Accsoon and Zacuto have teamed up to create an EVF solution utilizing an iPhone. The EVF solution they are developing together uses hardware from both companies in combination with an iPhone running Accsoon’s SEE app.
A prototype of the new EVF was being shown at NAB 2023 and we talked to Accsoon to find out more.
Custom versions of the Zacuto Z-finder and Accsoon’s SeeMo technologies will be integrated together to create the solution. This EVF is essentially just a Zacuto Z-finder and an Accsoon SeeMo that is used in combination with your iPhone and some software. By running the Accsoon See app you will be able to record HD video, live stream, add custom LUTs, engage image magnification, bring up waveforms, and more.
The Zacuto and Accsoon solution still requires you to use your own iPhone, so it is more of an EVF mounting and software solution than a full-blown EVF. Nonetheless, the iPhone actually makes for a very good display as it has a high resolution and good accuracy. Most people already own one, so that certainly helps.
The Z-finder design deliberately leaves a portion of the iPhone screen exposed to be used as a touch-interface control area. Accsoon is developing a matching custom user interface specifically designed for the Zacuto Z-finder with a viewing area that is optimized to work with it. According to Accsoon, critical functions such as image magnification, waveforms, and peaking will be accessible without the user having to remove their eye from the viewfinder. This is a clever design although I wonder how difficult it is to access certain monitoring tools using a touchscreen when your eye is up against the finder. Most dedicated EVFs feature user or assignable buttons that make accessing tools easy without having to take your eye away from the EVF.
In addition, the solution is being designed to work in both horizontal and portrait orientations, the latter being useful for the growing market for social media video in vertical format.
The physical design of the Z-finder allows it to be removed quickly if required. A cutout area on the mount allows a MagSafe cooling fan/charger to be installed on the rear of the iPhone if the users require extended operation times.
The system will initially be compatible with the iPhone 14 Pro Max, 14 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 13 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 Pro. Additional model compatibility may be added later.
Price & Availability
Pricing and availability are to be confirmed. It will be interesting to see what the price will be for this setup. As some sort of reference, a Zacuto Smart Z-Finder Optical Viewfinder for Smartphones retails for $375.25 USD. An Accsoon SeeMo iOS/HDMI Smartphone Adapter is $179 USD, and a Zacuto Axis Micro EVF Mount is $142.50 USD. That’s a total of $696.75 USD.
If the price is north of $500 USD then I think this is more likely to be a product that is aimed at users of small to mid-sized digital cinema cameras like a RED Komodo, Canon C70, Sony FX6, etc. I think the physical size may make it a little tricky to use on small mirrorless hybrids.
I like the concept of this product and it will be interesting to see how well it works in the real world in terms of usability and how easy it is to move and reposition quickly. I am also not so sure how many shooters would want to use their iPhone as an EVF. If you only have one phone, then placing it on a camera and turning on airplane mode may not be ideal.