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EVF for DSLR


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Hi,

I'm making myself a shoulder rig and since the camera will be right on my shoulder there is no way for me to view the back LCD so I looked for an inexpensive EVF solution (don't want a monitor, unless someone is selling a SmallHD DP4) and just couldn't find any. They are all in the $500+ range which is quite expensive for me considering that I'm 16.

So do you guys have any recommendations? Does anybody have an idea for a DIY solution (I was thinking about getting a 3" monitor and then attaching a loupe to it)?

 

Hope you can help :)

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As far as I know, there's not much of a cheap solution that's actually worth it. I personally am waiting till I can get a Zacuto or something similar before I try to buy something like that at all. Even on the Zacutos that I've used, there's a noticable lag in the image, which will be far worse on cheaper devices. For DSLRs, I'd suggest a loupe that goes onto the camera, and making the rig offset so it sits in front of your eye.

 

The new 720p Zacuto EVF they just announced is looking pretty beautiful, but that'll run a pretty penny. A guy can dream...

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I'm going with a Small HD DP4 with Loupe, which is a nice little bit of kit an an amazing price. The Zacuto is ok. I used it a bunch on reds and the like, but all EVFs are, in my view, rather meh. I much prefer mechanical shutters, but that is a benefit I only get on film and on a few rare Arri cameras.

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I spoke to SmallHD about this exact issue at NAB. They had to go and dust off an EVF loupe for their display DP4, so old a product is it. The word was that they're pondering a replacement for it, since they're only 800x480, which is really standard def at best.

 

The problem is that there aren't, or at least until extremely recently there weren't, any suitably-sized display panels of any better resolution than that. Those that exist are generally intended for cellphones and the like and they're not easy to integrate into products with a longer shelf-life than a cellphone because they don't stay in manufacture for very long.

 

The idea of a 3" monitor with a loupe on it is basically what most commercial EVFs actually are.

 

P

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I don't know if i necessarily need an "HD" display when working with an EVF. For myself, it's more a tool for framing/seeing what I'm shooting, perhaps better peaking if they have it and false color for frightened directors, and primarily an ability to offset the camera in such a way as to make hand-held suffer-able. Also would be nice to figure out how to use an eye piece leveler on one when on sticks ect so I don't have to move 'round as much.

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If you watch a video from NAB of Zacuto's new one, they essentially max out at 720p. Any higher resolution won't have any discernable difference so close to your eye. I pretty much take Adrian's stance. Nothing's better than optical viewfinders.

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It may be a flawed system, but it is unlikely to change any time soon, so we work with what we have. He's not talking about investing a ton of money, in fact he specifically asked for low budget solutions.

 

I like optical finders as much as anyone, but rhapsodizing over wonderful they are is not going to help Dominik.

 

It's worth pointing out that not all optical finders are created equal. There is a world of difference between looking through an Arri LT and looking through a Bolex, and I'd take an EVF any day over an Arri 2c viewfinder.

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I like optical finders as much as anyone, but rhapsodizing over wonderful they are is not going to help Dominik.

I agree with this but it is surprising how many people basically ask the question "how do I get get results from cheap?" The answer is always "you don't." If cheap gear performed as well as expensive gear then it wouldn't be cheap or the expensive gear wouldn't be expensive. People have a sense of entitlement about equipment these days. Low cost cams have given rise to the theory that anyone can have anything they want in their budget. It just aint so.

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I agree with this but it is surprising how many people basically ask the question "how do I get get results from cheap?" The answer is always "you don't." If cheap gear performed as well as expensive gear then it wouldn't be cheap or the expensive gear wouldn't be expensive. People have a sense of entitlement about equipment these days. Low cost cams have given rise to the theory that anyone can have anything they want in their budget. It just aint so.

I know that I can't get anything I need for cheap, that's why I'm making myself a rig, not buying it. :)

 

Also I think that I will get my self a SmallHD DP4 from ebay.

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One of the interesting points about this is that the viewfinding issue isn't really one of cost. As I think we discussed at the end of last year, even in a price-nearly-no-object situation there are few choices. Probably the one of the best viewfinders currently available is the one Sony build for the F5/55 series, which costs UK£3500, is probably compatible only with Sony cameras, and is still only 720p.

 

But at least they understand that it needs to exist. I shot a load of stuff on a Blackmagic recently, in full midday sunlight, and spent so long with my head under a black cloth that I ended up feeling physically sick from the heat and discomfort.

 

Oh, and if I were going to get a DP4, I'd just get one of those $250 Chinese things. The specs are likely to be similar. Then get something better in a year or 18 months if SmallHD bring something out. A viewfinder should last you several cameras, I'd hope.

 

P

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But at least they understand that it needs to exist. I shot a load of stuff on a Blackmagic recently, in full midday sunlight, and spent so long with my head under a black cloth that I ended up feeling physically sick from the heat and discomfort.

 

 

What I find interesting is how little accountability these digital camera companies have for making decent products out of the box. It seems people only sell 1/4 of a real camera, if that.

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  • 2 months later...
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I'm about three months late to this discussion, but I've been pretty happy with my Cineroid Retina EVF. It's 720p, SDI loop-thru, converts HDMI in to SDI out for video village, has 3 user keys well placed with good peaking, 1:1, scaling, markers, false color, scopes, and it runs for several hours off a Canon LP-E6 battery or d-tap via the same mini XLR4 cable as my TVLogic 5.6.

 

It's also compact and lightweight, and the loupe flips up if you want to use it as an on-board monitor. The only weak points are the use of plastic for loupe assembly and battery plate. The monitor itself is metal. The color is also mediocre, but that's the same problem with every other EVF under $2000. I added a Wooden Camera cage, top handle, and EVF mount which is a huge ergonomic improvement for handheld operating. WC also makes an EVF extension arm and Arri Leveler bracket, so you can operate from a head. Makes a big difference if you're used to operating that way.

 

Anyway, I think the Cineroid Retina is a great value for the price, I like it better than the Alphatron and the old Zacuto. Saw the new Zacuto prototype at NAB and was not impressed. It did not seem like a significant improvement in image quality like the F5/55 OLED EVF did when it first came out.

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  • 1 year later...

I think you can use Feelworld 3.5'' EVF.It is 800*480 pixels,HDMI in/out,and has fucntions such as:Peaking Focus Assist,Camera 5D II Mode,Check Field,Image Flip/Freeze,Pixel-to-Pixel,etc.http://www.feelworld.com.cn/ShowInfo.aspx?id=235&py=FEELWORLD-3-5-EVF-Electronic-Viewfinder-with-HDMI-Input-Output-E350

I am using this EVF,and it is very nice for my BMPCC.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Dominik ,

 

I am a cinematographer and have a big fascination towards cameras. I keep on searching latest cameras on web. But nowadays the cameras are very costly therefore in order to save my money I hire cameras from the site http://www.lightningmedia.co.uk/ that provides all sort of cameras and other accessories and camera equipment on rent.

 

You can also hire an EVF from this site.

 

Hope it helps!!

 

Warm Regards

Jay Walton

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