Hoodman Cinema Kit PRO
Hoodman developed the Hoodloupe for quick field checks of images on DSLR LCD screens. The original design was meant to be hand held against the screen for a quick peek at the shot you had taken, then put back in the kit bag. Then came the DSLR video revolution, and the need to view the live mode LCD as a video camera viewfinder.
Hoodman’s solution was to first, add some rubber bands to hold the hoodloupe onto the screen (hmmm), and then they developed the hoodcrane.
I have been using the ‘cinema kit’ for some months now and, despite initial qualms about the fragility of the unit have been super impressed by its build and functionality.
The loupe with the HoodMAG offers a bright, 3 x magnification of the camera’s entire LCD screen (3.0” on the canon 5D MkII). There is an adjustable diopter to suit most eyes too, plus an eye-cup rubber to exclude light from the peripheral vision.
In fact the loupe is so good, that it’s the LCD screens themselves which are the weak link in the chain since their resolution is not high enough to offer precise focussing at a glance under such scrutiny (despite all the letters put in front of them in the blurb – VGA / High res etc).
After a while, though, you learn to see the sharpest point of the focus travel, and trust it, then you can always spot check focus by zooming in to the LCD.
The crane arm is very versatile and allows the screen to be viewed without the loupe, or rotated out of the way entirely so that you can use the camera to take stills with its optical viewfinder. All this articulation looks fragile, but I dropped mine down a 20m cliff onto rocks the other day, and it survived the fall, no problem. I carry my kit with the loupe mounted and only remove it when I’m packing the whole thing into a backpack.
We will be adding video tutorials on how best to use the system to the website in the near future.