Monitoring: Loupes & EVFs

Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 2.5x B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: I’m not even sure I need to say anything about this unit – it is probably THE SINGLE MOST POPULAR HDDSLR accessory out there – and probably the first purchase I recommend to EVERYONE getting into HDDSLR.  This will allow you to mount the eyecup over the LCD of your camera and see what you’re shooting in bright daylight.   This is a MUST have until you get into external monitors – which in turns will lead you into much more complex setups and power/rig/balance requirements.   This is a no-brainer purchase and still the best finder out there to date optically.That being said – I have come to rely on external monitors more and more myself – as I don’t find the rear LCDs to have a great enough resolution to pull critical focus or judge exposure.   Nevertheless – this is what you likely need to get going as you try your hand at HDDSLR video.

Description (from Zacuto): The Z-Finder Pro 2.5x is another one of Zacuto’s Optical Viewfinders that allows DSLR cameras to have the correct form factor for video. It offers 2.5x focusable magnification (3x is available),a 40mm diameter Zacuto optical designed lens, an anti-fog coating protective cover, an eyecup preventing extraneous light leakage, a diopter and a field of view perfectly matched to 3” LCD screens. The diopter allows you to dial in the focus to match your eye.

Zacuto Z-Finder EVF Pro B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: An Electronic viewfinder that accepts the HDMI output from your DSLR.  This can be incredibly helpful if you are trying to find a more comfortable way to monitor what you are shooting, especially when building a shoulder rig for your DSLR.  However, if you are looking for a larger display for tasks such as AC focus pulling, or client playback – you will need an off board monitor like those listed below.

Description (from Zacuto):  The Zacuto Z-Finder EVF Pro (3.2 ) is an electronic view finder with a TFT LCD display and offers a resolution of 800 x 400 and 16.7M color. Consisting of an EVF Flip model and an optical viewfinder, the EVF Pro allows you to operate a DSLR or any other camera with an HDMI port, by offering an image as seen by the camera itself. Designed to be attached  in-line to your rod system, it aids in stable and efficient shooting, and ensures correct form factor for the video. The EVF can be used with all Z-finder models and is compatible with most cameras including Panasonic AF-100 and Sony F3.

Alphatron EVF B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: This is version 2.0 of Zacuto’s Z-Finder if you will  - it accepts both HDMI + HDSDI and will convert one to the other which is a big deal – these are quickly becoming the EVF of choice due to the high resolution of the screens relative to others.

Description (from B&H):  The Alphatron Broadcast Electronics Electronic Viewfinder EVF-035W-3G features a 3.54" LED-backlit LCD and displays 24-bit RGB at 960 x 640 resolution in a 16:9 aspect ratio. Brightness is at 500 nit and contrast ratio at 1000:1. The viewing angle is 160 x 160°. The unit comes equipped with an adjustable diopter and a manual lens shutter for protection of the LCD. A 6" D-tap cable is included.