Tag Archives: zacuto evf

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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
SmallHD DP4 EVF
SmallHD DP4 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

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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

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Towards the end of 2010, it seemed like there would be an explosion of Electronic View finders. In the end only a handful have been popular such as the Cineroid EVF (starting $548), Zacuto EVF (starting $749), and the SmallHD DP4-EVF (starting $599).

seetec evf scope 3.5 lcd hdmi
find-price-button 3.5" HDMI LCD Electronic View Finder

Here's a cheaper 3.5" HDMI EVF you will probably be hearing more about from Seetec. The magnifying loupe attaches and detaches similar to the SmallHD DP4, but that's pretty much where all the similarities end. Kicapi Productions has a video demonstrating some of the features [Thanks Kicapi Productions].

So hopefully the video above answers any questions about the EVF as you begin hearing about it from other blogs and forums. It's definitely not as high quality or as full featured as the other brands, but it comes in at about half the price. Kicapi Productions has the Scope 3.5" EVF already available to Malaysian/Asian countries at http://www.kicapi.com.

For other buyers, the Seetec 3.5" HDMI LCD EVF can also be found 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

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Zacuto's introduced a new CheeseStick bar for the Z-EVF that will allow more flexible mounting options. (surprised it wasn't named something like Z-heesestick?) Instead of using the lonely 1/4-20" thread below the Z-EVF, you'll now have a variety of mounting points along the top or the back (depending on how you install the cheesestick). Found below

zacuto-cheesestick
find-price-button Zacuto Z-EVF CheeseStick Mounting Bar

zacuto-EVF-300x151
find-price-button Zacuto EVF View Finder

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This ends up being a huge time saver for me as I was going to run through some of the Zacuto EVF menu options. Here's a nice run through the menu on how to scale just about any video input type with the Zacuto EVF. I'll try to run through the SmallHD DP4 menu, which also has great scaling options, but for stored custom fuctions, and camera profiles the DP4 is not as elaborate as this Zacuto EVF menu. Different packages for the Z-EVF start around $640 (click here).

zacuto-EVF
find-price-button Zacuto EVF Electronic ViewFinders


zacuto-EVF-300x151
find-price-button Zacuto Z-EVF View Finder

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First look at the two most popular EVFs on the market side by side. Surprisingly not a 'major' size difference, nor a huge weight difference. The Z-EVF is super lightweight, but when used with the Zacuto Z-Finder it adds on a bit. Note: I have no affiliation nor have I ever received any items from SmallHD or Zacuto. Now that the SmallHD DP4 was available, I purchased both the DP4-EVF and Z-EVF Flip to see which of these would best fit into my workflow. Whichever I choose would be my personal opinion on what works best for my situation. These are just my initial thoughts while I piece these two together for a more thorough review. More to come soon enough..


smallhd-dp4
find-price-button SmallHD DP4-EVF

Zacuto EVF
find-price-button Zacuto EVF

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First look at what's in the box with the Small HD DP4-EVF. First impression, this thing is much bigger than I anticipated. It's a very nice external monitor, and sadly it might be enough to replace my DP6 (might be up for sale soon?). The menu with the click wheel on top, is the same as the SmallHD DP6 allowing you to change through a variety of features. Also included is the Focus Peaking and False color to help you with exposure. If you're familiar with the SmallHD DP6 features, you'll fall in love with the DP4 as both an external monitor solution and as an EVF. So the question on everyone's mind is, how does the Small HD DP4 hold up to the Zacuto Z-EVF? I don't have a Zacuto ZEVF to compare it to right now (yet), but i'll leave the comments open if someone has something to say, and i'll have more of my opinions in a bit. You can find more about SmallHD DP4-EVF following this link.

Oh and the Diopter for the Small HD DP4 question? Thanks for the comments, The SmallHD DP4 uses 46mm thread on 'Close up' Filters a.k.a Macro Filters (like Cinevate's Cyclops). These Close up filters come in a variety of magnifications like +1 to +4 or more. Found below.

Close Up Macro Filter
find-price-button 46mm Close UP Macro Filters for Diopter

Even without a side by side SmallHD DP4 vs Zacuto ZEVF comparison, there's no doubt the Zacuto EVF is the smaller of the two. If size (or lack of) is of importance for your work, then Zacuto's EVF Electronic View Finder still lands as the smallest most affordable EVF solution. Hopefully i'll have the two side by side pretty soon. You can find it via B&H (click here) or via Amazon (click here).

Zacuto EVF
find-price-button Zacuto EVF

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EVF-Snap-Zacuto
find-price-button Zacuto EVF Snap Viewfinder

Zacuto's got one of the sweetest EVFs (electronic viewfinders) available on the market. You could buy the 3" HDMI EVF alone which will save you a few hundred dollars, but of course, what good is the EVF if you don't have the Z-Finder Loupe to match? Having to invest in a Z-Finder loupe will run the bill up several more hundreds of dollars. According to Cheesycam reader Ray, another popular ViewFinder works fine.

Many people who couldn't afford the real Z-Finder opted in for the Seagull. If you already own the Seagull ViewFinder, they fit perfectly onto Zacuto Frames. One benefit from this clever tip is that you could buy these Z-FRM frames for about $5.00 dollars to use as as spare frames with your Seagull, or if you need to add a frame to another camera. Another benefit of course is that it should mount directly to Zacuto's HDMI EVF either 'Snap' or 'Flip' versions, saving you a few hundred dollars. I'm pretty sure the more popular VF Prime DSLR LCD falls into this same category too. [Thanks Ray]

You can find these view finders under a few different names like 'VF Prime' or Seagull View Finder. Can be found on eBay here: (click here)

Or also Available on Amazon here:
VF Prime
find-price-button VF Prime DSLR Camera LCD Viewfinder for 3" LCD

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Earlier the item was out of stock, now it's back in and available. Found below if you've been waiting.

Zacuto EVF
find-price-button Zacuto EVF HDMI Electronic View Finder