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Z-Finder review

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I’ve just received delivery of my Zacuto Z-Finder, the much talked about accessory for DSLR style cameras.

Most of you will probably know that the Z-Finder allows you to turn the LCD screen on your digital camera into a viewfinder.

The version i purchased includes the Gorilla Plate which provides a more secure mounting system than previous versions.

Build

The Z-finder is a solid and well built piece of kit.  Most of the metal parts are CNC machined and anodised aluminium.  All the other materials seem well selected.  The glass has an anti-fog coating and it seems like the plastic parts could stand up to a lot of abuse.

Design

You don’t have to look at the Z-Finder to long to realise that alot of thought has gone into the design.  Everything from the massive diopter adjustment ring with super fine adjustment to the cord that holds on the lens hood seem well thought out.

The actual eyepiece is quite large and for me is a very comfortable fit.  It can be rotated to any angle to suit your personal preference.  There is a lanyard mounts on the side which means it’s no hassle to remove the Z-Finder and have it hanging handily around your neck.

The Gorilla Plate provides a secure method of attaching and positioning the mounting plate in on top of your LCD screen.  The mounts on the bottom have an extra hole for video tripod plates which the Canon 7D and 5D MKII lack, providing a more secure mount for your camera.

The actual mounting system of the Z-Finder uses latches to mount onto the frame .  It’s very quick to mount and unmount but time will tell if the latches will be durable enough to withstand everyday use.

In use

I haven’t had much time to use the Z-Finder yet but from early impressions it seems like it will work well.  I have the 2.5x version and you can clearly see the pixels of the LCD screen.  This will hopefully make focusing easier than just looking at the screen, but the screen is not as high a resolution as I thought so it can still be challenging enough to get accurate focus.

The massive eyepiece does a really good job of blocking out any external light sources meaning you won’t have any difficulty seeing the screen in bright conditions.

Summary

The Z-Finder is a quality piece of kit and you won’t get a much better piece of equipment for what it does, but it only magnifies the LCD so its usefulness is limited by the screen resolution.  It does provide an extra point of contact allowing you to shoot with greater stability and is great for outdoor use.

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