After the success of their Kickstarter-funded C-Cup for the popular Canon C100 digital movie camera, Miller & Schneider has come out with a similarly indispensable eyecup for the even more popular and affordable Panasonic Lumix GH4 hybrid camera, the Miller & Schneider G-Cup.
The Kickstarter campaign’s product blurb described the C-Cup as fitting “ perfectly to the Canon C100, transforming the EVF from ‘unusable’ into ideal”. Even though the GH4 straight out of the box is nothing like the challenge that I am told using a brand new C100 was, adding Miller & Schneider’s G-Cup to my GH4 turns an already amazing, user-friendly camera into one that leaps into my hands now.
I love my GH4 now more than ever since the G-Cup arrived and I have barely begun putting it through its paces. I carry my GH4 with me everywhere I go, in small to large configurations but now I always make sure I attach or bring the G-Cup along. It has proven useful for shooting stills – something I find myself doing less of these days, and especially when shooting video – which I am thankfully doing more and more of now.
The comfort comes from being able to see the EVF far better under all sorts of lighting conditions from shafts of light in darkness to extreme full sun. I really put the G-Cup to the test a few days ago when I covered a friend’s stall at a local Maker Faire.
My eyesight has never been the best and my eyes could do with a checkup. I could also do with some fully corrected contact lenses when shooting but right now am relying on spectacles made a couple of years ago.
The venue’s bizarre lighting was playing merry hell with my eyes and eyeglasses but the G-Cup did fantastic work of keeping my eyes on the job in hand. The scene in the EVF was beautifully resolved and all those lights were kept away from my eyes so I could concentrate and get my framing and focus right.
The event went on for two full days, from early to late. I had my GH4 rigged up as in the photos on this page, mostly with the excellent Røde Stereo VideoMic X attached and sometimes swapped for a Røde VideoMic Pro R (R for Rycote shockmount). Despite fatigue setting in both days, the G-Cup made it easy to keep shooting throughout as needed.
The G-Cup brought far more stability to this GH4 rig than I have ever experienced with the GH4’s default eyecup. Mind you, they both have their place and the default eyecup has its uses especially when using the GH4 stripped down to camera and lens only for street photography.
Correction. The proper name of the eyecup that comes with the GH4 is, apparently “Eye Cup Unit”, part number NPVYK6T25. How do I know that? When carrying my rigged GH4 in my usual minimalist mid-sized shoulder bag the other day, I swapped to the G-Cup from the Eye Cup Unit, placed the latter into the bag and shot some footage using the G-Cup.
Back at my home studio, I noticed that the GH4's Eye Cup Unit was missing, lost on location, probably fallen out of the camera bag. That’s a costly accident that could have easily paid for a second Miller & Schneider G-Cup. Just as I now can no longer do without the G-Cup for shooting movies, I still need Panasonic’s Eye Cup Unit so have ordered two from the national spare parts importer.
They will turn up in a month or two, I am told. Meanwhile I need to seriously consider a second Miller & Schneider G-Cup. I don’t ever want to lose any more of either. Amazing how such small things can become so indispensable so fast. [bctt tweet=”Miller & Schneider eyecup for GH4 radically boosts movie shooting stability & visibility.”]
G-CUP (FOR THE PANASONIC GH3 & GH4)
Via Miller & Schneider:
The G-Cup is designed to look and feel like an extension of the camera. It can be used with either eye, providing a comfortable, flexible cushion to push against and a solid third point of contact. It wraps around the eye to block out light, and it doesn't disrupt the camera's shape or balance. Simply put, the G-Cup allows you to comfortably use your camera's EVF, allowing handheld shooting with comfort and ease.
We've designed the G-Cup as simply as possible so that we can make it as cheaply as possible. The G-Cup doesn't add a diopter or lens, it simply changes the shape of the EVF's cushion. The G-Cup is designed to work with the Panasonic GH3 and GH4. It is NOT COMPATIBLE with the GH2.
(cover photo credit: snap from Miller & Schneider)