Accsoon partners with Zacuto to make the iPhone your go-to EVF
The combination of Accsoon and Zacuto might seem like an unlikely pairing. But in this instance, I think the two complement each other quite well. The two companies have come together to turn the iPhone into the EVF of choice for filmmakers everywhere. Leveraging Zacuto’s camera rig knowledge with Accsoon’s software and video transmission technology, it’s a potentially great combination.
I’ve been saying for years that smartphones are an underutilized tool in the real world. They’re a powerful computer in each of our pockets, capable of much more than most of us subject them to each day. The partnership between these two companies should help to access some of that untapped tool potential for filmmakers.
What’s is coming?
At the moment, the teaming up of the two companies isn’t to announce a new product. At least, not yet. They have announced the development of a product, though. This product will be a customised version of the Zacuto Z-Finder (buy here) and the Accsoon SeeMo (buy here). Exactly how they’ll be customised isn’t specified, but it seems to me that if you bought these two products separately today, you’d probably be able to get this functionality already. But it likely wouldn’t be as seamless an experience as the press release would lead us to believe.
If I had to guess what the new alliance will release, I’d say the Accsoon SeeMo tech was being built into the Z-Finder unit itself. This means you wouldn’t have to have two separate devices to perform their respective jobs. You’d just have a single magnifier viewer device that connects to your camera and holds your smartphone. Then you see the camera’s view up close and personal on your phone’s display through the eyepiece.
Can’t we do this already?
One thing Accsoon does mention in the press release is that the Zacuto Z-Finder being planned doesn’t entirely cover the screen. This gives you some real estate off to the side that lets you place buttons – as you can see in the image above. So, to change any of your settings and enable or disable helpers like Waveform, Vectorscope, etc. you’ll still have easy access to that without having to remove your phone from the holder.
Even if you can get EVF functionality now with the current Smart Z-Finder and Accsoon SeeMo, it sounds like it definitely won’t be as polished as what the pair have coming. You’d probably have to remove the viewfinder to adjust the settings on the app and enable or disable visual filmmaking aids.
When is it coming?
Initially, the system will only be compatible with iPhones. And it’ll only be certain models of iPhone at that. You’ll be able to use it with the iPhone 14 Pro Max, 14 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 13 Pro, 12 Pro Max and 12 Pro, and that’s it. The company says that additional models may come later. What they don’t say is whether they mean more iPhone models or if they’ll be expanding the system out to cover Android devices, too.
I suspect they mean the former, but I’ll hope for the latter.
No release dates or prices have been released for the new system yet, although there will be prototypes on display for demonstration at NAB 2023 in Las Vegas starting this weekend. Demo units will be available on both the Accsoon (C7440) and Zacuto (C7249) booths.
Would you use your iPhone as an EVF for your mirrorless or cinema camera?
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.