors in the glaring sun if I put the sun hood on and stick my face into it.
The software features of the DH5 are also great. I love how the two-channel audio meters and histogram are nice and big but are out of the way, and that the translucency can be adjusted to my liking. There are various guides and scaling options, and pixel-to-pixel and false color are essential to any good production monitor. The battery life is fantastic—I can go for hours on a single Sony L Series battery.
Brandon Peterson is a producer and director of photography at ICG Productions.