PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

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Leon Benzakein

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostMon Dec 28, 2020 6:15 pm

When I watch these videos I am very surprised how the wheel is being reinvented.

Having come from a time when video/electronic cameras came with EVFs I am surprised at the revelations of these video makers.
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jonstatt

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostWed Dec 30, 2020 10:44 pm

Here are the Z Cam and LEYE next to each other. They don't look massively different in size. But the LEYE feels practically feather weight compared to the solid but much heavier Z Cam.

I did manage to power the LEYE using the Tilta NP-F battery side handle that attaches to their cage. Will see if I can do the same with the Z Cam.

The LEYE is great value but feels very Indie in terms of construction and eye piece. The Z Cam is beautiful made and feels much more purpose built.

But for non shoulder , handheld on a BMPCC, the LEYE weight advantage cannot be underestimated. Image

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robedge

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostWed Dec 30, 2020 11:00 pm

jonstatt wrote:Here are the Z Cam and LEYE next to each other. They don't look massively different in size. But the LEYE feels practically feather weight compared to the solid but much heavier Z Cam.

I did manage to power the LEYE using the Tilta NP-F battery side handle that attaches to their cage. Will see if I can do the same with the Z Cam.

The LEYE is great value but feels very Indie in terms of construction and eye piece. The Z Cam is beautiful made and feels much more purpose built.

But for non shoulder , handheld on a BMPCC, the LEYE weight advantage cannot be underestimated.


What luck that someone has access to both.

If you're able to, could you comment on where the two differ, having regard to the specs below. Personally, I'm particularly interested in how the image is as an "experience". Does the larger image and resolution of the Z-Cam make a difference? Is one of these EVFs noticeably easier to use when it comes to magnification of parts of the image? Is it correct that the Z-Cam places data outside the image and the Portkeys overlays data? If so, does that matter? I gather that the pixel grid is visible for both. Does that matter? How do you assess these EVFs compared to using a monitor? Sorry, lots of questions :)


evf.jpeg
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostWed Dec 30, 2020 11:22 pm

robedge wrote:
jonstatt wrote:Here are the Z Cam and LEYE next to each other. They don't look massively different in size. But the LEYE feels practically feather weight compared to the solid but much heavier Z Cam.

I did manage to power the LEYE using the Tilta NP-F battery side handle that attaches to their cage. Will see if I can do the same with the Z Cam.

The LEYE is great value but feels very Indie in terms of construction and eye piece. The Z Cam is beautiful made and feels much more purpose built.

But for non shoulder , handheld on a BMPCC, the LEYE weight advantage cannot be underestimated.


What luck that someone has access to both.

If you're able to, could you comment on where the two differ, having regard to the specs below. Personally, I'm particularly interested in how the image is as an "experience". Does the larger image and resolution of the Z-Cam make a difference? Is one of these EVFs noticeably easier to use when it comes to magnification of parts of the image? Is it correct that the Z-Cam places data outside the image and the Portkeys overlays data? If so, does that matter? I gather that the pixel grid is visible for both. Does that matter? How do you assess these EVFs compared to using a monitor? Sorry, lots of questions :)


evf.jpeg
All good questions. I don't have answers yet because I literally just received the Z Cam this afternoon. But hope to be able to answer your questions shortly!!

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Leon Benzakein

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostThu Dec 31, 2020 3:47 pm

jonstatt wrote:I did manage to power the LEYE using the Tilta NP-F battery side handle that attaches to their cage. Will see if I can do the same with the Z Cam.


I have been trying to find info on voltage range for the Z-Cam EVF, the only thing I see is power consumption of 5.5 Watts. No info on voltage.

https://www.z-cam.com/evf/

Do you have more info?

Thanks.

Happy New Year!
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostThu Dec 31, 2020 8:50 pm

Leon Benzakein wrote:
I have been trying to find info on voltage range for the Z-Cam EVF, the only thing I see is power consumption of 5.5 Watts. No info on voltage.


Perhaps Jon can confirm, but a purchaser says the following in response to a question on B&H's site: "the label ... on the product at the LEMO 2-pin power input jack (I am looking at it right now) says 6.5V to 18V DC".

Link: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... er.html/qa
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostThu Dec 31, 2020 8:59 pm

This screen capture is from CVP's video on the Z-Cam EVF, which was made before Portkeys's L-EYE was released and before Z-Cam raised the announced U.K. price by £190 ex-VAT and the U.S. price by $200:


zcam.jpeg
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Leon Benzakein

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostFri Jan 01, 2021 12:07 am

robedge wrote:in response to a question on B&H's site: "the label ... on the product at the LEMO 2-pin power input jack (I am looking at it right now) says 6.5V to 18V DC"


Thanks Rob.

Good find.

Right, so Jonathan's Tilta NP-F battery handle @+/- 7.4 volts should be able to work.

Nice!
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostFri Jan 01, 2021 12:49 am

Confirmed 6.5 - 18V . The Tilta handle has an 8v micro USB output intended for the Nucleus Nano. And a 12V output that has a 3.5mm/1.35mm barrel connector. I do have a Lemo 2 pin to 5.5/2.1 barrel and I have an adapter to 3.5/1.35 so hopefully this should work as long as the polarity matches. I did power the LEYE with the barrel connection from the handle.

Didn't get any time with EVFs today as I was looking after my 3yr old daughter.

What is frustrating is that the Z Cam comes with a very lightweight manual saying the website has a detailed manual. It doesn't!

Footnote: The Z Cam comes with the seemingly most over engineered P Tap cable. It seems thick enough to power a kettle rather an EVF. It is coiled but unnecessarily heavy and thick.

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Leon Benzakein

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostFri Jan 01, 2021 3:28 pm

jonstatt wrote:Footnote: The Z Cam comes with the seemingly most over engineered P Tap cable. It seems thick enough to power a kettle rather an EVF. It is coiled but unnecessarily heavy and thick.


If you power the kettle with the P-Tap can you get the correct voltage out of the kettle to power the camera?

Next question:- how do you attach the kettle to your rig?

Happy New Year!
May all your troubles be little ones.
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostFri Jan 01, 2021 3:39 pm

Leon Benzakein wrote:
jonstatt wrote:Footnote: The Z Cam comes with the seemingly most over engineered P Tap cable. It seems thick enough to power a kettle rather an EVF. It is coiled but unnecessarily heavy and thick.


If you power the kettle with the P-Tap can you get the correct voltage out of the kettle to power the camera?

Next question:- how do you attach the kettle to your rig?

Happy New Year!
May all your troubles be little ones.
LOL. Happy New Year

I can confirm I can power the Z Cam using the Tilta NP-F side handle with

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B08J81 ... asin_title

And

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B07MQ9 ... asin_title




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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostFri Jan 01, 2021 4:00 pm

Unless I'm mistaken, Jonathan is testing these EVFs with this Tilta camera cage side handle: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... andle.html

I've been figuring out how I might power the Z-Cam and there appear to be several options at varying cost:

1. NP-F battery with integrated DC output (e.g. this Swit NP-F battery: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... ony_l.html)

2. NP-F or Canon LP-E6 battery mounted on a battery plate (or a handle like the Tilta) that has a DC output port

3. USB power bank that has an integrated DC port, or maybe via a USB to DC adapter

4. V/Gold mount battery plus P-tap to LEMO cable (if the battery, or a V/Gold mount battery plate, also has a USB port that’s at least 5V 2A, maybe with a USB to DC adapter*)

Any USB port that's at least 5V 1A should power the Portkeys L-EYE , which has both USB and DC barrel power ports.


* This post talks about the capacity of the USB ports on some of the new compact V/Gold mount batteries: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=105319&start=300#p708354
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostFri Jan 01, 2021 4:36 pm

One more question for Jonathan :)

Is either of these EVFs noticeably more effective than the other as a stabilising third point of contact when using your camera handheld?
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostFri Jan 01, 2021 6:20 pm

robedge wrote:2. NP-F or Canon LP-E6 battery mounted on a battery plate (or a handle like the Tilta) that has a DC output port


Such as this new SmallRig NP-F plate (US$33): https://www.smallrig.com/smallrig-np-f- ... AQAvD_BwEv

The plate has 7.4V (2.1mm) and 12V (2.5mm) DC out ports.

This video shows various ways to mount the plate in the context of using it to power Pocket 4K/6K and Sony cameras. There's discussion in the YouTube comments about using it to power both a camera and an accessory, such as an EVF, at the same time. Personally, I would have reservations about using it to power two devices at once, but I'm risk averse - some might say overly so - on this question. Not sure how I feel about converting the standard NP-F battery output of 7.2V/7.4V to 12V either. But I think that this plate's 7.4V port would work fine for powering Z-Cam's EVF.

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostFri Jan 01, 2021 10:25 pm

If you choose to use the P-Tap are you aware of this Tilta device?

https://tilta.com/shop/dc-ptap-splitter/

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... d_tap.html
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostSat Jan 02, 2021 1:25 am

Leon Benzakein wrote:If you choose to use the P-Tap are you aware of this Tilta device?

https://tilta.com/shop/dc-ptap-splitter/

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... d_tap.html


Just speaking for myself...

I use a V-mount battery (Hawk-Woods 50Wh Mini V-lok) to provide power to my Pocket 4K. Having read just about every "my camera and/or my monitor fried" thread on this forum, which seem to always involve using one battery to power both a Blackmagic camera and another device, I have decided, rightly or wrongly, to use a dedicated power source for my camera. I use NP-F batteries for my monitor (Video Devices PIX E5H) and I would also use a separate source for one of these EVFs.

I have noticed that sound recordists who are powering an audio recorder, mikes and wireless receivers from a single battery tend to use power distribution boxes with regulated power, that Gold/V mount battery plates are available with regulated power and that Wooden Camera, with design input from Anton/Bauer, sells Gold/V mount plates with what are basically fuses.

Being a stage electrician, you almost certainly know more about this than I do, and may well think that I'm crackers, but I'm happy to do it this way :)
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostSat Jan 02, 2021 3:50 pm

robedge wrote:I have decided, rightly or wrongly, to use a dedicated power source for my camera


I think that you are being wise about separating the power sources.
It is one of those things that still baffle me.

It seems to be hit and miss as to whether one will encounter a problem so better to err on the side of caution.

I suggested the P-Tap adapter purely as that, an adapter to P-Tap from whatever that DC plug is called.

As for being a stage electrician, the difference with working with AC and DC is like being a piccolo player compared to a tuba player.

Live long and prosper. :ugeek:
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostThu Jan 07, 2021 10:15 am

Sorry for the lack of updates from me. I have been exceptionally busy.

I still have not had much EVF time but here is a small update.

The Z Cam EVF is a radical departure from the norm. I really wasn't expecting what I saw. Firstly the screen appears octagonal when looking through the eye piece but the pixels in use form a square and don't go to the edges.

The display is split into 3 components. At the top are input and resolution info, battery voltage and audio meters. Then is the actual video display. It looks less than 720 lines of resolution but it its that ballpark. Then below the video is the waveform display which is about the same size as the video! No overlay. Everything is separate.

This explains the 1440×1440 but wow , what a new way of displaying things! I can't make my mind up if this is genius or lunacy because I do wish the video image itself was larger for certain use cases.

You can see the pixel grid but I can easily detune it from my mind and actually is more a factor of excellent optics than low res.

The WiFi works indoors across a large room with no antennas connected.

More to come....

Oh yes, there was a metal semi circle plate in the box that I have no idea what it is for..

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostThu Jan 07, 2021 10:17 am

robedge wrote:One more question for Jonathan :)

Is either of these EVFs noticeably more effective than the other as a stabilising third point of contact when using your camera handheld?
Yes. The Z Cam is far better at providing support for one simple reason. The eye cup is fairly tough rubber and doesn't squish much under pressure. The foam of the Porteye is too squishy and under much pressure your eyelid will touch the glass .

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostThu Jan 07, 2021 1:42 pm

jonstatt wrote:
Oh yes, there was a metal semi circle plate in the box that I have no idea what it is for..


I really appreciate your posts on the Z CAM EVF. A few days ago, I was at a shop that has it in stock, but they were unwilling to open the box for inspection because the box comes sealed.

This video shows what the metal disk is for at 04:00:



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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostThu Jan 07, 2021 4:11 pm

robedge wrote:I really appreciate your posts on the Z CAM EVF.


+1
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostFri Jan 08, 2021 4:44 pm

Here's my finished rig with the LEYE EVF, a battery sled that I modified and velcroed to the back of the EVF and a Canon LP 6N battery. It's light, well balanced and works great for focusing in bright daylight.

IMG_3785-1.jpg
IMG_3785-1.jpg (139.52 KiB) Viewed 517 times


The Canon battery should run the EVF for 5-6 hours continuously.

This is my handheld B-Roll camera, and I find the internal camera battery to be adequate for my use. I carry a V Lock battery that I plug into the AC in on the camera between scenes to recharge the camera battery, and that actually does a good job of keeping the camera battery usable for a full day of shooting for me, but I still carry 2 spare Canon batteries for back up if needed.
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostSat Jan 09, 2021 1:04 am

Ric Murray wrote:Here's my finished rig with the LEYE EVF... works great for focusing in bright daylight.


Nice and compact. What do you think of the performance of the L-EYE so far? Will you use it in conditions other than bright daylight?
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostSat Jan 09, 2021 8:28 pm

What do you think of the performance of the L-EYE so far? Will you use it in conditions other than bright daylight?


I am quite happy with the L-EYE as I really bought it for the ability to focus and frame in bright sunlight only. I prefer the PC4K touch screen for most other circumstances. I will be removing the frame for the hood over the touch screen, and looking for a short, less bulky HDMI cable as I go along, but this setup is really working for me at the moment. I suppose the option to have the L-EYE zoomed in and the screen at full frame will be useful in shallow DOF situations. I seem to be doing a lot of sit down interviews at the moment, and having both options available for critical focus and framing could prove useful.
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostThu Jan 14, 2021 3:30 am

Received this e-mail from B&H around 10:00 pm EST (NY time) tonight. What this means is that B&H has the Portkeys L-EYE in its New Jersey warehouse, but not in the store in Manhattan. That will only matter to those of us who are local and want to see this EVF before buying. The benefit of buying from B&H rather than from Portkeys in China is a 30 day, no questions asked, right to return the EVF. Portkeys's site actually says that a purchase is non-returnable. Amazon has the same return policy as B&H, but last I checked there was a US$30-$35 shipping charge.

Personally, I want to see both the Z Cam EVF and the Portkeys L-EYE in person before buying either of them, even on a 30 day return basis. All but one of the L-EYE "review" videos have been made by people who received it from Portkeys for free. This is not happening with the Z Cam. I look forward to further comments from Jonathan Statt (see above) on both EVFs.


leye.jpeg
leye.jpeg (263.02 KiB) Viewed 393 times


Here's what B&H's site shows for the L-EYE as of 10:45 pm EST tonight. Just checked Adorama, whose site says that the L-EYE is not in stock. Maybe tomorrow.

bh.jpeg
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostThu Jan 14, 2021 4:38 am

Just checked Vistek in Toronto, which in my situation ranks with B&H and Adorama as a supplier. It has the Z Cam EVF in stock, which it didn't last week, but not the Portkeys L-EYE. Haven't checked U.K. resellers CVP and ProAv.
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostThu Jan 14, 2021 4:57 am

robedge wrote:Just checked Vistek in Toronto, which in my situation ranks with B&H and Adorama as a supplier. It has the Z Cam EVF in stock, which it didn't last week, but not the Portkeys L-EYE. Haven't checked U.K. resellers CVP and ProAv.


I just ordered mine from Amazon today, and I'll be receiving it tomorrow. And the shipping was free-- well, I am a Prime member. I just had to pay the sales tax.




...Nevermind, you live in Canada.
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostThu Jan 14, 2021 11:53 am

dn9909 wrote:
you live in Canada.


No, I live in both countries.
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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostThu Jan 14, 2021 12:07 pm

So having spent some more time with both , they are very different products indeed.

If you want an EVF to help remove outside distraction and be used to aid framing and composition the LEYE is better. The reason being that the video input takes up the whole space and appears bigger.

The effective resolution of the video feed is about the same with both because the Z Cam effectively splits the screen into two with waveforms, vectorscope below the video. But the video feed appears smaller. So if you want a tool that gives you excellent utility beyond composition for the technicalities of the image the Z Cam does something fairly unique. It's like having two displays in one. Only the ZCam has the vectorscope.

If you are constantly putting your eye away from and to the viewfinder, it is much easier to get good placement quickly with the LEYE.

And I can't overstate how much lighter the LEYE is.

No clear winner. You need to decide by priority of function.



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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostFri Jan 15, 2021 1:26 am

jonstatt wrote:So having spent some more time with both , they are very different products indeed.

If you want an EVF to help remove outside distraction and be used to aid framing and composition the LEYE is better. The reason being that the video input takes up the whole space and appears bigger.

The effective resolution of the video feed is about the same with both because the Z Cam effectively splits the screen into two with waveforms, vectorscope below the video. But the video feed appears smaller. So if you want a tool that gives you excellent utility beyond composition for the technicalities of the image the Z Cam does something fairly unique. It's like having two displays in one. Only the ZCam has the vectorscope.

If you are constantly putting your eye away from and to the viewfinder, it is much easier to get good placement quickly with the LEYE.

And I can't overstate how much lighter the LEYE is.

No clear winner. You need to decide by priority of function.


Hi Jonathan,

Just want to thank you for this post. It's really helpful. It's got me questioning whether I want to go down this road altogether, which in my view is one of the post's strengths.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
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Ric Murray

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostFri Jan 15, 2021 5:04 pm

The benefit of buying from B&H rather than from Portkeys in China is a 30 day, no questions asked, right to return the EVF.


I have recently encountered a lot of difficulty dealing with shipping delays (2 weeks to ship via SF) from China (specifically from SmallRig) and then the cost and hassle to return TO China makes it almost impractical to return anything worth less than $100. B&H is a much better alternative.
Creativity is the ability to accept ambiguity.
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Leon Benzakein

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostMon Jan 18, 2021 3:59 pm

Television: Lighting/Cameraman, O.B. Camera Operator, Experience in EFP, EPG and ENG , Grip, Lamp Operator
Film: Grip, Lamp Operator
Theater: Lighting Designer, Light board Operator, Stage Electrician, Stage Management
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rick.lang

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostMon Jan 18, 2021 4:37 pm

Leon, that appears to be a very thorough and objective review by Eric.
Rick Lang
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robedge

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostMon Jan 18, 2021 4:46 pm



Agree with Rick. Easily the most thorough discussion of the Portkeys L-EYE that I've seen.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
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Leon Benzakein

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostMon Jan 18, 2021 8:02 pm

The guys over at News Shooter always do a good.
I have been following them for many centuries.

I see that they have a forum now.

https://www.newsshooter.com/forums/
Television: Lighting/Cameraman, O.B. Camera Operator, Experience in EFP, EPG and ENG , Grip, Lamp Operator
Film: Grip, Lamp Operator
Theater: Lighting Designer, Light board Operator, Stage Electrician, Stage Management
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Sami Sanpakkila

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostWed Jan 20, 2021 10:33 am

Just received my PortKeys LEYE. First impression is that the image size seems VERY small compared to any other EVF I've ever looked through. Normally I can easily keep both my eyes open when I look through a viewfinder but I found myself having to close my left eye to see the image properly with the LEYE. I'll have to see after a few shooting sessions how it fares and how comfortable it is to use.
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dn9909

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostWed Jan 20, 2021 6:59 pm

Sami Sanpakkila wrote:Just received my PortKeys LEYE. First impression is that the image size seems VERY small compared to any other EVF I've ever looked through. Normally I can easily keep both my eyes open when I look through a viewfinder but I found myself having to close my left eye to see the image properly with the LEYE. I'll have to see after a few shooting sessions how it fares and how comfortable it is to use.


I agree, it is really small. It's hard to compose the frame at times.
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ClaudeChiarot

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Re: PortKeys $399.00 very compact EVF

PostThu Jan 21, 2021 10:42 am

I've the Z-CAM EVF since this morning. It's my first EVF so I cannot compare with other models but I'm very impressed.
The image is large and sharp. The built quailty is great. Plenty of options for monitoring. WIFI image transmission. Plenty of mounting options. I wear glasses, no issue with it, I have same FOV than without. I don't see pixels as some say.

For powering I use the Tilta Handle:
https://tilta.com/shop/tiltaing-side-fo ... ilta-gray/
And this Tilta cable:
https://tilta.com/shop/12v-micro-dc-mal ... wer-cable/

I'll post pictures shortly.
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