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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old June 25th, 2011, 09:17 AM   #31
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Here's another view.
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External EVF vs monitor?-zacuto2.jpg  
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Old June 25th, 2011, 09:48 AM   #32
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Hi Doug,
Nice setup.
Have you had occasion to use the EVF in a gain requiring, low light situation? I've noticed quite a lot of grain in the EVF's image beginning with +6db, while the cam's evf and LCD remain free of same.
As for the eyeglass issue mentioned by one poster, I've noted that I cannot use my progressives but a pair with single prescription lenses works well.

Last edited by Ron Wilk; June 25th, 2011 at 11:35 AM.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 12:18 PM   #33
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Ron, thanks for the eyeglass tip. I use progressives and have been mystified by all the Zacutos as I can never get decent focus on them.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 12:27 PM   #34
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Henry at first blush the DP4 with the viewfinder attachment looks good but I would not buy it without a fair amount of peer review. It is lacking an adjustable diopter. The lens so they say is fixed. This is a huge problem if this is indeed the case for most users. Second is the eyecup. While it has an art nouveau whimsical thing going on about it, the shape appears to be impractical and almost certainly unusable to most who wear glasses.

It has the potential to be very good but there appear to be some glaring issues that are going to be deal breakers to many looking for a usable EVF.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 01:22 PM   #35
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

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Originally Posted by Leonard Levy View Post
Ron, thanks for the eyeglass tip. I use progressives and have been mystified by all the Zacutos as I can never get decent focus on them.
Hi Leonard,

Yes, the progressives have been a problem, even for the F3's own EVF which requires frequent positioning trials. I have several pairs of intermediate mag eyeglasses that I use for computer work, and they seem to have solved the problem for both EVFs but, in particular, the Zacuto.

I realize that upon initial evaluation I was ready to ship it back to the supplier, however, after a period of re-evaluation I've come to the conclusion that, although it isn't perfect (see my post in re granularity with gain as low as 6 db and low light scenes) it still is leagues better than the EVF supplied with the F3. And since it is an EVF with eyecup and such, it is more suited to daylight use than a camera mounted monitor.

As for the reversed Zebras, both Zebra 1 and 2, unlike the F3, are fully adjustable and I suppose one can simply change their settings to correspond with those of the F3; i.e. exchange 1's settings with that of #2.

Doug's adjustable arm suggestion should allow for favorable positioning, regardless of one's needs.

In all, at this early juncture, I feel that the Zacuto EVF is a worthy addition to the F3 despite its limitations.
Disclaimer: the a-foregoing is not intended as product endorsement but rather, opinion, in the event that such is deemed unacceptable on this board.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 02:37 PM   #36
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Ron, have you compared the Zacuto to a Hoodman on the Flip-out? The Hoodman seems OK with progressives.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 03:36 PM   #37
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Hi Leonard,
No, I haven't tried the Hoodman. Everything I've read about its use with the F3 suggests that the LCD's hinges are not strong enough to support the weight for long-term use. And examining my own F3 I recognize the issue. Besides, position flexibility is limited if using the LCD.

I realize that there is a huge cost difference between the Hoodman and the Z-Finder, but without any extra cost beyond the initial investment, and using a hot-shoe mount similar to the one supplied, I have been able to mount the Z-Finder on the front of the F3's handle (cold shoe). By angling the EVF up and to the left of the centerline and holding the camera by its own handle, I can now use it as a handheld camera in the truest sense of the word, because it no longer has to be held up at eye level. In addition, the LCD can be open and functioning at the same time.

I had been considering a TV Logic monitor, but despite the EVF's lack of vector-scope and WFM it's turing out to be a more practical solution for outdoor shooting.

P.S. the single prescription glasses allow me to see just how clear, sharp and easy focusing with the Z-Finder can be. I paid about $40.00 for my last pair, frames and all.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 04:06 PM   #38
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

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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.
I appreciate your sentiments, however, what I really wanted to determine and did not properly address, is how much of a variance, if any, did you encounter between the F3's zebra settings and those of the Z-Finder?
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Old June 25th, 2011, 10:44 PM   #39
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Doug, I'd be interested to know why you would mount the Zacuto EVF at the rear of the F3, right above the Sony VF.

Assuming that the F3 in your photo is not destined for a roll about a studio, I would have thought that a position to the left side of the body and more forward (near to the ND's) would be more comfortable and familiar. Would that not feel more like using an Arri SR or any of the usual shoulder mounted video camera?
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Old June 26th, 2011, 07:52 AM   #40
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

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Originally Posted by Ron Wilk View Post
I appreciate your sentiments, however, what I really wanted to determine and did not properly address, is how much of a variance, if any, did you encounter between the F3's zebra settings and those of the Z-Finder?
I got them to match almost perfectly. Very little variance.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 07:57 AM   #41
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

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Originally Posted by Pieter de Vries View Post
Doug, I'd be interested to know why you would mount the Zacuto EVF at the rear of the F3, right above the Sony VF.
That's what I would have thought, too, but when I tried the VF further forward and it didn't fee right to me. It put me too close to the follow-focus unit with such a short lens. The rear position just feels more comfortable to me right now, but I don't know if that will be the final location or not.

I guess the photo doesn't show it, but the VF is NOT actually directly behind the camera, it is to the left of the body. This gives me approximately the same kind of feel operating the camera as where I would stand with my F800. This distance from my eye to my left hand would be about the same on either camera.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 10:00 AM   #42
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

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I guess the photo doesn't show it, but the VF is NOT actually directly behind the camera, it is to the left of the body. This gives me approximately the same kind of feel operating the camera as where I would stand with my F800. This distance from my eye to my left hand would be about the same on either camera.
I think the point here is that Doug is using the EVF primarily as a tripod mount EVF, not particularly in a hand-held config (which one would presumably position differently.) Another analogy would be that the EVF is positioned about where the eyecup would be when using a film camera with the normal extension eyepiece used by most operators when ot a tripod. It all depends what you're used to...
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Old June 26th, 2011, 10:27 AM   #43
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Yup, that's right. Thanks for the clarification.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 12:07 PM   #44
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

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I got them to match almost perfectly. Very little variance.
And that's been my experience as well.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 01:51 PM   #45
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Re: External EVF vs monitor?

Doug,
Is the Z Finder the same as the Z Finder for the 5D?
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