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The Seculine Zigview S2 is a digital angle finder used for live viewing of your DSLR to save rolling around on the floor in the mud. Unless you like that kind of thing.
- Live Preview Viewfinder: Real time 2.5in display screen
- TV Output: Display on an external monitor/TV or directly to a VHS/DVD
- Detachable Screen: Yes
- Motion Sensor: Yes
- Interval Timer: Yes
- Cable Release: Yes
- Bulb Exposure: Bulb Exposure facility
Seculine Zigview S2 Modes and features
The Zigview S2 is essentially a video camera attached to your DSLR and works by filming the image through the viewfinder and displaying it on the 2.5in LCD screen. It clips to the viewfinder by removing the eyepiece that the camera comes with. Five buttons are situated down the side of the screen and these are the only buttons available to access all the different menus that the Zigview has to offer. The first button is the Esc button which accesses the menus which are Digital view finder, Interval shot (Simple), Long exposure (Bulb), Long exposure (Time), Interval shot (Advanced), Motion sensing shot and General set up. The following buttons are Up, Down, Enter and Power.
The Digital viewfinder option simply accesses the viewfinder allowing shots to be taken. In this mode, the up and down arrows act as viewfinder brightness and zoom. Be careful with the brightness as the screen resolution is very low at only 270k pixels and the image is difficult to see as it is. The enter button then scrolls through a series of different displays for helping compose images and if you don't want to select any, pressing and holding the Esc button comes out of this process. The Interval shot (Simple) option allows the Zigview to take control of the camera and it will take a series of images in succession at regular intervals which can be adjusted to your taste. The Zigview comes with a sync lead so it can be plugged into the camera and be used as a digital cable release which is a great idea and works brilliantly. The Long exposure (Bulb) button allows the Zigview to take control of super long exposures. The camera must be set to Bulb for it to work properly and the timer can be set to whatever time you want which includes hours, so theoretically, the maximum is 99hrs, 59minutes and 59 seconds, but I'm not waiting around for that long and I don't think the battery of the Zigview will cope either. Be aware that if your camera does not have a Bulb setting, this can affect the Zigview. As well as the Bulb setting of Long exposure, there is also a Long exposure (Time shutter) option which allows the camera to be timed as it makes a long exposure. These two options seem to be the wrong way round. I would say that being able to preset the time of the exposure and count the time down would be the Time shutter and simply shooting away and counting up would be classed as a Bulb setting, but they seem to be reversed on the Zigview. The Interval shot (Advanced) is an expanded version of the Simple option mentioned previously. The differences are that different parameters can be set on the Advanced version and these are laid out in a menu that is accessible by pressing down the Esc button for approximately a second. The time to elapse before the camera takes a picture can be set as can the time and amount of pictures along with the shutter speed and option to save the parameters set. The duration can also be set and this has a maximum setting of 99days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. The number of exposures can also be set to a maximum of 999999 which is possible with constant power to the unit and camera and a constant link to an external download source like a computer. Errors can be made and this can be down to the calculations when setting the parameters so if you set the interval of three seconds with a bulb exposure of four seconds, this is an impossible calculation and the Zigview S2 will tell you by flagging Error on the screen.
The Zigview S2 also has a motion sensor which uses preset parameters for the amount of light in a certain area of the screen, so if the amount of light in that area changes, the camera will take a shot. The screen has an array of information with two sets of numbers in nine separate areas of the screen. The left set of numbers indicate the brightness of that area, the arrow in the middle indicates whether that part of the screen is darker or lighter than the set number and the right numbers indicate the amount that the light has changed. The presets are input in the menu so it knows when to take a picture.
The Setup screen is the core of the Zigview and allows changes to the basic functions. The options available are Screen adjustment as when the Zigview is first started, it may not fit the viewfinder, the Brightness, Batter/Logo display which will show the company logo and/or the battery measure on screen, Screen colour, Video output, Camera ready which must be set for motion sensing shooting and must be in time with the cameras setting or it will not work properly. The camera may power down if the motion sensor is set over an entire night. AE/AF time which again must be set for motion sensor shooting as the camera needs time to expose and focus, Load/save and Language selection.
The Power button is located at the bottom and when switched on the company logo comes on before operation begins. A small blue light indicates operation as well as the screen. The power button also inverts the image, when taking self portraits for instance, so the screen is the correct way up after being turned upside down and I think this is a nice feature.
Seculine Zigview S2 Build quality
The unit is built well with no wobbly or easily breakable parts but the movement of the screen gives very loud clicks. The screen is not very good quality at all with images being difficult to see due to the flare from bright areas taking over the area and whilst this is not affecting the finished image, it can be difficult to see the picture. Using a large telephoto, finding the subject can prove difficult with the quality of the screen as normally easily recognisable parts of the image cannot be seen. The focus points can be made out and the red glow of focus can also be seen which is good.
Moving the screen about is no quiet experience. the noise is like a ratchet and very loud. The screen can move up and down and round about meaning that self portraits or unusually angled images can be achieved effectively.
Seculine Zigview S2 Verdict
Whilst the initial idea of the viewfinder is good and will help photographers of all ages in getting the unusual angled shots, the quality of the image is what lets it down. The menu is laid out well, but still not very easy to use as the buttons have to be held down to operate and they have twin meanings like the power button also switching the screen upside down. The motion sensing system does work and is great. The sensitivity can be adjusted to be really sensitive or not which means that wildlife photography is more possible.
The Zigview S2 is a great idea and would be used by the right person a lot. I cannot get past the quality of the screen, though and it irks me that something this expensive can have a low quality screen on it. Look past that and what you have is a digital angle finder and a Live view for your DSLR with remote trigger and motion sensor which is a lot of kit for the price.
Seculine Zigview S2 Minus points
Rubbish screen quality
Loud clicks when moving sounds low quality
Executing actions in menu is no picnic
The Seculine Zigview S2 costs around £230 and is available from the ePHOTOzine shop here.