Zacuto are extending their Recoil line of camera support gear to Sony’s FS5. Although the camera itself is small and light enough to use handheld, if you want to get it up on your shoulder you’ll need a rig, and Zacuto want to help you get it there.
Perhaps the most immediately useful piece of kit is the FS5 Z-Finder, a custom loupe and mount which attaches to the stock Sony LCD screen to create a magnified EVF. Unlike the FS7 the FS5 doesn’t come with a loupe for the LCD screen – opting instead for the small EVF at the rear of the camera which is useless when shoulder mounting. The Z-Finder features 2x magnification, drop-in diopters plus a diopter ring, and an auto-close eyecup similar to the one on the company’s own higher-end Gratical EVF. If you haven’t used a Z-Finder before, Zacuto have been making and refining them since the early days of DSLR video and they can really increase the usability of otherwise indifferent screens.
It’s possible to mount the Z-Finder and Sony screen on the plastic rod stud that comes with the FS5 but a more configurable and robust option would be to use Zacuto’s new top plate for the FS5, which comes with a 15mm rod clamp made of sterner stuff than the stock Sony item. You can then add Zacuto’s Axis EVF arm or another manufacturer’s solution to the camera. Happily, for a limited period Zacuto are offering the top plate as a free bonus if you pre-order the Z-Finder.
The viewfinder is only half the story of course. You will still need a rig that mounts the camera in the correctly balanced position on your shoulder, interfaces with your tripod and moves the handgrip to a point where you can use it easily. The Zacuto VCT shoulder mount takes care of the camera’s position – you can move the camera forward or back on it to achieve balance with different lenses. It can quickly attach to a regular VCT type plate that is commonly used by news camera operators. The FS5 grip has a different mounting system to the FS7 and Zacuto have made a custom relocator to move it into the right spot. This allows for increased stability while giving access to all the custom buttons and the zoom rocker.
If you want to use Zacuto’s Gratical EVF instead of the Z-finder option then you can pre-order a full FS5 EVF Recoil kit for $1350 and you’ll get everything else you need to get the camera up on your shoulder including the grip relocator. The kit can also be bought with the Gratical HD if needed (an extra $2100), or without if you already own one. Pre-order this package and you’ll also get a bonus VCT tripod plate which will allow you to go from shoulder to tripod quickly and easily.
If you prefer to stick with the Sony screen and Z-finder there is a full kit for that too. The Z-Finder Recoil bundle adds a Z-Finder to the Recoil kit – it’s already cheaper than buying the components separately and you’ll also get the VCT tripod plate to round things out.
Zacuto are known for the rugged build quality of their kit and at Newsshooter we’ve used and recommended their gear for years. Treat it right and it will probably outlast your camera… All of the kits above will ship in mid-to-late February.
Newsshooter is an affiliate partner of Zacuto.