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Canon EOS Full Frame for HD
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Old March 28th, 2010, 02:40 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Z Finder Upgrades...

From Steve Weiss of Zacuto...

First, from the sales and feedback we've gotten most people still prefer the sticky frame over the baseplate. I prefer the baseplate especially if you are using any of our gorilla kits because they attach super quickly. In handheld mode with no support system the sticky frame is nice because it's light but if you want a more a rock solid fit then the baseplate is a better option. This I see as a preference. If you are happy with your sticky frame continue to use it, if not the baseplate is an option for you. Regardless, you have a workable solution.

The Z-Finder was the first optical viewfinder on the market next to the Hoodman. Our Version one was rushed to market due to extreme demand. Our V2 was in development at the same time and came out shortly thereafter. We did replace the 100 V1's free of charge (because the V1 product was substandard and really more a prototype product). That is not the case with the V2. If the Z-Finder v2 was substandard, I would be forced to make a free upgrade. But look at the reviews, they for the most part are overwhelmingly good. I don't believe the anti-fog to be a defect. No other company on the market has an anti-fog solution as of yet, probably because it's very hard to do. This is a new technology that wasn't available before. It's taken us about 6 months to figure out the right formula for the anti-fog coating so it doesn't cut the resolution of the optics.

The other issue is that a lot is learned by having products in the field in actual use. We are trying to improve our products like I think everyone would like us to. Time is partly a factor in this, designs, molds and such take a long time to create. Realize we are only one year into this. We released the Z-Finder v1 a year ago at NAB. Since then we have created five different models within one year. This is why we make products in the USA, 30 miles from Zacuto HQ. It allows us to create extremely high quality products and deliver them fast to the marketplace. Creating products in China takes three times longer with all of the back and forth and tweaking (plus the quality is not there). As we have discussed in the past, this luxury does add to the cost.

I think we did the right thing by making the Z-Finder & Pro upgradable. We could have gone the Canon route and made the current Z-Finder incompatible with previous V2's. Then you would have had to retire the Z-Finder V2 and have to buy the new model. Making the V2 universal to work with the 2.5x optic was the problem, so with the development of our Z-Finder extender frames, that made it possible. It took a while to come up with that idea and time to create the molds.

Now to address how we can make the pro for the same cost as the V2. When we created the V2 we were ordering in way less quantities becuase at that time the market was smaller. As time went on, the market for Z-Finders increased, now we are creating our components in larger quantities so the cost per item has gone down. Just like how Canon can keep coming out with better cameras for lower cost or dropping the price on existing cameras. That's how we can put the Pro out at the same cost as the V2.

I'm going to try my best to do what I think is fair (most companies would not even have this conversation with you). So here is my proposal.

If you bought your Z-Finder march 1st and after you have two options free of charge with proof of purchase:
1. You can send back your Z-Finder at the end of April and we will up-grade it to a Pro.
2. We can send you the gorilla baseplate, frame, V2 protective upgrade, 2 extender frames (if you are not interested in the optic upgrade or interested in sending your V2 back to us).
As a bonus, we will include whichever Z-finder mounting frame of your choice, tall camera, battery grips or standard sized camera frames.

You will need to email Rachel at Kenton@Zacuto.com for the above options so you can get an RMA.

For existing Z-Finder users who bought your Z-Finder Prior to March 1st:
1. If you are only interested in the optic upgrade (your choice 2.5x or 3x) is available for $45 and I'll add an additional 15% off that. You do have to ship your Z-Finder back to Zacuto to get this upgrade done, it's not something that can be done in the field. Contact Kenton@Zacuto.com for this.
2. Any other Z-Finder upgrades will also get 15% off. Their are upgrade kits, just use coupon code Dslr15 at DSLR & Film Camera Accessories

All of these options will be available around the 1st of May.

I think this is fair and still allows Zacuto to continually try to improve our Z-Finder line without upsetting current Z-Finder users.
Josh Fung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2010, 08:58 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 414
I honestly don't see why they should offer any free upgrades - but I congratulate them on making their customer service and public image important.
Kevin Dooley
Media Director, Pantego Bible Church
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