EVF Electronic View Finder


Known primarily for their affordable quality lighting solutions, F&V extends their product line with a new high resolution 4.3" inch EVF LCD monitor.

fvlighting spectra evf hdmi sdi lcd display

The Spectra HD4 EVF carries a 1280x720 HD display with a 900:1 contrast ratio. Software overlays include Histogram, waveform, vector scope, peaking, false color, adjustable frame guides, etc.

fvlighting evf spectra HDMI lcd

Additionally the small unit offers both HDMI + SDI Input, HDMI loop through, SDI Loop through, and HDMI to SDI and SDI to HDMI Conversions. There is also a Tally light above the unit when working with multi-cameras. The unit shown was still a prototype and the loupe will most likely see a redesign. To stay informed about the new Spectra HD4, check out the website at FVLighting.com (here).

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If you're working (or planning to work) with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera #BMPC you may quickly realize the LCD screen can be very difficult to work with outdoors. Other cameras may not be as bad, but can still use a little help blocking out ambient light.

One quick down and dirty way to block glare is to simply attach one of these inexpensive folding LCD Sunhoods. The design was originally used for flip out LCD screens on your Panasonic GH3, Canon 60D, T4i, C100, etc. The sunhood attaches via two simple straps stretch over your LCD (or BMPC camera body). It's not a perfect solution, but it's better than nothing. Starting at around $10 dollars, these sunhoods are available from 3"-4.5", and if you're specifically looking to use one with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema, you will need the 3.5" size (found here).

BlackMagic Pocket Cinema BMPC Sunhood Shade LCD View Finder
find-price-button 3" / 3.5" / 4" / 4.5" LCD Sunhood

Your basic sunhood will assist with directional glare, but won't completely block out all incoming light. It also will not serve as a second point of contact for added stability - what LCD ViewFinders are popular for. There are literally dozens of great LCD Viewfinder products on the market, many that you've already seen through this blog so I won't go too much into detail here. If you have a specific camera in question, just leave me a comment.

Now while a few companies like Zacuto and Kamerar have announced LCD View Finder loupes that attach to the back of the BMPC, they are not available just yet.

Magview copy 2
Kamerar MagView LCD View Finder

Another option available now are EVFs (electronic view finders). The benefits to working with an EVF outside of blocking bright light, is that screen can be relocated to a more ergonomic position on a Shoulder Rig, or can articulate to offer better shooting angles when mounted on a Cage system for example. Depending on the EVF, many can also offer additional overlays such as Focus Peaking, False Color, Zebras, and other waveforms to help you with focusing and judging exposure.

Some of the more popular EVFs that range from $600.00-$1000.00 on the market are the Zacuto EVF, SmallHD DP4, and Cineroid EVF (available in different models).

Zacuto EVF
Zacuto EVF
Cineroid EVF
Cineroid EVF

If you're looking for uber budget, you've probably heard about the most affordable Seetec (a.k.a Feelworld) 3.5" HDMI EVF starting at just $250 (found here). Now before you decide to dive in to this unit, there's a few things you need to know. This lower end EVF CANNOT DISPLAY THE SIGNAL from a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera #BMPC due to it's uncompressed 10bit 4:2:2 HDMI output.

The more affordable EVF systems are typically just HDMI, so this same information will apply to the larger BlackMagic Cinema Camera #BMCC. If you purchase an SDI to HDMI converter, you can use many of the more affordable HDMI EVFs, but not the Seetec version. In fact one person complained about how a cheap SDI to HDMI converter did not work with the BlackMagic Cinema Camera, but didn't realize it was really his monitor that didn't work. He didn't rule out the monitor because it worked with other cameras. In summary the SDI to HDMI converter was working properly, but the HDMI monitor they chose did not work with the feed.

Hopefully this bit of information will save you guys the pain of making a purchase only to find out it doesn't work. If you want an EVF for the BMPC, you'll need to at least look at the other high end displays. As far as a cheaper EVF for other cameras, YouTube member Shawn Barner provides a nice 26 minute detailed run through of this Seetec product.

For other mirror-less and DSLR cameras like the Canon, Nikon, Panasonic GH3, Sony, etc, the Seetec can really help if you're on a budget. Over the last year, several people have been using this EVF successfully. While not quite at the level of the more professional EVF systems, this EVF is still a great start for those who need a small lightweight portable screen to shade from the bright glaring sun, and to relocate a video feed to a more ergonomic placement on a shoulder rig. Available via eBay around $250 US (click here).

Affordable Cheap EVF LCD View Finder CheesycamEVF LCD View FinderLCD EVF View Finder HDMI
find-price-button 3.5" Seetec HDMI EVF Electronic View Finder


It seem like every time I post a video stabilizer review, I often receive the same question - 'How can you adjust focus?'. Typically i'll just answer this question by replying with a text comment, but i'm sure it's still not very clear. Hopefully this article can help visualize a few ways focus can be achieved when a camera is balanced on a stabilizer, thrown on a video crane, or other device where adjusting the lens would be cumbersome or impossible.

One option to adjust focus (without physically touching the lens) can be by use of an electronic follow focus system. In the video below, Vimeo member Nicholas D shares how he's setup his camera on a SteddiePod Stabilizer with a Cinematics USB follow focus [Thanks Nick]. The USB systems will be limited, as they will only work with certain cameras (mostly Canon) and only with compatible auto focus lenses - not manual lenses.

Barber Tech SteddiePod
Barber Tech SteddiePod
Cinematics USB Follow Focus
Cinematics USB Follow Focus

An alternative could be to use dedicated Wired or Wireless electronic follow focus systems attached to the outside lens gear. The benefits to these systems is that they can be used with pretty much any lens that supports manual focus. The throw can be remapped for shorter or longer focus movements at the dial, and higher end systems allow to you store focus points. The full wireless systems are helpful when you need another person to manage focus so that the camera operator can move about freely.

If you plan to work with a Wireless Follow Focus, Camera Motion Research has announced the new Radian Pro kits that will send a Wireless HD Video stream via HDMI to a remote monitor. There are ways to achieve this through a DIY solution, but the Radian Pro claims to use a more commercial version transmitter / receiver that can transmit through a broader range of channels for longer distance, low latency, and clearer image. The Radian Pro is available in both a Unicast or MultiCast version (multiple video streams).

For myself, I may not use a WFF for every project, but I do use Wireless Video when operating on longer cranes/jibs or even just to share a feed for others to view (so they aren't hanging over your shoulder). Add a remote Pan/Tilt head to this combination, and you'll be able to man a camera from a distance away while focusing and zooming. Great when you have to leave a camera somewhere you can't be seen like on stage, or perhaps even at a church during a wedding, or in the middle of a racetrack.

Sorry for the lack of great examples, but hopefully this article is somewhat helpful and gives you ideas of what you can do with such tools. Remember that these are not limited to just these types of Stabilizers (a.k.a Steadicam). These are the same tools that can be used on those amazing Brushless Motor Camera Gimbal Stabilizers everyone has been recently obsessed about.

find-price-button Camera Motion Research Radian Pro Wireless HD Video Kit via HDMI


For those who are mounting electronic view finders (EVF) with mini ball heads or perhaps variable friction (magic) arms, you might have run into the issue where the EVF can spin loose as you apply pressure against the eye cup or may be too much for a hot shoe to handle. Ball Heads and Friction Arms work pretty well, but they aren't the best way to mount an LCD EVF monitor.

Here's another EVF Mount that's recently become available. This one mounts to a set of 15mm rails preventing your EVF from spinning loose, and can be quickly adjusted in various angles through the slotted brackets. Starts at $115 + shipping via eBay (found here).

Hunt EVF Camtree Electronic View Finder
find-price-button 15mm Dual Rail Clamp Adjustable EVF Mount


Varavon's new Multi Finder 'Uni' is an upgraded version of the original Varavon Pro Finder LCD ViewFinder. The universal ability is achieved by an adjustment plate that allows multi-axis adjustments to align with most DSLR cameras on the market with a 3.2"-3.5" LCD such as the 5D Mark III, D800, Nikon D4, and more.

Uni MultifinderVaravon LCD View Finder Multifinder Pro Uni
find-price-button Varavon Multifinder Uni Universal LCD ViewFinder

The Varavon Multi Finder Uni attaches securely through a quick release system at the Anti-Twist Baseplate, offers a diopter for less than perfect vision, and unique low angle shooting via an internal mirror. The new Varavon Multi Finder Uni is available now starting at approx. $229 found on eBay (click here)

Varavon Multifinder Uni
find-price-button Varavon Multifinder Uni Universal LCD ViewFinder


Just a few weeks ago this 3.5" HDMI LCD EVF was posted on this blog, and now that a few other resellers are carrying the item it looks like it's dropped down a bit more in price starting at $239 (or make an offer).

It's not the greatest EVF on the market and lacks many features of higher end models, but If you would like to see a video showing some of the features on this particular EVF, you can reference the original post (here). More of these 3.5" HDMI LCD Electronic Viewfinders are available via eBay (click here)

seetec 3.5 lcd evf hdmiscope seetech lcd hdmi evfscope seetech evf lcd monitor
find-price-button 3.5" HDMI LCD Electronic View Finder


I've had a few inquiries about possible new LCD View Finders a.k.a Loupes for the new Canon 5D Mark III. I'm still not able to release much information, or full images, but here's some teaser images of one. I received this prototype LCD Viewfinder recently which aligns perfectly to pretty much most of my cameras as well as the new 5DM3.

One thing to mention is that the LCD Screen on the back of the 5D Mark III is just a bit wider than this new ViewFinder (soon to be released) but there's barely a crop. The special bracket designed on this new LCD Viewfinder moves forward / back / left / right / up / down, which allows it to align to a variety of different camera bodies such as the new T4i, 7D, 60D, 5D Mark II & Mark III, Nikon, and more.

photo 2

To show the flexibility, here i'm have it mounted with the new Sony RX100 camera (not directly). First I have the Sony RX100 mounted to a P&C Custom 717 Quick Release adapter so I can pull the camera off the entire rig quickly. The 717 Custom Plate also gives additional 1/4-20 threaded mounts (seen on right side) if I wanted to add a friction arm with LED light, Audio Recorder, Microphone, etc.

This new prototype viewfinder is mounted underneath the Custom 717 plate. Finally I have the P&C Pistol Grip mounted under the entire setup for easy handling and there's still a 1/4-20 threaded insert under the handle for an additional Friction arm. With the LCD ViewFinder attached, this gives me an additional point of contact for stabilization, and allows me to shoot in broad daylight.

717 Custom Quick Release Pistol Grip RX100
Could this be the Meanest RX100 Rig so far, or the Silliest? Yeah i'll go with the Silliest...

Some notes about this new Viewfinder not seen in the images. It folds up, so if you don't need the ViewFinder you can open it up into a sun shade. It's also designed with a quick release baseplate system. The entire ViewFinder can detach from this little rig by unlocking the knob on the left side (under the 717 QR knob). It has a Glass optical element, and built in Diopter. There's a few more snazzy features but I think I said too much... More to come later about the new ViewFinder so Follow me on Twitter.

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Finally! The focus assist on the SmallHD DP4 caused the screen to go fairly dark, and although you could see the focus assist lines, you couldn't really see what you were focusing on! They made the feature much better in the DP6 through a recent firmware update, and now they've made it available for the smaller DP4. Information below, but as usual check with the SmallHD website for any known issues about upgrading your firmware.

SmallHD is happy to announce the release of DP4 Firmware Update V1.2.
This is our latest effort to add more value to your investment and provide the tools to help you do your job even better.

You can find the Firmware Update Instructions for the DP4 here:

DP4 Firmware V1.2:

New Features and Fixes
* Focus Assist + has been added to replace Focus Assist (Menu>Advanced>Focus Assist) While the old Focus Assist worked well to achieve critical focus, it darkened the image beyond comfortable viewing levels. The new “Focus Assist+” enhances the in-focus areas even more while retaining the image much more than the original Focus Assist. This is an excellent new tool to help you achieve accurate focus quickly and efficiently.
* Improved accuracy of the Nikon Preset (Preset>N DSLR REC) Enjoy the benefits of a full screen image while recording with your Nikon camera.
* Custom Scales will now be saved after using 1:1 Mapping (Menu>Advanced>Custom Scale. Menu>Advanced>1:1 Mapping) Use 1:1 Mapping confidently knowing that the Custom Scale settings that you have set will still be there where you are done.
* Menu Flip function fixed (Menu>System>Menu Flip)



Derek Bruce writes in and shares a find on the Swivi LCD. Listings have been discounted for the next 48 hours as a New Years promotion. [Thanks Derek!] Not sure what a 'Swivi' is? Check out a review posted here: http://cheesycam.com/swivi-5-6-external-lcd-review/

I can't remember exactly, but I want to say that MSRP price was listed around $350 US, and is on a 48 hour New Years promotion for just $250. That's a nice $100 dollar discount for this weekend only. The Swivi LCD has been discounted on both Amazon (click here)

find-price-button Swivi 5.6" External HDMI LCD 48 Hour Promotion - via Amazon

and via eBay (click here).

find-price-button Swivi 5.6" External HDMI LCD 48 Hour Promotion - via eBay