If you're working (or planning to work) with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera #BMPC you may quickly realize the LCD screen can be very difficult to work with outdoors. Other cameras may not be as bad, but can still use a little help blocking out ambient light.
One quick down and dirty way to block glare is to simply attach one of these inexpensive folding LCD Sunhoods. The design was originally used for flip out LCD screens on your Panasonic GH3, Canon 60D, T4i, C100, etc. The sunhood attaches via two simple straps stretch over your LCD (or BMPC camera body). It's not a perfect solution, but it's better than nothing. Starting at around $10 dollars, these sunhoods are available from 3"-4.5", and if you're specifically looking to use one with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema, you will need the 3.5" size (found here).
3" / 3.5" / 4" / 4.5" LCD Sunhood
Your basic sunhood will assist with directional glare, but won't completely block out all incoming light. It also will not serve as a second point of contact for added stability - what LCD ViewFinders are popular for. There are literally dozens of great LCD Viewfinder products on the market, many that you've already seen through this blog so I won't go too much into detail here. If you have a specific camera in question, just leave me a comment.
Now while a few companies like Zacuto and Kamerar have announced LCD View Finder loupes that attach to the back of the BMPC, they are not available just yet.
Kamerar MagView LCD View Finder
Another option available now are EVFs (electronic view finders). The benefits to working with an EVF outside of blocking bright light, is that screen can be relocated to a more ergonomic position on a Shoulder Rig, or can articulate to offer better shooting angles when mounted on a Cage system for example. Depending on the EVF, many can also offer additional overlays such as Focus Peaking, False Color, Zebras, and other waveforms to help you with focusing and judging exposure.
Some of the more popular EVFs that range from $600.00-$1000.00 on the market are the Zacuto EVF, SmallHD DP4, and Cineroid EVF (available in different models).
SmallHD DP4 EVF
If you're looking for uber budget, you've probably heard about the most affordable Seetec (a.k.a Feelworld) 3.5" HDMI EVF starting at just $250 (found here). Now before you decide to dive in to this unit, there's a few things you need to know. This lower end EVF CANNOT DISPLAY THE SIGNAL from a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera #BMPC due to it's uncompressed 10bit 4:2:2 HDMI output.
The more affordable EVF systems are typically just HDMI, so this same information will apply to the larger BlackMagic Cinema Camera #BMCC. If you purchase an SDI to HDMI converter, you can use many of the more affordable HDMI EVFs, but not the Seetec version. In fact one person complained about how a cheap SDI to HDMI converter did not work with the BlackMagic Cinema Camera, but didn't realize it was really his monitor that didn't work. He didn't rule out the monitor because it worked with other cameras. In summary the SDI to HDMI converter was working properly, but the HDMI monitor they chose did not work with the feed.
Hopefully this bit of information will save you guys the pain of making a purchase only to find out it doesn't work. If you want an EVF for the BMPC, you'll need to at least look at the other high end displays. As far as a cheaper EVF for other cameras, YouTube member Shawn Barner provides a nice 26 minute detailed run through of this Seetec product.
For other mirror-less and DSLR cameras like the Canon, Nikon, Panasonic GH3, Sony, etc, the Seetec can really help if you're on a budget. Over the last year, several people have been using this EVF successfully. While not quite at the level of the more professional EVF systems, this EVF is still a great start for those who need a small lightweight portable screen to shade from the bright glaring sun, and to relocate a video feed to a more ergonomic placement on a shoulder rig. Available via eBay around $250 US (click here).
I think you misunderstood Rick; He's saying it's probably not the BmPCC's 10bit 422 that is incompatible with the Seetec, it's more likely the progressive signal which is unrecognized with legacy HDMI displays.
Not sure if turning overlays off will fix it though, the Pocket's HDMI is notorious for its selective display support.
@CameraRick - If you can clarify a DSLR camera that can output 422 10 bit, I would love to see it. Even a Canon 5D Mark III with it's firmware upgrade is still 420 8bit.
I actually think that info on the Pocket compatibility is wrong.
Any HDMI Signal is uncompressed, and basically any DSLR outputs 422 - 10bit could be a problem, but I doubt it.
The Pocket outputs natively a progressive signal and THAT is a huge problem for most monitors in the cheaper range (many Lilliputs, too).
Set the SDI Overlays to "off", then you have an interlaced signal, that usually fixes it.
@mark - Peaking basically just overly exaggerates the sharp lines that are in focus with colored lines. It works, and you can often control the threshold to your liking.
If you're talking about the BMPCC, scratch even talking about the Seetec. If you're working with the BMPCC it already has peaking built in, and you can display that as an overlay. So you don't need peaking in an EVF.
PLEASE be more specific... How do the features compare...? such as the peaking filter??? Thank You...
@Mitchell - I believe the most inexpensive one will be the DP4.
What do you think is the cheapest external monitor that will work with the BMPCC? I had one that worked with my T2i, but it says it is incompatible with my BMPCC, so now I need a new one.
Does the cheap $250 EVF also support 50p and 60p like the DP4 does?
Many EVF's do not support 50/60p.
Thank you for the information! What's not mentioned, which I feel is THE most important, is how clear is the budget Seetec as compared to the Smallhd? Does the Seetec provide a much clearer image than your average DSLR LCD screen to set critical focus, or, is it only slightly better?
Looks like this:
Kinotechnik has theirs out, I got it this week and it's awesome! httpss://www.kinotehnik.com/products/lcdvf
@Steve Nunez - Could be sold out now.
The link doesn't show any hoods for 3.5 inches- jumps from 3 to 4.
3" LCD Viewfinder Sunhood fit the GH2 ?
@emm, Still waiting for the version from Zacuto and Kamerar. I wonder why it's taking so long for them to release the product? I'd think companies would be scrambling to be the first to have their product available in the market since the BMPCC is practically begging for the use of a view finder. I'm wondering if the LCD quality of the BMPCC is the cause for delay? An already bad LCD magnified at 2-3X means looking at a bigger version of the terrible screen 🙁
Why can't someone make a tiny hdmi evf just like they have on m4/3 cameras??? I wish they did. I would snap that up in a second!
Would be great to get a few individual pieces of that setup, as I don't have need for most.
@Mike C - If you remove the 15mm clamp this one fits directly to the Honu GH3 cage: httpss://cheesycam.com/adjustable-15mm-dual-rail-clamp-evf-mount/
Thanks for the post/video! I'm looking to get that Seetec 3.5" EVF soon. What EVF knuckle setup do you have going with that? Thanks!