Zacuto Z-Finder V2 Review

Started Sep 16, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Mike_V
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Zacuto Z-Finder V2 Review
Sep 16, 2009

I got the Zacuto Z-Finder V2.
i.e. http://store.zacuto.com/Z-Finder.html

It arrived quickly and was packed well enough that there was no damage in transit.

The packaging is a pretty standard blister pack, but thankfully it is the type that is very easy to get into, not the sort you have to attack with shears to open.

The instructions are clear and in colour.
Installation is easy.

Basically you peel of the backing on the double sided tape and stick the bracket onto your monitor.
You need to weigh it down for 24 hours to ensure the adhesive sticks well.
I used a few batteries to weight it down.

The eyecup is a fairly similar size and shape to standard Sony ones.
It can be easily rotated for right or left eye use.
I used a standard Bluestar chamois eyepiece cover.

These are very easy to find from all film and video expendables suppliers or in the bottom of every camera assistant’s bag.

It doesn’t fit perfectly, but it is close. Close enough to be perfectly functional.

The quality of construction is good.
The unit is heavier than it looks.
The diopter adjustment is well made.
It works smoothly, has fine adjustment and stays where you leave it.

The inside is fairly shiny black plastic.

It really could use some matte black flocking in there, like you would find on most video viewfinders.

I would be tempted to buy some stick-on flocking and add this myself, as I find the internal reflections distracting.
Due to the design of the unit, it would be easy to add this.

There is the option to attach a lanyard.

There is a metal loop than can be screwed to either side of the viewfinder (or I suppose you could order one for each side).

The whole lanyard concept is a very good one. I'm constantly using the Lanyard because I like to take the viewfinder off and on at will.
The attachment loop is well made.

The actual lanyard supplied is a bit cheap and cheesy looking with big logos printed all over it, but this is no biggie as you can use any lanyard.

If you are like me, you probably have a drawer full of them collected from trade shows and the like.

The viewfinder snaps on and off easily and securely.
The optics are very nice.
The view is very clear and free from distortion.

The coverage could be better.
You can’t really see the whole frame right to the corners easily.

If you really push your eye to the viewfinder and collapse the rubber eyecup, you can see the whole frame, but only just.

Part of the problem is that in video mode, the image is not in the centre of the LCD. We have Canon to thank for that.

The reality is that for shooting video, the coverage is adequate, but it would be nice if it was better.

The thing is, I like the Z-Finder so much that I find myself using it for shooting stills as well, as I love the zoomed in Live View mode for manual focus.

When shooting stills, I find I really want to have easy coverage of the full viewfinder.

Pros:

  • Well constructed

  • High quality optics

  • Attaches easily and securely

  • Lanyard system is secure and works well

Cons:

  • Coverage could be better

  • Could use internal flocking

Bottom Line:

  • Works as advertised

  • Good quality

  • Currently the best solution on the market

  • No hesitation in recommending this for purchase

Regards,

-Mike V.

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Graphic Design + Web Design + Photography

http://www.molecule.com.au

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