Today’s technological world is about balance. People love large, epic technology in their homes, but the small portable for the everyday. Location production is no different. Sometimes location productions warrant a monitor when the camera is locked down, but sometimes the production is too run-and-gun to utilize a monitor. Zacuto has presented a good balance between those two situations with their Zacuto Z-Finder Electronic Viewfinders (EVF). Their line of attachable viewfinders has a 3.2” monitor that works through the HDMI port and attaches best to a camera’s rod system. Zacuto’s electronic viewfinders start with the basic 3.2” attachable on-board monitor and range to an optical viewfinder that can detach and still serve as an on-board monitor. Designed originally for DSLR cameras it will also work with the Panasonic AG-AF100, Sony FS-100 NXCAM, Sony PMW-F3, Red One and Epic.
The Zacuto Z-Finder EVF series come in several different models. The EVF Snap is their most basic monitor. The Snap connects to the camera and can act as a simple on-board model. The EVF Flip is Zacuto’s recently released EVF and a winner of the Black Diamond Award at the 2011 NAB show. It has the monitor just like the EVF Snap but with a viewfinder that will flip 180 degrees, so you could use it as a small onboard monitor or a viewfinder. The next step-up is the Z-Finder EVF. This is a complete electronic viewfinder that has an optical viewfinder with anti-fog feature. You can also remove the viewfinder completely to use the monitor. Their highest model is the Z-Finder EVF Pro. It is much like the Z-Finder EVF but has a 2.5x optical viewfinder with a diopter. This EVF Pro is the only model equipped with the diopter to help with additional focus within the viewfinder.
The Zacuto Z-Finder EVF gives you more flexibility with your camera. The original design allowed DSLR cameras to have a much larger viewfinder, or on-board monitor, to make the camera similar to a traditional video camera and now Zacuto has taken their EVF to the world of large sensor video cameras. The Z-Finder EVF allows the option of having a small monitor for a client or producer to approve a shot, while allowing the privacy of a viewfinder while operating the camera. It also comes with a plethora of viewfinder options; monochrome mode, pixel to pixel, image flip, focus assistant. The Z-Finder EVF will also give you frame line modes for a vast array of different aspect ratios, 1.33:1, 1.66:1, 1.78:1, 1.85:1, 2.35:1, with the additional rule of third lines and action safe mode.
Has your Chicago video crew been using the Zacuto Z-Finder EVF for one of your cameras? Is there another product you would like to recommend to your peers?
Check out the Z-Finder series