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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 12:59 PM   #16
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Received the EVF Pro this a.m.
Initial comments:
1. the supplied HDMI cable is not appropriate for the F3. The supplied cable has a mini-connector on the camera side—the EVF side connector, on the other hand,is the proper size for the camera. This omission has rendered it impossible for me to test the EVF with the F3. I suppose it would be fine for a DSLR.
2. The shoe-mount bracket is flimsy and fails to hold the EVF in a locked down position.
3. Using the F3's forward, handle mounted cold shoe places the EVF in an awkward position for viewing that is further compounded by the camera's own protruding rear finder.

Since I do not have the proper HDMI cable I cannot test the device at this time and am seriously considering returning it.

Addendum:

Called Zacuto. Said they are aware of the cable discrepancy, but that they have no current solution other than to find a cable SOMEWHERE.
Found one—$31.00 later and 4' being the shortest—at Radio Shack.
It still remains a tad awkward to use (might be resolved with an alternative mounting solution), but the image is smooth, clear and bright without any obvious pixellation (as had been described with another mfr's EVF) or black lines, as another poster implied.
Focus assist (peaking) works well, but it would have been nice to have it colored for better visibility. Zebras seem to work as intended.
Given the snap-in design of the finder I would be hesitant to use the flip feature ... seems as if the weight might cause it to hit the deck.
I will give it a few days before coming to a decision in re its being a keeper or not.

Last edited by Ron Wilk; June 23rd, 2011 at 03:55 PM.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 07:35 PM   #17
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Watch out for the processing lag as well. There is a few frames lag.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 08:08 PM   #18
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

My Zacuto arrived today and I am 100% pleased. I've got it mounted on the camera right where I want it at the rear of the handle with this short arm:
Pearstone 9041670 4.2" (10.7cm) Articulating 9041670 B&H


and I already had a short HDMI cable laying around. BTW, there's nothing special about the HDMI cable, you can get them anywhere. Even Wal-mart or Radio Shack probably sell short ones.

The picture quality is fantastic. Almost as good as the $12K viewfinder on my F800 . . . almost.
I give it 5 stars out of 5.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 08:15 PM   #19
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Stone View Post
Frankly, I put my eye up to both the Cineroid and the Zacuto EVF at NAB and two things in both that were huge turnoffs on both. One was the overmagnification of the diopters which is not properly sized for the field of view for the fovea in our viewing eye. Second was the "mosquito netting" effect in the displays (someone else's term). In both EVFs, you can clearly see black outlines between the pixel sets which creates this netting effect over the displayed image.
The magnification seems just fine to be, but I guess that's open to opinion. Perhaps the one you saw at NAB didn't have the right spacers for your eye. There are spacers to increase the distance to the diopter, in addition to a ring to focus the glass. I have two of the spacers on mine.

I know what you mean about the the dark lines between the pixels, and that is what I didn't like about the Cineroid. The Zaucto does not suffer from that problem. The image is very smooth and you can't really see any lines or individual pixels.

One nice thing is that it was very easy to customize the zebras so they match the camera's zebras almost perfectly. That was a concern I had before I got it, but it works great.

Also, it's nice to have the new firmware so I can feed the VF and a monitor at the same time. The F3 just keeps getting better and better . . . if you keep throwing money at it.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 08:37 PM   #20
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Hi Doug,

Thank you for the link.

The articulating arm looks interesting and might just solve my positioning problem, but it appears one would need a 1/4 in screw on both the camera and EVF ends. The photo shows a shoe mount on one end of the arm? The rear end my F3 handle has 1/4 in thread, the front has a cold shoe? Did you mount your arm to the front cold shoe or have you modified the arm in some way?

Last edited by Ron Wilk; June 23rd, 2011 at 09:40 PM.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 08:40 PM   #21
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Thanks for the reply Doug. I guess my memory is off. I thought the Zacuto had the problem with the black lines between the pixels as well.

How would you compare the Zacuto to the EX3 viewfinder. Is the resolution similar (either actual or subjectively)?
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 09:41 PM   #22
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Watch out for the processing lag as well. There is a few frames lag.
Yes, I noticed that during a slow pan.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 09:51 PM   #23
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

"The F3 just keeps getting better and better . . . if you keep throwing money at it."

Couldn't agree with you more!
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Old June 24th, 2011, 01:39 AM   #24
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Hoodman on F3 mounted with articulating arm

EVF SOLUTION (for now...)...)

Don't know why but I have consistently had trouble getting a satisfactory image from any Zacuto loupe I use my glasses when shooting and maybe that has something to do with it - who knows. I tried a zillion spacers and different magnifications at NAB - all sucked more or less.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 05:59 AM   #25
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Wilk View Post
The articulating arm looks interesting and might just solve my positioning problem, but it appears one would need a 1/4 in screw on both the camera and EVF ends. The photo shows a shoe mount on one end of the arm? The rear end my F3 handle has 1/4 in thread, the front has a cold shoe? Did you mount your arm to the front cold shoe or have you modified the arm in some way?
You can unthread the cold shoe mount on the arm and take it off. That leaves you with a 1/4"-20 at both ends.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 06:11 AM   #26
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Stone View Post
How would you compare the Zacuto to the EX3 viewfinder. Is the resolution similar (either actual or subjectively)?
Hard to say. They have similar image quality, but look different. I can't really describe it.
However, the EX3 VF is better because it costs nothing extra, requires no power, and us easier to use.
If the F3 had a viewfinder extension tube with a diopter like the EX3 and FS100 I would not have bought the Zacuto.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 10:03 AM   #27
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
You can unthread the cold shoe mount on the arm and take it off. That leaves you with a 1/4"-20 at both ends.
Thank you Doug ... I placed an order for the arm.

One more question: You mentioned that you set the EVF's Zebras to match those of the F3, what did you set them to?
I have found, so far, that the settings on the Zacuto follow those of the F3. However, Zebra 1 and 2 are offset opposite of the F3's with respect to direction and that could cause some confusion.
Still require the camera's VF to view camera settings and record on/off ... not easy to see tally light in daylight. Have yet to be able to properly adjust the diopter for my aging eyes and glasses, and that's with 2 spacers installed. But I am enjoying the larger image and I suspect that when the adjustable arm arrives the positioning dilemma will be diminished.

Ron

Last edited by Ron Wilk; June 24th, 2011 at 02:17 PM.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 12:17 AM   #28
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Looks like this one is gonna be a good contender...

SmallHD DP4 EVF

Announcing the all new DP4 & DP4-EVF from SmallHD

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Old June 25th, 2011, 08:53 AM   #29
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Wilk View Post
One more question: You mentioned that you set the EVF's Zebras to match those of the F3, what did you set them to?
I set the zebra to the precise setting that will give me the proper exposure on my camera.

I don't want to say what that number is, because someone seeing my zebra number is liable to start using it, and that may or may not be the right number for them. The best zebra setting will vary depending on the settings of the paint menus and where the operator expects to see zebras appear in the frame. That's one of the big points I explain in my training DVD.
Mastering the Sony PMW-F3 training DVD

The important thing is that I was able to get the zebras on the camera to match the zebras on the zacuto, so I can set my exposure from either display.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 09:01 AM   #30
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Here's the Zacuto EVF mounted on my F3.
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External EVF vs monitor?-zacuto-obox-1-s.jpg  
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