Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

At NAB 2019, I visited PortKeys to cowl their new EVF, theOEYE-3G EVF. I additionally had a take a look at the brand new competitively priced PortKeys BM5 5″ discipline monitor that’s now delivery and retails for $499 USD.

The BM5 is the second within the BM collection following the BM7 that is a 7″ version. Both are brilliant daylight viewable 2000 nit IPS shows. My first impressions of the BM5 are constructive. It has a superb, brilliant show that’s sharp with correct colour and controls to manually calibrate. The toolset is stable and in addition has a trick up its sleeve that I haven’t seen in different displays on this value vary.

The BM5 can join immediately with a appropriate digital camera and management some digital camera features by way of the contact display screen. Very attention-grabbing, certainly. Let’s dive in and go over the construct, options, and usefulness of the PortKeys BM5 5″ SDI/HDMI discipline monitor. Quick aspect word. The colour of the retail model is now black, not the seafoam inexperienced within the photos I took with the early prototype.

What’s Included

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review
Portkeys BM5 Retail Kit

The Portkeys BM5 comes with a number of equipment. Notably, the digital camera management cable for the digital camera you chose when ordering and two energy cables. Also, included is a tough shell plastic case with foam inserts on each the lid and backside. The BM5 suits good and comfortable within the laborious case. This is a pleasant included merchandise. It’s nonetheless small so it received’t take up far more room in your bag and can shield it from dents and attainable scratches on the display screen. Two smaller LCD protectors and a full Gorilla Glass cowl are additionally included.

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

For powering choices Portkeys consists of two energy cables. A D-Tap to LEMO and DC plug to LEMO. More on powering the BM5 developing.

Portkeys BM5 Main Features

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review
BM5 in full solar

The PortKeys BM5 is loaded with options. The most important one is the 2000 nit display screen that’s daylight viewable. It is a touchscreen however doesn’t use it solely to work together with the monitor. I like that as touching the display screen quite a bit places fingerprints throughout it.

You have 4 preset buttons on high of the BM5 which might be programmable.

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

One factor I discovered barely annoying is a message seems each time you press a shortcut button studying “Long press 3sec to set function”. While it was useful the primary time each time turns into annoying. I need to flip it off, please!

Portkeys BM5 options

  • 2000 nit full HD IPS display screen
  • 3D LUT add by way of USB
  • Waveform, RGB Parade, False Color, Vectorscope, Zooming, Zebra, Peaking, Zoom
  • Waveform SDI Output
  • Guides, Check Field, Grids
  • Audio Meters
  • Image Flip
  • Backlight – Low, Medium, High
  • Color Temperature, Custom RGB (Manual temperature calibration with RGB controls)
  • Display Flip, OSD Flip
  • Cross Hair
  • Camera Control
  • SDI TALLY
  • HLG
  • H/V Delay
  • Aspect
  • Brightness, Contrast, Chroma, Sharpness, Tint
  • UnderScan
  • 3D LUT SDI Output
  • Fan Control – Low, Medium, High

Waveform preset choices

Full Screen* Choose one
RGB parade
Luma waveform
Vectroscope
LUMA Histogram
RGB Histogram
Four ScreenLive View
Luma waveform
Vectroscope
RGB parade
All TypesLive View
Audio Meters
RGB Histogram
Histogram
RGB parade
Vectroscope
Luma waveform
User Mode*Add as much as 4 instrument choices under plus location on display screen
Luma Waveform
RGB Waveform
Luma Histogram
RGB Histogram
  • Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review
  • Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review
  • Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review
  • Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

The waveform shortcut possibility consists of 4 completely different look pages. The first and final that seems is programmable. You can set it to be RGB parade, Luma Waveform, Vectorscope, LUMA Histogram or RGB Histogram. A draw back is you may’t use the shortcut for just one instrument. It has pages and every faucet of the shortcut opens a Full Screen, Four Screen structure then All Type adopted by User Mode that permits the person so as to add as much as 4 instruments one in every nook of the display screen. I would love to have the ability to have only one waveform instrument possibility as nicely so I don’t need to undergo all 4 after I simply need to see one.

Menu System

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

While the toolset is broad the menu system is nothing to be enthusiastic about. The software program appears to be an afterthought in lots of merchandise. Atomos and SmallHD each do a superb job in creating a straightforward resolution in altering settings and quick entry to instruments. While the BM5 isn’t horrible by any means it does have lots of room to enhance and has some very cool instruments specifically the digital camera management features.

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

A dual-scroll wheel/button is the way you entry the menu. I’ve seen this type many occasions earlier than. Push the wheel in and the menu pops up with choices. To make a fast exit an EXIT button is obtainable.

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

On high of the BM5, you’ve gotten 4 programmable presets. They may be programmed in the primary menu. As I discussed earlier some instruments have customized settings. In order to alter the setting you maintain down the shortcut button for 3 seconds and it will probably now be programmed with the choices for the instrument that works greatest for you want the colour or energy of Peaking. Easy sufficient! The instruments accessible are good for a $499 monitor.

Assist instruments

  • False Color with IRE scale
  • Peaking
  • Waveform
  • Histogram
  • RGB Waveform
  • Vectorscope
  • Audio degree
  • 3D LUT
  • Guides
  • Zebra
  • Check Field
  • Grids
  • Image Flip
  • Zooming
  • Cross Hair
  • Waveform SDI Output
  • SDI TALLY
  • Display Flip
  • OSD Flip
  • H/V Delay
  • Aspect
  • Custom RGB
  • UnderScan
  • 3D LUT SDI Output

Updating Firmware and Camera Control

Both the Camera Control perform and most important firmware may be up to date by way of the USB enter. The updates are performed individually. For firmware, the replace is chosen in the primary menu. Camera Control is finished contained in the characteristic by holding the shortcut button down and choosing replace.

Portkeys makes use of a .RAR compressed file that requires a third occasion to unpack. I’m on OSX and used a free RAR Extractor Lite app from the App Store.

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

After opening the BM5 Control FW 1.2.rar I needed to double click on the BM5_CAMERA_APP.bin and it now provides one other file with the extension .cpgz added. This is the file so as to add to a USB thumb drive to carry out the replace. It took slightly persistence to determine it out however ultimately, all of it labored simply tremendous.

Build Quality

The all aluminum construct high quality of the BM5 is spectacular. It has a stable really feel to it and slightly chunky within the hand. This generally is a good factor in addition to a possible downside as a stable construct tends so as to add weight. The BM5 will not be heavy coming in at solely 12 ouncesor 340 g. It weighs slightly greater than an Atomos Ninja V at 11 oz. nonetheless, it’s heavier than an Atomos Shinobi at 7.1 ouncesor 200 g. The Shinobi chassis is all plastic serving to it to be feather gentle.

The BM5 comes with a Gorilla Glass protecting cowl that’s put in by eradicating the screws on the entrance body of the monitor and putting the Gorilla glass in place. An subject I discovered is tightening the body down over the glass provides strain to the display screen inflicting a slight yellow colour within the nook. It goes away in the event you again the screw out slightly however I fear the screw will come unfastened and fall out over time. This subject was compounded by me tightening the screws and placing an excessive amount of strain on the glass and cracked it. Oops! I believe PortKeys ought to redesign the Gorilla Glass cowl as I actually didn’t overtighten the body.

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

At first look, I believed the IPS display screen was smaller than 5″ and that’s as a result of chassis and the bezel or body that covers the show. With some displays, the bezel is smaller and doesn’t cowl the show’s edges as a lot leaving a glass black body across the LCD. With the BM5 the chassis goes proper to the sting of the viewable space of the LCD panel. It doesn’t block the 5″ viewable picture in any respect and is definitely smaller in total measurement than the Atomos Shinobi.

On the again are warmth sinks to maintain the BM5 cool. The monitor does get sizzling nonetheless all displays do. I didn’t expertise any overheating points.

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

On the aspect are vents to permit warmth to flee. I believe placing the vent on the aspect was a good suggestion. Less probability for moisture or particles to get inside if it was on high. The BM5 does have a fan and it may be loud when set at High.

  • Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review
  • Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review
  • Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

The excellent news is the fan may be managed within the menu with three settings. Low, Middle and excessive. At the low setting, the monitor may be very quiet and received’t intervene with audio seize. In reality, I can’t hear it in any respect within the low setting. In center and excessive it’s very audible. I didn’t expertise any overheating points with the monitor set to Low.

For mounting 1/4″ 20 faucets can be found on high and backside.

Powering and IO

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review
BM5 makes use of Sony L kind NPF batteries

Batteries

The Portkeys BM5 makes use of Sony L kind NPF batteries. These are quite common and cheap. I truly like them quite a bit since many different units I’ve additionally use them. A aspect not on a brand new L battery possibility. Hawk-Woods has a excessive capability variations accessible with much more output than the typical Sony NP-F970 L-Series at 6300mAh. Their Hawk-Woods DV-F990 is 10,200mAh. Wow proper? I want these.

With a 4900mAh 35.3Wh Wasabi Power BTR-NPF750-JWP, I acquired three hours and forty-five minutes with the backlight set to low.

External Power

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

The equipment comes with two energy cables. One DC Plug and D-Tap. The BM5 has a twin function Lemo connector for exterior 7-24V in for powering with a D-Tap to Lemo cable and a characteristic I like quite a bit is the power to energy a digital camera or different units with a regulated 7.4V output. Simply add a dummy battery with a cable and Lemo connector. I picked up an LP-E6 dummy with Lemo to attach my Graticle HD EVF. Works a deal with! Not solely are you able to energy a digital camera it’s also possible to use the Focus Puller Lemo in for powering and controlling the Tilta Nucleus-M and Nucleus-N wi-fi comply with focus.

Finding a dummy battery with a Lemo connector for some cameras could possibly be slightly tough as the sort of connector will not be as common in that configuration. Alvin’s Cables is an efficient useful resource.

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

If you might be utilizing a Sony L battery to energy a digital camera just like the Z Cam E2 then utilizing the Powerextra battery that has a DC Plug 6-8.4v out on board so you may energy the BM5 or use it to energy the monitor and use the ability out choices for different units. One much less battery however extra cables. Pick your poison.

Input and Output

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review
SDI out and in
Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review
Only HDMI enter accessible

The BM5 has each an SDI out and in and an HDMI in however no out. A pleasant characteristic I like quite a bit is the HDMI in loops by means of SDI output making daisy-chaining to an SDI appropriate monitor or EVF attainable. I do want it had an HDMI out as nicely nonetheless there actually isn’t lots of room left on the monitor and at $499 it’s wonderful it has SDI.

HDMI SIGNAL Supported

SDI SIGNAL supported

The BM5 doesn’t help a 4K sign over both SDI or HDMI. Some may discover a difficulty with this nonetheless most cameras have an choice to ship HD out whereas recording in 4K or above.

Camera Control

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review
PortKeys Long Arm digital camera management module

The digital camera management characteristic was launched on earlier PortKeys displays specifically the LH5 as an add-on module. PortKeys built-in the characteristic into the BM7 and BM5 displays so the module isn’t wanted. More cameras are going to be added with the suitable cables. Since the BM5 has preset for the precise cameras and controls a firmware replace can be wanted so as to add these cameras to the menu. Here is an efficient instance of the digital camera management with the Long Arm adapter on a PortKeys LH5T monitor.

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review
Click to see picture bigger

A characteristic I haven’t seen earlier than in a monitor is the power to regulate many digital camera features by way of a touch-screen. By default, the F1 button is the shortcut nonetheless it may be reassigned to one of many 4 accessible.

As of now Z Cam, Sony, Blackmagic Design, Canon and Panasonic cameras may be managed with extra being added by way of a firmware replace. I not too long ago up to date to BM5 Control FW 1.2 that included lots of efficiency enhancements for the Z Cam E2. PortKeys is engaged on FS5, FS7, C200, C300 RED, and Arri help.

I examined the digital camera management characteristic on the Z Cam E2 and It works extraordinarily nicely for sure options like document set off, altering ISO values and setting iris. Even focusing works nicely with native lenses.

Touch Focus with Camera Control Function

With the Z Cam E2, I used to be very shocked that contact focus works. On the second web page is the place all the primary settings stay. Next to the F3 contact button is the auto/guide focus setting. With a local MFT lens hooked up you should use the BM5 touchscreen to pick the main target level. Simply faucet the realm on the display screen and the digital camera focuses. It’s not as responsive as a C200 touchscreen however it’s correct. This is a formidable characteristic to have in a third occasion monitor. I don’t know of another monitor that may do that not to mention for $499 product.

Some Custom Settings Don’t Work

I did discover one in every of my customized settings utilizing a Z Cam E2 was not working. With so many digital camera choices accessible I’m certain a number of of the customized ones can be problematic. Again Portkeys is repeatedly engaged on making the digital camera management perform carry out higher by way of updates.

I’ve a shortcut assigned to F1 for taking a white steadiness. Holding the F1 button down on the digital camera prompts a WB studying. When the button is launched, the white steadiness is locked. On the BM5 the F1 button put the digital camera in Kelvin mode, and the up and down contact buttons don’t reply because the monitor could have the final energetic perform set. On the second web page is have been the Kelvin possibility lives. I can stay with this as white balancing the digital camera is straightforward and quick with the F1 preset on the digital camera.

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

The digital camera management characteristic is obtainable for a number of cameras. When ordering choose the digital camera you need to get the correct cable. Additional cables for various cameras can be found to buy individually.

The BM5 digital camera management characteristic may be up to date individually from the monitor’s firmware and may enhance over time. For sure settings utilizing the digital camera is faster. In the state of affairs the place the digital camera is in a clumsy place or out of attain utilizing the BM5 digital camera management can be very useful.

Current Compatible Cameras for Control Feature

  • Z CAM E2
  • Sony: A9, A7RIII, A7III, A7RII, A7SII, A6000, A6300, A6400, A6500, RX100
  • Canon: 1D X Mark Ⅱ, 5DS, 5DS R, 5D Mark Ⅳ, 5D Mark Ⅲ, 5D Mark Ⅱ, 6D Mark Ⅱ, 6D, 80D, EOS R
  • Blackmagic: BMPCC, URSA MINI, BMCC 4K
  • Panasonic: GH4, GH5, GH5S

Display

The BM5 5″ ISP show is sharp and brilliant with good colour. Out of the field, the colour settings are fairly good. If you need to dial it in slightly extra to your liking you are able to do this simply.

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

I went into the menu and adjusted the parameters for colour temperature by choosing the Manual possibility. The BM5 has three preset Color Temperatures to select from. 5600Ok, 6500okay and 7500okay. Manually establishing a monitor may be difficult if the monitor has poor colour illustration, to start with.

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

Fortunately, I used to be in a position to dial it in simply utilizing a correctly white balanced digital camera and a colour checker. The outcomes whereas being suttle made an enormous distinction.

My Custom Calibration Values

While these settings labored nicely on this explicit BM5 I don’t know if they’ll work on others. Give it attempt to see. Chances are good they are going to be very shut. I don’t suggest utilizing a Log profile whereas calibrating or LUT. Feed Rec709 to the monitor.

  • Red 130
  • Green 123
  • Blue 127

The display screen is brilliant at 2000 nits. It does maintain up in direct daylight. I believe that is the entry degree for out of doors use as my SmallHD 702 Bright at 1000 nits can wrestle in direct daylight.

Daylight Viewable

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review
BM5 in full solar. Using HDMI to SDI loop by means of on the BM5 with the Zacuto Gratical

To check simply how brilliant the monitor truly is I white balanced the digital camera and shot a white card at 100 IRE and took readings with a Sekonic C700-U. With the BM5 set to Manual Color Temperature and Bright setting, I acquired a studying of 2100 LUX which is mainly 2100nits. The BM5 delivered the specs of 2000 nits plus slightly extra.

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review

As for white steadiness in my manually calibrated settings, it got here to a CC Index of 0.3M. This is an efficient panel. I believe it is possible for you to to match it as much as different displays or cameras EVF simply. This is necessary in the event you’re utilizing a monitor to make important colour selections.

For good measure right here is the preset check outcomes.

5600Ok Color TEMPERATURE

  • 5313Ok
  • 1790 nits
  • CC Index 0.2M

6500Ok COLOR TEMPERATURE

  • 6132Ok
  • 1900 nits
  • CC Index 0.1G

7500Ok COLOR TEMPERATURE

  • 6855Ok
  • 1970 nits
  • CC Index 0.1G

Competition

Monitors have had a pleasant high quality leap previously yr and costs are coming down with brighter choices. The key to evaluating them is how brilliant is it and what instruments can be found.

SmallHD Focus 5″ SDI and Atomos Shinobi SDI are within the value vary however the BM5 beats them each with the 2000 nits display screen. The software program can be higher on the latter displays. Ikan, Feelworld even have choices on this value vary.

Usability and Conclusion

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review
Portkeys BM5 2000 nit Monitor. Retail model is now black.

While options and inputs are necessary truly utilizing a product is simply too. I discovered the Portkeys BM5 a stable and simple to make use of monitor regardless of the menu system. I like the truth that I can have 4 presets and customise them as I want. The instruments are very usable and the digital camera management characteristic is basically slick.

Not having to make use of the touchscreen is an efficient factor to keep away from these fingerprints. For most of my testing, I used the Z Cam E2 that requires a monitor or an EVF. With the Z Cam E2 in a SmallRig cage and deal with. The setup regarded like a tiny RED digital camera. It was very easy to shoot with plus I didn’t have to make use of the cameras help instruments and the BM5 outside labored very nicely with the 2000 nit display screen.

Battery life is fairly good for a brilliant 2000 nits monitor. When not outside bringing the backlight all the way down to low or medium is a good way to avoid wasting energy and also you get a way more real looking illustration of the publicity too.

Portkeys BM5 5″ 2000nit monitor review
Pre Production BM5 has a seafoam inexperienced colour. Retail model is black.

The contact Focus characteristic with the Z Cam is spectacular and that digital camera isn’t identified for AF efficiency. I wasn’t in a position to check different cameras nonetheless, it seems just like the perform would carry out pretty much as good because the cameras AF works. This is a really cool characteristic.

The Z Cam E2 alone has fourteen management choices making the BM5 an excellent match for the highly effective little digital camera. Portkeys can be updating the BM5 to enhance efficiency and add extra cameras that may be managed. All in all, it’s a formidable monitor and the worth at $499 makes it an excellent worth. If you might be Z Cam person the BM5 is a should have monitor with the very slick digital camera perform interface.