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Old April 10th, 2010, 12:34 PM   #1
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Ikan VX9 Review

I was going to buy another Marshall, but my dealer whom I trust really pushed the VX9.
So I decided to try it out.

I have now been testing it for about a week, these are my initial impressions.

It is very light weight, lighter than my 7" Marshall. Seems a little plasticky but is probably quite rugged, I have ordered a Pertol PLCD-3, and it will live in there most of the time.

I made my own light weight shade from thin black ABS-palstic held on with Velcro and it works fine even out in the sunshine with this for me.

I love that it has HDMI and HDSDI. I use it with my MXO2, NanoFlash, EX1R and EX3 (HDSDI), the Canon 5DmkII and 7D use the HDMI.
The VX9 comes with a very nice small "Cine arm" perfect for the Canons, on the other cameras I use a longer Cine Arm.

The picture is very bright and easy to adjust once you get used to the Ikan way of doing it. You have to push the knob you want to adjust and then turn it, if you jump to another knob and turn it w/o pushing it it makes the last knobs adjustment, this is a little odd but you get used to it, and the controls are very easy to read and locate, I like this approach instead of menu driven adjustments.

It comes with Blue only and Gray scale mode. I wish it had scopes. But I have gotten really used to use the histograms in the EX and Canon cameras, so I get along fine w/o them, still I hope future versions will have scopes like the competition. But if you can get along w/o them this monitor is a good way to save some money over the competition.

It also has a pixel to pixel function I find very useful for focusing, you can even move around the screen in this mode, so you can check the whole image.

The VX9 comes with small battery support and a an AC power and 4pin XLR in as well as small 12v jack. I opted for the V-mount battery holder, I have a lot of IDX batteries, the first one they shipped me did not work well, but they shipped me a new one and the new one works fine. I set mine up so I can use the D-tap out of the plate for something else and made a custom short cable from inside the IDX plate to the small 12v jack, this is my own mod but it is very easy to do, otherwise Ikan wants you to use the D-tap to power the monitor with this plate.

I spent some time setting up the monitor to match my Pro evaluation monitors in my suite, and I can get it pretty close. Closer than I can get the EX1 or EX3 LCD. And with the blue only you can always check it in the field.

I feel that this is a very professional solid useful monitor at a good price. I would definitely consider it against the Marshalls etc.

If you have any questions about the VX9, post them here and I will be happy to answer your questions. I have no affiliation with Ikan.

Ikan is a sponsor so I can link to this product:
ikancorp.com: Small LCD Monitors, Teleprompter, Fluorescent Video Lights, & more
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Old April 10th, 2010, 01:05 PM   #2
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Hey Olof,

That ABS plastic you are using, is that bendable or did you just use a solid sheet on top. I was looking on EBAY for something that I could bend over my LCD.
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Old April 11th, 2010, 03:36 PM   #3
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Hi Olof,

I have been thinking about getting a Ikan monitor but can not decide between the VX9 and VX7.
I see the VX7 has a higher Contrast Ratio, thought that would be better for outside work? Also how do you find the glossy screen? the 7” has a matt finish.

Do you use the VX9 on your camera? as it’s quite a large monitor too have attached to the camera.

I was also hoping to use the monitor on my Glidecam Smooth Shooter but again was worried a bit about the VX9 size.
Would appreciate hearing your thoughts as I are unable to see one before buying.

Regards
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Old April 12th, 2010, 07:59 AM   #4
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Steven,
I used very thin plastic 1/32" and then Gorilla tape to hold the corners, it weighs nothing and folds right up, it is still very stiff and waterproof. And it stays on even in wind with velcro strips.

Barry,
The gloss is fine seems to add more contrast, I am very used to glossy screens now and I prefer them. Just wear dark shirt when viewing the monitor.

I like the 9" screen as I use it for a teleprompter a lot. I just turn it around an position it under the lens.

I use a liquid head mount bracket I make to mount with a cine arm. It is very sturdy and does not put stress on the camera. And it is also great that it stays with the sticks when you go shoulder mounted.

I sell those brackets on my website:
CineArm Bracket for holding monitor on tripod head using existing tapped hole for arm.

I have version 2 coming out soon including the Cine-Arm and teleprompter setup, but these work very well.

Here are a couple photos of VX9 on a EX1R in the Studio configuration.
Attached Thumbnails
Ikan VX9 Review-vx91.jpg   Ikan VX9 Review-vx92.jpg  

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Old April 29th, 2010, 12:10 PM   #5
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Hi Olof,
other monitors have "Auto-Scale" option, very useful for cameras such as the Canon 5DMII that changes the signal output when record. How manage the ikan this problem, also have this feature?
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Old May 12th, 2010, 10:17 AM   #6
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Olof, thanks for your info on the VX9. Has the narrow viewing angle been an issue for you?
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Old May 13th, 2010, 06:55 PM   #7
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Juan,

The viewing angle fall off is about the same as my 7" Marshall, all LCD's have this problem. I don't think this one is any worse than most.

Carlos,

I will check and see how it works with my 5DmkII. When I get it back from Ikan.

The monitor died on me while on a shoot in Florida. I will let you know how Ikan treats the warranty repair and I will try it out on my other cams.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 09:01 PM   #8
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Thanks Olof!

Seems everybody is out of the VX9 monitors. Ikan is supposed to be shipping more at the end of may according to a dealer I spoke to.

Could you tell me who you bought yours from I'd like to buy one soon if they still have them in stock.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 12:47 PM   #9
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Monitor Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olof Ekbergh View Post
Juan,

The monitor died on me while on a shoot in Florida. I will let you know how Ikan treats the warranty repair and I will try it out on my other cams.
Olof: Please contact me directly, and we will swap out your monitor, no problem. Ask for Clint at 713-272-8822.

Sorry for the problem, but we will take care of it.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 01:08 PM   #10
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Thanks for the update Olof. That doesn't bode well for Ikan! I have one on order, now considering cancelling. Production gear needs to be more reliable than that.

I hope Ikan covers your return shipping if the problem is warranty related.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 03:42 PM   #11
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Return Shipping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juan McFarland View Post
I hope Ikan covers your return shipping if the problem is warranty related.

Juan:

We always cover return shipping, even if the problem isn't a waranty issue. All ikan products are backed by a 12 month waranty. We hate to hear when a product has trouble in the field for whatever reason, but when it does happen, we strive to get it fixed in a timely manner. Please let me know if you have any questions.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 05:22 PM   #12
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Well,

At first today I was going to buy the SmallHD, it's out of stock. Then I went to look at this Ikan, and it's out of stock. I guess I'll just get a table for my 19 inch TV from 1989 and go with that.

Olof, I'm still trying to find a dealer/source for that plastic you have. I can't find anything that thin. I might be missing the exact type description when I put it in Ebay search.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 05:33 PM   #13
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lol Juan how does one report of one monitor failing 'not bode well' for any manufacturer? Its going to happen, its not ideal particularly under these circumstances but please keep reality in perspective when posting.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 05:42 PM   #14
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Until I can decide on a small monitor I'm making do with:

LG M227WD 22" Widescreen LCD Digital TV/Monitor FreeView Full HD 1080P 20,000:1 300cd/m2 5ms HDMI / VGA / DVI Glossy Black - 3 Years Warranty - Ebuyer
Datavideo Technologies Co. DAC-8 - HD / SD-SDI to HDMI Converter
MILLENIUM LBH25 10"-24" LCD STAND MOUNT - U.K. International Cyberstore
MILLENIUM BS-2011 - U.K. International Cyberstore
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Old May 18th, 2010, 01:23 PM   #15
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Latest on Warranty from Ikan:

They are sending me a new monitor today. They are investigating what went wrong. They will let me know when they figure it out. It could have been a defective screen from the start, apparently the glass had cracked. This is the first case like this they have seen.

I consider this a very good response, seeing how they are back ordered on these monitors. They keep a few extras around for cases just like this. I should have my new monitor by the end of the week. I will then proceed to report on functionality with my 7D and 5DmkII.

This is still the only field monitors I know of that have both HD-SDI and HDMI. The HDMI worked great as a teleprompter from my MBP using Presentation Prompter to drive it. And I use the HD-SDI from my NanoFlash to confidence record.

They should have a shipment in of new stock in the next few days, so the 9's and 7's will be available soon.

Thank You Clint.

Here is a cell phone photo of a recent shoot showing how I use monitors on a 2 cam shoot with 1 operator, in SC.
The 7" mon is right in front of me, and the 9" is about 6' away allowing me to keep a close eye on both cams. These are very long shoots 8 hrs or so with a number of interviews, and the A B cam system works great for editing later. The Cams are an EX3 and an EX1R. Notice the really alert intern Emma on the right.
Attached Thumbnails
Ikan VX9 Review-scshoot.jpg  
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