With the convergence of DSLR filmmaking, there are many essential tools that are needed to give the correct form factor for video. When shooting video on a DSLR camera, you must use the LCD screen and you must use manual focus.
- 3x anti-fog coating lens
- Eye diopter
- Lens cap
- Lens tube protective boot
- Lanyard hook & lanyard
- Z-finder baseplate
- z-finder mounting frame
The combination of a very small screen, manual focus, and razor thin shallow depth-of-field makes it very challenging to focus. When shooting in both outdoor and indoor settings the sunlight and glares make it nearly impossible to see the LCD. Lastly, holding the camera out in front of you so that you can focus on the screen makes the camera unstable and shaky. With any camera, you want to bring it close to the body for stability.
The first essential item to help with these challenges is a DSLR optical viewfinder. Zacuto has three models for you to choose between. Let us briefly explain each model so you can decide which model is right for you.
The Z-Finder Pro models offer a 40mm diameter zacuto optical design anti-fog coated lens, a large eyecup preventing extraneous light leakage and a field of view perfectly matched to 3" LCD screens. With the anti-fog coated lens, going between extreme environments will not be a problem. Additionally, when shooting for longer periods of time with a lens that has not had a anti-fog treatment applied, fogging will occur. This is something to keep in mind when deciding between the Jr. and Pro models; as the Jr. does not have an anti-fog coated lens.
The Pro models mount to your camera using our Gorilla Plate and Z-Finder aluminum mounting frame. There are different Z-Finder Mounting Frames depending on your camera. We have one for short body cameras such as the Canon 5d Mark II, Canon 7D, Canon 550D, and Nikon D90. We have a frame for short body cameras with battery grips such as the Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 7D and Nikon D90. Then we have a frame for taller bodied cameras like the Nikon D3s and Canon 1D Mark IV.
The Gorilla Plate attaches to the bottom of your camera using the standard tripod screw hole. The Gorilla plate also has (2) 1/4 20" threads on the bottom and a locking pin for mounting a tripod plate; therefore you can quickly go between handheld and tripod. The Z-Finder Mounting Frame attaches to the Gorilla Plate using two thumb screws and gently presses on your LCD with rubber preventing any light leakage, as well as scratching. The mounting frame does not adhere to your camera. The Z-Finder Pro then snaps on and off the mounting frame for the ability to quickly move between photos and videos. The frame does not interfere with the cameras photo viewfinder. This is a huge advantage over the Jr. but it may not be necessary for all shooters.
The Z-Finder Pro focuses with a diopter; therefore you can dial in the exact focus for your eyes. If you need extra focal point, you can also use the Zacuto Extender Frames™ to extend the Z-Finder glass further away from the LCD screen. This is important for people who are farsighted and/or people who wear reading glasses.
All Zacuto products include a lifetime warranty.
* There are two different Z-Finder Pro models. The Z-Finder Pro with 2.5x magnification and a Z-Finder Pro with 3x magnification. The only difference between the two pro versions is the lens magnification. Because of the lens magnification difference, it also alters the negative diopter range of the two different models. If you are nearsighted the 2.5x might be the Z-Finder for you as it offers a -4.75 correction, where as the 3x offers a -2.75 negative correction. If you are not nearsighted, then it is just a personal preference on magnification.