Alphatron EVF-035W Video Review.

Below is my video review of the new Alphatron EVF-035W. It really is a great viewfinder with a much better LCD panel than pervious 3rd party EVF’s. The video is best viewed by clicking through to youtube and watching in HD where you should be able to appreciate the screen quality better.

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30 Responses to Alphatron EVF-035W Video Review.

  1. Sebastian says:

    Thank you very much!

  2. dennisphoto says:

    Is it so good that you would dare to tweak the camera’s Matrix to, let’s say fine tune skin tones in a cirtain lighting situation? Would you be able to trust the colorimetry of the screen?

    Thanks/
    Dennis Ersöz

  3. alisterchapman says:

    Well you can fully calibrate the colourimetry and it does look accurate enough to use for matrix adjustments. I’d still prefer to use a larger monitor though.

    If I just wanted to fine tune skin tones I’d use the multi matrix.

  4. dennisphoto says:

    Seems as a well thought through and nice product. Would have been fantastic if it had supported Waveform monitoring as well. hopefully they will add it in a future upgrade (as TV-logic is planning for their small monitor). Of course I appreciate false colours and histograms, but to me, they can’t compete with a Waveform monitor. But maybe I’m too much old school :-)

  5. christoph says:

    Alister, any chance you are producing your EVF arm? Or is there somebody that manufactures them?

    • alisterchapman says:

      Not at the moment, but I’m getting lots of requests, so when I get back from Asia I’ll look into it. Which camera would you be using it on?

  6. Mark Bloomfield says:

    Hi Alister
    Great review full of useful information, many thanks.
    Best wishes,
    Mark

  7. Daniel Reed says:

    Great Review Alister!

    I’m curious how the Alphatron EVF compares to the SmallHD DP4-EVF in terms of use out in the field, and not just specs on paper; specifically, I’m concerned about the loupe hinge. Does the hinge on the Alphatron have tension to it, or does it swing freely(like the Zacuta)? Also, how effective are the top magnets at holding the loupe firmly to the top of the monitor when opened?

    Thank You & Cheers!

    Regards,
    Dan

    • alisterchapman says:

      There is no tension in the hinge. The magnet holds the loupe in the fully open position quite nicely. It’s not a very powerful magnet, but strong enough to hold the loupe open, not so strong as to make it hard to close it quickly when you need to. I haven’t used the DP4 so can’t compare, but the Alphatron is very good indeed and a real pleasure to use.

      • Daniel Reed says:

        Thanks Alister for the update, the EVF is sounding brilliant.

        One other concern I have is display latency/motion blur. How is the picture in terms of image delay/retention? This may be of concern when using shoulder rigs or when on dolly tracks
        i.e.
        -Does fast moving action tend to blur the movement?
        -Is the image response noticeably off from real-time (delayed)?

        Thank again!

        • Hanno Hummel says:

          I just got my Alphatron EVF-035W – first of all i noticed a huge delay i guess it is a 3-4 frames delay. Alphatron reports that it is a known problem with the FS700 and not a problem with the EVF.
          Searching the internet you can barely find any any information on this problem. But you find some. Just wondering if all others just live with it? In my opinion it is a pritty bad.

          • alisterchapman says:

            The Alphatron EVF exhibits a delay of about one frame. This in itself is not too bad and no worse than any of the other 3rd party viewfinders. However the FS700 does have about a 3 frame delay, not only on the output but also a 2 frame delay on the internal LCD. So when you use an external EVF on the FS700 you do end up with around a 4 frame delay which is not ideal. Sadly there is little you can do about this, it is primarily due to the latency of the FS700’s output.

          • Hanno Hummel says:

            Thank you for your repley. Hardly to find any answers to this problem on the internet. Somehow it feels that no one likes to talk about it. Maybe it can be fixed with a firmeware update? A four frame delay is reallybad to work with.

  8. John Collins says:

    Hi Alistair,
    I’ve just returned my Zacuto EVF Pro to Visuals and exchanged it for an Alphatron thanks to your’s and Visual’s recommendation. I’ve been using the Alphatron with my Canon C300 for most of last week on a new car series and have found the image resolution to be very poor compared to the Zacuto. I’m using HD SDI and have checked and rechecked all the settings on the camera and EVF but can’t get the image to resolve properly. Am I doing something wrong or is this as good as it gets? The focus assist is as good as useless and there is no peaking adjustment. I’m contacting Alphatron to make sure I’ve not missed something in the menu settings. Any thoughts gratefully received. Cheers
    John

    • Lee says:

      Hi John,
      Did you ever sort out the resolution & focus assist issue with your Alphatron. I’ve just started using mine and I had similar first impressions to yourself.
      Cheers

  9. Nicholas Natteau says:

    Just to add to John’s statement. I’m returning my own Alphatron EVF as the focus assist appears to be broken. Peaking only occurs on the very edge of the screen even though the image is clearly in focus. There seems to be some sort of malfunction in my unit, so I’m returning it.

    • alisterchapman says:

      These are worrying reports. I hope they are just teething problems with this new product. Normally TV-Logic make very good products. When working the EVF’s are great. Mine is still going strong.

  10. benjamin says:

    Im having same problems.
    Pixel to pixel not working
    Peaking unusable
    OK resolution but not what i expected
    bad input output hdmi unstabble
    and a burnt spot on the screen

    Im going to return mine shortly. Its a shame

  11. Stuart Luck says:

    Just had a look at the Alphatron EVF attached to my Canon C300 . Was hoping for great things particularly with focus assist . Sadly not particularly impressed with the performance of the Alphatron . Hoping there is a new EVF out that comes close to those found on the old fashioned ENG cameras like the Sony 900R, Panasonic HPX 2700 etc.

    • alisterchapman says:

      I took a look in a HDVF-20A viewfinder on a PDW-700 the other day. I had forgotten just how soft these are. Yes you can crank up the peaking to extremes but that changes the contrast on a CRT finder and makes exposure hard. I certainly don’t want to go back. The majority of the old CRT EVF’s only have about 400 lines of resolution.

      Have you set up the aperture setting to suit your needs?

      • i returned my alphatron because after two hours filming in sunlight it burned the monitor so it got big wholes in the screen
        to bad, i found it very nice and I need a good viewfinder for my sony f3 and fs700 who both need critical focusing

        • alisterchapman says:

          The alphatron has a shutter to prevent burns. ALL LCD EVF’s can be burnt by the sun very quickly, even Sony’s $10k C35W will burn if pointed at the sun. The lens acts as a magnifying glass and will focus the sun onto the screen and burn it. That’s why Alphatron have the shutter, so you can close it when you take your eye away from the viewfinder.

  12. Darragh Sinnott says:

    Alister,
    they all don’t burn that easily. I had one returned to me by a professional cameraman a few days ago with burn marks on the screen. He said it could only have been a few seconds when he moved his head up from the EVF to look at the scene that the sun crept in.
    I’ve never had this happen with typical Sony EVF’s. I think its because the Sony’s have a mirror box whereas the alphatron design doesn’t. I’m not saying a Sony EVF can be pointed at the sun for long periods but I’m certain that you will not damage it in seconds if you did. Unlike this one. If it’s not a design flaw then it’s certainly a serious design limitation.

    • alisterchapman says:

      CRT’s are far more resistant to burns. I’ve seen many a melted interior to a CRT viewfinder yet no problems with the screen. I’ve also seen many £6.5k Sony C35W’s ruined by burns as well as plenty of EX3’s. The issue with the newer, larger LCD EVF’s is the size of the diopter which lets in a lot of light and the magnification used is just right for focussing the sun to a nasty hot spot, just like kids using a magnifying glass to fry ants on a sunny day.

  13. Darragh Sinnott says:

    Yes, the diopter lens on the Alphatron does seem especially big and strong, plus the thin film covering the screen is made of a very soft plastic – which also makes it scratch very easily. Not good.
    I believe this unit needs to have a warning sticker on it to caution people if they plan on using it outdoors. There is nothing about it in the manual nor does the manual explain abut the shutter and what it’s for. Very remiss in my opinion not to clearly identify this vulnerability with the EVF design and explain the proper handling with the shutter when working outdoors.

  14. Robbert van Loon says:

    I assume you talk about the problem that the audio (from the mini-jack on the rear of the FS700) and the video on the Alphatron are out of sync (4 frames)?
    I, too, have that problem. I think a solution would be to ‘get’ the audio from the EVF itself. Then, both audio and video would be in sync, although they, combined, are not in sync with reality. But as long as you keep your other eye closed, you won’t know, right?

    • alisterchapman says:

      There is a 4 frame delay on the HDSDI and this does cause the audio from the headphone jack to be out of sync with the HDSDI.

  15. Gav D says:

    Anyone else experiencing problems with the Alphatron’s lens shutter? I find occasionally that the blades shift from their locators and so don’t close properly. I’ve dismantled it twice so far to reposition the blades.

  16. Roger Price says:

    I have the Alphatron EVF and I do like it, it worries me a little about screen burn but i am in the habit of closing the shutters.( it is easy to replace, spares screens are around $10… IPHONE SCREENS ) its a fantastic unit and I find it sharp, (*settings aperture +25 seems to work great.) the peaking and focus assist don’t work that well with the HDSDI from the c300 but i find i don’t even need them. its sharp. clear and easy to focus. ROGER

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