Zacuto Z-Finder or IDC Viewfinder at DVinfo.net

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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old October 16th, 2009, 02:41 PM   #1
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Zacuto Z-Finder or IDC Viewfinder

I'm sorry is this is a repeat of other forms on this site but none of them really answered my questions.

Which viewfinder/loupe to get???

I've narrowed it down to the Zacuto Z-Finder v2 or the IDC Viewfinder.

The Zacuto looks well made but is expensive. I've heard it is the best, and I like the way it can unclip, but it seems to unclip too easily for my liking. The lanyard can save it if it falls but thats just more stuff to get tangled around your neck, and the rubber bands look pretty crap. Also, I hear it can mist up easily, which can be very annoying.

The IDC seems good too. I like the bracket that attaches the loupe to the camera, also like the idea of using the gunsling strap attached to it to hang the camera (eg the Black Rapid). But I've heard that the actual loupe itself is not as good as the zacuto, and unless you have an allen key or screwdriver with you, its a pain to take off. But on the other hand it's pretty damn secure and not going to keep falling off when knocked like the zacuto. Oh, and it's half the price.

Don't really like the Cavision swing away one.

All you with experience of these two, please let me know.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old October 16th, 2009, 04:55 PM   #2
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I really like the Zacuto, but have not tried others. It seems to stay on quite snuggly and I like the lanyard. You can get the Z-bands if you want a more snug fit. I think it's probably worth the money and definitely helps getting focus.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 08:31 PM   #3
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I have tried the Sock Loupe, Hoodman, and Zacuto.

I kept the Zacuto.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 09:31 PM   #4
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How does the Zacuto attach? Does it snap on to the part that glues onto the camera or is it magnetic? I was hot to get it but when I saw their sales video about how easy it is to knock off, that sort of dissuaded me, that and the glue on thing. Right now I'm interested in the IDC, plus the extra $29 for the more standard eyecup to replace that round one. It comes off with 2 thumbscrews if you need to take it off. I like the bigger eyepiece of the Zacuto but am very hesitant about the way it attaches. Cavision has a nice one too, with a big 52mm eyepiece and 6x magnification, and it swings out nicely. No adjustable diopter. I'm still considering it as well. It was designed for the 5D but there's a spacer to make it fit the 7D perfectly. It's around $230 with the spacer.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 10:05 PM   #5
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Hey Bill it doesn't come off that easily, it snap on to the frame that glue to the camera, I like it alot, I can not use it without a viewfinder of some kind, the Cavision might have to much magnification, the Zfinder is 3X and you can see pixels already, with 6X it could be too much.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 10:07 PM   #6
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from the Zacuto website...

"The mounting frame attaches to your camera LCD screen with a double sided adhesive. Once the frame is on the camera LCD screen, the Z-finder then snaps on the frame. The Z-finder can quickly be snapped on and snapped off, if you want to get your eye in the actual viewfinder.

Zacuto also added a lanyard hook option on the outside of the z-finder so you can attach a Zacuto lanyard to your Z-Finder. The lanyards allows you to quickly take the Z-Finder off but have it nearby to quickly put back on when needed. Also, donít worry left eye people, the eye cup can rotate!"


here is the link DSLR Viewfinder, DSLR EyePiece, DSLR Focusing | Zacuto they have a nice video as well showing how the z-finder attaches.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 04:06 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies so far.

People who have the Zacuto seem to love it. But I'm not convinced by the way it snaps on and off. It seems as if it is the perfect viewfinder if the camera is mounted to a tripod. But I am worried that with a lot of handheld work, which is pretty much all I'll be using the camera for, the Zacuto could keep getting knocked off.
This is where I like the IDC. I have to admit I'm not the gentlest person with my kit and the IDC seems robust and I like the way you can attach a sling to it to carry the camera. Like Bill said earlier in this thread, I'd probably get the better eyecup for it at $30 extra (the HoodEye).

But the IDC uses the Hoodman, and what is this like optically? Is it as good as the Zacuto? Is it magnified? Can you easily focus with it? Can you see the whole frame easily?
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Old October 17th, 2009, 04:26 AM   #8
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I tried the zacuto and hoodman. Went for the Zacuto. Works great with 7D. 5D can spot the pixels. Only thing the fog is real bad after a short while. I cant use it continuously for too long.

So far I have no issues with it falling off.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 09:03 AM   #9
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Another plus I like about the Z-finder is that you can just buy more frames so I can fit
a frame to all of my cameras... right now I'm using it on a G9,G10,7D and 5DMKII...

my only complaint, and its not much of a complaint, is that the focus adjust on the z-finder is a little too precise and is a bit hard to adjust it in... for a trick what I found to make it easier is to take the Z-finder by itself and put a rubberband around it so that when you look into the eyepiece the rubber band cuts down the middle of the view.... with some good light to see the edge of the rubber band I then adjust the eyepiece until I get the furthest edge of the rubber band into focus... then I mount the z-finder onto the camera and its in focus for the LCD screen.

Oh, and I wish that they had supplied a bag or case for it when not in use so its not gathering dust or getting damaged in my camera bag.... at this time I'm using the lens bag
that came with the 24-105 lens... works great.

I have never had it get bumped off or any of that... I don't even use the lanyard because
I don't like the metal clip.. is that another gripe???

anyway, It does what its supposed to do... in real life its better than the videos or pictures... its very well built.

almost forgot... another nice thing about having the frame attached onto the camera body that
I noticed the other day is that the frame, at least for me, keeps my nose off of the LCD screen when I'm using the camera without the Z-finder. Thats a very big plus for me as I do not like to
constantly have to clean that screen... :-)
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Old October 17th, 2009, 09:37 AM   #10
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I think the Zacuto is probably optically the best, but again I like the bracket arrangement. The IDC/Hoodman has a focusing diopter but has no magnification, which may be better or worse, I don't know.

I'm also a little worried about the 6X magnification of the Cavision, though one person on here loves it. I wish I hadn't seen Zacuto's sales video where they show knocking it off easily. I wouldn't use the lanyard because it might be easy to forget it's not a camera neck strap, and that would be a disaster. It's a difficult decision. I wish we had local dealers where you could see these things in person.

Mostly I'm on a tripod, but also do some hand held shooting, and pushing the camera up against the eye gives that third point of stabilization. I think the Zacuto is fine for that. It's the sideways hit that seems to knock it off, according to their sales video. It's kind of ironic that their video designed to sell the device sort of unsold me on it. Although, I'm still not sure which way I'm going to go. I just got the camera delivered yesterday and managed to find a Sandisk Extreme III 30MBs card last night--yeah, like an idiot I forgot to order a card with the camera and did it the next day, but it won't be here till Monday.
If everything checks out OK, then I'll order one of the eyepieces probably tomorrow. Decisions, decisions. What I really want is the Zacuto with the IDC bracket; they'll probably have that one of these days and charge $900 for it.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 11:08 AM   #11
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Another vote for the Z-Finder 2.0. While it is not perfect, it is better than anything else on the market overall. I have tried the Hoodman, Hood Loupe, the LCDVF. Have never tried the Cavision but I have a bunch of other Cavision gear and I am not impressed with the build quality.

Dan
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Old October 17th, 2009, 12:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Seah View Post
I tried the zacuto and hoodman. Went for the Zacuto. Works great with 7D. 5D can spot the pixels. Only thing the fog is real bad after a short while. I cant use it continuously for too long.

So far I have no issues with it falling off.
Zacuto makes "anti-fog" wipes for this issue now. From what I've heard, they work really well.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 12:47 PM   #13
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i'm still waiting on my 7D...i'm just wondering what makes it so difficult to focus w/ the 7D's LCD? isn't it a high 920,000 pixel 3" LCD? i used to own a sony a700 w/ the same screen rez and focusing was not a problem(at least w/ stills). seems the z-finder would be limited to tripod and shoulder mounted shots.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 01:13 PM   #14
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Bill (post #10) - Seems like you're having the same dilemma as me. That video put me off too, and I know if I put the lanyard around my neck I would drop the camera, thinking it was attached.
I am rough with my cameras, usually just slung over my shoulder, and I guarantee the Zacuto would keep popping off. I could use those elastic bands (sorry, z-bands), but they just look a bit Heath-Robinson.

I agree, the Zacuto on the IDC bracket would be perfect (but expensive).


Everyone seems to love the Zacuto. Anyone on here love the IDC Hoodman?
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Old October 17th, 2009, 01:16 PM   #15
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Oh yeah, and the misting up could be a bit of a serious problem.

We have the same issue on movie cameras, thats why we have heated eyepieces.
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