The Hoodloupe 3.0 with the Canon 5dmkII and the Zacuto Z-Finder V2

I just got this in the mail today. Got stuck at customs for a week and I ended up with 30 quids worth of duty and tax charges on it. Not cool. I wish I had bought it whilst in the US, would have saved me some money!

Anyway, for all you Canon 5dmkII owners who are struggling with using the LCD for video then here is a cheap solution…The Hoodloupe 3.0 from Hoodman.


I have been using the Zacuto Z-Finder and it’s amazing. It makes a huge difference. Gives you an extra point of contact for stability (your eye) but also magnifies the LCD so it’s huge in your eye. Below is a picture of my one which is actually a prototype.


Now this little baby is gone…it’s out of stock. Sold way more than they made! Also they have dumped this design and a new one is almost ready. I was lucky enough to see it at Z-HQ last week in Chicago. Very impressive and it does away with the velcro which is great. I used the Z-Finder on both my Sofia’s People and my Cherry Blossom Girl short films. Without it there is no way I could have been as stable as I was or got the damn shots in focus!

Z-Finder V2
Z-Finder V2

Now, the problem is as I said is it’s out of stock…and for you guys on a budget it’s $395. Personally I think it’s money well spent as it’s the best I have seen but also you get that amazing lifetime warranty.

But what if you need something NOW or you only really afford about $100? Then check this out. The Hoodloupe 3.0. It’s not specifically designed for the 5d, it works on most DSLRs but it’s how well it works with the liveview video mode that I am interested in. So much so that I spent $160 of my hard earned cash to review it for you lot (extra $60 was shipping and taxes).

Now it doesn’t magnify like the Z-finder at all, it just cuts out the light by being pressed against the screen (it’s held on by rubber bands) and with your eye up against it, gives you that second point of contact (albeit a slightly uncomfortable one) and the ability to be really close to the LCD and get it in focus. You have a +-3 diopter to get it in focus and it helps enormously. WAY better than just holding the LCD up to your eye. That stability handheld is VERY important and on a tripod if you don’t have a monitor or are in bright sunshine, it helps enormously.



It come in a natty little case!!
It comes in a natty little case!!
Held on by rubber bands across the front
Held on by rubber bands across the front
Covered in fluff from my shagpile rug!

So it works, it’s very cheap and using something like this or the Z-Finder whilst shooting video is essential. Do I recommend saving up for the Z-Finder? Yes, if you want to get a large viewfinder like image. But if you really can’t afford it or really need something now or even just want something to check back images once they have been shot by holding it up against the LCD then this will do the trick.

I hear Redrock have something coming out…until then we only have two options. One is almost a proper viewfinder, the other cuts out light and is a focusing aid. Both are great. Neither can let you angle the LCD. Now that I want to see!!

So to reiterate…If you have the Z-Finder, no need to buy the Hoodman. If you have neither and are broke, buy the Hoodman. If you can afford to save up and I really recommend you do, get the V2 Z-Finder when it is released in July, but hurry it will sell out fast. I have my order in for 20 already. Going to flog them on ebay for double come August 😉

Oh and here is the youtube video from Hoodman. To be honest it doesn’t do the product any justice at all, it’s way better than this. They need a new video that sells this as a great video aid for the 5dmkII because it is!

Want to learn how to create the film look? Click below.


Hear me talk about Canon 5dmkII workflow and meet me at the first London FCPUG Supermeet, with special guest the legendary Walter Murch!!



  1. Yep, I couldn’t wait around for the Z-finder to be in stock, so I got the Hoodloupe to go along with the Zacuto Sharp Shooter kit.

    Haven’t had any experience with the Z-finder to compare, but the Hoodloupe seems to get the job done very well. Maybe I will try to rig up something for the eyepiece to make it more comfortable…

  2. Thanks for the timely review! I had ordered one a few days ago with the hopes that it would work about as well as you described. Now I have some confidence that I didn’t just toss some money out the door.

    I wear eyeglasses, so I’m not sure if ANY eyepiece will be comfortable, but could you speculate or ask around if the new Zacuto finder would work well with spectacles.

    And thanks Philip for the time you put into your blog.

  3. Phil,
    Have you tried either on on the EX1 LCD? I would be interested to know your thoughts. I have the sock loupe which to be honest is a good idea but not very well made and I hate having to fiddle with it every time I put my eye to it.
    Nigel Elis

      1. Hey what about this for GH1? Sure it will work with the LCD out but I wonder if it is thin enough to turn the LCD around with it on…I am really considering it as the Z-Finder (version 2 or otherwise unless I’m mistaken) won’t work with the GH1 particularly well. Then again we do have that nice (for video) EVF, but I don’t like having to always hold the camera up that close, and at that level.

  4. If you want to make the Hoodloop more functional
    and confortable then you should get the rubber
    eye cup that fits on the Sony PD-170…

    The eye cup slips over the hoodloop perfectly,
    is more confortable, keeps the sun light out
    and can be folded back (towards the camera body) when not in use…

  5. Thanks Phil for the review.
    The new Z-Finder V2 (coming first week in August) has a bunch of features that we have not published yet. Like the ability to attach it to a lanyard around your neck, because I find that I want to take the Z-finder on and off depending on what I’m doing with the camera. Plus if someone bumbs into it hard, we want it to pop off of the camera so it doesn’t damage anything and the Lanyard will protect it from hitting the ground. We also have the ability to use custom fit rubber bands for that extra protection if you are not using the lanyard, finally, it has a 1/4 20 in case you are in a weird setup and need to use an articulating arm.

    Now about all of these screens that flip and tumble like the GH1. Since the Z-Finder adheres to the screen it will move with it as the screen moves, so that problem is solved. If you have any questions about the Z-Finder V2 (which has so many improvements on the V1 model, that we learned just from using it for a while) contact me

    One last thing, since we love the V2 model so much and in line with our Zacuto culture of wanting the Zacuto experience to be amazing, everyone who bought a V1 model and sends it in will get a V2 model back. No cost to you, we’ll even pay the shipping to get it back to you.

    1. So here we can see how one can make an DIY IMPROVEMENT TO AN EXISTING PRODUCT and sell it for 3x of it’s price (in the case of Z-Finder v1) and still making some profit after the V2?

      “MAG!C IV” just like Canon’s marketing.

  6. I am based in Queensland Australia and I have a Canon 5D MkII with a Hoodman Cinema Pro kit that I purchased through the Australian distributor ( a few months back. While I find the Hoodman an excellent product I have found one recurring issue with it, that is the fogging up of either the LCD screen on my camera
    once I’ve placed the loupe over it or the eyepiece fogging up after I’ve been shooting with the camera up to my eye for a few minutes.

    This fogging requires that I wipe the LCD or eye piece every few minutes while I’m shooting which really disrupts my flow and I think it disconcerts the talent when they seem me getting out my hanky to wipe it all the time 🙂

    It’s quite humid here in Queensland this time of year especially, I was wondering if you or any of your readers had any strategies to deal with this issue which I’m sure i’m not the only one to experience?

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