Zacuto

Zacuto Gratical Eye Review

I've been using the Zacuto Gratical Eye for about a year now and thought I would give it a quick review. I've really enjoyed using a number of Zacuto's EVF's. I had the Gratical X for a while, but when I upgraded to the Canon C300 MkII I decided to upgrade my EVF. The Gratical X is great, but I liked the smaller design of the Eye and I no longer needed HDMI, which the Gratical X offers but the Eye does not.. I also like to power my camera and accessories off of one source. The Eye uses a  Lemo connection so I'm able power it off of an Anton/Bauer battery.

Features

The Gratical Eye is loaded with features. I'll list the ones I use most, but if you want a comprehensive list you can visit Zacuto's site

I love that I can have a waveform and histogram always active when I look in to the viewfinder. That way I'm not searching through a menu to find the most essential tools to help me make correct exposures.

I also use redline peaking when I find it hard to focus. I just have to tap the top joystick once to the right and this feature turns on. And to turn it off you just tap again. There are four presets you can program the Eye to have at the touch of a finger using the joystick. This is a big time saver.

I also us the custom LUT feature. Zacuto has some preset LUT's included with the Eye, but you also have the option to load your own LUT's into the EVF. Since I shoot in CLog most of the time it's nice to use a LUT to bring back some contrast into the image I see coming from the camera.

Proximity Sensor

A unique feature of the Gratical Eye is the proximity sensor. The Eye does not have an ON/OFF switch. In order to prevent screen burn in of the OLED screen this sensor will turn off the OLED when it does not sense movement near it. You can adjust the time the sensor uses to turn the screen off. Mine was set to 5 seconds when I received it, but I found that was too short a time and the screen would shut off while I was shooting. I've since adjusted the time to 30 seconds and have had no issues since.

Who's the Eye for?

The Eye accepts an SDI signal. If you want to use it with a camera that only has HDMI out you will need an HDMI to SDI converter, which is doable but not ideal. But it's perfect for cameras with SDI out like the Canon C300 MkII, URSA Mini, Sony FS7, etc.. If you own multiple cameras or rent different cameras for various projects I think this is a great EVF to invest in. 

Here's a recent project I shot using the Gratical Eye.

Gripper Review

I've been using the Zacuto Gripper for the past couple of months and thought I'd do a quick review. The first thing I need to say about this battery system is it's very affordable! It only costs $260 for a 75W battery and $90 for the charger. That's a huge win for anyone in the market for an external power solution. I've used it mostly with my Sony A7s to power the Zacuto Gratical Eye EVF, but could also see this as a way to power my camera with the appropriate P-tap dummy battery

The Gripper is fairly light weight (1.5 lbs), at least compared to my Anton Bauer Digital 90 (2 lbs). It has two P-taps, one on the front and another on the back, as well as a LED fuel gauge so you know how much power you have remaining

The Gripper mounts horizontally to a rig via two 15mm rods and has two P-taps so you can power multiply devices.

The Gripper mounts horizontally to a rig via two 15mm rods and has two P-taps so you can power multiply devices.

One thing I really like about the Gripper system is I don't need any accessories to mount it to my rig besides a couple of 15mm rods. There's no need for a cheese plate and you don't need a battery mounting plate, which usually runs you anywhere from $150 to $300. So when I use the Gripper it's much easier to work with, which saves me time.

Another huge win is this battery is UN approved so you pack it in your carry on luggage and can fly with it.

Who will get the most out of the battery system? I really see the Gripper being used mostly by folks shooting with DSLR's, mirrorless cameras and smaller prosumer cameras like the Canon C100 MkII. If you are using larger cameras like the Alexa or any RED camera you are probably going to use a gold mount or V-mount system. The Gripper is perfect for a small to medium sized rig. If you are like me, and have invested in a Zacuto Recoil rig the Gripper is a great add on.

The Zacuto Gratical Eye powered via the Gripper and mounted to the Indie Recoil.

The Zacuto Gratical Eye powered via the Gripper and mounted to the Indie Recoil.