Well, it’s been two weeks of using the C100 in the real world and so far so good. I’m starting to get used to it and operating is becoming second nature. It is a very easy camera to use from a technical standpoint. It’s also stood up well to most of the situations I’ve thrown at it and I’m quite happy with the images I’ve gotten.
The first thing I had to do with the C100 is figure out a way to make the flip-out LCD screen and the disappointingly small viewfinder more functional. I needed different solutions for shooting eye-level hand held, low angle while holding the handle, and everything in between.
The first thing I did was go to my favorite local camera shop and look through their box of random parts. I came across a viewfinder eye-cup for an old Sony PD-170 – that’s a blast from the past. I did a little trimming around the opening and low and behold, it slipped around the C100’s eyepiece pretty well. It’s nice and snug and won’t easily come off unless you actually pull it off. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s much more comfortable. It also blocks out almost all of the light. I used it in bright sun on the beach and it got the job done.
Now onto the LCD screen. There were certain times that using the LCD screen “as is” worked just fine. But in bright lighting situations, it became a bit of a challenge. I think the Zacuto Z-Finder that’s designed to clip over top of the C100’s LCD will be a great solution but it’s availability has been delayed. Not sure why, but I think it may have something to do with the fact that the LCD screen’s mount doesn’t have much tension. Any extra weight means it won’t really stay in position. It works pointed straight up and straight out. Anything in between, it just seems to sag and eventually drop down. Rather frustrating.
In the meantime, I did find the Hoodman EX Kit Pro. It turns the LCD screen into a viewfinder by attaching an eyepiece with a rubber mounting strap. You’ll need to do some minor trimming of the rubber to make it fit around the screen’s knuckle. Again, not a perfect solution, and definitely not the best quality optics, but it saved my bacon a few times. For example, when I was low on the sticks with my 70-200mm to get some long lens stuff, using the LCD made tracking focus much easier. It was also great not having to be on my knees to look through the small eyepiece. For the price, it serves the purpose of a temporary fix.