The proliferation of digital cameras has brought with it gadgets galore for photographers, some more useful than others. One of these, the Zigview, provided an electronic viewfinder (EFV) such as found on point-and-shoot cameras, for SLRs – both film and digital. The benefits of the Zigview were readily apparent. With 360° rotation, the Zigview device allowed photographers to shoot low-angle shots without having to kneel or lie down and allowed for high-angle shots without using a ladder. In certain situations, the Zigview was certainly a very useful device. Now, with the release of the latest model, the Zigview-R, its usefulness has increased dramatically. This new version provides the same basic function as the original but adds a host of new features including remote, intervalometer, and motion-detection shutter-release abilities.
The Zigview-R ships with the Zigview-R unit, a shutter-release cable, an assortment of eyepiece adapters, charger, storage pouch, and user manual, which does a good job of laying out the features and directions for use, though it could use editing to correct for its poor use of English. After you select the correct eyepiece adapter for your camera, you attach the eyepiece adapter to the Zigview-R using the included screwdriver and screws. The shutter-release cable that comes with the unit only works with certain cameras, so users need to check the camera shutter-release-compatibility chart to determine if a different shutter-release cable is needed, which would have to be purchased separately. Once the eyepiece adapter is attached, the Zigview-R slides right onto the camera’s eyepiece as easily as the camera’s original rubber eyecup. Next, you plug the shutter-release cable from the Zigview into the camera’s shutter-release socket, turn on the camera and Zigview-R, and you’re ready to shoot.
Note: By pressing the shutter-release button on the side of the device, the Zigview-R can also be removed from the camera eyepiece and used as a basic remote shutter release. When used manually, the Zigview-R provides basic shutter-release functionality, including timed and bulb.
You access the user interface for the Zigview-R by moving the joystick to the left and holding it there for a second or two. And the 2″ LCD makes it easy to read. The user interface allows you to make adjustments to the remote release settings. The intervalometer can be set to fire up to 999,999 times over a period of 999 days, with the delay between shots being programmable between one-half second and 99 days. The motion-detection feature operates by detecting brightness changes in the camera’s viewfinder. The sensitivity of the motion detection can be changed via the user interface. The Zigview-R allows you to use either the entire visible viewfinder area or one of nine available sections for motion detection. When setting the Zigview-R for motion detection using sections, you can make the settings independently for each section, allowing you to control which section fires the remote release.
While the entire viewfinder is not visible in the Zigview-R LCD, enough shows to give you a good idea of what is visible in the camera’s viewfinder. The Zigview-R performed well enough in field tests with only minor weaknesses exposed while trying to shoot fast-moving subjects. In these cases, setting the camera to motor drive with the focus manually preset, or with autofocus set for continuous, solved the problem. There were virtually no issues for slower-moving subjects.
The Zigview-R is a photography gadget, but one that many photographers will enjoy and use a lot.