Everyone is on the Zacuto band wagon these days, with their finally crafted and almost jeweler like attention to detail and looks. Unfortunately that comes at a price, and for me, I simply couldn’t justify it. Fellow photographer Corin Bishop was raving about his new LCDVF, so I asked where he got it and ordered.
I’ve been familiar with the LCDVF since it was pie in the sky, with nice mockups and post on various forums. I’d put it to the back of my mind, but a recent, very low light, gig led me to reconsider my needing one. Most people get these viewfinders for video, to give a better view of the screen, and to act as an additional point of support. While the support is indeed a boon, I really wanted it so I can manually focus in entirely backlit gigs. Yes I shoot video too, but not seriously, so it wasn’t a prime motivator-but a factor nevertheless.
As part of the Galway Arts Festival, And So I Watch You From Afar played in the Roisin Dubh. Lighting was primarily from the LED parcans at the back and in the end I had to manually focus on moving people, as autofocus simply did not work. Nightmare. I’m sure there’ll be Nikon D3/s users saying it’d be a breeze for them, but I’ve a 5DII and that’s that.
I’ve been playing around with the LCDVF since it came, and I really like it. I’ve used it to do some video work and an ambeint light day shoot. It’s really bright and really clear. So bright that I have compensate in my head for what I’m seeing! Some of the images that looked okay on the screen are underexposed: Usually I can trust the screen without it. As the day was really bright, having the viewfinder made reviewing a breeze.
Verdict: I really like it. While it doesn’t have a diopter like the Zacuto, the magnification is perfect as is focus. Hard to beat for the money.