UPDATED: Redrock Micro microFinder Loupe and Hoodloupe Review

© Matthew Jonas 2010

UPDATED: Shooting video with the Canon EOS 7D is no easy task. Trying to hold the camera steady, keep your subject in focus at f2.8 and remembering to capture usable audio is all part of the game you play every time you press record. There are now a ton of companies out there that are specifically making products that are supposed to help HD DSLR users capture better video and audio.

One of the first companies to do so is Redrock Micro. They make a product called the microFinder Loupe that works in conjunction with the Hoodloupe 3.0. Basically what the microFinder does is securely hold the Hoodloupe in place. Together, they allow you to use the camera’s viewfinder to focus while shooting video. I am going to include a ton of photos with this post due to the fact that when I was researching the microFinder I couldn’t find a good set to get a feel for how this would work on a 7D.

© Matthew Jonas 2010

The microFinder Loupe accessory is a pretty ingenious product. It has a very simple design and has so far proven to be as functional as it claims. The microFinder simply slides onto the Hoodloupe and is held in place with 2 rubber bands. It fits tight and secures the Hoodloupe to seal out most of the light around the cameras LCD allowing you to focus more easily and hold the camera more steady.

© Matthew Jonas 2010

© Matthew Jonas 2010

© Matthew Jonas 2010

© Matthew Jonas 2010

When you look through the Hoodloupe you get a 1 to 1 100% view of the LCD. There are a lot of other companies out there that make loupes that magnify the LCD. I personally do not like the magnified approach. I am used to the cameras regular viewfinder to compose and focus through the lens. Using the Hoodloupe is pretty close to using the regular viewfinder in this respect. The Hoodloupe also features a diopter adjustment so you can be sure what you are looking at will be in focus.

Speaking of focus, there will be a learning curve while using this combination to shoot video. Under some circumstances such as low contrast subjects or dark subjects, it will be difficult to achieve a crisp focus. Using an f stop that will allow a greater depth of field will compensate for this but it is not always possible to do so. I actually find it easier to achieve focus at longer focal lengths and larger f stops because so much of the frame will be out of focus.

© Matthew Jonas 2010

UPDATED: Redrock Micro has updated their online store and has now lowered the price of the microFinder. I have updated the post to reflect the price change. The Hoodloupe retails for around $79.00. The microFinder Loupe Accessory retails for around $39.50. For $119.00 plus shipping, etc., It is one of the least expensive solutions for shooting video with the Canon EOS 7D. Most other loupes cost upwards of $300.00 and after using this combination I am not sure if it would be worth it to upgrade.

Before finally deciding to purchase a microFinder Loupe, I tried several of the temporary attachment solutions for the Hoodloupe. Most of them were simply straps or bungee cords that fit poorly and fell off while shooting. The Hoodman Cine Strap actually broke before I left the camera store. I strongly recommend avoiding that one. At the time this was originally published there were no great solutions for attaching a loupe to the LCD that didn’t involve gluing something to the camera (really, you want to glue something to the back of my $2000 HDSLR?!?! NO WAY). This is the best solution to date, but it is not without its limitations.

Speaking of those limitations, there are a few things that I don’t like about the microFinder Loupe. The first is the price. Even after dropping the price by $15.50 from the original $55.00, it still seems expensive at $39.50 considering the construction. Its basically just a bent piece of metal that was looks to have been stamped from a very thin piece of metal (steel? aluminum?) and painted black. I really don’t buy the argument that it costs $39.50 to produce it. If it were selling for $29.99, It would be worth it and I would probably recommend it to anyone with a Hoodloupe 3.0. Overall it feels unfinished and rough to the touch which doesn’t help to justify that $39.50 price tag.

The second problem is the way it actually mounts to the camera. It’s designed to be somewhat temporary and easily removed. It requires you to use another quick release plate or mounting plate to keep it connected to the camera. Not to complain about the price again, but for $39.50 it should come with a simple way to mount it.

At first I wasn’t entirely convinced that it would work with the 7D. When I contacted Red Rock Micro directly, they said that it would work with the 5D Mk II, 7D and strangely the 1D. I’m not sure how it will work with the 1D as the body is an entirely different shape than the 5D or 7D. They also said that it would work with the grip. It is pretty thin, but I can tell you that it does not fit very well between the grip and body. It leaves a 2 to 3mm gap between them which would allow dust and moisture to seep into the camera body. I imagine that they are probably working on a version to accommodate camera bodies with a built in grip.

Overall, I would say the Hoodloupe and microFinder Loupe Accessory will improve your ability to shoot video with an HD DSLR. It comes at a price, but when compared to other solutions it is very economical. Click here for more info about the Hoodloupe 3.0 and click here for more info on the Redrock Micro microFinder Loupe Accessory.

10 thoughts on “UPDATED: Redrock Micro microFinder Loupe and Hoodloupe Review

  1. Thanks for the review. It was very informative. I suspected the Microfinder Loupe Accessory was way overpriced, and you pretty much confirmed it. RedRock should be ashamed at their price gouging. But I guess when you’re the only player on the field, you can do what you want. Question, does the loupe fit securely when attached to the 7D with the MLA? Any sliding or light leaks? Thanks!

    1. The loupe fits very securely on the 7D. I haven’t had any issues with light leaking around the LCD. Almost every one I know that uses RedRock Micro equipment has the same complaint: looks expensive, feels cheap. They make a lot of very functional products but they will eventually have to adjust their prices as competition in the HD DSLR accessory market emerges.

  2. Can you use the Microfinder with a battery grip.
    What I mean is can I mount the Microfinder in between my T2i battery grip and the camera?

    I recently saw the Hoodcrane, and while it’s elegant, it looks bulky.

    1. Michael, Thanks for checking out the blog. To answer your question: I have experience with mounting the microfinder between the battery grip of the 7D and 5D Mark II. It will fit but it leaves a gap between the camera and grip. Its not enough to disable the function of the grip or camera but it doesn’t feel very sturdy. I haven’t tried to mount it on a T2i but it appears that it will mount. The Hoodcrane is interesting. Just got a chance to check one out. It’s not for me. I still need the hot shoe to mount a mic.

      1. Thank you for the review. I’m very tempted with this Red rock holder.
        But why do you say you can’t mount the mic, if it has a shoe mount for the mic,
        or a light. ?

      2. Thank you for the review. I’m very tempted with this Red rock holder.
        But why do you say that on Hoodcrane you can’t mount the mic, if it has a shoe mount for the mic,
        or a light. ?

      3. The early designs I saw for the Hoodcrane did not include a secondary shoe mount. Even the new ones will place the accessory higher above the camera than I would like.

      4. The extra height could help for the mic not to show up when you use a wide angle
        lens, What do you think about it ?
        However this Redrock doesn’t take any space and is very practical, I like it a lot.
        Thank you for sharing.

  3. Matt, thanks for the reply. After i posted my message I noticed that you mentioned the battery grip answer.

    One quick question on your Micromount…

    I notice that the base of your micromount is different than the pictures that I have seen on the web in stores for sale.

    yours seems to be cut into a “U” shape. While the ones that I have seen on the web simply have a small hole for a screw thread.

    Did Redrock change the mount and not update their photo?

    1. You are correct. The design of the base plate is completely different than the photo that appears on most websites. It will accommodate a larger number of cameras with the “U” shaped design. I know several people with the Microfinder accessory and they are shaped just like mine.

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