Ethics statement: Zacuto are website affiliates of mine, in fact one of the very first. Steve Weiss, the co-owner is a good friend of many years whom I co-host the web series “Critics” with. Whilst Zacuto do not pay to have banners or adverts on my site, these are click through affiliate links where I get a small percentage of any sales generated from them at no extra cost to the customer. These affiliate links help keep the website going. I very occasionally post about their products, the last time was for the Gratical HD back in January. For more please visit my ethics statement.
I did a review of the Gratical EVF back in January. I had used it during the filming of the last episode of “The Wonder List” for CNN on my FS7, and I absolutely adored it. Critical focus and exposure were nailed when using it. The display is a crystal clear micro OLED with gorgeous optics giving a huge and clear image in front of your eye. The scopes, which are below the video image so don’t get in the way, are the best I have seen on a monitoring device. Waveform, histogram and vectorscope all there at the same time.
The question is often asked to me, “monitor or EVF?” That’s a tough one, I don’t want to choose because I use both. When shooting handheld it’s always using an EVF. For interviews or beauty shots, I love a nice monitor. Now the Gratical is an EVF only. It doesn’t flip up like their old EVF, if it did the screen would be very very small indeed! That’s the micro OLED and Zacuto’s website describes it better than I can!
“The Gratical EVF has 5.4 million pixels on a 0.61” diagonal screen no bigger than the size of your thumbnail. This EVF supports high pixel density with unparalleled resolution, true blacks, gamma and contrast range. With Micro-OLED screens, each pixel is lit individually so that when one is turned off there is true black. This makes for a wider contrast range and more vibrant colors for a vivid, enhanced picture. And with a full display electronic viewfinder resolution of 1280×1024 you know you’re getting the best picture possible.”
The image is just gorgeous, it’s simply the best EVF I have ever used. The one that comes with the FS7 is put away. As is the Sony DVF-EL100 OLED EVF I bought with my F55 which cost me $5,000. I said I should sell it in my review in January…I really should! I haven’t touched it since!
The downside to the EVF is the cost. $3,100 is a lot of money, as was $5000 that the Sony F55 EVF cost! The big difference is the Sony only works on the F5 and F55, the Gratical works on everything. You can use it on your cameras, rented cameras, future cameras…but still you need to find $3,100. That’s where the Gratical X comes in.
What they have done is slash the price, to do this they are selling the same EVF without most of the features for $1650. The features are all software which you can buy individually or in bundles based on what you need/ can afford. As you can see below, the main physical features are all the same.
The Filmmaker essentials are literally essential. Not having them means missing out on one of the most important features of the EVF, the scopes. Plus not having peaking, I couldn’t imagine. It’s on all the time. The “Filmmaker Preferred” is definitely worth it if you can stretch to it, the 1:1 zoom and HDMI/ SDI cross convert are big features. But if you can only afford the basics, then that’s the whole point of this over the Gratical HD. You don’t need to buy it all in one go. You can buy each feature individually, but that will end up costing you a lot more, the bundles make more sense.
Readers of my website can get the “Frame Line” feature worth $95 free by using the coupon code BloomFRAME at checkout.
If you can stretch to the full price of the Gratical HD, then you will be way better off, as it would work out much cheaper especially as it covers all future upgrades.
You can watch my original review below.
Categories: indie filmmaking Information