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Canon EOS Full Frame for HD
All about using the Canon 1D X, 6D, 5D Mk. IV / Mk. III / Mk. II D-SLR for 4K and HD video recording.


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Old April 13th, 2009, 09:04 PM   #1
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Zacuto DSLR Rig

http://store.zacuto.com/images/D/sharpshooter762.jpg

Zacuto has done it again with a new rig with several configurations catered for DSLR shooters. There is a "Sharp Shooter" Config that comes with rails, shoulderpad, single grip and an optical viewfinder attachment that allows 3x magnification. Does look like a more complete solution. There are many other options. Hopefully someone could review this soon. Its a little expensive for me though, at USD1902.

DSLR Sharp Shooter - Zacuto
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Old April 13th, 2009, 09:46 PM   #2
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In the video they make a point of pooh-poohing someone who suggested that what they are using is not an optical viewfinder, and it isn't, not as the term has always been used (a true optical path from the lens to the eye).

That's like calling the 5D a film camera because you can make short films with it. It's misleading at best.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 10:37 PM   #3
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Very Slick

I'm having a hard time at that price point though.

I would like an alternative to the glidecam for stable shots. I have to really lean back to see the screen and that kills my back after a while.

Last edited by Mike Williams; April 13th, 2009 at 10:55 PM. Reason: Dumb remark
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Old April 13th, 2009, 10:45 PM   #4
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A minimal setup at best. That sharp shooter, as with most zacuto stuff, looks way overpriced.

With the Redrock DSLR Field Cinema Bundle you get a much more expandable/configurable bundle WITH a follow focus and it can also be hand held easily. Sure, it doesn't have an "optical" viewfinder hood, but at least you're getting a two-handled (three if you count the top handle) rig and a really slick follow focus for the ~$200 more.

ETA: I also found it funny that they show it in that video with a follow focus, which is not included in the bundle and would cost an additional $1100(standard) to $1700 (flippable) if bought in their store. As a comparison, the redrock follow focus (included in their bundle) sells for $545 bare, or $825 as a complete package with 3 whips, a speed crank, and three lens gears.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 12:22 AM   #5
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Here's a much cheaper solution:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-eos...7-hoodman.html

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-eos...tebox-rig.html
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Old April 14th, 2009, 12:42 AM   #6
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I made a prototype with very similar ideas. Mine cost me about $30, and it works well.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-eos...oting-rig.html


Since I posted that, I now shade the LCD with a "sock" I made from a $ 1.00 sun visor
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Old April 14th, 2009, 01:20 AM   #7
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I think their mention of optical viewfinder is in comparison to other cameras on the market in the 3-15k range. They're just saying it's equivalent to the viewfinder you'll find on a Panasonic HVX200 or anything similar. An optic... magnifying a small LCD screen. However your point is valid about the definition of a true optical viewfinder.

They have more than one kit... so their video remains accurate. The sharp shooter doesn't come with a follow focus, but others in the bunch do. Check out this page DSLR Gunstock Shooter Kits

I think part of the appeal of this system is you can collapse it in two lever flicks. It does have multiple points of contact with the body which helps to take the weight off... as well as stabilize things more. No different than 5 points of contact in international ballroom waltz... it helps stabilize you and your partner as well as take the weight of the ladies arms off of your forearms, etc.

Redrock's DSLR field cinema bundle has too many rods in my opinion. It's overcomplicated like gear often times is. And it's heavy as a beast! It also doesn't seem to provide a decent solution to see the LCD effectively without moving the shoulderpad back which increases the weight on your forearms and there's nothing on the back to counterbalance. Who knows... maybe they'll come out with something exciting at NAB too though!

If you want an alternative to a glidecam/steadicam... you have to find an effective solution for monitoring which these cameras don't really offer. No HD-SDI... no HD-component. HDMI... but it's not up to par with what one would expect for professional monitoring. not only that... but you introduce an entirely new problem, pulling focus. You can't use a manual follow focus like Redrock's or Zacuto's on a steadicam. You have to get a wireless solution with transmitter/receiver... and mostlikely that also requires a wireless video transmitter. All of these things exist... but I don't think there's one HDMI wireless transmitter on the market. I may be wrong.

My .02
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Old April 14th, 2009, 03:43 AM   #8
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I think if you put an eye-cup on this, it would be pretty effective for less than $200...

BushHawk 320D Shoulder Mount with double handle by Bushhawk fast action camera mount and Sports Optics Stabilizer
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor Meeks View Post
A minimal setup at best. That sharp shooter, as with most zacuto stuff, looks way overpriced.

With the Redrock DSLR Field Cinema Bundle you get a much more expandable/configurable bundle WITH a follow focus and it can also be hand held easily. Sure, it doesn't have an "optical" viewfinder hood, but at least you're getting a two-handled (three if you count the top handle) rig and a really slick follow focus for the ~$200 more.

ETA: I also found it funny that they show it in that video with a follow focus, which is not included in the bundle and would cost an additional $1100(standard) to $1700 (flippable) if bought in their store. As a comparison, the redrock follow focus (included in their bundle) sells for $545 bare, or $825 as a complete package with 3 whips, a speed crank, and three lens gears.
These are really two different animals.

We have filmmaking kits which is what RedRock is selling. These are heavier and not at all what a gunstock shooter is intended for. Using one of those in a handheld config. is not very comfortable, easy to hold, easy to focus. The form factor is just not right for handheld shooting. It's more about use.
The gunstock shooter is a 6.5lbs lightweight way to use your DSLR like a traditional ENG style camera with your eye in the viewfinder. Focus is very thin in 35mm and having you eye in the hole really makes the critical focus easy. You have to try it, everyone who puts it on is like OMG, this really works.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:41 PM   #10
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Z-Finder

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Originally Posted by Peter Chang View Post
Peter,
the Hoodman loupe does not magnify (even know they say it does) the image and the picture quality is (I really don't want to use the word). You must have exactly 3x magnification, no more, no less otherwise you are looking around inside the viewfinder or not quite able to see well. The optical quality on our unit is extremely high. We use a 50mm diam lens so we have amazing light throughput and schneider optics. Ours is 3x magnification. I try to make everything the very best way I know, regardless of price. It's not for everyone, I understaned that, but its the only way I know how to make things.
Steve
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Old April 14th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Friedman View Post
I think if you put an eye-cup on this, it would be pretty effective for less than $200...

BushHawk 320D Shoulder Mount with double handle by Bushhawk fast action camera mount and Sports Optics Stabilizer
I've tried it Mike,

You can't really get your eye in the right place without your head cocked.
I doesn't sit on your shoulder for another point of contact
No way to mount rods for FF, MB or counterweight
It's plastic and will break within a week.

The 5 points of contact is really important, our unit needs to be adjusted for every individual so all of these points are hitting at the right spot. This way your head is straight and you shoot with the correct horizon and it's comfortable to shoot all day.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 01:21 AM   #12
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Steve,

How much will the loupe/eyepiece cost on its own when available? I'm slightly worried that you are only using velcro to attach it, will this stand up to the kind of abuse that a run and gun shooter using this kind of rig will throw at it? Is there an option to mount using the eyepiece too?

Dan
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Old April 16th, 2009, 07:23 AM   #13
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I'm dealing with this right now:
home

It is nothing nearly as nice as the Zacuto, but it has served me well for my FX-1. Unfortunately follow focus isn't something that can be added. I use it with my D90 because it helps reduce the "jello effect". It does a good job and since the 5D doesn't have that issue as much as the D90, it should be even better when my Canon arrives.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 09:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Dyle View Post
I'm dealing with this right now: home
A year ago I got one of the Spiderbraces for my Canon XL2 -- it ended up being the worst item I ever got for that camera -- what a piece of poop: bad fitment (that partially broke the first day I used it), built with flimsy Home Depot plastic tubes and cheaply spray-painted parts. The few times I had my XL2 rig on that piece, it flexed so much that it squealed, making the footage unusable. Sadly it all looks okay in their web ad, which is unfortunate since it surely deceived me to buy one.

-- peer
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Old April 16th, 2009, 09:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Chung View Post
How much will the loupe/eyepiece cost on its own when available? I'm slightly worried that you are only using velcro to attach it, will this stand up to the kind of abuse that a run and gun shooter using this kind of rig will throw at it? Is there an option to mount using the eyepiece too?
Dan,

There is just so much more to it than optics. I've learned a lot about opitics in the past 6 months, Hell, it's physics and crap, but that's for our engineers. I'll tell you, I tested every dioptic loupe on the market and I only liked two, the Schneider and my Hasselblad from 1971. Such differences you can't believe. Optics is one part of it, the other is lens diameter, lens quality, how many lenses you have involved in the system and how you do the diopter. Plus all of this can change the distance to the image plane. So the drawings look like NASA stuff. But when all is said and done, it needs to work, have amazing light throughput, have edge to edge sharpness, no light falloff, correct color, block out all extraneous light, have a mounting system and a lot more. For a relatively simple device, it's pretty complex to make. Steve
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