If you’re a DSLR shooter you probably spend a lot of time looking for the perfect accessories and support gear – if you’re like me you probably spend way too much time! I’m always on the lookout for something that’s simple, well made, well priced and going to make my work and life easier.
One of the most important accessories for DSLR’s is some type of viewfinder for the LCD screen. You just have to have one. I’ve been a big Zacuto fan over the years and I have two of their Z-Finder Pros for my 5D MK II’s. They’re certainly well made and do the job. But two things kind of bug me – they’re really pricey (like all Zacuto products) and they can’t seem to come up with an effective solution for the fact that the lens is basically a big magnify glass that will allow the sun to burn your LCD screen in a heartbeat of you’re not vigilant. They include a eyepiece cover/cap that hangs by a string, but to be honest, it’s a giant pain in the ass. It doesn’t really fit that well and constantly pops off. And when you’re actually shooting it flops around and bangs against the eyepiece. I usually just take it off because it’s so annoying. I’ve gone through three screen replacements now because of this.
So, I’ve been keeping an eye out for something that might be better. AT NAB this year I discovered a small little booth way in the back of a company called Carry Speed. These guys make some very well thought out support gear at truly amazing prices. What I was most interested in was their LCD viewfinder solution – the LCD-4. At about half the price of Zacuto’s version, I think the Carry Speed LCD-4 is a winner.
They were so popular at NAB they were completely sold out, but I ordered one on-line recently and finally received mine a couple of weeks ago.
What I like about this product is that it appears to be designed by actual camera people. It just makes sense. It attaches to the camera quickly and easily and it’s extremely easy to adjust for a perfect fit. The eyepiece flips up on the fly so you can see the screen directly – a great feature. The eyepiece is very comfortable and there’s a large diopter adjustment for us nearly blind old guys.
Overall, the build quality seems to be pretty good. Perhaps slightly more of a plastic feel than Zacuto but it looks like it will hold up well. Also, the quality of the optical glass appears to be somewhat inferior to Zacuto but I don’t think it’s enough to be a deal breaker.
But, the biggest feature it has over Zacuto in my opinion is that it comes with a built-in lens cover that’s engaged with a simple sliding switch. Hello!
Well done Carry Speed guys.
Check out the LCD-4 and their other products at: