By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
Thanks to Atomos releasing stripped-down versions of their external monitor/recorders, releasing bare-bones versions of a company’s hallmark products seems to be coming somewhat of a trend these days. Now, Zacuto is getting on the bare-bones bandwagon with their new Gratical X Electronic Viewfinder, which offers the same OLED image quality in a stripped-down model.
People talked, and we listened. They love the Gratical HD, but it’s expensive. It’s hard to make these things cheaper, but the Gratical X gives you OLED in the same range as an LCD EVF. – Steve Weiss, Zacuto
Zacuto has managed to slash the price on a Gratical EVF and still keep the OLED screen’s 5.4 million pixel resolution in the X model. That’s pretty huge. Normally, if you’re going to cut features, the higher priced parts like an OLED, would be the first to go. But in this case, the heart of the Gratical is it’s OLED screen, so you have to look elsewhere to eliminate unnecessary features for shooters looking for a bare bones model.
So Zacuto looked to their software capability. What higher end features of the firmware itself wouldn’t be necessary? That’s where Zacuto found some wiggle room, and some cost savings.
The Gratical X offers the following features out of the box:
- 0.61-inch OLED EVF
- 24-Bit RGB 1280 x 720 Resolution
- Four Programmable Buttons
- Built-In -1 to +4 Diopter Adjustment
- ARRI Rosette & 1/4″-20 Mounting
- Powers from Included LP-E6 Battery
- Price: $1650
But don’t think you’re sacrificing to get a stripped-down model. Quite the contrary, as Zacuto made the Gratical X upgradable, so users could purchase additional features down the road and make their EVF just as capable as the higher priced Gratical HD. That’s forward thinking.
Here are the features that were taken out of the HD model, which can then be upgraded back piecemeal for those on a tighter budget:
- Custom Scaling/User Presets
- Zebra Stripes – Customize width, color, thresholds
- Waveform (3D)
- Histogram (RGB, Luma)
- Audio Meters
- LUT import and editing
- Red Line Peaking (multi-color)
- False Color
- Frame Store Feature
- HDMI output
- SDI output
- Cross Conversion – HDMI to HD-SDI, independent LUT on output stream
The Gratical X gives you HDMI In/Out and SDI In/Out, plus you can control your color, contrast and saturation. Basic stuff. Then you can add features by going onto the Zacuto website, select the custom features you want and download the configuration text file to then update your Gratical X with — I cannot help but wonder when hacks will happen with that type of upgrade feature.
The piecemeal prices range from $85-200 to unlock, with most being around the $125-150 range. There are also three separate bundles which users can consider.
Weiss also mentions however, that after about four or five upgrade choices, it’s probably going to be cheaper to just buy the Gratical HD. But still, for those who don’t need all those extra features, but who still want the high resolution of the Gratical’s OLED EVF screen, this stripped-down version is definitely something they should take a serious look at. Especially since it’s about the same cost of LCD EVFs. Who wouldn’t jump on it?