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Zacuto EVF Pro viewfinder review
  • The Zacuto EVF is a high-resolution 3.0" monitor that offers the flexibility of mounting virtually anywhere. and is fully compatible with their line of Z-Finder's (Jr. and Pro). The Zacuto EVF was designed for dual-purpose use. With a Z-Finder attached it becomes a high-resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF) and without it's a 3.2" monitor that can be positioned where you need it. The EVF was designed to accept Canon LP-E6 Li-ion batteries making it compatible with the Canon 5D Mark II, 1D Mark IV, and 7D, and Zacuto figured out a way to make the battery last what feels like a lifetime. During the first wedding the EVF was left on during the entire 65 minute ceremony and again on a 4 hour beach shoot a few days later and the battery gauge is still showing 3 out of 4 bars. Incredible. It's a pleasure not to feel as if you need to turn it off after each pause in the action in order to conserve battery power.

    On paper the resolution of the Zacuto EVF (800x480 resolution, 384,000 pixels) might seem inferior to the DSLR's 3.0" display which on some models like the 5DMKII, 7D, etc. is billed as having 921,600 dots. What many don't realize is that it takes 3 dots (Red, Green, and Blue) to make up one pixel so Canon's 920k dots equals a resolution of 640x480. Zacuto's EVF with its 800x480 display offers 20% higher resolution than the screens found in video-enabled DSLR's. This is one of the reasons it is easier to judge focus with the Zacuto EVF, even without using the built-in focusing aids, than it is using the camera's own LCD. The slightly larger 3.2" diagonal screen is also a true 16:9 monitor so you'll see everything in the frame and the EVF uses IPS panel technology and a tighter dot pitch (spacing between pixels) to make this an overall great monitor.
    Despite the smaller size of the Zacuto EVF, when used with the Zacuto Z-Finder Loupe you have the best of both worlds. A big view through the lens and one that can adjust to any shooting situation. At another wedding this past weekend I attached the EVF to an articulating arm which allowed me to keep the screen in front of me while the camera was positioned about a foot above eye level on a tripod. As I tracked the Ceremonial Walk during the [Greek] Ceremony I was able to keep the subjects framed and in focus, despite the shallow depth-of-field. During the reception I made use of the EVF without the loupe for low-angle slider shots and also back on the articulating arm for the first dance, toasts, and high-angle dance floor shots.

    Read and watch the rest of review here -
  • 12 Replies sorted by
  • It looks like a nice EVF. I'm also interested in the SmallHD DP4-EVF.
  • @Zoke

    This is only first generation of EVF.
    Soon we'll see even better resolution (thanks to smartphones for cheap screens) and better features.
    And all this from Chinese manufacturers.

    My personal view on future of small cameras video is that EVF/LCD (hood with lens will be removable) with build in audio and video recorders will be main and absolutely necessary accessory.
  • Agreed, @Vitaliy_Kiselev. I cannot wait for the day when Lilliput starts adding features like Peaking, Focus Assist and Frame Guides. I got to admit though, $549 for the SmallHD monitor without the viewfinder isn't too bad of a price tag (compared to the competition and their features).
  • I looked into Ruige but it appears to be missing the critical features that it's all about with a monitor/EVF, at least for me. I don't think it had 2.35 crop guide and false color or zebra, which are all important to me. I don't think the SmallHD has cropping guide either (would have to look into this), but Cineroid's EVF does. With the price of a Ruige TL-480HDA, for $25 more you can own the SmallHD. It's still vapor but so far it's my favorite of the bunch.
  • The new Sony V55 monitor is not a bad deal at $300. It's got peaking too. As far as I know that's the cheapest monitor with a peaking/focus assist feature.
  • @ed_lee83 Agreed, nice monitor. I've been tempted to get the CLM-V55 but it has a few issues and limitations. Supposedly unlike the competitors it doesn't scale properly, which makes it unpopular with 5d mkii users. Just 4:3 and 16:9 again, no 1:2.35. But deal breaker for me is the lack of exposure control options. Those with Magic Lantern probably do not care about that.

    The Sony doesn't seem as future proof as the more expensive competitors, if a monitor can be future proof at all.
  • @Zoke Well, you mention the DP4 in your earlier posts. On their website: ... Scroll down and it claims it's "future proof"... Maybe someday they'll add that x-ray vision feature, heh
  • @ed_lee83 Haha. Yeah, I noticed that. Though I've done some searching whether SmallHD update their products like they claim on that page but there are some reports of their firmware upgrades indeed adding features to older products. I'm not keeping my hopes up or anything, since firmware upgrades doesn't earn them anything, but having the option to upgrade firmware is nice. If Sony had that they could add zebra and beat the competition. ;)
  • I don't believe it, bought this - second hand thank god - just taken it outside for a spin and I'm thinking to myself no histogram, no knowledge if recording or not, low resolution, need to look in the cameras EVF anyway to check what's really going on, look in camera EVF, look back, sunspot bunt in. What a waste of fucking money. Yes, there's a cap, which seems not to fit most of the time, hence not bothering with it for 15 seconds, but you'd have thought 15 secs wouldn't fuck it up but wrong, wrong, wrong. I only thought it would be useful outside when it's too sunny to use the LCD but outside seems to be where I can't use it, unless i want to play join the dots or never, ever, ever move my head away from the glass. Jesus wept. I see from the web I am very behind the curve on this but warning, warning!

  • Thanks for the heads up, I was interested in that thing

  • @Adam_Mercier It feels well built but outdated, don't know how they can still keep charging the price, but if you want histogram, hi res screen and to know if recording think you have to spend a bunch of money. Couldn't find anything cheap that delivers. Tried the small hd with sidefinder which seems about cheapest step up to good stuff - not actually much difference in price and much better spec, but was just so chunky took it back. Wish there was a loupe for the black magic video assist, I love that thing! Wouldn't be small either though, or do the same job really!