Freelance Director of Photography James Ball has worked in a wide variety of genres from TV series, industrials, nonprofits, live-to- tape studio productions, and commercials. He has traveled the globe honing his craft, working on feature-length documentaries for National Geographic, Discovery, Smithsonian, and PBS channels.
Ball also is an author with Lynda.com, a LinkedIn company and leading online learning resource. One of his most recent informational courses, Mirrorless 4K Cameras for Video Production, discusses and reviews mirrorless cameras, including the Sony A7S and Panasonic GH4, with an emphasis on 4K recording. Throughout the online video tutorial, Ball and Director/Editor Richard Harrington thought it was only fitting to explore the options for external 4K recorders as well. As a main player within the external 4K recording market, Ball put Video Devices’ PIX-E5H through its paces and the results were nothing short of spectacular.
The three-hour course, which was shot over the span of two days, consisted of two parts. The first part took place in studio, where Ball and Harrington talked to the camera to summarize the primary segments of the course. This outline was broken down into separate videos ranging from ninety seconds to four or five minutes long. The second part was the actual field day where Ball and Harrington put what they discussed in the studio into action, using different cameras and configurations.
We took the PIX-E5H to a youth sports training center to capture video of the athletes in action for this shoot, and I was immediately impressed with the PIX-E5H,” says Ball. “I’m generally somebody who wants everything to happen in the camera. I don’t like a lot of accessories; I want my camera rig to stay small. I was really happy with the PIX-E5H because it was compact, but you received loads of amazing features out of it. A big benefit of using the PIX-E5H is its recording superiority. The PIX-E5H’s ProRes 4444 XQ capability gives you better color space and better recording quality over an internal recorder.
In addition to its compact size, abundance of features, and ProRes 4444 XQ capabilities, Ball was also impressed with the PIX-E5H’s monitoring functions. “One of the things I don’t like about monitors, in general, is the change in brightness and contrast depending on the viewing angle,” adds Ball. “That is not the case with the PIX-E5H. The monitor has wonderful consistency, really good focus assist and color focus assist, which these old eyes really appreciated. I also liked how rugged it was. It wasn’t this big thing on top of the camera, yet it was built really well.
The PIX-E5H features a five-inch, 1920×1080 resolution monitor that comes packed with a full suite of precision monitoring tools, HDMI I/O, and the ability to record 4K and Apple ProRes 4444 XQ edit-ready files to affordable mSATA-SSDs inside USB-based SpeedDrives.
“Because I’m the guy that doesn’t want all of the attachments, the PIX-E5H was just terrific,” adds Ball. “The little SpeedDrive feature also made things really simple. The menu on the unit was so very intuitive and easy; without reading any of the instructions, I just turned it on and was ready to go. The PIX-E5H is a wonderful product.”
[source: Video Devices]
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