Zacuto today is announcing a new electronic viewfinder (EVF) to complement their initial flagship Gratical X, and their upgrade-able Gratical HD that is basically a Gratical X without key scopes (left to a la carte firmware upgrade purchases). The new Gratical Eye is the smallest of them all, scaled down to a little bulb, while ironically needing to integrate with a fully rigged-out system. Reason is, unlike the other Graticals that take standard Canon batteries, it doesn’t have any sled for a battery, and relies upon a 2-pin Lemo connector that you need to plug into an external power source (say, the V-Mount adapter you’re using with your camera rig, or on a professional camera, its own auxiliary power port). Also, unlike the other Graticals that have both HDMI and SDI inputs, the Gratical Eye only has a BNC connector for HD-SDI. So clearly, it’s for a very specific configuration that you may or may not have (or want) — but there’s meaningful savings in size, and a lower cost of $1,950, compared to the similarly fully-featured Gratical HD that remains $2,450. At just 14 ounces, it’s much lighter than the 1.25-pound bigger bricks. But like those others, it has a standard Arri rosette for mounting, and a Micro-OLED display with 5.4 million pixels, providing usable 720p resolution (with extra room for scopes and other data across its full 1024 lines of resolution).
Another critical limitation that you need to be prepared for is, it still won’t take 4K natively! That can be a deal-breaker for some, but there are ways around the limitation that you might overlook at first. Namely, if you’re recording 4K as opposed to 1080p internally, you still can set the HDMI output of your camera to deliver a distinct 1080p signal. And though the Atomos 4K recorders do not downscale, Convergent Design’s do. Limitation aside, what you get with all these Graticals is best-in-class durability, as they’re built like a tank, with eye cups that Zacuto is known for, with fog control and solid diopters. Zacuto also added a proximity screen saver, like Blackmagic’s new EVF designed for their URSAs, that saves battery power by blanking out when your eye’s not there. Sadly, there’s no indication that the feature will be added to the prior Graticals — probably because the feature requires a hardware sensor that’s not just firmware upgrade-able.
The product isn’t vaporware and production models are actually going into the wild now. Shipping is estimated to begin on April 25th. For more information, visit Zacuto’s Store.