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Author Topic: Optical vs. EVF finders ?  (Read 9082 times)

David Anderson

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Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« 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 ?

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peterottaway

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #1 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.
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David Anderson

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #2 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. 
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pluton

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #3 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.
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AlterEgo

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #4 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
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David Sutton

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #5 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.
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shadowblade

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #6 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.
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shadowblade

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #7 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.
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adrian tyler

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #8 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.
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Petrus

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #9 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.
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MarkL

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #10 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.
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Telecaster

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #11 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-
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BJL

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EVF lag: 1/200s is the current state-of-the-art at Fujifilm and Samsung
« Reply #12 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/
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AlterEgo

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Re: EVF lag: 1/200s is the current state-of-the-art at Fujifilm and Samsung
« Reply #13 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
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nemophoto

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #14 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.)
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shadowblade

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Re: EVF lag: 1/200s is the current state-of-the-art at Fujifilm and Samsung
« Reply #15 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.
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Telecaster

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #16 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-

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scooby70

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #17 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.
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nemophoto

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #18 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.
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David Anderson

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Re: Optical vs. EVF finders ?
« Reply #19 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 ?








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