Zacuto Releases Z-Finder EVF

Shortly after RedRock Micro announced their EVF - Electronic View Finder for DSLR's, Zacuto now has a complete web page and video showcasing their product. Actually they've gone as far as a complete domain name @ ZFinderEVF.com. It's still up in the air if RedRock Micro has an actual working version, but from the images that were submitted, it doesn't look like a finished product. Actually in this Video (above), Zacuto is also just showing a 3D model, so take this as just another announcement and not an actual product (yet).

Marketing is always ahead of technology and some people are speculating that the announcements were aimed just to be the first. Hopefully the products are released soon, as we've seen some bad turnouts on early announcements for products that never seem to make it to market or experience long delays. Personally it's all exciting, but I don't know if consumers really care who's first to announce what, it's more about first actual availability and pricing. I'd even take my chances on a no-name brand EVF if the resolution was adequate.

Redrock Micro is stated to come in around $600 dollars, and the Zacuto EVF just under $800. If i'm correct, you'll still need a Z-Finder to use with the EVF bumping that price up a few hundred more. This is something many DSLR shooters have been looking for and I feel they'll be set to grab whatever becomes available early on. Under those brand names, they'll both be well made products, but since Zacuto's will be several hundred more (including Z-Finder Loupe), time to market is what's really going to set the pace on EVF sales.

Another option would be going with the smaller 5" LCD monitors such as the Marshall V-LCD50-HDMI. Unlike the EVF's announced, the Marshall Monitor has additional features for setting proper exposure. I guess if you really wanted magnification for the LCD, you could just make a DIY loupe using a Macro Close Up FIlter and a box.
marshall-5-inch-monitor

IKan also has a 5" LCD HDMI Monitor for DSLR's too.
ikan-V5600







14 thoughts on “Zacuto Releases Z-Finder EVF

  1. BillboTex

    There is no dishonesty in buying the best product at the best price. We should ALL be doing that whether we are professionals or amateurs.

    Run your company efficiently and you will have a low price - poor management choices create higher prices. Employ the first business principle and prosper.....or choose the second and become extinct.

    No business can cheat the masses unless we allow it to....which we sometimes do allow that!

  2. Lensdude

    I guess many from the "masses" just expect things to be cheap, no mater what.

    The cameras have a huge global appeal. Companies like Canon make millions of them. A fancy electronic viewfinder with technical specs that satisfies the requirements of professionals is going to be a very narrow demand product.

    Right now there are a handful (maybe just two) of western companies that have spent tons of money, time and personal resources developing these products. They are going to cost what they will cost. I think the Zacuto and Redrock prices are pretty reasonable really. But if you want a good EVF you will have to wait until the Zacuto and Redrock products hit the market.

    Others will surely wait until these products get hacked, backward engineered, and produced by low wage workers in some distant land with cheaper components. This will satisfy the masses I am sure.

    The complaint against companies like Zacuto will always be "why can't you develop and sell products to all of us cheaply like the folks on eBay do?" There is a real disconnect here. When companies try to defend their products they have invested so much in developing they are then accused of being "arrogant" or "elitist". If these companies were not spending all these resources on products would these products exist ever? Sort of like the chicken or the egg puzzle, no?

    I hope Redrock and Zacuto do well. I also hope others will develop similar products and that the source materials like the screens become cheaper and common place for everyone. Some of this will happen naturally and honestly, but some will be from blatant intellectual theft though.

  3. Jason

    thanks emm. that link explained the math behind it which is really what I was looking for - makes sense now. darn 3 subpixels!

  4. To clarify. The T20 screen is 640x480 4:3 aspect ratio our unit is 800x480 in 16x9 ratio. That is a huge difference and you can see it when you look at the panel instantly. This numbers game is a bad game to get into because in reality their are many things that contribute to your final picture quality. Screen size, chip size, dot pitch and magnification. If you have a great screen tiny screen but have to magnify the heal out of it, you will see the pixels. We went the other route to have a large screen that you can use as a monitor and then flip down your Z-Finder like on an EX3 and only have to magnify 2.5 - 3x.

    Their will be discounted kits that include both the monitor and a Z-Finder and an upgrade path for existing Z-Finder users that will be very attractive price (TBD soon).

  5. @Lensdude
    And my argument will always be that if they make it affordable to masses I will always buy the original over a knockoff. Its well known that their products are overly expensive. Excuse is always, it's made right here in the US ... I really don't care where it's made.

    I am willing to pay for things I want and think they are worth it. These things are nothing revolutionary. Just extending the concept that already exists so you can't say that they are the victims here. They've extended the VF concept from a loupe so should the inventor of that be pissed? (even though he has been dead for centuries lol).

    This is something that people will always disagree on but take a look at this site. Emm, even posts knockoff of his own design regularly on this very site. Market is so big that there is room for everyone.

    Cheaper knockoffs happen when companies try to corner the market and be the only ones offering something and get to charge whatever they feel like for it.

  6. Lensdude

    There is a long thread waging on Cinema5d on this topic...

    Jay says "waiting for Chinese knockoffs..." Thats how it goes I guess. US companies will spend tons of money on R&D and design and then make top quality gear made by Americans in the USA. Outfits in China and India then spend very little other than backwards engineering brand name goods before selling cheap knockoffs to users all over the world. And people are then crushed why all the design and manufacturing jobs are going overseas? Everyone expects WalMart prices. Some high end users want top quality and are willing to pay for it. Zacuto and others serve this market.

    Part of the issue here is that these tiny hi def displays cost way more than larger displays. There are not a lot of options at this stage. Zacuto and Redrock are approaching this EVF thing differently. The Zacuto model has the option of using a separate glass loupe or not. The Redrock is an all in one unit. Time will tell which approach catches on with users.

  7. Jason

    I dunno if those guys know their tech but the resolution of their monitor for this product is less than that of the t2i's native screen...
    Unless I'm understanding the way the LCDs on DSLRs are measured and dots and pixels are different..

    They say dots but does that equate to resolution? Emm can you shed some light on it? the only info I get for canon camera's is 920,000 dots for 7d/5d and a million plus dots for the t2i...but does that equate directly to resolution?

  8. At first I was kind thinking the price is not bad until I figured out that the price is only for the monitor. For professionals the pricing might be OK but for regular schmoes like myself that is insanely overpriced.

    *waiting for Chinese knockoffs*

  9. The peaking feature on the Marshall monitor makes it a real nice feature for the price point. No need to second guess your focus when it comes to peaking.

  10. Emm

    Post author

    It's the resolution of smaller LCD's, HDMI capable, and pricing I think that's holding this technology back.

  11. regarding your final comment...i'm kinda surprised there's no DIY for this...external monitor with loupe. i guess either find a monitor with same dimensions as existing loupe or find a larger loupe...is it more complicated than that?

  12. Ag

    I was about to get the LCDVF 3:2, I wondering if this might work with the zacuto EVF or if I should look into the long run and get a z-finder junior, decisions decisions

  13. Trevor

    Oh look, another overpriced piece of gear from Zacuto, what a surprise!

    I think what is most ridiculous about this is the fact that you need a z-finder to really use the EVF at all. Redrock totally wins this round.

    But, pessimism aside, I do think that a side-by-side comparison of the two EVFs would be pretty interesting.

    Also, there has got to be a solution to having a dangling HDMI cable. P-Bloom posted this article: http://philipbloom.net/2010/09/17/wireless-hd-streaming-from-hdmi-or-sdi-a-very-cool-product/

    I think that whoever gets to that level first (at an affordable price) will be the clear winner here.

    Also, I am excited to see what sort of similar products companies like Express 35 and Jag35 start to offer.

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