Each month Wildfoot Travel’s Dave Cheetham reviews a piece of wildlife travel or photography gear. From clothing, to books and cameras to accessories, the product-in-focus may vary, but the honest and thorough scrutiny remains constant.
“As a DSLR user, I’m sure I am not alone in my frustration with shooting video in the field. I know my camera (Canon 5D MkIII) is capable of shooting great video but, confined to viewing it on the LCD screen, I find it impossible to see what I am filming. Most of the time sunlight and reflection on the screen make it almost pointless trying. So I set about finding a solution.
Enter the ‘Kinotehnik LCDVF Viewfinder’. With models available to suit a wide range of cameras and screen sizes, the first task is to make sure you choose the right one for your camera. Having done that successfully, I bit the bullet and paid the surprisingly high £85 price tag. A unequivocal solution to my screen-reflection-worries was the only thing that could possibly ease the sting of that size of payment.
After unwrapping the device and scanning the instructions, I peeled off the backing tape and attached the thin, unobtrusive metal frame around the screen on the rear of my camera. With that neatly in place the viewfinder’s magnetic surround met the frame with a comfortable and reassuring click and we were ready to go. Simple.
From that moment on my film-making worries were over. Today, the viewfinder makes shooting any video a pleasure. It attaches and detaches with a flick of the wrist and I can honestly say that I have never even noticed the metal frame which remains mounted on the back of the camera since it’s application.
Easing your eye to the viewfinder’s comfortable eyepiece, the subject is magnified and crystal clear, leaving you free to focus and adjust the camera settings, helping you get the best video footage possible. What’s more, by some weird and inexplicable technological magic, the screen is magnified, so you see everything at three times it’s real size. Aside from allowing better camera control, this leads to an uniquely intimate connection between you and your subject, enriching wildlife encounters ten-fold.”
The rubber eyepiece offers a snug and comfortable fit, blocking out all external light. For projects which require you to keep your eye to the lens for longer periods, like observing wildlife or simply waiting for the magic to happen, there is an additional microfibre eye-cushion.
The viewfinder is lightweight and comes with a handy carry-pouch which clips on to your belt (or anywhere else you choose) so it is always to hand. When you are not using the viewfinder, an unobtrusive lanyard allows you to keep it hanging from your neck ready to be clicked on or off in a jiffy.
In any review I would award this excellent new addition to my camera bag five-stars – and a sixth if that were allowed.
As a side note, this neat accessory offers an additional benefit for anyone with restricted vision. The magnified view can be used to take still photos as well as video, enhancing visibility and camera control for those with eyesight issues.