The Sony a7S II is shipping and filmmakers start using the latest mirrorless camera technology for their 4K productions. With a good built-in OLED viewfinder the Sony a7S II is among the top of its class, but the camera’s eye piece is not ideal for long shooting days. With Hoodman’s new Sony a7S II Eyecup upgrade the Viewfinder is ready for action. In our Sony a7S II Review and our own productions we’ve been using a do-it-yourself eyecup already. The fact that Hoodman is now bringing a dedicated Sony a7S II Eyecup to the market it great news for everyone who has had hard times with the impractical factory eyepiece or is just looking for the best viewfinder experience on his or her new camera. Sony a7S viewfinder cushion There are two versions of the Hoodman Hoodeye Sony a7S II Eyecup. There is the standard version and the glasses version with a bigger cup for people who wear glasses. On the glasses version you can even add a viewfinder cushion. We’ve been using the Kinotehnik Cushion and it works very well. You can certainly try other brands at your own risk. The Hoodman Hoodeye Sony a7S II Eyecup also works with the normal Sony a7S, the a7, a7R and a7R II cameras. If you want to seriously upgrade your Sony a7S II EVF, we recently published a tutorial on how to get the Blackmagic 1080p OLED EVF working with the camera HERE. Another little upgrade worth mentioning: The CinEasy Touch is another small upgrade that we’ve been using on the a7S with delight. It adds a button that makes it a lot easier to trigger record on the a7S and gives you much better tactile feedback which is certainly not ideal on the factory a7S button. The new CineEasy Touch is now available in black and red, for the a7S II and a7R II and a bunch of other cameras HERE.Read more
Zacuto has released a Z-Finder specifically for the Sony FS7. The device will come in two parts, a complete unit with viewfinder and the flip up frame on its own. There’s no beating around the bush, the Sony loupe kind of sucks. It’s twice the size it needs to be and feels very cheap. A likely cause is the fact that its come pretty much straight off the FS100/FS700 line. Unsurprisingly Zacuto has released a specific loupe, the FS7 Z-Finder. It’s made up of two parts, a unique flip frame which clips to the existing screen, and a Z-finder loupe with x2 magnification. The split design allows for the user to flip up the loupe whilst the unit is still attached to the camera. The Flip Up Frame is sold separately, meaning if you’re an owner of the Blackmagic Z-Finder you can simply just buy the frame (their the same loupe). The FS7 Z-Finder comes with the usual Zacuto features, lens cap, anti-fog coating and 4 diopters, 0, +1, +2, and +3 (more sold separately).Read more
Yesterday we reported about the new Blackmagic URSA Mini that appears to be a big step up in terms of ergonomics to the previous Blackmagic cameras. We were particularly interested in how Blackmagic thought about the evolution of their cameras and we’re happy to see how they’ve put an effort into the new camera design. In this interview we talked to Simon Westland who took us through some of the ergonomic features with a special focus on the new OLED viewfinder they produced. I got a quick look through the viewfinder and while I’m surely reserved in the interview, I can tell you that the image is very impressive with no disturbing elements of the eyepiece or distortion as seen on other finders. For $1500 the Blackmagic OLED viewfinder will surely kill many other products in this market. It’s a steal and it might also work with other cameras (not confirmed). We then went on and also looked at the Blackmagic Video Assist. This is a small 5 inch monitor that takes SDI and hdmi signals, loops them through and records in ProRes onto an SD card. Fascinating, because other solutions of this kind cost 2x the $. For $500 Blackmagic seems to have another hit in terms of the specs at least. We’ll test all these products in depth when they’re out. For now we’re waiting for the items to be delivered as scheduled in late July. The Blackmagic URSA viewfinder is available for pre-order for $1,495 HERE The Blackmagic Video Assist is available for pre-order for $495 HERERead more
SmallHD are offering a 24 hours sale for Cyber Monday, company wide savings of up to $30 off. I’ve been using my DP6 since it’s release many years ago; they are simply fantastic monitors and SmallHD has well in updating its lineup with some great replacements. The DP7-PRO line offer some nice features, color accurate OLED panels, Hight Bright for use in daylight and SDI/HDMI in/out conversion to name a few. At a first glance their lineup can be a little overwhelming, but with a little investigating you’ll find that their 7″ monitor line consists of two main models, the AC7 and the DP7. The DP7 is the pro line, offering LUTs including custom, HDMI/SDI in/out conversion, as well as programmable touch sensitive hot keys. The AC7 is the more affordable line, it has a specific in/out peripheral coming as HDMI as standard, the SDI version naturally swaps the ports out for SDI BNCs. Both the AC7 and DP7 are available in LCD and OLED panels, the model name reflects these. Further more the DP7 has a High Bright OLED panel which is designed for use in bright daylight. Every SmallHD product has a minimum of 10% off today, check out B&H for a long list of monitors and accessories. Below I’ve highlighted a few deals: DP4 $449.10 Save $50 AC7-LCD $539 Save $60 AC7-LCD-SDI $799 Save $100 AC7-OLED $899 Save $200 AC7-OLED-SDI $999 Save $400 DP7-PRO-LCD $1259 Save $130 DP7-PRO-OLED $1999 Save $300 DP7-PRO-High Bright $2499 Save $500 5D mark III Port Protector $44.99 Save $5Read more
We came across this great overview video of how to rig your Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. Now that so many great accessories are available for the camera it can be transformed into a very strong camera. This is a video by filmmaker, composer and video artist H. Paul Moon who runs an online User Group at www.focuspulling.com.Read more
Zacuto is being talked about for several of their newly introduced products, but the Gratical HD EVF is certainly the most impressive one. Jens gave me some details on the new, extremely compact OLED viewfinder that was presented as a prototype at NAB. It sports a resolution of 1280×1024 which is not too far away from full HD. The aspect ratio is 4:3 which they used to conveniently display all data and histogram information below the camera picture. The OLED panel gives you very good contrast ratio and colours and the glass they implemented allows for an ideal viewing of the entire screen and had a great field of view. There are inputs for hdmi as well as 3G-SDI allowing the input of 4K signals and it has cross conversion between the two making it convenient to be used on setups with different input types. The Gratical HD will be available in October and is targeted at professionals with a price point of $3000. They will also have a lower resolution version which will be called Gratical LT (1024×768) which will come in at $1500. Another new product Jens was showing to us was the VCT Universal Baseplate that is an extremely flat dovetail plate with an included gel shoulder pad. I was especially fond of this product as it allows for a very quick adjustment and perfectly balanced position of the camera which I’ve been recommending for years. Great design and looking forward to this essential rig piece.Read more
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema is a very unique camera, it has a fantastic image quality to size ratio; one that’s fairly un-challenged with other cameras straight out-of-the-box. However, like many cameras it’s also one that benefits from the addition of third party applications. Battery solutions, audio devices, external monitors all contribute to making the camera more useable in the professional field. These can often bulk the camera up, past the point of being “pocket friendly”. This is the main selling point of the camera; it provides cinematic quality images in a package that fits in your pocket. It’s therefore great to see third party products that stay true to this form factor, increasing its function or usability without deterring from the core values of the product.Read more
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