Zigview Review Posted

Reviewed by: Mario Georgiou, June 2005
Manufactured by: Seculine
Requires: Digital SLR camera
MSRP: UK£119.99 (additional adapters £6.99)

I was awakened by an urgent knocking on my front door. Very groggily I answered it and there was a delivery man holding a box. I took one look at the box and the packing slip which said Intro2020 on it, and that was enough to snap me awake. I wasn't expecting this—a Zigview had arrived on my doorstep. So some of you may shrug and ask what on earth is a Zigview? Good question.

I will answer the question with a scenario. You are doing some macro photography at a client's facility. A low angle shot is required, but being low angle it's going to be a real pain to get the shot while lying on the floor. So you reach into your kit bag and pull out the Zigview. Slide the Zigview into place over your cameras eyepiece, and switch it on. The Zigview's LCD screen comes to life displaying the image from your viewfinder. Neat yes?

The Zigview is distributed in the UK only (so far) by Intro2020, a company which specializes in photography accessories and products. Zigview is a very useful gadget which allows you to see what is visible through your camera's viewfinder via its LCD. The concept behind this is very nice and simple, both to set up and use. The unit will facilitate the use of your camera in situations where you can't access your laptop for tethered shooting and need to be able to see through your viewfinder with ease.

The unit is shipped in a small box which contains the Zigview, user manual (written in English and Korean), a charger, eyepieces compatible with Canon, Nikon and Fuji D-SLRs, mounting screws for the eyepiece, a screwdriver and a soft cloth bag to store the unit in when it's not in use.

I charged the unit and then mounted it to my Canon EOS D-SLR. The Zigview is very light and doesn't put any undue stress on the eyepiece. The unit uses a self contained battery which requires charging. It takes about two hours to get a full charge which should provide about six hours of continuous usage.

When I switched the unit on, it took a few seconds and then sprang to life giving me a partial view of what was in my cameras viewfinder. I then used the Zigview's joystick to switch into the configuration menu and adjusted the settings until the viewfinder displayed what I wanted (including the camera settings display inside my viewfinder). The configuration settings were then saved to one of the memory banks. You can have up to five configurations saved for different scenarios.

The built-in zoom capability allows you to zoom right in to check how tight your focus actually is. Scenarios where this will be useful are common. If the camera is on a boom above your head at crowded events, when you need to shoot over an obstruction like a wall which is just a bit taller than you are or when using a telescope which would require that the camera be attached at a low angle, the Zigview is ideal.

The display itself is about the same size as a typical color cell phone screen. The quality of the display left me a bit disappointed as the resolution was only 220x176 and appeared a little grainy. It's good for indoor use and on overcast days but should you need to use it in bright daylight you'll need a hood for it; easy enough to do these days. The display's clarity wasn't bad either, but considering that this is a tool which is designed for some very specific uses there are no real complaints.

At about the same price as a 2 megapixel point & shoot the unit does its job well, providing decent value. However I would recommend using it only in situations where your camera's autofocus can really handle itself. That means no low light shooting and no shooting at locations where focus is absolutely crucial. Zigview does the job but seeing as this is a first generation product, I'm eager to see what future developments have to offer. I'd love to see a Bluetooth variant which allows the screen to be used away from the camera and with a higher resolution display.

Cons: English in the manual needs to be cleaned up. Screen could do with more resolution and sharpness. I do not recommend using the Zigview where it could get knocked around because solid impacts might damage the eyepiece.

Pros: Supplied with screwdriver and adapters for Canon, Nikon and Fuji. It does its job well. Compact and Easy to configure and use. The unit doesn't occlude or interfere with any camera controls. The Zigview rotates nicely about the eyepiece. The Zoom is very useful.

When I first got news of this product, the question of whether or not it would do the job was high in my mind. I can honestly say, that were I to have need of the Zigview, I would definitely buy one. I think that it still needs some work, but with a better quality sensor/display it would be a great product instead of just a good one. As a first offering from Seculine they have done a nice job. I recommend the Zigview for anyone who does macro Photography, shoots at crowded venues where you have to hold the camera at arms length and for astronomy photography in the field.

This Review has been reposted in it's entirety from kickstartnews.com.