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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 24th, 2010, 07:23 AM   #1
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The New Z-Finder Jr ... Pro's and Cons?

Zacuto just announced a junior version of the z-finder at a lower price. Probably to go up against the much cheaper competitors.
The junior does not have a diopter but uses extenders instead. Also there is a new mount which means you need a tripod baseplate on your DSLR.

The existing z-finder also has a new attachment (well new to me anyway).

I'd like to get opinions about the new attachment - go here to see details - Z-Finder Jr.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 12:16 PM   #2
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Looks pretty interesting. I don't care about a diopter so I would be interested, but I do not like that attachment one bit. If you take the finder off to utilize the viewscreen you've still got this piece of metal interfering with your view.

It would be nice to be able to select it or the mounting frame for the Z-Finder Jr., or have the option to purchase the Jr. without the mounting attachment.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 12:47 PM   #3
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Z-Finder

I just bought old one. Will they upgrade it?
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Old March 24th, 2010, 03:11 PM   #4
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I dropped a note to sales at Zacuto, and you can upgrade your v2 Z-Finder to essentially the same as the Z-Finder Pro. You can buy the individual parts including the Gorilla Plate, mounting frame, and what they call the "protective upgrade" which includes a lens cap and the rubber mount to protect the gears on the Z-Finder v2 from gathering dust.

Additionally, for $45 you can have your Z-Finder v2 upgraded to use the Pro's new anti-fog lens (which is a minor annoyance for me on mine, for sure). You'll have to send in your Z-Finder for that one, though.

So yes, it is upgradeable. I'd give you the prices but Zacuto's store appears to be having database issues on the back-end.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 09:50 PM   #5
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I'm glad they finally got the base plate attachment--a much better arrangement than the stick-on deal. If they had had that when I got my 7D I would gave bought one instead of the IDCphotography.com package. Although the Hoodman-based IDC is very nice and solid, I do like the bigger lens of the Zacuto. I would not get the one without a diopter.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 01:59 PM   #6
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Returned Z-Finder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Halfhill View Post
I just bought the old one. Will they upgrade it?
No. They said return to the store, so I did. I was going to get one of the new ones but decided that 2.5X magnification is still too much. With the Z-Finder, you see all the dots on the screen so focusing is harder. Also the image is so big that I found that I would look at only a portion of the screen. I felt like I was in the front row of a movie theatre.

I am getting the Hoodloupe with 1X. It is also lot cheaper. I ordered the Redrock bracket that holds it in place. Hopefully I will like that. I will let you know.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 11:47 PM   #7
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I just got the Red Rock bracket. It holds the loupe in place and is totally solid. It makes a big difference to have the loupe locked to the camera. I started with the bands, and those were terrible. Next I velcroed the loupe to a LCD shade. That was a huge improvement, but the Red Rock bracket wins hands down.

The downside of the Red Rock bracket is that you can't remove/replace the loupe as fast as with the Z-Finder or the LCD shade solution. (I hate that when you remove the shade the viewfinder is naked though.) But you don't have to remove the tripod mount all the way to remove the RR bracket. Just loosen the mount and the bracket slides out.

The RR bracket has two o-rings that help hold the bracket to the Hoodloupe. On mine, they don't line up 100% evenly, but the loupe doesn't budge. The bottom line is not to worry about perfection. The o-rings are really there to take up any slop.

I just got the Mag 3.0 tonight. Personally, I like it. You do need to move your glance to see around the screen. You might not like it.

The main difference between the Z-Finder and the Hoodloupe with Mag 3.0 is the size of the glass. The Z-Finder is really large. The Hoodloupe is tighter. In fact, the extreme corners of the view are slightly cut off. You can still see the whole 16:9 image, so it's not a problem.

The biggest improvement with the Mag 3.0 is that it cuts off the outside light. That really helps improve the contrast. If you don't want magnification, I'd get the Hoodeye. I prefer the feel of the Z-Finder eyecup, but the Mag 3.0 is just as effective.

I really need to get the two cams and loupes side by side. My gut feel is that I prefer the Z-Finder, but my wallet prefers the Hoodloupe. The real measure though is whether or not I can nail the focus as easily with both. I'll do some side-by-side tests to see how they measure up.
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Old March 27th, 2010, 08:09 AM   #8
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Jon can you post links to the bracket-loupe, etc, so we can see exactly what you are using?
thanks.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 12:35 AM   #9
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Here's the bracket:
microFinder loupe accessory kit

And the loupe:
HoodLoupe 3.0-Hoodman Corporation

And the magnifier/eyecup
HOODLOUPE MAG 3.0-Hoodman Corporation

The total is $55 + $80 + $40 = $175 plus shipping, which is less than half the cost of a Z-finder. Personally, I prefer the performance of the Z-Finder, but overall I prefer the Hoodman plus $200 in my pocket.

I need to do some focus tests to see if I get better focus results with one or the other. That's the real measure. The audience cares about results, not the plastic and glass we hook to our viewfinders.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 07:50 AM   #10
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Thanks for the links.
The idea of this thread was to compare other loupes to the new Z-finder Jr and it looks like the Hoodman/Redrock combo is a good alternative. I need two viewfinders anyway, so I just ordered this to check out.
I think the redrock bracket looks simpler than the z-finder bracket option - I wonder how easy it is to loosen and remove the loupe, but I gues I will find out soon, heh.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:16 AM   #11
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The Red Rock bracket is nice in that you don't need to remove the tripod plate from the camera. You just need to loosen it a bit. This can be a bit of a pain with a standard tripod plate, as you fish for your keys or a quarter to loosen/tighten the screw. However, if you have the Red Rock DSLR Baseplate or similar device, you can just turn the wheel to loosen the camera.

It's somewhat ironic... at work, I have a monitor, so I can leave the loupe on full time. And I have a DSLR baseplate so it would be easy to remove/replace the Red Rock loupe. Yet, we have the Z-Finder, which snaps on/off in an instant.

At home, I have no monitor nor DSLR baseplate, yet I have the Red Rock bracket and Hoodloupe. I need to be able to remove and replace the loupe often, yet I have the slower setup for doing so.

Clearly, I need to get a nice monitor and a DSLR baseplate and rails setup. :)
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Old April 3rd, 2010, 11:10 AM   #12
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I decided to try the Hoodman 3 - Red Rock bracket combo for my 2nd camera.

The hoodman is much better than I thought it would be - build quality is nice and it works well for me. However the bracket is a flimsy, bendy thin piece of metal that is astonishing at $55 - it's more like $2.95. It worked for me only after I bent the angle to make it fit. I hope it stays this shape or it may just break in two if I try this again. Taking the loupe off and on is so fiddly, so it will stay on the 2nd cam all the time.
I'd say the bracket needs more work and I'd like to hear if anyone has tried the new Zacuto Loupe bracket yet.
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Old April 8th, 2010, 03:25 AM   #13
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I'm looking to get a Z-Finder too, are there any places where you can try them out first?
I have only seen them online.
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Old April 8th, 2010, 09:21 PM   #14
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Fly to Chicago and I bet Zacuto would let you try them at their office. :)
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Old April 8th, 2010, 09:27 PM   #15
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Seriously, if you buy one and don't like it, I bet you could unload it here on these forums without too much trouble. The potential risk is relatively low, I'd think...
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