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Z-Finder EVF


Q. My EVF doesn't display all the information that I can see on the camera’s LCD screen including the standby/record indicator. What is wrong? A. The EVF is not getting all of the information from the camera. There should be a setting in your camera menu that will send the extra information over the HDMI feed. Reference your camera’s user manual to find the correct display setting for viewing all camera information over the HDMI output. Q: Why won’t my EVF display 24p from my Sony F3 camera? A: In 24p mode on the Sony F3 the camera outputs a 24PsF signal which is only compatible with SDI devices. 24PsF will not display on any HMDI device. To see the signal on the EVF you have to go into the menu and tell the camera to display a 2-3 pulldown signal out the HDMI port. If you are going to an external recorder you wil need to use the Dual Link port on the camera to record the clean 24p signal and have the HDMI output 2-3 pulldown for viewing on the EVF. See the following link for details. Q: Will I be able to use my Z-Finder EVF and Z-Finder EVF Pro straight out of the box without buying anything else? A: Yes, it will come with everything you need: a hotshoe ball mount, rechargeable battery, battery charger, HDMI cable & case. You can start shooting with it immediately. If you already own a Z-Finder Jr or Pro, you can purchase the EVF snap or EVF Flip Up and be ready to shoot straight out of the box. Q: Why is anti-fog important? A: When an EVF or optical viewfinder fogs up, game over. It becomes unusable. Zacuto spent a lot of time coming up with our Zacuto anti-fog formula. Z-Finder version 1 owners complained about fog more than any other issue. Your normal body temperature is almost 100 degrees but the Z-finder optic will never reach that point. The human body also naturally puts out a lot of moisture. These two factors combined mean any optical viewfinder will fog. To eliminate the fog, you need to separate yourself from the viewfinder to let the fog dissipate, and then you can begin to shoot again. This is a huge problem when doing shots over 30 seconds. You must have anti-fog to really have a usable product. We rectified the problem with the anti-fog protective covers. Our Z-finder Pro models come with two expendable anti-fog protective covers included. All Zacuto version 1 Z-finders can easily and inexpensively be upgraded to anti-fog with the addition of the anti-fog protective upgrade kit. Q: Is your screen resolution enough to be a good EVF? A: You have to be careful on getting hung up on all of these resolution numbers, they can be very deceptive. The bigger issue is making sure that your output image is using the whole screen and resolution you have. The Canon 5D Mark II in record mode only puts out a 480p signal and it is much smaller in the monitor thus making focus even harder. Our EVF allows you to use preset scaling options for the various cameras or custom scale your image to eliminate the pillar boxing that DSLR’s produce in the output to fit the entire monitor edge to edge. This adds a ton of picture area for you to focus on. 800 x 480 is very high resolution in a 3.2” screen. It eliminates the need to magnify a smaller screen which can cause other resolution and distortion issues. See our web series on the development of the EVF, Part 3 “What do all the numbers Mean.” Besides, a 3.2” screen can be used as a small monitor without the optics as well. Q: Why does my EVF have excessive strobing while panning? We have tested the EVF for what people have complained as excessive strobing while panning and have discovered that our EVF does not strobe any more than any other monitor. It appears that way because you are magnifying the image with the Z-Finder. Q: Why can't I get a picture sometimes when I plug-in the HDMI cable while the EVF is on? A: This is not unique to the EVF. if the EVF is already on, you must plug in the HDMI cable in one swift movement with no stopping or hesitation. It has to do with the communication between the two devices, the “handshake”. Q: Will this EVF have HD-SDI? A: Not this version. We hope to make another version with HD-SDI later down the road. Adding HD-SDI does add cost and we wanted to keep the cost as low as possible. Only a small majority of users are interested in HD-SDI so it doesn't make sense to have everyone have to pay for a feature that most will not use. Since every camera, including the new Sony F3, AG-AF100 and DSLR's, has HDMI we went that way. The future model will allow you to come in HDMI and cross convert to HD-SDI for output to an HD-SDI monitor. It will also allow you to accept HD-SDI as an input. Q: Can I use the Zacuto EVF with the Blackmagic Camera? A: Yes, We recommend using a Zacuto EVF and the Blackmagic HD-SDI to HDMI mini converter. Using the converter with the Zacuto EVF gives you an extra HDMI to loop to another monitor and an extra SDI loop through on the converter. It is also less expensive than buying an HD-SDI EVF. Q: Why did we make a two piece EVF? A: No device solves all issues or uses, but we chose to make our EVF a two piece system to address multiple shooting applications. You can easily snap off the Z-Finder from the EVF and move it to the camera LCD to check your shot. There are some times when it is preferred to use the Z-Finder on the back of the camera. Some of our models allow you to also flip up the Z-Finder so the director can look at the EVF screen to check framing of their shot. You can hear Steve and Jens discuss this in detail in our EVF Episode Series: Ergonomics. The EVF with the Z-finder flipped up or popped off can be used as a small monitor and is useful when doing low mode shots where you can’t have your eye against an eye cup and lens. Using the EVF in this manner means it can also now be seen by several people at once, and it makes adjusting menu items much easier. Q: Does this monitor have firmware updates? A: Yes, we will be releasing firmware updates. Firmware updates will be accomplished via a USB port on the EVF. You can either connect the EVF to your computer or put the firmware update on a flash drive to perform the update. Q: Does the included EVF hot shoe mount have flexibility? A: Yes, it will be a ball mount and have flexibility in positioning the EVF. This mount is mainly for hand held shooting Q: Will Zacuto have other mounting options for the EVF? A: Yes, we will be producing a multi-purpose mount that will allow you to mount the EVF offset for shoulder mount use. This same mount can be reconfigured for use as an extender viewfinder for dolly or tripod shooting when you want to position the EVF towards the back of the tripod. Q: Why doesn't the EVF work with my Ninja? A: Currently, the EVF pass through is only 1080i. We are working on making the pass through work with the Ninja but it will be 1080i and not 1080p. The only solution for the 1080p is to get a splitter before the EVF that can do 1080p and then go to each individually. Q: Does the EVF have an AC/12 volt port? A: No, for various reasons we decided to remove the port on the EVF. We are now selling a 12 volt converter that snaps into the battery compartment. It is a more elegant solution to power your EVF with your 12 volt system batteries. Not having the AC/12 volt port protects the monitor from damage from plugging in something with more or less than 12 volts. We also choose to remove the port to eliminate the need for a 7 to 12 volt converter box that you would have to mount somewhere else to your rig. Q: Why can’t I get the EVF to work when using the HDMI out to a Teradeck cube, or Ninja (or other device other than an HDMI monitor)? A: The HDMI out on the EVF was designed with the intention of using another HDMI monitor. The handshake process is different when using monitors versus recording devices or any other devices besides a monitor. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that they will work, but we are doing our best to test all these devices to hopefully get them to work. It is not guaranteed. In order to get the other devices to work you may need to purchase a splitter. SmallHd makes a pretty inexpensive splitter. We have a list of things we are working on to improve with a firmware upgrade. Q: What are the differences between the Z-Finder EVF’s and Cineroid? A: There are many differences in the menu features. We have a feature-rich unit including professional features like Blue only, Anamorphic, Frame Lines with action safe and center cross and much more. Our optical viewfinder is also anti-fog. Without anti-fog, the unit is unusable. More importantly our unit is built to production grade standards. Q: Manual scaling is not working with the GH2. How can I fix that? A: First, if you use the EVF with a video camera, you will need to fix this in order to shrink the image. With the GH2 acting like a video camera, to solve this problem you will need to go into auto scale, then go into manual, and use the underscan feature to shrink the image. Q: I have the audio levels on both EVF's, one for a 5D and one for a 60D, but I don't see any bounce in them. Any ideas? A: The audio meters will only work in playback with the DSLRs as the cameras do not send the audio over the HDMI while recording or in live view. It is a camera issue. The audio meter works fine with video cameras that send the audio signal. Q: I’m getting an error message that says I can’t underscan while in preset. What’s wrong? A: The EVF only allows for underscan while in autoscale or manual scaling mode. Q: I’m getting an error message that says pixel to pixel is not available in 480. What’s wrong? A: In 480 mode you are actually seeing a pixel to pixel image since that is the native resolution of the EVF. Q: I installed the latest 2.0 firmware. It lists "-Added 1080p support for 24, 25 and 30 frames per second" yet it still doesn't support the 1080p out of the FS100. Has this been an issue for a while? A: The FS100 outputs 1080p60 as the default through the HDMI. You can set the HDMI output to 1080i or 720p and still record 1080p and the EVF will work just fine. Let me know if you still have problems. Q: My EVF says “Unsupported Video Signal” when I plug it into my camera. A. Reference your camera’s manual and follow the steps to change the HDMI output on the camera. Switching from AUTO to a 1080i or 720p HDMI will likely fix any unsupported video signal issues. Q: I am getting an “unsupported video format 1080p50-YUV422” message when using the Panasonic Lumix GH4 and the EVF. How do I fix this? A: The EVF will work with any 1080p24, 1080i50/60, and 720p25/30 setting. You will need to change the HDMI output to one of these signals for the EVF to read it. The 4k format at 24fps will also work. The two formats in this category are 4096x2160@24p, and 3840x2160@24p. Any other recording formats not listed, will produce an “unsupported video format 1080p50-YUV422” error message on the EVF. Alternately, if you are recording in 4k and using a separate 4k recorder, a possible alternative is to use the loop through of the recorder to into the EVF instead of going directly from the camera. It usually converts the signal into something the EVF can read. We haven't done any testing on this; it is just a brain-storming suggestion from one of our designers. 1080p25/30 will not work while recording. This is due to the GH4 “wrapping” the signal and converting 25 to 50 and 30 to 60, thus turning 1080p25/30 into 1080p50/60. However, if you record at 1080p25/30 and then view your footage via playback mode of the GH4, the EVF should be able to display the image. It just can’t do it while recording. Any other recording formats not listed above, with 1080p50/60 being the most popular, will produce an “unsupported video format 1080p50-YUV422” error message on the EVF. If you continue to have problems please email customer support at