At NAB 2016 we met up with Steve and Jens from Zacuto where I promptly mispronounced Jens’ name and dived into all of their new gear they were showing off. First off, sorry Jens, my mistake. Second, to name a few of their announcements, Zacuto showed-cased the Gratical Eye, Recoil Baseplate Pro, one of the best extensions arms I’ve seen, and a very smartly designed wood grip.
When talking to Steve and Jens one does not simply ask many questions. Nope, you just get them started and these two take off to the races. Clearly, they love what they do and they love getting great gear into the hands of shooters. Since we talked for awhile I broke up the videos: 1 = Gratical Eye. 2 = Recoil Baseplate Pro, Varicam LT Top plate, Extension Arm, and Wood hand grip.
Zacuto At NAB 2016 Part 1
Zacuto At NAB 2016 Part 2
What I love about Zacuto and their products are they help shooters have a better shooting experience. Smart and functional, Zacuto keeps us shooting.
The Eye EVF
I reviewed the Eye EVF before NAB 2016. You can read the review here so I’ll keep this part brief. At $1995.00, the Zacuto Eye EVF seems like one of the best options for dedicated video cameras right now. It is small and packs a wonderful OLED image. The single joystick feels like it is easier to find your EVF settings faster than an EVF with three or more dedicated buttons. I seem to never remember what button has whatever feature I mapped to it. With a joystick it’s easier for me to bounce through the settings until I find the right one.
The OLED screen has deep blacks and bright whites helping you see exactly what you’re shooting. The screen measures 0.61 inches diagonally with a full display size of 1280 x 1024. No worries with fogging up either. Zacuto has their great anti-fogging included with the Eye.
- Custom Scaling/User Presets
- Color Processing – RGD, saturation, brightness, contrast
- Zebra Stripes – customize width, color, thresholds
- Four programmable buttons (north, south, east, west on the joystick)
- Waveform (3D)
- Histogram (RGB, Luma)
- Audio Meters
- LUT Import, create & editing
- Proximity Screen Saver
- Red Line Peaking (Multi-color)
- False Color
- Frame Store (with transparent overlay)
- Test Pattern (color bars & Macbeth)
- Outboard Tally Light
- Multi level intense focus assist peaking
- Frame Rates
- 23.98p, 23.98PsF, 24p, 24PsF, 25p, 25PsF, 29.97PsF, 30 PsF, 50i, 50p, 59.94i, 60i, 60p
Recoil VTC Pro
Zacuto improved upon their foundation for the Recoil rigs. The current VTC plate mounted to a camera allowed a limited amount of movement. The VTC Pro has a sliding plate built-in allowing operators to move the camera forward and aft. This allows for quick re-balancing of camera rigs after lens changes or changing other accessories. The VTC Pro can also be quickly released from the rest of the rig. If you need just the camera and not all the accessories then just pull the camera off quickly.
Varicam LT Top Plate
This is a sorely needed accessory for the Panasonic LT. The camera has barely any place to mount accessories. With the top plate one can also add a much better, and adjustable, top handle. The top plate comes with numerous mounting options including mounting Z-Arms and 15mm rods.
If you look at the image above you can see the new Extension Arm. It telescopes an additional 3 inches and can fold up and out of the way with a touch of a button. Now you can set down you camera without it falling to one side, but also be able to grab a camera and start shooting quickly. The hand grip has many different adjustments to make operating for long hours comfortable. To me, it appears Zacuto put some serious thought into this accessory.
This is not just a wood grip. Zacuto has back this grip full of camera controls. Essentially, if you have the right camera, the new grip will be able to dive into camera menus, EVF menus, and control the camera all from your right hand. All in all Zacuto has been busy in the past year.