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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 March 3rd, 2010, 01:42 PM   #1
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Z-Finder

After reading post on how great the Z-Finder is, I received mine today. To be honest, I'm very disappointed. The image in the Z-Finder is not very sharp which makes it difficult to focus. It reminds me of the viewfinder on the Canon XL1. I'm not really sure what the red dial is supposed to do. I spin the dial and not much happens.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 02:00 PM   #2
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The dial is a diopter which should bring the display into clear and sharp focus.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 02:00 PM   #3
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It is very fine adjustment, you have to turn a lot to see the difference, look for the square pixel on the screen and turn it until the edge is the sharpess and practice focusing on something then use the zoom feature and check and see if you are focus, do that until you know what focus look like then you can use it reliable without having to magnify to check, without the Z-finder there is no way I can focus on the fly just looking at the lcd.
The LCD does not have peaking so it is not the Z-finder fault, what it does is block light, magnify the screen to allow you easier focusing, what I do is look at the edge of your subject and focus until there is stair step, then I know it is focus, if the edge is smooth then it is out of focus.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 02:32 PM   #4
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If you havent used it then you should send this back.
I have been waiting for another viewfinder to be in stock - meanwhile I found an old printers loupe from my photography days - when placed on the LCD I get a perfect magnified image for great focusing! The loupe folds out on hinges, so I now tether this to a lanyard.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 02:43 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. I guess it's still better than wearing glasses. The only time I wear glasses is when I have to look at the LCD screen or read some fine print.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 04:10 PM   #6
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I've been on the fence on whether to purchase the z-finder or spring for a monitor ( smallHD). On a whim, I picked up a pair of 4.00 magnification reading glasses from my supermarket. Wow - what a surprise. It just so happens that when I hold my 5D in position on my rig, the glasses bring the LCD in perfect focus! ( about 8-10 inches from my eyes). It looks like the relative magnification is only about 1.25 but it seems to make enough difference that it will help with focus. Gee now what can I spend that $400 dollars on:)
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 05:13 PM   #7
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For me the viewfinder is nice because I prefer to look through an eyepiece - I never use the LCD on my EX3 - always use the eyepiece. Mainly stray light is my problem with LCDs in sunlight.

These are very simple to make by the way - all the parts are readily available.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 05:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Simons View Post
Thanks guys. I guess it's still better than wearing glasses. The only time I wear glasses is when I have to look at the LCD screen or read some fine print.
If you wear reading glasses and when you adjust it and it still not sharp, you might have to order a taller mounting frame from them than using the original short frame that came with it.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 05:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Simons View Post
After reading post on how great the Z-Finder is, I received mine today. To be honest, I'm very disappointed. The image in the Z-Finder is not very sharp which makes it difficult to focus. It reminds me of the viewfinder on the Canon XL1. I'm not really sure what the red dial is supposed to do. I spin the dial and not much happens.

You may have an unreasonable expectation as to what the Z-Finder is supposed to do. Any lack of "sharpness" is due to the resolution of the LCD screen NOT some supposed flaw in the Z-Finder. The Z-Finder merely magnifies the LCD screen.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 06:58 PM   #10
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Lance, you are absolutely correct. Reading glasses work much better for sharpness. I'm thinking about returning the Z-Finder and it's $350 price tag. But will I need it on those sunny days?
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 07:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Khoi Pham View Post
If you wear reading glasses and when you adjust it and it still not sharp, you might have to order a taller mounting frame from them than using the original short frame that came with it.
hey Khoi. With the Z-Finder, I don't need to use glasses. But glasses make the image much more sharper and easier to focus than the Z-Finder. So those $20 glasses at the pharmacy may be a better buy than the $350 Z-Finder.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 07:05 PM   #12
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Forgot to mention, B&H did include a free Bescor LED 35N light which goes for $85 when I purchased the Z-Finder. So that was pretty nice.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 07:38 PM   #13
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Michael, if you want to shoot outdoors or to do any decent handheld shooting, you will need that, or a similar, viewfinder.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 09:37 PM   #14
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Ironic!

I just got my Z-Finder today too and just logged on to post the EXACT same thing as you! Weird!

I am very disappointed also. I read how great it was, so I was expecting it to be fantastic.

In all fairness, I really don't think it's the Z-Finder that I'm dissatisfied with. It's the IMAGE that it's magnifying that stinks and it just gets worse bigger. The Z-finder sure seems solid enough and very well built, but I think I probably should have pocketed the money. I was probably overly optimistic.

The one thing I do like about it is (I hope) I can now shoot outside in the sunlight and still see the image.

@Michael, you beat me to the punch!
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 10:59 PM   #15
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You guys might want to look into the LCDVF or building your own. I found the Z-Finder, after using a friends, to be ridiculously overpriced. I was planning on buying my own but once I saw how simple it was I just built my own. I can't believe Zacuto charges nearly FOUR HUNDRED dollars for a piece of plastic and a magnifying glass...
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