A review by Justin Philip – the best monitor for RED Komodo – Portkeys BM5WR Camera Control monitor.
We’re taking a deep dive into the newest monitor in the bm5 series from Portkeys the BM5WR. I believe this is the fourth generation in the series of bm5. The good news is
this new WR version has a lot of cool new features the coolest one being is that you can now control your Komodo via the BM5WR without any additional cables.
How to Connect BM5WR to Komodo’s Wi-Fi Signal?
The first thing you’re going to do is to connect the SDI signal cable, and then make some changes or verify some things within the Komodo menu itself.
Step 1: Go to the main home screen on the Komodo, tap Menu > Communication, then go to the wi-fi menu, and then verify that you are in Ad-Hoc mode. (Double-check these things)
Step 2: On the Ad-Hoc menu, make sure your SSID label starts with the word “Komodo” (in order for the Portkeys monitor to detect the Wi-Fi signal), your passphrase can be literally whatever you want it to be.
Step 3: The next thing you need to do is just verify that you are in the 2.4 GHz band (Portkeys monitor is not 5G, it’s 2.4 G).
Step 4: Tap directly into the Portkeys touchscreen menu, just tap and slide down to access the camera control menu. Then make sure you have the Wi-Fi mode enabled, and then tap My Device > Komodo.
If this is the first time you connect the BM5 WR to the camera, you just need to tap Add New Device, then tap Komodo and then enter the passphrase. (It’s literally whatever passphrase that you have typed into the menu on the Komodo itself for your wi-fi passphrase.） Then you’re good to go now.
What’s cool is that as long as the camera’s Wi-Fi is on the BM5WR, it will always auto-connect to the Komodo’s Wi-Fi signal, and now the BM5WR will only automatically connect to that signal to access the camera control again.
Step 5: Tap and slide down, you can adjust your shutter angle, frames per second, color temperature and exposure values, and of course record control.
If you are using an electronic lens, you can also use the Portkeys monitor to adjust the aperture or focus control. To do that just click on the focus and then jump to the autofocus menu. You can switch on and off between autofocus and manual focus, and if you click on this little hand there, you can now jump into autofocus mode anywhere. Tap the screen, it will pull the focus, and you will see where the focus peak opens.
Now, this is just a function of the monitor, depending on your lighting or any specific lens you happen to use. Obviously, you know that the autofocus response will vary from lens to lens, but either way, this is a very good feature Because it does all this work directly through Komodo’s Wi-Fi signal, the only cable I connect is the SDI cable for the video feed.
Note: D-tap cables are another option for pulling focus.
If you use a manual lens. You can tap and swipe up the screen to access the focus menu. Through this menu, you can control focus through the core M or Nano of TILTA. So, as you can see, you can control focus, zoom, iris, and even set a hard stop, and you can still control the recording, but to control the Tilta motor, you do need an additional cable, which is not included in the monitor.
On the back of the monitor, you will see a port labeled Focus Puller, which is actually where you connect a separate cable.