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Author Topic: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder  (Read 4052 times)

te4o

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SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« on: April 30, 2012, 06:18:49 PM »
A question about concept practicality on a Mark 3:
I need a focus assist device for video and stills. Which is the way to go? I haven't had either in my hands. The Mark IIi LCD has gained a lot quality over the Mark II. Would live to hear more opinions from experienced hands.
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SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« on: April 30, 2012, 06:18:49 PM »

WoodysGamertag

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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2012, 07:55:43 PM »
I have the 4.3" small HD. I'm not 100% happy to be honest.  The new 5D3 does something weird as you press the info button in that it changes the screen resolution. 

I have to choose between the image not using 100% of the screen or having the info cut of by the edges.  It's possible that there is a solution out there that I don't know about but if I was buying today I'd keep looking.  SmallHD or Canon needs to fix it.

Jedifarce

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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 03:59:02 AM »
I have the 4.3" small HD. I'm not 100% happy to be honest.  The new 5D3 does something weird as you press the info button in that it changes the screen resolution. 

I have to choose between the image not using 100% of the screen or having the info cut of by the edges.  It's possible that there is a solution out there that I don't know about but if I was buying today I'd keep looking.  SmallHD or Canon needs to fix it.

The SmallHD Dp4 handles a 480p resolution it's a limitation of the monitor. I have the Dp6 which is limited to 720p. When your camera is capable of 1080p and the monitor isn't, you see the problem. But it can be worked around with some practice.

Jedifarce

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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2012, 04:01:27 AM »
A question about concept practicality on a Mark 3:
I need a focus assist device for video and stills. Which is the way to go? I haven't had either in my hands. The Mark IIi LCD has gained a lot quality over the Mark II. Would live to hear more opinions from experienced hands.

Unless you have a handicap, why not just the viewfinder for stills? I can't imagine using my external monitor for photography with the video rig you'd need to hold it. It would seem a bit clumsy.

te4o

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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 06:31:41 AM »
A question about concept practicality on a Mark 3:
I need a focus assist device for video and stills. Which is the way to go? I haven't had either in my hands. The Mark IIi LCD has gained a lot quality over the Mark II. Would live to hear more opinions from experienced hands.

Unless you have a handicap, why not just the viewfinder for stills? I can't imagine using my external monitor for photography with the video rig you'd need to hold it. It would seem a bit clumsy.
:) I have a handicap : four Manual Focus Fast Primes which go well with the VF for stills (except the 1.4/35) but are really difficult for video.
Good to know about the 4.3".i was looking into the 5.6" HD 720p. Jedifarce, do you use the Dp6 with the Mark II or III. Do you find the Focus Assist and the other smart features useful for video? How do you work around the 1080 to 720 issue?
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Axilrod

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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 01:22:19 PM »
I have 5" and 7" Marshall Monitors and a Zacuto EVF.  I like using the EVF since it really makes you feel like you are "one with the camera."  There aren't any external distractions, all you see is what the camera is seeing.  But as high res as the 5DIII screen is you could probably get away with just a Z-Finder. 
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Jedifarce

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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2012, 05:00:00 AM »

 :) I have a handicap : four Manual Focus Fast Primes which go well with the VF for stills (except the 1.4/35) but are really difficult for video.
Good to know about the 4.3".i was looking into the 5.6" HD 720p. Jedifarce, do you use the Dp6 with the Mark II or III. Do you find the Focus Assist and the other smart features useful for video? How do you work around the 1080 to 720 issue?


I use the Mark II. The 'false color' is great for judging exposure levels, as for the focus assist, I don't use it. (Not my video ->)


SmallHD Firmware Focus Assist Small | Large
 

 The 720p issue is a bit weird when the cameras capturing 1080p, you just can't see everything on the external monitor, so you'll find yourself switching to the live view on the LCD by turning off the monitor to frame the shot then switching the monitor back on to get your focus. Yah, it's a hassle. I think the closest thing to the experience is akin to deciding whether or not to buy the widescreen movie verses a full screen one. Your Dp6 would be the full screen movie. But when you load it into your computer for editing it's 1080p again.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 05:32:03 AM by Jedifarce »

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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2012, 05:00:00 AM »

te4o

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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2012, 08:24:42 AM »
 ??? I did not know that the framing is so depending on 720p vs 1080p. So, you reckon I can't see the framing of a video or a LV still over the smallHD? There is no point of using this one then. What is it good for?

@Axilrod: yes, the new LCD is quite good but (without Magic Lantern yet) there is no focus assist, peaking, zebras, false colour etc etc. Probably enough for my use though. I am quite curious when Zacuto will bring up the new 3.2" Z-finder. Some people complain that at a 3xmagnification with the Mark II you are looking at the gaps between the LCD pixels and not at the pixels... ::) Is the 2.5x better? The Z-Finder is less than half the price of a SmallHD! Unfortunately you can't do 1:1 on the back LCD during video for better focusing. The EVF do this.
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Axilrod

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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2012, 10:02:41 AM »
??? I did not know that the framing is so depending on 720p vs 1080p. So, you reckon I can't see the framing of a video or a LV still over the smallHD? There is no point of using this one then. What is it good for?

@Axilrod: yes, the new LCD is quite good but (without Magic Lantern yet) there is no focus assist, peaking, zebras, false colour etc etc. Probably enough for my use though. I am quite curious when Zacuto will bring up the new 3.2" Z-finder. Some people complain that at a 3xmagnification with the Mark II you are looking at the gaps between the LCD pixels and not at the pixels... ::) Is the 2.5x better? The Z-Finder is less than half the price of a SmallHD! Unfortunately you can't do 1:1 on the back LCD during video for better focusing. The EVF do this.
A Dilemma!

I kind of agree about the Mark II and the Z-Finder 3X, it does make the image kind of blocky, but I can't imagine the 2.5x being THAT much better.  The EVF however looks excellent under the 3X Z-finder.  I forgot that the current Z-finders won't fit on the 5DIII screen, but I'm sure Zacuto is on top of that.
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bp

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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2012, 10:52:39 AM »
OK, I'll be devil's advocate here!  I absolutely adore my DP6.  It's actually effective with the 5D3, as opposed to the 5D2 which would lose all that glorious resolution as soon as you hit record. 

Focus assist is fantastic in some situations - but frankly, half the time you really don't need it because the monitor's resolution is so good.

Question for you other guys - are you not putting the DP6 into DSLR Rec Mode?  Because turning it off to frame a shot sounds totally unnecessary to me.   I hadn't noticed edges being cut off in DSLR Rec Mode, after you hit info - will check that tonight - but even if it does cut off a tiny bit, why not just hit Info on the camera, to get the windowed picture, instead of turning off the monitor?

Frankly, for the kind of shooting I do much of the time, I just couldn't use a ZFinder.  A director looking over my shoulder can see exactly what I'm getting, and we don't have to stop between every setup for him to review the shots.  He knows if it was a good take before he even says "cut", and we just move the heck on.  Or, for example, have you ever tried to keep your head pressed up against a camera through a dolly/slider shot?  A monitor with an articulating arm is the only way to really take advantage of a DSLR's tiny form factor, and put it in some weird/interesting places
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te4o

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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2012, 09:46:00 PM »
@bp: Your info is what I've been hoping for. But the SmallHD team has noticed a strange behaviour of the Mark3 with the DP6. They'll get back to me today after testing themselves on a leased 5D3. Then we'll know better.
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Jedifarce

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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2012, 02:00:00 AM »

Question for you other guys - are you not putting the DP6 into DSLR Rec Mode?  Because turning it off to frame a shot sounds totally unnecessary to me.   I hadn't noticed edges being cut off in DSLR Rec Mode, after you hit info - will check that tonight - but even if it does cut off a tiny bit, why not just hit Info on the camera, to get the windowed picture, instead of turning off the monitor?

I'll have to check on that. On my Mark II, hitting the info button doesn't really help. What would help is if the camera would allow me to switch from the monitor to live view with the live view button but it doesn't.

Here's what people are saying on the net.

"1:1 Pixel Mapping allows you to view the output of your camera in a pixel for pixel configuration. In a few words, this basically takes a 1280x800 crop of the 1920x1080 output from the camera. "

 Like I said, it's not really a problem, the ratio aspect of recording in 720p and then editing the 1080p in post is just weird because it's not a 1080p monitor. This did affect some of my shots because in post, the positioning angle of whom I was filming was a bit off and probably wouldn't occurred with a true 1080p monitor.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 02:14:32 AM by Jedifarce »

Daveb

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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2012, 12:16:23 PM »
Hey Guys,
This is Dave with SmallHD support. We have had lots of questions on what people can expect from the mk3 with our monitor. I saw this thread and I decided to shoot a quick video showing the DP4 attached to the MK3 so you guys can see how they work together.

Canon 5D Mark III and the SmallHD DP4 Small | Large


Thanks
Dave B
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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2012, 12:16:23 PM »

westr70

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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2012, 08:06:37 PM »
That does look nice.  I'll have to look into that further.
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solargravity

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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2012, 03:40:06 PM »
Wow, what a fascinating and informative thread. I have been waiting to make a decision on this exact topic and I can't tell you how much this helped me.

I will post my experience as soon as I pull the trigger.

Thanks again!!


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Re: SmallHD vs Zacuto Z Finder
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2012, 03:40:06 PM »