Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: David Anderson on November 17, 2015, 08:50:40 pm

Title: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: David Anderson on November 17, 2015, 08:50:40 pm
Finally had a look through a Fuji EVF at the local camera store today (XT10) and I have to say, I'm pretty impressed and like the direction this is all going.
Currently, I need my glasses to see a shot on the rear screen and it's a pain.
I can see work flow benefiting from having the image pop up in the EVF briefly before carrying on shooting rather than fishing for glasses and chimping.

Anyone switched from, or tried one to the other and have anything to add ?

Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: peterottaway on November 17, 2015, 09:22:07 pm
In my experience either go EVF or OVF - don't try to do both especially not in the same session. When I initially bought my first EVF DSLR for lack of a better description, I was still mainly still using older OVF cameras. And although not a complete disaster I did struggle.

The EVF was not as good as they have become and I had to learn a somewhat different framing technique particularly with moving objects. So I basically put my older DSLRs on the shelf and just used the EVF camera for a number of weeks until I was confident in using it in pretty much all circumstances.

On the Fuji cameras as a whole I think they have been oversold on the strength of their AF. But if the XT 10 does what you want it to do, if it is available at a decent price then buy it. It is going to be cheaper than the new models to be announced in early 2016. Otherwise just buy the lenses that appeal to you if they appear on special.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: David Anderson on November 17, 2015, 10:05:22 pm
The XT10 was a little small in my big mitts and it's the XT-1 that interests me, but there isn't one in the shop at the moment.
From what I understand, it's a little bigger, more solid and the EVF is also larger.
Will have to judge for myself when I can see one.

FWIW, the XT10 seems pretty good value having the same AF and sensor as the XT-1 and might be an option as a back up or remote camera. 
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: pluton on November 17, 2015, 11:05:44 pm
I have always had OVFs, and for 2.5 years one lowly Fujifilm XE-1, an earlier model.
Based on my experience with the XE1, which is extensive, and the usual camera store visits to see the other Fuji models and other brands of EVF cameras, I have two potential trouble spots to note for the prospective EVF buyer:
1.  Brightness.  My XE1 is deficient when used in bright sunlight.  Where I live the sunlight is very bright and it isn't often cloudy.  This is something which technology can solve, but at what additional cost?
2.  Time lag delay(latency).  The very best broadcast television camera EVFs have about a one frame delay...about 1/30th of a sec.  The EVF still cameras I've seen have significantly longer delays.
Doesn't affect still lifes, but can play a bit of havoc with split-second 'decisive moments'.
Also fixable at additional cost, but the keep in mind the very best possible is still a 1/30th delay.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: AlterEgo on November 17, 2015, 11:52:27 pm
but the keep in mind the very best possible is still a 1/30th delay.
Samsung NX1... "2.36M dot OLED EVF with 5ms lag"... but that's certainly not the best "broadcast television camera" of course  ;D
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: David Sutton on November 18, 2015, 12:12:34 am
I like the "what you see is what you get" in the viewfinder of the XT-!. I also had something similar on my 5DII with Magic Lantern installed, but had to use the rear screen and that is not really useful when not on a tripod. One thing that has taken some getting used to on the Fuji is using a 10 stop variable ND filter. You see no change in the viewfinder as you rotate the filter- the EVF compensates for the change in brightness.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: shadowblade on November 18, 2015, 12:16:41 am
Modern cameras used in laparoscopic or robotic surgery have sub-10ms delays, i.e. imperceptible. You couldn't perform some types of surgery with a detectable delay.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: shadowblade on November 18, 2015, 12:30:08 am
I've used both, and much prefer the EVF. For precise focusing and metering, there's no comparison - it's like a precision ground glass and loupe vs relying on the automatic settings to get everything right. The real-time exposure feedback and WYSIWYG nature is also much better than the OVF, which is good for framing/composition and not much else - you're entirely reliant on the camera (or your lightmeter) to get the metering, white balance and AF right.

I still occasionally have to use an OVF, when using an SLR for shooting wildlife or other action (i.e. can't just use live view). I find that, having gotten used to EVFs, I miss the real-time exposure and white balance feedback, as well as the levelling display to keep horizons straight. I also find that, in dark conditions, I can see a lot more in an EVF than through the OVF, regardless of the aperture of the lens.

Sure, current ones are slow and laggy, but that is because mirrorless cameras currently contain weak, low-power EVFs and associated sensors. A full-power EVF has imperceptible lag, and much less than the mirror lag of SLRs.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: adrian tyler on November 18, 2015, 01:41:41 am
i just changed over to EVF apart from all the above comments and i like it because it's nearer to the final result, i.e. a two dimensional paper print, therefore i find it easier to visualise my work, not sure that that makes sense but i haven't missed OVF for one second.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: Petrus on November 18, 2015, 02:44:19 am
If talking about the present state-of-the-art EVF one should not base his/her opinion on cameras like Fujifilm X-E1. I know, I had the X-Pro1, and even when shooting an interview I had to keep the left eye open to see what was happening in real time, and only framed with the right eye on the EVF (must with longer lenses, as the optical framing is so badly off).

I have Fujifilm X-T1 now (2 of them actually now, replaced the X-Pro1), and the EVF has almost zero lag, with something like 200 fps in good light. As an old school SLR photographer an electronic viewfinder takes some time to get used to, but I can work with the cameras and actually prefer them to D4 and D800e for reportage style work, where stealth, lightness of foot and low noise are all positive attributes. One recent sample was a home for the elderly, where I would have felt quite uncomfortable with a D4/70-200mm combo compared to X-T1 and 56mm f/1.4. For studio portraits D800e is fine, of course landscape/cityscape/architecture also, but D4 is really just gathering dust.

The only complaints really are the battery drain, not-instant turn-on (with DSLR one can start framing while the camera boots) and some slowness in low light.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: MarkL on November 18, 2015, 07:13:35 am
I've used both, and much prefer the EVF. For precise focusing and metering, there's no comparison - it's like a precision ground glass and loupe vs relying on the automatic settings to get everything right. The real-time exposure feedback and WYSIWYG nature is also much better than the OVF, which is good for framing/composition and not much else - you're entirely reliant on the camera (or your lightmeter) to get the metering, white balance and AF right.

I think this often gets missed in the EVF vs OVF discussion. Yes, with current tech the actual quality of what is seen is better with an OVF but the EVF provides many other benefits that may make this trade off worth it and increasingly so as EVFs improve.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: Telecaster on November 18, 2015, 08:58:24 am
I have to admit my favorite viewfinder is still the one in a rangefinder camera.  :)  (Of these Leica's is IMO the best but I can get along with others.) I'm sure this is entirely because it's what I learned with. For manual focusing it's faster than any mirror-based system or EVF. Technically it shouldn't be as accurate as those VFs with an 85–135mm lens but in practice I rarely misfocus. With wider lenses accuracy is excellent to superb…and you can more easily get away with the "focus and recompose" technique.

When it comes to precise manual focus—pretty much anywhere in the frame—with a fast lens used wide open it's EVF all the way. Also…it's been surprising to me how many older lenses that I thought were "soft" outside the center have actually just been hobbled with a bit of field curvature and are plenty sharp off-center when properly focused.

-Dave-
Title: EVF lag: 1/200s is the current state-of-the-art at Fujifilm and Samsung
Post by: BJL on November 18, 2015, 10:45:00 am
Samsung NX1... "2.36M dot OLED EVF with 5ms lag"... but that's certainly not the best "broadcast television camera" of course  ;D
Fujifilm claims this same lag of only 5ms = 1/200s for the EVF in its recent models: http://fujifilm-x.com/development_story/en/developer/evf/
Title: Re: EVF lag: 1/200s is the current state-of-the-art at Fujifilm and Samsung
Post by: AlterEgo on November 18, 2015, 11:57:39 am
Fujifilm claims this same lag of only 5ms = 1/200s for the EVF in its recent models: http://fujifilm-x.com/development_story/en/developer/evf/
the horror starts with darkness, even with /current/ EVFs displaying a boosted signal below some level the good optical gets better... so there are some level of darkness where /current/ EVFs have an edge and some below which a quality OVFs have an edge... naturally the same EVF paired with m43 might perform differently than with A7s, even with the same readout speed
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: nemophoto on November 18, 2015, 12:50:24 pm
Personally, I hate EVFs. All the cameras I've tried had a blackout lag that, for my style of photography, is unacceptable. For that reason, I see no real advantage over an OVF, and a lot of drawbacks. While the EVFs have improved over the years, there is, to my eye, no reason they should experience such a drawback. I want to be able to immediately continue to view my subject, and if I want to "chimp", I'll do that as time allows, beyond my initial double check of exposure, etc. (All my readings, commercially, are made with a handheld meter, and shot on manual. So other than initially showing a client what I'm getting under a loupe or enlarging on the back, There's not a lot of chimping going on usually.)
Title: Re: EVF lag: 1/200s is the current state-of-the-art at Fujifilm and Samsung
Post by: shadowblade on November 18, 2015, 12:53:09 pm
the horror starts with darkness, even with /current/ EVFs displaying a boosted signal below some level the good optical gets better... so there are some level of darkness where /current/ EVFs have an edge and some below which a quality OVFs have an edge... naturally the same EVF paired with m43 might perform differently than with A7s, even with the same readout speed

When it gets dark enough that a good EVF is too slow, I can't see anything through an OVF either. As in, just black. The EVF might be slow when a proper exposure would be 10-15s at ISO 100, but I wouldn't be able to see anything through the OVF at all.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: Telecaster on November 18, 2015, 05:10:07 pm
Personally, I hate EVFs. All the cameras I've tried had a blackout lag that, for my style of photography, is unacceptable.

You should try a rangefinder. Zero blackout.

-Dave-

Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: scooby70 on November 18, 2015, 06:31:17 pm
I have four EVF equipped cameras and apart from the WYSIWYG and focusing and exposure advantages my experiences with them are different.

I am reasonably happy with my old Panasonic G1's EVF in good to low light but in lower light the EVF goes black and fails to display detail which is visible by eye and framing a shot can be pretty much impossible. The rear display is a little better. There's another problem too with the EVF, in very low light despite not displaying much or indeed anything at all it kicks out so much light that my vision is affected and will project a oblong of light with the camera setting visible backward onto a wall.

My Panasonic GX7 has an EVF that for me is just about camera ruining. I don't know if I'm seeing the rainbow effect that some people complain of as that's not how I'd describe it but whatever I'm seeing makes me want to put the camera down and use something else.

My Sony A7 has a much better EVF and it's much better in low light too and doesn't seem to kick out the same eye watering light.

I also have a Panasonic LF1 which has an EVF which is adequate and probably more useful than any OVF on such a small camera.

I think that light output in low light is my biggest gripe but even so I wouldn't like to go back to an OVF.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: nemophoto on November 18, 2015, 08:25:29 pm
You should try a rangefinder. Zero blackout.

-Dave-

Always hated rangefinders too. I'll take a 55ms "blackout". It boils down to, what type of photography do you do, and what are the trade-offs you are willing to accept. In the end, ALL cameras, whether OVF or EVF or rangerfinder have them. I'll give up my OVF cameras when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.  ;D  That said, I'd use an EVF for anything I didn't consider critical -- for my point and shoot. An M3 or a G5x? but never on my jobs.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: David Anderson on November 18, 2015, 08:35:16 pm
and if I want to "chimp", I'll do that as time allows,

I did wonder if the in viewfinder chimping would become tiresome if constant.
Hopefully, there's scope to quickly turn it on or off ?








Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: adias on November 19, 2015, 10:18:55 pm
Personally, I hate EVFs. All the cameras I've tried had a blackout lag that, for my style of photography, is unacceptable. For that reason, I see no real advantage over an OVF, and a lot of drawbacks. While the EVFs have improved over the years, there is, to my eye, no reason they should experience such a drawback. I want to be able to immediately continue to view my subject, and if I want to "chimp", I'll do that as time allows, beyond my initial double check of exposure, etc. (All my readings, commercially, are made with a handheld meter, and shot on manual. So other than initially showing a client what I'm getting under a loupe or enlarging on the back, There's not a lot of chimping going on usually.)

If by blackout you mean the still you see after taking the shot... you can eliminate that on most cameras in the user settings. I can do that on my 2yo NEX-6. I agree that that fixed frame is unacceptable for eye level viewfinders.
Title: In-EVF review is typically optional
Post by: BJL on November 20, 2015, 04:20:58 pm
I did wonder if the in viewfinder chimping would become tiresome if constant.
Hopefully, there's scope to quickly turn it on or off ?
In-EVF review is typically optional as far as I know.  For the Olympus OMD EM5, the options range from no review, to a very brief one (0.3s, 0.5s) up to extremely leisurely (over 10 seconds!)
Title: Re: EVF lag: 1/200s is the current state-of-the-art at Fujifilm and Samsung
Post by: AlterEgo on November 20, 2015, 04:29:05 pm
When it gets dark enough that a good EVF is too slow, I can't see anything through an OVF either. As in, just black.

we have then different experience...
Title: Re: EVF lag: 1/200s is the current state-of-the-art at Fujifilm and Samsung
Post by: shadowblade on November 20, 2015, 11:12:28 pm
we have then different experience...

I commonly shoot in conditions such as ISO 100, f/7.1, 15s-60s or longer, with lenses which sometimes only have a maximum aperture of f/4, or even f/5.6 in the case of long telezooms or teleconverters. With an EVF, I can increase the gain so that I can focus properly. With an OVF, I struggle to see anything but the bright spots of light, which may not necessarily be where I want to focus.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: LKaven on November 23, 2015, 11:08:34 am
I find the virtual-reality sickness component of the EVF to be fatiguing and (literally) nauseating.  And I don't know if it will ever be possible to fix that.

What does interest me a lot right now for the future is augmented reality viewfinders.  There have been some advances in optical overlay technology at a competitive price point.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: chez on November 23, 2015, 03:21:56 pm
Its interesting reading about the different experiences with EVF. One thing to note is the quality of the EVF has dramatically improved in the last couple years so if your view of the EVF was based on a camera that is not current or on a lower valued model, I think you should check out the EVF of today's cameras...they've improved.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on November 23, 2015, 03:45:04 pm
One common thing many OVF users/lovers make when comparing their OVF to EVF's, is expecting to find the same experience and features as they have now with their OVF, additionally ignoring the advantages an EVF can provide. That guarantess the 'not yet' verdict since no new technology is better in every aspect to the former; CD's are not better than records in every aspect, flat TV's are not better in everything than tube TV's. So looking for an EVF to match or outperform an OVF in everything means waiting endlessly.

EVF have (increasing) advantages and (decreasing) disadvantages over OVF's. It's a trade-off to decide whether the improvement provided compensates for the things you loose. But you'll always loose something for sure.

My personal experience is that just having eyeview realtime exposure and white balance previsualization (with all their known drawbacks) makes me forget about using OVF anymore.

Exposing with an OVF vs exposing with an EVF:
(http://www.guillermoluijk.com/misc/expometer.jpg)

Regards


Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: Telecaster on November 23, 2015, 04:46:25 pm
I find the virtual-reality sickness component of the EVF to be fatiguing and (literally) nauseating.  And I don't know if it will ever be possible to fix that.

One of my friends has this same problem. He also finds watching 3D cine/video, regardless of the tech used, to be an unpleasant experience. None of it bothers me in the least. I managed fine with early '90s (low-res & grainy) EVFs on video cams…today's finders are superior by many orders of magnitude.

Maybe having shot so much b&w film in my teens & 20s has helped condition my eye/brain system to be comfortable with disparity between the view through the finder and the final image. Or disparity between the finder view and "reality." ??

-Dave-
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: LKaven on November 23, 2015, 09:02:10 pm
Yeah, it messes with my vestibular system.  The delay when panning trips it off.

Of course, I like the minimum of interference with the picture-taking process.  As Slobodan says, too much interaction disrupts one's connection with the subject, the primary focus.  I don't even use AF most of the time for that reason, and for the reason that the optimal composition for a given subject /never in life/ coincides exactly with the placement of an autofocus point.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: Petrus on November 24, 2015, 12:31:00 am
optimal composition for a given subject /never in life/ coincides exactly with the placement of an autofocus point.

That is why we have cameras with 50% extra pixels for cropping…

Besides, I have never found it difficult to point a chosen AF spot to a desired place, lock focus (automatic with half pressed release button) and reframe slightly. Takes less than 0.5 sec. After all with normal focusing glass SLRs we had just ONE focusing spot in the middle...
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: LKaven on November 24, 2015, 01:03:43 am
That is why we have cameras with 50% extra pixels for cropping...

For me there is this moment of the simultaneous realization of the subject and the moment as a whole.  For me personally, the picture is either all there, or it isn't there at all.  Setting aside slight trimming here and there, it is an exceedingly rare thing when the "right" picture /just happens to be/ a proper subset of another picture.

But as I say, I think there is promise in the new augmented reality concepts (e.g., Magic Leap). 
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: torger on November 24, 2015, 02:55:44 am
As far as I understand OVF is not going away soon, and that's not about the viewfinder itself but the auto focus detection. I don't remember where I read it, but it was something about the auto focus sensor used in a OVF camera can know much more about where to go with the focus than phase detect on the image sensor, meaning that especially for telephoto lenses the SLR cameras have a big advantage still, ie considerable faster auto focus. And as far as I remember the source I read it's about physics, not about technology so that advantage is not going away soon.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: Telecaster on November 24, 2015, 04:49:22 pm
My hope is that improved contrast-detect AF, both in terms of predictive accuracy and overall speed, will eventually obsolete the phase-detect variety. As someone who rarely uses continuous focus, I eventually found the PDAF tradeoff between speed & accuracy to be unacceptable. And if PDAF doesn't go away I'm okay with that too…so long as I don't have to use it.  ;)

-Dave-
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: armand on November 25, 2015, 12:25:58 am
X-T1 has a nice viewfinder but I can cope quite well with the older X-E1 also.
WYSIWYG and variable zoomed view for manual focus are a couple of big advantages. Also although I don't use it that much the real time DOF scale in the viewfinder can be helpful.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: David Anderson on November 25, 2015, 01:26:06 am
My hope is that improved contrast-detect AF, both in terms of predictive accuracy and overall speed, will eventually obsolete the phase-detect variety. As someone who rarely uses continuous focus, I eventually found the PDAF tradeoff between speed & accuracy to be unacceptable. And if PDAF doesn't go away I'm okay with that too…so long as I don't have to use it.  ;)


I've found AF on my OVF cameras has been all over the shop in terms of accuracy over the years and the number of frames I throw for missed focus is quite high.
A lot of that might be down to me of course, but that said, I want a camera that doesn't need micro focus adjustment and knows when it's hit focus.
More accurate off centre focus points would be nice as well.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: JaapD on November 25, 2015, 06:38:04 am
Please be aware that with a Mirrorless camera you can still have a de-focussed image. You may have heard of spherical aberrations where the focus point shifts as a function of the lens aperture. Just like an SLR a Mirrorless camera focusses at its widest aperture, then closes the aperture for taking the actual image.

Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: torger on November 25, 2015, 07:44:55 am
As far as I understand OVF is not going away soon, and that's not about the viewfinder itself but the auto focus detection. I don't remember where I read it

I remember now:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2015/02/16/canon-interview-cp-plus-2015-autofocus-full-frame-mirrorless-5ds-video

The fundamental difference is that phase detect on image sensor cannot handle images hugely out of focus while a dedicated AF sensor can, which makes a significant performance difference in telephoto photography. That is some sort of mirror-solution for the high end action cameras is probably not going away anytime soon.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: hjulenissen on November 25, 2015, 08:52:23 am
CD's are not better than records in every aspect
In my opinion, they pretty much are, but that is probably besides the point.

Anyways, I think it would be interesting to have "obnoxious" HDR-style tone-mapping in an EVF. I mean something that clearly shows every bit of "detail" that the sensor is currently capturing. It might not look appetizing, but it should provide valuable hints about what can be done to the raw fil in development.

-h
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: AFairley on November 25, 2015, 11:24:48 am
X-T1 has a nice viewfinder but I can cope quite well with the older X-E1 also.
WYSIWYG and variable zoomed view for manual focus are a couple of big advantages. Also although I don't use it that much the real time DOF scale in the viewfinder can be helpful.

Testing showed me that the DOF scale is my X-E2 is wildly inaccurate as to point of focus making it useless setting target DOF.  That's with both the 27mm and 18-55mm.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: Petrus on November 25, 2015, 11:34:28 am
Testing showed me that the DOF scale is my X-E2 is wildly inaccurate as to point of focus making it useless setting target DOF.  That's with both the 27mm and 18-55mm.

Fujifilm uses wildly non-standard circle of confusion figure for their DOF calculators, this is a known anomaly.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: BJL on November 25, 2015, 05:59:45 pm
I remember now:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2015/02/16/canon-interview-cp-plus-2015-autofocus-full-frame-mirrorless-5ds-video

The fundamental difference is that phase detect on image sensor cannot handle images hugely out of focus while a dedicated AF sensor can, which makes a significant performance difference in telephoto photography.
Or so says a representative of Canon, a company that still has most of its eggs in the SLR basket. The arguments offered are vague amd not very persuasive, and even the claim seems to have come only after some pro-SLR egging on from the interviewer.
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: armand on November 25, 2015, 10:10:37 pm
Fujifilm uses wildly non-standard circle of confusion figure for their DOF calculators, this is a known anomaly.

And I heard they use a different ISO standard than Canikon so they are not actually cheating on their high ISOs  ;D
Title: Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
Post by: torger on November 26, 2015, 07:21:54 am
Or so says a representative of Canon, a company that still has most of its eggs in the SLR basket. The arguments offered are vague amd not very persuasive, and even the claim seems to have come only after some pro-SLR egging on from the interviewer.

I think they're pretty persuasive, as it's about optics not electronics, if I understand correctly you basically have two different-focused images simultaneously which is fine when you don't need to present a single image, but not so good if you have it on the image sensor, and with only one image focused you don't have enough information.

Of course someone may invent some new sort of workaround, or the current image sensor phase detect gets "good enough", so it's not written in stone. I think though that SLRs will be number one high end action camera for many years still. We'll see.