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Quality DSLR Video Accessories for Professional Results

Located in Chicago, Illinois, Zacuto USA began in 2000 primarily as a rental house and is now known for their Zacuto USA brand of extremely high quality, originally designed camera accessories. Zacuto USA products are designed, manufactured and assembled in the USA. Designers Jens Bogehegn, Steve Weiss & Mandy Rogers have over 53 years of combined film, video & photographic experience. 

Known around the world for designing gear that is universal between cameras and quick releasable. Zacuto USA takes cameras and transforms them into whatever you need them to be, for any kind of shooting application. Zacuto USA was the first to recognize DSLR as a revolutionary game changer. The camera kits and DSLR optical viewfinders set the standard within the industry.

 

Z-Finders

The first essential item you need to meet the challenges posed by the LCD screen of your DSLR camera is a DSLR optical viewfinder. Zacuto has six models of the Z-Finder: Z-Finder JR, Pro 2.5X, Pro 2.5X for 3.2" Screens, Pro 3X, Pro 3X for 3.2" Screens and GH3 Pro - the differences are tabulated below for your reference:

 

  JR
GH3/GH4 PRO PRO 2.5X PRO 3X
3x Lens with Anti-Fog Protective Cover      
2.5x Lens with Anti-Fog Protective Cover  ♦  
Diopter  
Lens Cap
Lens Tube Protective Boot  
Lanyard Hook & Lanyard
Z-Bands   Optional Optional Optional
Z-Finder Case Optional Optional Optional Optional
Z-Finder Baseplate  
Z-Finder Mounting Frame   ♦ (for GH3/GH4)
Z-Finder Adhesive Frame      
Z-Finder Jr. Mounting Bracket      
Extender Frames ♦ (2pcs) ♦ (3pcs) ♦ (3pcs) ♦ (3pcs)
Additional Anti-Fog Protective Cover  

 

» Download the Z-Finder Compatibility Chart

 

Choosing between the Pro 2.5X and 3X:

The only difference between the two Pro versions is the lens magnification, which also alters the negative diopter range. If you wear particularly strong reading glasses, then it is recommended that you use the 3x model. Otherwise, a 2.5x model is usually the best.

 

Z-Finder Pro 2.5X and 3X now come with Anti-Fog Protective Covers!

Responding to users' requests for a protective cover for their Z-Finder against scratches and other damages, Zacuto has designed a protective lens cover that will be covered with the anti-fog material.

With this new anti-fog cover which will be included with all Z-Finder Pros, the Z-FInder Pros will no longer come with an anti-fog lens. You don't have to worry about losing, scratching or damaging these covers over time - they are also available separately in a pack of three!

For existing owners of a Z-Finder Pro or V2 which did not come with the anti-fog protective cover, you too can enjoy the benefits of these new covers by purchasing the Anti-Fog Protective Cover Upgrade Kit (includes three protective covers, a lens cap and a new eyecup) as the lens cap is slightly different from the one you have now.

Updated: September 2010

 

 

Z-Finder EVF 

The Zacuto EVF is a 3.2" high-resolution monitor that is used in conjunction with all the Z-Finder models. This electronic viewfinder is compatible with all cameras that have an HDMI output, including most DSLRs, the Panasonic AF-100, Sony F3, Canon C100/300/500, RED ONE, RED Scarlet, RED Epic and many, many more.

This electronic viewfinder allows you to operate the DSLR camera or any camera with an HDMI port, with the correct form factor for video with the camera "in-line" to your rod system (the most stable way) and your eye in the Z-Finder offset. This is the way all film cameras and ENG video cameras were operated and Zacuto believes that DSLR cameras should be operated the same way.

Advantages of using the EVF:

  • Enhances stability
  • Gives better resolution
  • Allows you to get your eye where it most comfortably needs to be
  • Enable low mode shooting
  • Shorten your camera package
  • Allows you to place your electronic viewfinder in the back of a dolly or crane or detached from the rig for car shots

 

Below are the ways you can position your electronic viewfinder:

Option 1:

Shoot handheld with the EVF directly on top of the camera via the hotshoe mount. This will allow you to look directly down into the viewfinder.

Option 2:

Shoot shoulder-mounted by offsetting the EVF so that you can shorten your camera package and have the camera in-line with your rod system. This will enhance stability.

 

Option 3:

Shoot on a tripod or dolly by using an extender viewfinder mount. This will allow you to position the viewfinder towards the back of the tripod.

The EVF comes in four models:

EVF Snap

The EVF Snap is the standard electronic viewfinder that has the Zacuto Z-Finder Frame built into the unit. The Z-Finder Pro or Jr. snaps on and off the monitor. Therefore, you can use the monitor as a small on-board monitor or as an electronic viewfinder by itself.

 

EVF Flip

The EVF Flip has a Z-Finder frame built into the unit that can be flipped open to 180 degrees. You can also pop off the Z-Finder and use the electronic viewfinder as a monitor similar to the EVF Snap. You can use the Z-Finder Pro or Jr. on this model as well.

This is essential when working handheld with a producer or director so you can show him the shot without him having to get his eye in the viewfinder - just flip it up and the shot can be viewed easily.

 

Z-Finder EVF

This is a complete electronic viewfinder. It includes the EVF Snap model and an optical viewfinder, which will snap onto the frame of the monitor. The optical viewfinder contains high-quality 2.5x optics with anti-fog shields, which are extremely important for reducing fog.

It does not have a diopter but will include the Z-Finder Extender Frames, which will get the focus close but might not be as exact since you can't dial it in with a diopter the way you do with the Z-Finder Pro models.

 

Z-Finder EVF Pro

This is a complete electronic viewfinder with a diopter. It includes the EVF Flip model and an optical viewfinder, which will snap onto the frame on the monitor and can flip up 180 degrees. The optical viewfinder contains high-quality 2.5x optics with anti-fog shields, which are extremely important for reducing fog, and a diopter.

It also includes the Z-Finder Extender Frames which allow you to further adjust the focal point of the Z-Finder by semi-permanently stacking the frames via a snap fit onto the skirt of the Z-Finder until the LCD screen is in focus for you.

If you want to be able to use your Z-Finder on your camera LCD screen, you will need to purchase the Gorilla Baseplate and Frame separately (not included in this kit). 

EVF Specifications

  • LCD Size: 3.2" TFT LCD IPS LED
  • LCD Resolution: 800 x 480
  • LCD Color: 16.7 M
  • LCD Viewing Angle: 170 degrees (horizontal) / 170 degrees (vertical)
  • LCD Viewing Area: 70.6mm (W) x 42.76mm (H)
  • Power Source: 7.2V Canon LP-E6 battery or equivalent, or optional 12V external power adapter
  • HDMI Video Input / Output: 480i / 480p / 576p / 720p / 1080i
  • Operating Temperature: -20°C to 70°C
  • Storage Temperature: -30°C to 80°C
  • Power Consumption: 2.5W (5.2 hours with 1800mAH battery)

 

Important Notice:

As the EVF tends to be used pointed upwards towards the sun when shooting, and given that the Z-Finder is itself a magnifier, direct sunlight can burn spots onto the EVF screen.

In order to reduce the likelihood of burning your screen, Zacuto has designed a 16 x 9 Sun Mask for the Z-Finder EVF and EVF Pro models which will help to reduce the amount of light entering your EVF. This Sun Mask does not totally eliminate the possibility of the sun burning your screen, so you are advised to take the necessary precaution by using your Z-Finder lens cap whenever your EVF is not in use.

This Sun Mask will be included in subsequent shipments of the Z-Finder EVF and EVF Pro models, but if you already own the EVF that does not come with the Sun Mask, please contact our sales personnel with your proof of purchase and request for a Sun Mask free-of-charge.

For more information on the Z-Finder EVF Sun Mask, please view the instructional video here.

Updated: July 2011

 

» Visit Zacuto's EVF Support Page for the latest updates on firmware, manual and FAQs.

 

 Foldable DSLR Gorilla Kits
 

Foldable DSLR Run’n’Gun rigs are small enough to fit in your back pocket, but when unfolded create extremely stable DSLR or small to mid size camera supports compatible with any DSLR camera.

The Enforcer and Marauder are the first foldable DSLR Run’n’Gun rigs, they are similar to two of Zacuto USA most popular DSLR kits, the Target Shooter and Striker. But, while these kits are composed of multiple parts and rods that are highly adjustable and can be reconfigured in an infinite amount of positions, the new Enforcer and Marauder unfold instantly to fit you and are ready to shoot in seconds. They fold up just as quickly and can fit into any carry on, backpack, purse, camera bag or cargo pants pocket.

 

DSLR Cinema Kits

The foundation of all Cinema Kits is the Zacuto DSLR baseplate which has a platform that allows you to grow our kit into anything you want it to be. All your Zacuto components, even previously purchased ones, are usable to go from one kit to another or to create your own custom kit.

The DSLR baseplate is height-adjustable and can accommodate every video DSLR in the market with and without battery grips, such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 550D, 7D and more. It can also accommodate taller-bodied cameras such as the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and Nikon D3s.

Integrating the DSLR baseplate to your system is simple: screw your tripod plate to the bottom of the DSLR baseplate using standard tripod screws (2 x ¼ 20" and 1 x 3/8 16") and you're ready to go from tripod to handheld! If you want to get some quick down-and-dirty shots without your DSLR kit, just turn the red knob on your DSLR baseplate, pull up your camera with the Z-Finder still attached - the camera quick-release plate stays mounted on your camera so that you can quickly switch between using the camera as part of a rig or on its own.

Currently available in the Cinema Line are the following kits: Fast Draw, Fee-N-G and Scorpion.

 

DSLR Recoil Kits
 

Recoil Kits a term coined by Jens and Steve, places your camera directly over your shoulder in the more traditional ENG style allowing for a shorter, lighter and a more balanced rig. You won’t believe how light your rig is! It is perfect for all day handheld shooting; as well as extremely quick shoulder to tripod changeover. Shooting on location in tight spaces when you are plastered up against the wall makes recoil shooting essential.

DSLR Recoil includes everything you need to get started in a Recoil set up while still leaving room for individual customization. The DSLR Recoil includes the Mini DSLR Baseplate with 6.5” rods attached, a QR Shoulder Pad, and the Recoil Handgrip Kit. With this unique system, you can keep your hands in the same place during handheld camera operation. So, no moving your hands to the lens or traditional follow focus which would make the camera rock. The DSLR Recoil is steady and stable!

The Recoil Line is made up of the following kits: DSLR Recoil, UB3 Recoil, Recoil for C100-C300-C500 and Recoil for Sony F5/F55

 

Next Generation Recoil

The new shoulder rigs revolve around one word: BALANCE! Having a balanced shoulder-mounted rig will keep your shots steady and allow you to shoot the whole day.

The core of the Next Generation Recoil Rigs is the VCT Universal Baseplate (pictured left) - Zacuto's reinvented VCT-style baseplate is universal for all cameras from a tiny mirrorless to a camera that's the size of an ALEXA and everything in-between. It's the last baseplate you'll ever need.

Whether shoulder-mounted or on a tripod, Next Generation Recoil Rigs will give you optimal balance and comfort; with lenses and cameras being similar weights, the balance point is approximately where the lens meets the camera body.

In a Recoil rig, the balance point needs to be directly over your shoulder, which puts the camera behind you. This requires focus, monitoring and camera controls to be located forward, creating a lighter and shorter rig.

Universal accessories like Zacuto's adjustable Halfcage Rail and versatile Recoil Handle means one rig can fit all your cameras. Or customizable to fit your unique needs.

With the Next Generation Recoil Rigs, the possibilities are infinite, but to get you started, Zacuto has several suggested kits according to your camera type: Mirrorless and DSLRs, Canon C-Series, Sony F5/F55 and Cinema Cameras.

Click here for a guide on building your Next Generation Recoil Rig.

 

Half Cage
 

The Half Cage creates a solid, adjustable, universal cage structure around the side and top of your camera rig. This will be the last cage you need to buy! It is adjustable to work with all cameras, sizes and shapes. It creates great stability, especially when shooting with DSLR’s, giving your camera a sturdy side grip and the ability to add a top grip. 

The Half Cage is rod mounted and works independent of your actual baseplate allowing you to adjust its position for balance, exact positioning and space requirements. The Half Cage can mount just in front of your baseplate over the lens or behind your camera on rear rods depending on the balance point of your rig and where you want to add accessories. At its most compact height, the Half Cage has a clearance of 5.5” and can be expanded to a maximum clearance of 9” via allen screws. This range will accommodate almost any camera size and accessories.

The Half Cage shines when used with the Recoil concept. The Half Cage is used to attach the Axis EVF Mount. It connects directly to the Z-Rail at the top of the Half Cage giving you left/right adjustability. Using the Axis with the Zacuto Half Cage allows you to mount your EVF without taking up space on the rods and keeps it out of the way of your lens.

 

Follow Focus
   
Z-Focus V2 Z-Drive

A follow focus is a device used for controlling focus when shooting film or video. It is an important tool in any filmmaker’s kit. It allows for precision and stability whether working alone or with an assistant and enables you to be more efficient with your focusing.

The Z-Focus V2 is an extremely accurate follow focus that allows the operator or assistant to pull focus. It can be used shoulder mounted, on a tripod or slider. It is a completely universal system that simply needs a set of 15mm lightweight spaced rods to attach. It clamps on your 15mm rods at any point and slides back, forth and laterally to align with your lens.

The Z-Drive is a unique, universal direct drive follow focus, designed with single operator shoulder mounted rigs in mind. Because it has a universal joint and no internal gears it can’t develop play. It attaches to a single 15mm diameter rod and curves away from the operator at a 60 degree angle creating space and distance from the lens. This is the perfect follow focus for a Recoil rig set up as it brings focus control further forward as well as down for comfortable operation.

 

 

Okii FC1 USB Focus Controller
Compatible with the new EOS 1D X and 5D Mark III!

The FC1 USB Focus Controller gives the photo and video enthusiast a compact yet powerful device that enhances the capabilities of HD video enabled Canon EOS Digital SLR cameras. Like Canon's EOS Utility, the FC1 uses Canon's USB protocol to allow control of a wide range of functions, but without the limitations and bulk of being tethered to a computer.

 

The FC1 uses the autofocus motor in lenses to control focus, even while recording video. This also works in any Live View modes, which can be useful for photography. The HDMI output can still be used in tandem with the controller, as well. The nine other switches located around the central focus knob can be used to access important camera functions, such as video start/stop, digital zoom, saving focus points, and adjusting camera settings. If your intended use is as a remote control for a camera mounted on a crane or jib, the FC1 has been successfully tested with non-powered USB extension cables past 250cm in length.

Handheld and weighing under 141g (5 oz.) including batteries, and less than 7.62cm (3") in diameter, the FC1 can be used as a remote control when connected to your camera with a standard mini-B to A USB cable. It can also be attached to a rig using a 1/4"-20 mount located on the back of the anodized aluminum enclosure.
 

» Download the User Guide here

 

Okii MC1 USB Mini Controller

Compatible with the new EOS 1D X and 5D Mark III!

The Okii MC1 is a wired USB remote, designed for Canon EOS Digital SLR cameras with video capability. Similar to the EOS Utility on a computer, the MC1 uses Canon's USB protocol to allow control of a wide range of abilities, but without the limitations and bulk of being tethered to a computer. When mounted near a rig handle, it provides easy access to camera functions such as video start/stop, digital zoom, and settings changes. The MC1 can also be used at longer distances (e.g., on a crane or boom) with non-powered USB extension cables. An optional automatic recording restart feature is included, which can stop and restart video recording at 11-minute intervals for long film sequences, or can act as a fail safe.

The MC1 is approximately 7.62cm x 3.81cm x 1.91cm (3" x 1.5" x .75") and weighs about 96g (3 oz.). It connects to your camera with a standard mini-B to A USB cable (the same cable you use to connect your camera to a computer). Three 1/4"-20 mounting points on the top and sides are provided to secure the MC1 to a rig or handle, as shown below using a Function Micro Clamp:

 

 » Download the User Guide here.

 

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