Friday, April 8, 2011
Canon EOS Rebel T3i and Zacuto Z-Finder Pro Video Test
Spring has sprung with the 10th annual Spring Jubilee at my children's school over the past weekend. Food, fun and festivities became all the talk of my son and daughter preceding this kickoff to the spring season. My kids anticipated "free rides" day while I looked forward to another Canon EOS Rebel T3i video test with my newly acquired Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 2.5x optical viewfinder from my friends at North Tampa Photography.
I had my first brush with the Zacuto Z-Finder during last year's Philip Bloom Florida Meetup. Surrounded by aspiring filmmakers with the latest HD DSLR gadgets became a fruitful and egg timer raising experience for me as well as for my friend at Getawaymoments. I was immediately impressed by the outstanding quality and build of the viewfinder until I found out how much they cost. A little sticker shocked, I moved on to more pressing issues like the dinner menu at The Hurricane Restaurant.
Almost a year later since my last encounter with the Zacuto Z-Finder, I took the plunge and acquired the latest version of the Zacuto Z-Finder with 2.5x magnification which includes the Anti-fog eyepiece, Gorilla plate with metal mounting frame and those Extender frames for farsighted eyeballs. The whole kit was very complete and included everything to get shooting HD DSLR video right out of the box. Little extras like a viewfinder lanyard and even a hex wrench are included.
Now to the Zacuto nitty gritty. The Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 2.5x does the job of achieving critical focus with fast lenses in low light conditions. Another caveat is the ability to focus in bright sunlight and maintain exposure with a Fader ND Mark II filter by Fader. All these critical elements converged in my latest Canon EOS Rebel T3i Video Test of Spring Jubilee using the Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 2.5x optical viewfinder.
My skeptical bubble burst with ample use of this valuable cinematic tool. Speaking of tools, I paired the Canon Rebel T3i/600D with an EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens with a Fader ND Mark II filter by Fader to reduce the incoming light. For audio capture, I used a Sennheiser MKE400 shotgun microphone. This whole rig was mounted on a Manfrotto 701 HDV fluid head on Benro 3580 tripod legs. I edited this 1080p video test at 29.97fps with iMovie'11 and used Quicktime at best quality to compress a 800mb h264 video file.
To view more Canon EOS Rebel T3i videos like above and more ISO and quality comparisons, you can view my Canon EOS Rebel T3i/600d Gallery.
You can view more shattering images in my Spring Jubilee 2011 Gallery. Shot exclusively with a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV.
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