Review of new Zacuto Z-Finder V2 at DVinfo.net

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Old August 21st, 2009, 09:43 AM   #1
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Review of new Zacuto Z-Finder V2

my review of the v2 is here:

Philip Bloom Blog Archive Review of new Zacuto Z-Finder V2

it's rather nifty!
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Old August 21st, 2009, 09:52 AM   #2
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Really good review. I can't wait to receive it.
Thank Philip.

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Old August 21st, 2009, 11:06 AM   #3
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I've gotta say that it adds a whole new dimension to this camera. I also have the Zacuto DSLR Gunstock Shooter and they were great together. You can hold the camera up to your face for a great view of the LCD and you are able to manually focus without shaking the camera. Money well spent.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 01:57 PM   #4
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Thanks for the review! I just ordered on 2 days ago and I hope to get before my trip to Spain.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 04:20 PM   #5
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Any notes on how this compares to the Hoodman?
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Old August 21st, 2009, 10:29 PM   #6
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The Hoodman optics have no magnification. The image is either 1:1 or a tad smaller so accurate focus will depend on using the camera's "focus assist" magnification. I have the T1i and the Hoodman but also ordered the CAVISION viewfinder with 6X eyepiece. Originally designed (as I understand it) for the 5D MkII, it needs an extra "riser" piece to get the camera up high enough so the viewfinder fits so you can see all but the very bottom of the LCD (where the setting data and battery check resides).

The Zacuto V2 is MUCH SIMPLER to mount and remove and will far outpace the Hoodman in videomaking utility.

And I haven't even seen one...
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 08:57 PM   #7
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Waiting to have mine shipped back to me, trading my V1.0 for the 2.0

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Old August 24th, 2009, 06:21 AM   #8
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The new Z Finder is a improvement over the Hoodman, it is designed for use with the 5D. I can view more of the LCD screen at once. I did however have to make a extension for it to get the focus correct for my eyesight. Being farsighted, I needed 1/4" more depth to pull it into sharp focus for my eye. With glasses it was no issue to get focus as designed. I have the diopter focus extended at its maximum. Since I do NOT have to wear glasses to use the 5D as a stills camera through the viewfinder, I expected the same of myself using a magnifier, but perhaps I am in denial.

The Z Finder is slightly bigger- bulky and thus weights a bit more. I did mange to bump the finder and have it fall off. I caught it before it hit the sand on the beach. I would suggest using the strap for it. I will be using it for now on.

Things I would like to see.

1. An extension, to get the Z finder away from the LCD for folks who do not want to wear glasses and who are nearsighted.

2. Better lanyard - strap, cord type, the present one is too wide. I will be replacing that so it has a tie down on the tripod- or Zacuto plate, so when I bump it it does not go airborne.

All in all the The Z finder is a very good focus aid for the 5D along with the camera's zoom function. Getting sharp focus is much improved when working with the camera. Now if they could make a Z finder adapter for the EX1, that would speak volumes.

iPhone Pics here @ Production - Home
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Old August 24th, 2009, 04:24 PM   #9
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So obviously this is only useful when shooting with the 5D2's rear plane perpendicular to the tangent of the the shooter's face and also only while the camera is held at eye level. When you're shooting on a tripod, you have to be able to get your eye to the exact same level as the finder.

This makes it impossible to shoot while looking at the LCD even slightly off angle.. So if you want to do simple tilt shots with your wrist, you can't view the LCD..
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Old August 24th, 2009, 05:02 PM   #10
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I only use the HoodLoupe on my shoulder rig. For all other uses, I'd rather have a monitor...
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Old August 24th, 2009, 05:16 PM   #11
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My experience is similar to Jon. Tripod mount generally means a monitor or open LCD.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 10:54 PM   #12
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Don't get me wrong, this looks like a fine product.

But I've got to say I was surprised at the price point. $400 for a simple lens based optical viewfinder with NO active electronics? That just seems a bit wacky.

Look, I'm not against spending good money for video equipment (just ask my wife - or look around my studio sometimes.)

But I just went out to buy a new flat screen on-set client convenience monitor and ended up with a Costco 19" Sony Bravia LCD TV with HDMI input that was 1/3 less money than they're asking for this plastic eyepiece.

Yes, I know all about low run small market economics verses commodity pricing. Heck, the carrying case I ordered to haul this new Client monitor around cost within $100 of the monitor itself. That's weird enough.

But it still seems to me that Zacuto is relying pretty heavily on the idea that a $2500 still camera rig should suddenly support an accessory ecosystem that's priced more like Red accessories and less like the camcorder accessories designed for rigs at a more modest price point.

Yep, it's a free market. And I'm all for unfettered capitalism - mostly. But after years of buying expensive accessories for relatively inexpensive equipment (wanna buy a couple of underwater housings for digital still cameras I no longer use?) I'm gonna sit out this go round.

Particularly if it turns out - as has happened to me before, a "7d Mk 2" shows up in the reasonable future and we have to groan loudly upon discovering Canon "upgraded" it by installing a DIFFERENT LCD screen size.

At least with my 7" Marshall Monitor I can move it camera to camera with impunity.

Hopefully.

Maybe.
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Old August 27th, 2009, 12:53 AM   #13
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I have to agree that seems really high. The set up in attached pics cost about $12.00 and does the same thing. Part were scavenged hot shoe mount from a discarded mic shock mount, a 10 inch piece of aluminum, a simple piece of conduit, some black tape and a $ 7.00 achromat from the Surplus Shed. You mount the achromat at a distance that fits your eyes. In bright conditions, I simple drape a black cloth over the camera and can see fine that way. I bet it does as good a job as these others.
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Old August 27th, 2009, 10:34 AM   #14
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FWIW, the Zacuto is expensive but the three 5D MKII owners who I have shown it to so far have all agreed that it was far superior to any of the other solutions on the market. Expensive, but it does something that no other setup on the market does, nicely magnify the entire screen while shading 100% from external light. It is better than the Hoodman, but yes, it does cost a lot more.

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Old August 27th, 2009, 11:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yang Wen View Post
So obviously this is only useful when shooting with the 5D2's rear plane perpendicular to the tangent of the the shooter's face and also only while the camera is held at eye level. When you're shooting on a tripod, you have to be able to get your eye to the exact same level as the finder.

This makes it impossible to shoot while looking at the LCD even slightly off angle.. So if you want to do simple tilt shots with your wrist, you can't view the LCD..
Yang thanks so much for pointing this out to me. I should have thought more about how much I was actually going to be using this product and most of the time I am not attached to a tripod. I have cancelled my order for the Eyepiece.

Jerry
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