April 12, 2011

NAB Video: Zacuto's Electronic Viewfinder and Scorpion Shoulder Support Prototype

This is a perfect example of why I decided to scrap my own video coverage; NAB is being covered by dozens of camera crews and the minute one interview is over, another one starts. Rather than ask the same questions as the FreshDV crew -- who do a great job at NAB every year and has a crew of editors cutting around the clock -- let 's just take a look at their coverage of the Zacuto booth:

Zacuto

Electronic viewfinders -- which are really just small monitors hooked up to an eyepiece -- are going to be a huge deal going forward, as filmmakers continue to try to get DSLRs and other small video cameras to behave like traditional film or full-size video cameras. There are dozens of Panasonic AF100 and Sony F3s stationed around the show, and even though these cameras are decidedly post-DSLR, they're still not a very good form factor for narrative filmmaking. Enter articulating EVFs.

Cinevate has an interesting Cyclops viewfinder, but it's designed primarily to attach to the rear of a DSLR. In the world of viewfinders that can be positioned anywhere -- chiefly, to the left of the camera and in front of it, to help move the camera's body backward for balance reasons -- there are a number of EVFs hitting the market. I haven't had a chance to see SmallHD's new DP4, which comes with an optional viewfinder attachment, and I'm told Redrock Micro's own EVF won't be out for a few months. I'm about to head over and take a look at the Cineroid EVF, but I heard directly from a reseller that there have been some problems with the Cineroid's initial reliability (as a reseller, he had no reason to recommend one over the other, but he said he personally recommends the Zacuto). Cineroid is a new company, so it's possible that they're getting over any growing pains -- I'll take a look myself later today or tomorrow. Also, the 14-minute video referenced by Steve in the Zacuto video is at the bottom of the page here. More to come...

Link: Zacuto Z-Finder EVF

Disclosure: Cinevate and Zacuto are NFS sponsors.

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