About a viewfinder for P4K ?

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Australian Image

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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostWed May 01, 2019 11:34 pm

I just thought I'd add the following to this discussion, as I suspect that many don't have a good understanding of exactly how small modern mirrorless camera EVFs really are. The first image is of an EVF module used in Panasonic mirrorless cameras:

Image

The second image is of an Olympus VF-2 EVF designed to be attached to early cameras that only had an LCD. Many different brands of cameras, from Canon to Leica, used exactly the same concept for similar cameras. I placed the VF-2 on a matchbox to show it's actual size.

EVF.jpg
EVF.jpg (100.78 KiB) Viewed 1207 times


So without making the EVF that much larger, just a bit longer, you could easily add the required ports to support HDMI and power input, as well as add a simple mount. The viewing quality of these new EVFs is excellent, rivaling the optical viewfinders in DSLRs.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 02, 2019 1:38 am

rick.lang wrote:The Zacuto Kameleon at $1,950 is a higher end solution but it’s quite flexible. My only concern besides the price is that the diopter is -1 to +4. I shoot without my glasses and I think I need -1.5. So that just might not work. I imagine they have other diopters that would be stronger for myopia. Of course, the optional diopter likely costs as much as Ray’s suggested small EVF.

Sometimes lots of features is good. When you compare the Kameleon to the Gratical, it actually has some better features such as anti-fog coating. My BMVF often will get foggy in a long interior shoot.
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Rick, Both Gratical EVFs have the same anti-fog technology. Also the Kameleon has an adjustable diopter (like the BMD EVF) that goes from 0 to + 2/3?, with in between steps to get your 0.5, then add the diopter lens needed for additional correction (“Adjustable diopter ring Drop in diopters for additional correction (+1, +2, +3, +4)”)

Looks like I could get from $200-500 trade in for my EVF Pro model, which is still in good kit.
Zacuto still makes the Gratical X with HDMI/SDI inputs and you build the features you want, this keeps the price below $2K. However, the new Kameleon is very tempting, especially if I had the Pocket 4K.

Ray, the space inside the BMD EVF is the needed FFD for the optical block to have the adjustable focus on small OLED screen. Perhaps this space could be reduced with a different optical setup, but this is unknown. The Kameleon is also long (4.9 inches) to allow for the high end optical block and needed FFD space.

Also Ray, the small examples from mirrorless Cameras you show, do not have a power or video boards as part of the actual EVF, as this is being supplied by the components in the camera. You need to add some space for a DC/DC power board and a video driver board to go from the HDMI input to a signal the display can use. This will add space required to make it a useable EVF that is not camera specific. I had a similar setup on my Nikon V3, small plug in EVF that used a 5-pin connection to the camera to get power s d video signals to the actual EVF which was only a small LCD w/processor board and the optical block, everything else was in the camera. This was not an easy EVF for me to use, poor eye relief and something I would not want to spend any length of time using in a video filming situation. Sold the camera in the end.
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Last edited by Denny Smith on Thu May 02, 2019 1:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 02, 2019 1:50 am

Denny Smith wrote:Ray, the space inside the BMD EVF is the needed FFD for the optical block to have the adjustable focus on small OLED screen. Perhaps this space could be reduced with a different optical setup, but this is unknown. The Kameleon is also long (4.9 inches) to allow for the high end optical block and needed FFD space.


Clearly the technology is there, otherwise none of the mirrorless camera EVFs would work. They all have a dioptre adjustment range of between -4 to +2 (my camera bodies certainly do).
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 02, 2019 1:59 am

Ray, There is a point of diminishing returns with optics. The smaller the optical lens elements are, the less eye relief you have and will be harder to look through for more than a few minutes. I have tried shooting a long vid with the EVF on my Oly PenF, after a few minutes, I had a hard time straining to see through the EVF. With thenlarger BMD or Zacuto EVFs, I never had a eye fatigue issue, could look through one for 10-20 minutes, or off and on for normal takes all day. Spend a day shooting news footage with a ENG camera, with a proper EVF, then try the same thing with a small camcorder with its little EVF, and you will see what I mean.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 02, 2019 2:16 am

Denny Smith wrote:Ray, There is a point of diminishing returns with optics. The smaller the optical lens elements are, the less eye relief you have and will be harder to look through for more than a few minutes. I have tried shooting a long vid with the EVF on my Oly PenF, after a few minutes, I had a hard time straining to see through the EVF. With thenlarger BMD or Zacuto EVFs, I never had a eye fatigue issue, could look through one for 10-20 minutes, or off and on for normal takes all day. Spend a day shooting news footage with a ENG camera, with a proper EVF, then try the same thing with a small camcorder with its little EVF, and you will see what I mean.
Cheers


You have to remember that those who are looking for a small EVF don't intend to use them for protracted periods of time; mainly to confirm framing and focus in bright conditions. The EVF will be an adjunct, not a full time viewing option.

Users like myself are after such an option. Such an EVF may well not be as good as a $2500 can of beans EVF, but I'd be happy with the compromise. If it did nothing more than allowed a 100% view and focus peaking, I'd be very, very, happy.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 02, 2019 2:57 am

For that what I posted pefore should be just fine. inexpensive HDMI ro AV converter and this. I may use that for a drone, just for framing. It is analogue signal anyway.

Screenshot 2019-05-02 at 5.54.38.jpg
Screenshot 2019-05-02 at 5.54.38.jpg (213.7 KiB) Viewed 1178 times


Just connect analogue video (two wires) and 5V to a USB battery from HDMI converter and the monocular. (two wires) Prety simple, not even necessary to solder, just protect the wires. At your own risk of course. And no gurarantees it will work.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 02, 2019 3:16 am

$100 for something that may not work or could blow your system? Pass.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 02, 2019 5:07 am

Someone must be the first brave one to try, so others can follow. :D

A product like that for P4K you might need to wait...
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 02, 2019 5:20 am

Kim Janson wrote:Someone must be the first brave one to try, so others can follow. :D

There's bravery and then there's foolishness.

A product like that for P4K you might need to wait...

I don't think so. Just consider how long it took for the battery grip to be released. Not long at all if you look at when the idea was floated on this forum. It was most likely on the drawing board much earlier.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 02, 2019 5:59 am

Australian Image wrote: If it did nothing more than allowed a 100% view and focus peaking, I'd be very, very, happy.


Me too!
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 02, 2019 2:02 pm

The technology to make a low-cost, small viewfinder is readily available. The only thing lacking is the will.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostMon May 06, 2019 5:02 am

So can the ef2 evf be used with just an hdmi connector? I looked through the posts but couldn’t find if it was just said it was possible or it was just being suggested as an idea.

Cause I think that’s a great idea too! Small enough to just always have in your bag or pocket in case you need (“the pocket evf” :) practical, small, lightweight.


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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostMon May 06, 2019 5:10 am

Brian Nager wrote:So can the ef2 evf be used with just an hdmi connector? I looked through the posts but couldn’t find if it was just said it was possible or it was just being suggested as an idea.


Unfortunately no. The connector is almost like a HDMI one, but even it is was the same as a mini-HDMI, there would be other connectivity issues. I have no doubt that someone with electronics nous could probably create something that would make it work.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostMon May 06, 2019 5:18 am

Brian Nager wrote:Cause I think that’s a great idea too! Small enough to just always have in your bag or pocket in case you need (“the pocket evf” :) practical, small, lightweight


Exactly what I would like and why I would snap one up!
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostMon May 06, 2019 6:45 am

I just came across this video by Cinema5D, made some years back, which features the Blackmagic viewfinder and illustrates how much a small EVF is needed. What you will note from the video is how big the entire EVF assembly is next to the Sony A7. I wonder who is going to be the first to address this shortfall?

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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostMon May 06, 2019 8:03 am

Good video. On the Ursa it makes perfect sense and I am sure it is a v. good viewfinder. Not what I want for a Pocket 4K though.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostWed May 08, 2019 5:24 am

Not directly related, except maybe if combined with the loop, but anyway pretty cool

http://www.filmaker.cn/thread-111447-1- ... UUCM-fDlGA
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostWed May 08, 2019 5:35 am

There goes the warranty. :D
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostWed May 08, 2019 5:37 am

For devices I own, most often, I am the warranty :D

Not planning to do this mod though.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostWed May 08, 2019 5:40 am

All that industrious individuals needs to do is work out how to modify the likes of the VF-2, or similar, to work with HDMI and he'll be a hero.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostWed May 08, 2019 6:12 am

Australian Image wrote:All that industrious individuals needs to do is work out how to modify the likes of the VF-2, or similar, to work with HDMI and he'll be a hero.


If only I had the technical knowledge to become the hero! I would do it in a flash.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostWed May 08, 2019 6:26 am

Swissified wrote:If only I had the technical knowledge to become the hero! I would do it in a flash.


Same here. I'd almost go as far as to pull apart one of my old cameras to get the necessary connectors and whatever else was required.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostWed May 08, 2019 6:49 am

No technical skills really needed. If business case and/or funding exist, people with right skills can be always found.

It is not easy task though, it has been discussed since 2009 (what I briefly Googled) and no solution exist. It probably involves decoding HDMI to some proprietary interface and scaling the resolution and update rate. Not easy at all.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostWed May 08, 2019 6:46 pm

Will the 1280 x 720 display of the Gratical X be a sufficient resolution for hitting focus in 4k? Thanks
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostWed May 08, 2019 7:01 pm

I think yes, expesially if you use magnifier and or focus peaking, but even without that I think it should be fine.

Focusing is good with the internal display with the loupe, no magnifier rally needed, it is full HD though.

Pete Tomkies wrote:Will the 1280 x 720 display of the Gratical X be a sufficient resolution for hitting focus in 4k? Thanks
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zacuto gratical eye X

PostThu May 23, 2019 3:14 pm

The first simple evf with add ons. Cheap for zacuto standards (kind of).

https://www.zacuto.com/gratical-x-hdmi- ... atical%20x

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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 23, 2019 3:52 pm

The Gratical X has been around for a while, but while “more affordable” it is not exactly small.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 23, 2019 4:47 pm

I'll wait till cinegear to see if something comes up, if not it looks like it's going to be either a portkeys evf or sidefinder for me.

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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 23, 2019 5:20 pm

The Side Finder is a nice option, used one on my AF100 and Ursa Broadcast before I got the BMD EVF.
However, it can be a little disconcerting at first, if you are not used to looking through (vs looking at) a reflex type finder. But the image is nice and clear, and you scale the image size to suit, plus you get an additional monitor too!
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 23, 2019 5:46 pm

Denny Smith wrote:The Side Finder is a nice option, used one on my AF100 and Ursa Broadcast before I got the BMD EVF.
However, it can be a little disconcerting at first, if you are not used to looking through (vs looking at) a reflex type finder. But the image is nice and clear, and you scale the image size to suit, plus you get an additional monitor too!
Cheers


I like eng type shooting. Maybe you can help me decide. I would much appreciate your input. The sidefinder was discontinued in 2016 but they're selling an unused closed box for the same price they had when it was still available. Porkeys is selling a new evf eng type for the same price. What do you think?




Thanks

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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 23, 2019 5:56 pm

I have not tried the PortKey EVF, but have used a SideFi dear setup, which is a little in the bulky side, but lightweight. The PortKey looks interesting, see if you can get one with a return option, if you do not like looking through one. EVFs are kind of a personal thing, based on your vision requirements, experience using EVFs and eye relief for viewing comfort. What I like, you may not. :mrgreen:
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 23, 2019 6:01 pm

I have not tried the PortKey EVF, but have used a SideFi dear setup, which is a little in the bulky side, but lightweight. The setup is easy to look through and focus is quick and accurate using one. But, as I previously mentioned, it is a reflex viewer vs a direct view optical EVF. I prefer the later, which is why I got the BMD EVF and did the Wooden Camera mod, to reduce its bulk. The closest EVF to this would be the Gratical Eye, but it costs more. Use Side Finders are available at a good price, if you already have the 501 Monitor (501 is HDMI and costs less than the 502/SDI or 503 Bright models).

The PortKey looks interesting, with a good price. You should see if you can get one with a return option, if you do not like looking through it or it doesn’t work for you. It did get a coup,e of good reviews. But, EVFs are kind of a personal thing, based on your vision requirements, experience using EVFs and eye relief for viewing comfort. What I like, you may not. :mrgreen:
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 23, 2019 6:10 pm

I'll see. Whichever I decide, it's for my bmp4k, fs700 and occasionally an fs7. I also have an af100 but wouldn't know why I would use it with an evf. I much prefer the e.n.g. type.

The portkeys has a smaller footprint of 2,5 x 2.00 x 7,4.

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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu May 23, 2019 6:20 pm

I used the EVF on my AF100 when shooting outdoors on sticks, and in the Studio to get an accurate focus, when needed. Use it this way in the Ursa Broadcast, and when shooting shoulder mounted. I first used the Zacuto EVF Pro (3-inch screen with a loupe setup) it worked very well for pulling an accurate focus.

Early ENG cameras I learned with, didn’t have a screen, just the EVF, so an EVF became part of my workflow. We had to add an external monitor screen when doing events, to reduce eye fatigue trying to use the EVF for extended times. I find the EVF great for getting an accurate focus, and framing when shoulder mounted or in outdoor sunny conditions. Otherwise the high quality monitors available today are very useable in the field or studio.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostFri May 24, 2019 5:43 pm

HDMI to SDI converters are not all that hard to find - BMD actually makes a few models:

https://smile.amazon.com/Blackmagic-Des ... way&sr=8-3

Plenty of cheaper (likely Chinese) ones floating around too.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostMon Jun 17, 2019 3:00 pm

Hi Kim,

What’s the latest status on your BMPCC4K loupe. Also how does it attach to the body?

Very interested now my Zacuto’s defunct after the arrival of the BMPCC4K.

Cheers, Mark.


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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostMon Jun 17, 2019 3:16 pm

It attaches to the camera top attachment point with an adapter. This make possible to make adapters for cages.

We have lenses now for 10 units but still need to update the design a bit before publishing it. This will be 3D printable files anyone can print and we will provide few 3D printed for testers.

This project has hobby status, and currently somewhat busy with an other project we are just starting. I hope In couple of weeks I have time for this.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostMon Jun 17, 2019 3:21 pm

That sounds great, Kim. Please keep me updated. At the moment we’re running the BMPCC4K with a small rig cage so would probably want to attach into that. Shooting Berlin’s nightlife would certainly benefit from a loupe for focussing and an extra point of contact for stability

Keep up the good work.


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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu Jun 20, 2019 4:57 am

Kim Janson wrote:For that what I posted pefore should be just fine. inexpensive HDMI ro AV converter and this. I may use that for a drone, just for framing. It is analogue signal anyway.

Screenshot 2019-05-02 at 5.54.38.jpg


Just connect analogue video (two wires) and 5V to a USB battery from HDMI converter and the monocular. (two wires) Prety simple, not even necessary to solder, just protect the wires. At your own risk of course. And no gurarantees it will work.


This could work with BMMCC or BMMSC as these cameras have composite video output.
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Re: About a viewfinder for P4K ?

PostThu Jun 20, 2019 8:23 am

I have to say that I'm absolutely gobsmacked that there has been no development of external EVFs in years. I can recollect only one new EVF that's been released lately (Portkeys) and it follows the same old trend of large, complex and very expensive.

With just about every digital camera now providing video capabilities and often very good video (the latest update to the E-M1 MkII now provides Log), no one has latched on to the fact that there's a market there for something better than just a small LCD screen or fixed EVF.

A DSLR or mirrorless user that wants a minimal setup, doesn't want an EVF that's often larger than the camera, yet that's all that anyone is providing (there's a Z-Cam E2 in there somewhere):

Image

Image

https://www.newsshooter.com/2019/06/18/ ... on-review/

https://www.newsshooter.com/2019/04/10/ ... ye-3g-evf/
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