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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 May 3rd, 2010, 04:37 PM   #16
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To anyone who has read any of my previous posts, it will come as no suprise that my input is that of a complete cheapskate amateur, but maybe it will help someone.

I can't justify a z-finder to my wife just yet, and while I am looking around the web for a slide viewer to butcher, I have found an intermediate solution.

It involves 2 elastic bands and a nifty fifty. Basically, you strap the front of the lens to the view finder and look through the back, with the elastic bands forming an 'X' across the top and underneath the camera.

The magnification and focus are perfect, but while the whole height of the shot is visible, the left and right edges are not. No good if you need to compose the shot properly, and you can't see the shooting information either.

The front of the EF 50mm 1.8 is plastic, so no damage to the LCD. I tried other lenses, but they didn't work as well.

I have found my ability to shift focus during a shot with this to be fast an accurate, with no overshooting, so it may have some uses for now.

All in all, a fun way to see what it's like to have a magnified view to assist focusing.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 01:36 PM   #17
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The Hoodcrane:

HOODCRANE-Hoodman Corporation

Looks like it might be a good solution. I tried the Hoodman Loupe with the rubber thingie. The loupe was fine, but the rubberband was terrible. Perhaps with the new crane it will work, and is inexpensive.

I will NOT pay 50% of the camera price for a magnifying glass from Zacuto - on principle!
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Old May 4th, 2010, 02:33 PM   #18
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The solution to that is to buy a more expensive camera. :)

As I mentioned in the OP, the Hoodman Crane looks fine but I don't want to add unnecessary bulk to my rig, an I already use my hot shoe with something (mic, monitor, audio recorder) and don't want to put those things even higher on the top of that crane.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #19
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Yes, it does look a bit bulky but I really like the fact that you can swivel it out of the way to see LCD or shoot stills thru VF. Also, $100 is a price that seems reasonable - not $400.

In any case, when it is released I'll buy it at B&H and try it out for a week. If I don't like it I'll return it - I live a few blocks away in NYC. ;-)

Edit: I called B&H - they don't have it in stock, and the cost is $179 for both Loupe and crane. I thought it was $100 for both.

No longer a great deal...oh well.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 05:58 PM   #20
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I think $179 is still a pretty good deal, compared to the other options. I do wish the Hoodman had a mounting solution like the LCDVF or Zacuto. People seem to be really pleased with the Hoodman loupe, I just don't like the crane.

I don't take stills, so that's not a concern for me.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 12:52 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Donnelly View Post
Basically, you strap the front of the lens to the view finder and look through the back, with the elastic bands forming an 'X' across the top and underneath the camera.
I'm all for this kind of innovative thinking, and hey, I just tried it and it works great (for focusing anyway.) But it brings up the white elephant in the middle of the room-

NONE of these viewfinders really make any sense to me. I used the Zacuto Pro on a 5D and it just made focusing HARDER, not easier. It magnifies the pixels on the screen as well as the black lines defining each the pixel grid. In the end, it's harder to tell when something is in focus or not than it is if I use the magnification feature on the camera. Of course, that gets disabled on record (calling magic lantern, hint hint) but it's still a hell of a lot easier to set your focus that way than with that damn viewfinder. I mean, I guess it's better than nothing, but I don't understand the rave reviews and praise for these Zacutos- they're an expensive solution. At least the cheaper solutions are, well, cheaper. My eyesight is 20/20 so it's not that I'm needing glasses (yet!) Why the praise? Focusing is the biggest issue for me with these cameras, and, while the rebel''s screen is an improvement on the 5D, it's still not easy to get sharp focus with this depth of field.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 06:30 AM   #22
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DIY! - now, how do I mount this thing, it's massive

I have moved on from the lens + elastic bands approach. My intermediate solution was based on a Zacuto Z-finder mounting frame (5), some home made plastic housing and a maplin 5 loupe. It did the job, but CA and corner blur was an issue.

Just taken delivery of one of these:

TWD 3X Professional Focusing Loupe for 6x7 : Teamwork Digital Ltd, Suppliers of Professional Digital and Large Format Photographic Equipment

Bought from Ebay for 50. Just looked through it at my screen and very impressed. Perfect image with amazing contrast. I can't believe the Z-Finder is optically better.

Only problem, it is big and heavy with an all metal & glass construction, so I'm not sure how to mount it. I don't think the z-finder mounting frame will hold the weight. Ideas? I will butcher it if I have to.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 08:40 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by David St. Juskow View Post
NONE of these viewfinders really make any sense to me.
Many people like me can not focus without it and so that is why we praised them, once you put it on you just shoot and not worry about it moving out of aligment or any else and so it just works, as for focusing, you admit that you are having problem focusing with or without it and so maybe it is your technique and not the Z-finder fault or any other loupe fault.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #24
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Well, the problem is a combination of:

- the camera's depth of field is often so shallow, it's easy to go out of focus
- once you are recording, you can't use the magnification which lets you hit critical focus easily and quickly
- the LED monitor is great, but admittedly so small that everything looks great on it, even when it's slightly soft
- the zacuto viewfinders end up magnifying everything, including the flaws

i guess the zacuto is the best bet, all things considered, if you're looking for something to purchase- my point was simply that I like James' way of thinking, which is that there IS no good solution so far, including the zacuto, so you might as well get creative and save $600. I'm just confused by all the praise on something that is, at best, the lesser of all evils.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 11:19 AM   #25
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"which is that there IS no good solution so far"

It is a good solution for me and I'm sure for many other, 95% of my stuff are in focus shooting at F1.4 of people dancing, you have to practice focusing, nothing comes for free.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 11:40 AM   #26
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Actually, my only comment is that I am mega cheap, and have time to fiddle around.

If I was a professional, I would probably rush out and buy 2 z-finders without hesitating. I've never seen the things, but I'm convinced they are the best solution, and do everything as advertised.

I am a big fan of Zacuto products in general, and while people moan about the price, no-one argues that their products aren't the best for the job. I think they are cashing in on their immense experience and great product design skills, and I say good luck to them.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 12:37 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Bryan McCullough View Post
Anyone have any thoughts on these?

That is not the frame that came with the Zacuto, it will not crop, it will be on the lcd but only cover the left and right black edge of the lcd which has no picture, I'm using it on my T2i and 7D and they works.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 09:35 PM   #28
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If you can live with one of the mounting methods for the Hoodloupe found in these forums, I just got the HoodMag 3.0 3x eyepiece for it today and it solves two problems:

The no magnification 1:1 view that actually looked smaller than direct view to me.

And the problem of distortion if the eye was not centered right.

I like the bright clear 3X view you get, I have no problem seeing focus with it, and for now I use the rubber band mounting method (on my 7D) I used to use on the T1i. If I need something more solid and secure I mount the CAVISION viewfinder and mounting setup I ordered from CAVISION in Canada and work with that.

I think we'll see some workable "mounting plates" for the Hoodman units start to appear on the market before long. Until then I'll make rubber bands work.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 04:15 AM   #29
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Is there any news on the new LCDVF for the 550d?
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Old May 27th, 2010, 12:48 PM   #30
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I've filled out their form twice requesting information and have never heard back. Doesn't give me a good feeling about buying from them.
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