April 6, 2015

New Sound Devices PIX-E External Recorders Have 1080p Screens & Can Capture 4K

Sound Devices PIX-E Series 1080p Monitor 4K Recorder
Sound Devices is known for their excellent sound recorders and mixers, but they've also been producing external monitor/recorders for the last few years.

They are back in a big way with a set of three new recorders they are calling the PIX-E series. While all of them are capable of 4K recording (4K up to 24fps and UHD up to 30fps), there are some slight differences between them. The most obvious difference is that the PIX-E5 and PIX-E5H have 5" 1080p screens while the PIX-E7 has a 7" 1920 x 1200 screen. The latter two, the E5H and E7, are essentially identical except for the screens. The lower-end E5 is HDMI-only, otherwise it has most of the same features as the other two recorders. While all three are touch-screens, they also have hard buttons so you can use whichever method works best for the specific task.

Here is a brief rundown of the recorders:

The 4K-compatible PIX-E Series are the first on-camera monitors to offer the full range of Apple ProRes codecs including the highest quality Apple ProRes 4444 XQ*. This is a 12-bit codec designed to preserve the detail in wide dynamic range imagery captured by today's high performance digital image sensors.

PIX-E can record 4K up to 24 fps, UHD up to 30 fps and 1080p or 720p up to 60 fps.

* Available only on the PIX-E5 and PIX-E7 models.

And some of the basic features:

  • Waveform Monitor
  • Vectorscope
  • Histogram
  • TapZoom™
  • Peaking
  • Zebras
  • False Color
  • Frame Markers
  • Four Way View
  • LUTs

Here's how TapZoom works:

Here are some looks at the PIX-E7 (you can see more photos of the others over on their site):

More on the drives for the PIX-E series:

The PIX-E records to the affordable, super fast SpeedDrive, an industry standard mSATA drive contained within a custom-designed enclosure. The SpeedDrive, which plugs directly into the PIX-E, doubles as a USB 3.0 thumb drive for very high speed offload to any computer without the need for a special cable or drive docking station.

Two SpeedDrive options are available, a 240 GB SpeedDrive and an Enclosure-Only version that allows the user to choose and easily fit any size of mSATA drive. mSATA drives are available in sizes ranging from 128 GB to 1 TB.

To see how they all compare, check out the spec chart below:

Sound Devices PIX-E Series Specs 1
Sound Devices PIX-E Series Specs 2
Sound Devices PIX-E Series Specs 3

We don't know pricing information yet, but I imagine that will be revealed at NAB, or shortly after. With the capabilities these have, I don't expect them to be inexpensive, especially considering the previous on-camera monitor/recorder from Sound Devices retailed for over $3,000. Either way, they look relatively rugged, so hopefully price-wise they come in somewhere in the realm of competing recorders like the Atomos Shogun and the Convergent Design 7Q series. 

Check out the link here for more info.      

Your Comment

16 Comments

So Dope.... This blows my atoms away

April 6, 2015 at 1:57PM

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Kyle Lamar
Director Producer DP
1108

Can I please just get a rugged 4k 10 bit 4:2:2 recorder with out a screen? saves money and makes the unit stronger with out the glass. i don't need another screen!

April 6, 2015 at 2:02PM

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That would be nice. Maybe BMD will release a HyperDeck Shuttle that does 4k.

April 6, 2015 at 2:35PM

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Yep! Atomos, please Ninja Star 4K gib!

Gib! Gib! Gib!

April 8, 2015 at 6:47PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
4122

So no 4K RAW recording at up to 60 fps like the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q+ recorder does ?

April 6, 2015 at 2:58PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30322

If you have 12 bit prores XQ I doubt you will need Raw

April 6, 2015 at 3:51PM, Edited April 6, 3:51PM

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Nigel Thompson
Director / Editor / Producer
243

Still it's only 24 fps at 4K DCI compared to 60 fps with the 7Q+.

April 6, 2015 at 4:18PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30322

I've used the PIX240i and can say with confidence these guys are the kings of portable/outboard recorders. I have no doubt these will be just as solid as the HD series recorders.
But like the HD series, I'm sure I'll have to take a Xanax or 15 once I hear the price .... Worth every penny tho.

April 6, 2015 at 3:54PM

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Nigel Thompson
Director / Editor / Producer
243

Hi Joe et All,

Paul Isaacs, VP Marketing and Product Design here! Nice article:)

There are a few facts I'd like to clear up if that's ok.
The PIX-E5H is the 5" 1080p HDMI only version
The PIX-E5 is the 5" 1080p HDMI+SDI version
The PIX-E7 is the 7" 1920x1200 HDMI + SDI version

Price is competitive. More detail coming in the near future.

April 6, 2015 at 4:39PM

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Paul Isaacs
Director Product Development & Design, Sound Devices
113

Sorry, I should have said .. VP Marketing and Product Design from Sound Devices!

April 6, 2015 at 5:46PM

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Paul Isaacs
Director Product Development & Design, Sound Devices
113

This looks awesome, no doubt. But honestly, is it really so hard to develop a portable 4K recorder sans screen? These screens and all their features just jack the price up and destroy the battery life. And at this point, I feel like these companies are doing it intentionally.

In a wide open market, a $1000 portable 4K recorder for the A7s would make a killing. But Atomos, Odyssey, and Sound Devices want us to spend two or three times that while we have no choice.

April 6, 2015 at 9:11PM

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Benjamin Lebeau
Cinematographer, Colorist, Editor
283

I'm searching for something as well...discovered you can downsample from 4K>1080p with CYP 4K HDMI scaler + Atomos Ninja Star http://www.eoshd.com/2014/07/james-miller-adds-167-hardware-4k-scaler-bo...a7s-stunning-results/

April 7, 2015 at 3:16AM

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Zachariel Shanahan
Writer/Director
970

Actually I don't agree. You can't expect to spend minimal money on new tech then complain when it fails. Whatever it is has to be built solid and durable. Cinema is a tough biz, touh on people and certainly tough on equipment. If you buy flimsy stuff (and sometime that's all we can afford) it falls apart. The rock solid stuff comes at a price and that's for good reason. Try getting your hand on a PIX and you would understand immediately

April 7, 2015 at 5:52AM

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Nigel Thompson
Director / Editor / Producer
243

You're responding to a different issue. I'm saying the screen is a ploy to jack up the price and kills the battery life, it's not an issue of durability. These companies are forcing camera owners who want 4K to purchase an all-in-one product.

April 8, 2015 at 9:00AM

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Benjamin Lebeau
Cinematographer, Colorist, Editor
283

I agree. Something like the AJA Ki Pro Mini, but 4k. No monitor, 3G SDI pass-through, SSD with thunderbolt, ProRes4444, cam mountable. That'd be great.

April 7, 2015 at 1:27PM

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Steve Yager
Filmmaker
212

I'm in the market for a new monitor with SDI input and waveform/vectorscope. With the only other options being SmallHD at $2,000 and Ikan at $1,000, this seems like a no brainer at a price right in between. When can we expect it?

April 20, 2015 at 10:29PM

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Pedro M
81