BMPC-4K & BMCC: Hoodman HRT5 LCD sunshade [UPDATED]
UPDATE 3/19/14: I bought a Hoodman HRT5 (see 2nd photo below) for my BMPC-4K and have come up with an effective way to mount it on the camera (see new photos below).
Not by any stretch of the imagination an equivalent to — or a substitute for — a pro external electronic viewfinder (EVF) or monitor for use with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and Blackmagic Production Camera 4K, but an inexpensive alternative.
Blackmagic Design includes a small sunshade with the BMCC and BMPC-4K. Unfortunately, because the cameras’ LCD is very reflective, the standard sunshade isn’t adequate in most brightly-lit shooting environments where a “deeper” hood is really required.
Inexpensive 3M anti-glare film (about which I’ve posted previously) can be applied to the BMPC-4K and BMCC LCD itself and partly addresses this issue.
I don’t like the design of Hoodman’s model HBM1 (pictured below) designed for the BMCC and BMPC-4K, because it attaches to the small hood that BMD includes with these cameras. I don’t like how the HBM1 looks, and because it’s supported by the shade supplied by BMD, it requires more room to pack. So, thumbs down for this approach.
Instead, with a little work, I mounted the less-expensive Hoodman HRT5 5″ LCD hood (see below) on my BMPC-4K without interfering with the camera’s real buttons located beneath and on either side of the LCD, and the camera’s touchscreen is easily accessible.
The front edge of the Hoodman HRT5 sunshade is covered with soft “loop” Velcro-like material, so it can be mounted using hook-Velcro tape.
Note however that the adhesive on Velcro tape does _NOT_ stick to the rubbery/plastic rear surface of BMCC and BMPC-4K cameras!
The photos below show how I implemented a very low-cost, yet highly-effective solution.
I found an inexpensive, already-bent, pre-painted, small piece of thin sheet metal at a local hardware store (roof flashing), and trimmed it down to a smaller size.
I drilled 3 holes along the top edge of the sheet metal so it could be securely bolted under the custom “top plate” metal bar & battery plate I’d previously made for the camera, but two short 1/4-20 bolts can be used alone to attach the piece of sheet metal to the threaded holes on the top of the camera. (I suppose you could use double-sided tape or Velcro tape to attach the sheet metal to the top [metal] surface of the camera. But I don’t recommend this as it may mar the camera’s finish.)
With this solution, the HRT5 hood is easy to attach to the camera when needed, or to remove for packing, and is much more effective and packs much smaller than the original LCD shade included with the camera by Blackmagic.
The HRT5 has two sewn-in short elastic straps intended for mounting it on a conventional flat 5″ LCD monitor. They’re far too short for use with the BMPC-4K and BMCC camera bodies, and their orientation would interfere with the cameras’ buttons anyway, so I cut them off with scissors.
The BMPC-4K can be focussed effectively using its bright green focus peaking feature, clearly visible on its built-in LCD.
Again, the built-in LCD, HRT5 hood, and 3M anti-glare film have nowhere near the functionality of an external EVF (such as Alphatron or Cineroid) or an external monitor, but it’s a relatively inexpensive and effective solution. Plus, a LCD hood doesn’t require power or cabling and weighs very little.
P.S.: Both Philip Bloom and Den Lennie shot really nice videos using only the BMCC’s built-in touchscreen LCD for monitoring. They weren’t happy about the glare on the screen and the inadequate sunshade supplied by BMD, but they succeeded nonetheless. 3M anti-glare film and the deeper Hoodman HRT5 hood (or the GRID 5″ loupe, or the Munz 5″ loupe) might have made their work easier and more enjoyable. Cheers.
My list of related links, short films, and resources for Blackmagic Design cameras.
For my words, videos and photos only: ©2014 Peter J. DeCrescenzo. All rights reserved. www.peterdv.com
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