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01-10-2013, 06:57 AM   #1
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Pros and cons of EVF and OVF

Stemming from discussions in multiple threads all with the same theme (electronic vs. optical viewfinders), this thread is for the further discussion of all ideas and interests in the different viewfinders and what advantages and disadvantages each have for use in general photography.

EVFs
- can help with seeing images closer to how they would appear on the computer
- can help with composing images difficult to frame in the dark (night exposures)
- are brighter than OVFs
- aren't yet at real-time feedback, which is important for fast action photography

OVFs
- give real-time feedback
- see the scene as it is in real life
- are less draining on batteries
- can be difficult to compose scenes in darkness

There are many more points, some of which are relevant to people, some of them aren't.
Bring it to the table...
carrying on from: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/209563-new-ricoh-camera-2013-a-7.html
...
QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
True... And any good skilled accountant will calculate everything manually, without calculator or excel! Or do those tools just help focus the accountant on the more important tasks?
Incongruent analogy. There is no calculation in visualising a photograph; this is achieved best by experience and 'learning to see', neither of which EVF (or any other piece of equipment for that matter) can replace. You're implying that past and current dSLR photographers are somehow missing out on something; this secret ingredient in their gear will produce their work faster or better. It won't.


Last edited by Ash; 01-10-2013 at 10:22 AM. Reason: restart discussion in a dedicated thread
01-10-2013, 07:04 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
Why are you asking that? A panorama mode can be added to a K-5 like DSLR in LV and give you exactly what you have on your phone with better optics.
This!

An OVF does not prevent a panorama mode on DSLRs. There is no connection. It's related to software and not to an OVF.
01-10-2013, 07:15 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
You're implying that past and current dSLR photographers are somehow missing out on something; this secret ingredient in their gear will produce their work faster or better. It won't.
It's not directly related to your comment, but I think technology improvement will make us able to in an even larger extent than now to postpone the composition and finalization of a picture to later.

I used to shoot almost exclusively with positive film. That implied that I had to get composition, framing and exposure completely correct to begin with, and I'd have to wait for *many* days (in the case of Kodachrome, which was sent abroad!) to see if I got it right. Add to that that I was a poor student who could not waste many frames on one subject...

Now fast forward to now: With the K-5 I can be pretty lazy with exposure as long as I don't over-expose to much or it's very dark so I already use a high ISO. If I use a good lens, like the DA35 Ltd, I can also be somewhat liberal with the composition and framing, since I can crop quite a bit before image quality gets reduced too much (at least as long as I don't intend to print larger than A3).

Now fast forward at least 10 years... and suppose I'm standing in front of a landscape or architecture scene where I'm not quite sure whether I want to shoot the whole thing or a detail or with which exposure. I imagine that I will be able to practically wave my camera around, letting it take hundreds of exposures of parts of this whole scene until the camera confirms with a beep that it has good coverage of a 180 degree view of what I see. Later, at home, I'll let my software stitch this together to a several-gigapixel image and then I can do the "actual photography" by deciding on which part(s) of that big image to use.

Or at least so I imagine, but I think the future of photography will bring us things we can't even imagine right now.
01-10-2013, 07:22 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
With the K-5 I can be pretty lazy with exposure as long as I don't over-expose to much or it's very dark so I already use a high ISO
Is the idea of technology to allow us to get lazy/complacent with our technique? I rather consider the technology to work for us in assisting us to get the best possible result with our already good technique.

QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
I imagine that I will be able to practically wave my camera around, letting it take hundreds of exposures of parts of this whole scene until the camera confirms with a beep that it has good coverage of a 180 degree view of what I see
As mentioned, this isn't hard to implement - panorama in-camera can easily be done, as opposed to physically shooting each scene, matching each image's exposure and lining them up for the stitch programme to do its final job.

QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
I think the future of photography will bring us things we can't even imagine right now.
We still need to be there, know our exposure settings to get what we want, and know our framing and composition ideas to create the intended result.
Or do we want the camera to do these things as well?

01-10-2013, 07:30 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
With the OVF, there is a lot of guessing involved. There is three different images:
- The world we see with our eyes.
- The dark tunnel we see through the OVF is vastly different from that.
- Then the actual output is different from both again.
I find OVF's to be a more satisfying technology in making pictures than (any currently available) EVF. Here's why:
- The world I see with my eyes, and
- The world I see through the (OVF) viewfinder, purposely limited to a particular field and angle of view, are one in the same.
- Of course the output is different! The creative aspect of viewing a scene, imagining how it could be presented, and expressing it as my own in a way that no one else would is in fact why I like to make photographs.

The OVF puts me right there, in the scene. The light rays entering my eye are the same ones that would if I didn't have the camera up to my eye. The creative challenge and reward of photography is making a picture from that scene.

In contrast, an EVF gives me an interpreted picture (based on someone else's idea of the best parameters to use for "developing" the signal into a picture and the limits of EVF technology). Or more accurately, the EVF gives me somebody else's picture of what was there a moment ago. Whenever I use an EVF camera, my mind goes to "OK, I'm going to take a picture of this picture of what I want to take a picture of." Ugh.

I'd rather use my own interpretation of the scene than someone else's. If photography is ever reduced to WYSIWYG, I suspect I'll take up painting.

QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Nobody, except you, said anything about lousy viewfinders. We don't want lousy EVF's, just as much as we don't want lousy OVF's.
QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
What else can be expected from a merge of digital and analog?

The EVF will have the ability to show the output, exactly as the RAW file will be, in the VF.
Some of us are more interested in using what is available than talking about what someday might be produced.
01-10-2013, 07:32 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
You know what is funny? Right after you said I'm talking about lousy EVFs and how nobody wants lousy OVFs, you start talking about lousy OVFs (dark tunnel?).
I said nobody wants a lousy EVF, just as much as nobody wants a lousy OVF. The fact that OVF's are dark and blurry anyway is something different. Nothing untrue about that statement. And it actually tells me that OVF's have come to the peak of their developement. Even the VF of the D800 seems dark and blurred. Current EVF's are brighter, sharper and larger. And we all know they can even be improved much.

What's bad about seeing the developed RAW file in the viewfinder? We all see an image according to the cameras settings when we start developement in PP. It would be excellent if we saw that in the VF!! Many times better then what OVF's show us.
01-10-2013, 07:33 AM   #7
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LOL! Can you just imagine the furor around here if Pentax announced a K-3 flagship APS-C with an EVF?

Looking at an EVF is like looking at a television picture, limited DR, real-time speed and especially detail. It's good for framing and exposure, but I can't see the facial nuances that will make or break the photo.

I'll believe DSLR is dying when I see the pros at a sports event, wedding shooters and Nat Geo wildlife photographers with MILCs. We're a hell of a long way from that.

Last edited by audiobomber; 01-10-2013 at 08:05 AM.
01-10-2013, 07:35 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Is the idea of technology to allow us to get lazy/complacent with our technique? I rather consider the technology to work for us in assisting us to get the best possible result with our already good technique.
I'm just saying that technology can make it possible for us to postpone the actual "act of photography". I could have use for a little delay like that right now, since I've challenged myself with a project to post one image from every day to flickr (see POTD - a set on Flickr) and I have precious little time for photography during the day, but more time for processing in the evening...

As an extreme form of moving the act of photography to the processing stage - just consider those creating photo art by cropping from Google Street View.

01-10-2013, 07:45 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
I have precious little time for photography during the day
Would an EVF really make a big difference in your productivity?
The act of photography is one I would rather focus time and attention to - the PP is a side effect from shooting.

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Looking at an EVF is like looking at a television picture, limited in DR, real-time speed and especially detail. It's good for framing and exposure, but I can't see the facial nuances that will make or break the photo
Quite true. Very good for night scenes too, but I haven't had issues with framing/composition of a night scene yet with an OVF.
01-10-2013, 07:47 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cfraz Quote
The OVF puts me right there, in the scene. The light rays entering my eye are the same ones that would if I didn't have the camera up to my eye. The creative challenge and reward of photography is making a picture from that scene.
That's the point... If you want to see the world as it currently is, just don't hold the camera infront of your eyes. And you sure shouldn't hold the OVF in front of it, because it blurs and darkens your view. And it's very different from the real image. And different from the output.


QuoteOriginally posted by cfraz Quote
In contrast, an EVF gives me an interpreted picture (based on someone else's idea of the best parameters to use for "developing" the signal into a picture and the limits of EVF technology).
Faulty assumption. It will give you the exact output of your current camera's settings... The crazy thing is: YOU control your camera's settings.


QuoteOriginally posted by cfraz Quote
Whenever I use an EVF camera, my mind goes to "OK, I'm going to take a picture of this picture of what I want to take a picture of." Ugh.
Rubbish, of course. The sensor is still being exposed with light directly from the lens.


QuoteOriginally posted by cfraz Quote
I'd rather use my own interpretation of the scene than someone else's. If photography is ever reduced to WYSIWYG, I suspect I'll take up painting.
With EVF, it will be more YOUR interpretation, because you'll see your adjustments of settings in the EVF directly, before you even take your picture.
01-10-2013, 07:58 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Looking at an EVF is like looking at a television picture, limited in DR, real-time speed and especially detail. It's good for framing and exposure, but I can't see the facial nuances that will make or break the photo.
That IS true. for some reason the direct-line-of-sight with an OVF does help the photographer connect with the subject.

EVFs etc - they're great for other stuff, like overlaying focus information (magnified sections with focus peaking, for example). That's why currently MILCs are popular with photographers who like pottering about with MF lenses.

It's all good.
01-10-2013, 08:01 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Would an EVF really make a big difference in your productivity?
Not at all, please note that I made a comment about possible future ways that technology can change the time, place and way we do our photography.

QuoteQuote:
The act of photography is one I would rather focus time and attention to - the PP is a side effect from shooting.
For me, too - but I'm open to changing my mind in the future (and, as I said, I could imagine moving more of the time to PP in cases where I have precious little time to get the shot right there and then).
01-10-2013, 08:38 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
And you sure shouldn't hold the OVF in front of it, because it blurs and darkens your view. And it's very different from the real image. And different from the output.
You keep repeating this, but I really don't know, why you would think that. Obviously it must be your personal feeling, which you try to sell as kind of a "common truth". Because when I look through the OVF of my MZ-S I can't see any blurring, but I see a very clear and bright image of what's in front of my lens. It is not very diffrent from "the real image" - in fact it's closer to the real deal, than every image of every EVF I looked through yet. And if I expose correctly, the output image will also be as close as possible to that picture in my OVF / the scene in front of my lens.
01-10-2013, 08:44 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
I said nobody wants a lousy EVF, just as much as nobody wants a lousy OVF. The fact that OVF's are dark and blurry anyway is something different. Nothing untrue about that statement. And it actually tells me that OVF's have come to the peak of their developement. Even the VF of the D800 seems dark and blurred. Current EVF's are brighter, sharper and larger. And we all know they can even be improved much.

What's bad about seeing the developed RAW file in the viewfinder? We all see an image according to the cameras settings when we start developement in PP. It would be excellent if we saw that in the VF!! Many times better then what OVF's show us.
But are the OVFs dark and blurry? Or it's just the EVFs that are unbearable bright and oversharpened?
The APS-C OVFs are a far cry from decade old viewfinders, please tell me more about the peak of their development

What's the point in shooting RAW if you're satisfied with a JPEG shown on a low quality/resolution/gamut screen? What's the point in capturing 14 bits and displaying them on a 6bit uncalibrated screen? If you insist on shooting RAW, you'd process it in a different manner, on your home PC and calibrated screen, and that's making the WYSIWYG lie irrelevant.

QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Faulty assumption. It will give you the exact output of your current camera's settings... The crazy thing is: YOU control your camera's settings.
Wrong; no EVF is capable of doing that.
Good luck in matching EVF colors to prints, by the way!
01-10-2013, 09:03 AM   #15
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Pros and cons of EVF and OVF

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
But are the OVFs dark and blurry? Or it's just the EVFs that are unbearable bright and oversharpened?
The APS-C OVFs are a far cry from decade old viewfinders, please tell me more about the peak of their development
Like the dark and blurry spotmatic OVF?


QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
What's the point in shooting RAW if you're satisfied with a JPEG shown on a low quality/resolution/gamut screen? What's the point in capturing 14 bits and displaying them on a 6bit uncalibrated screen?
You're the only one talking about low quality screens. Please tell me where anybody wants to replace the crappy OVF by an equally crappy EVF?

You don't make sense, why have such high standards for EVF but such low requirements for the OVF? What's behind that?


QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
If you insist on shooting RAW, you'd process it in a different manner, on your home PC and calibrated screen, and that's making the WYSIWYG lie irrelevant.
Who said you have to develope RAW in the camera instead of at home? We would still be doing that. Only then we would have a much better guess at what the output will be during shooting.

I think this has more to do with the fear of K-mount abandoning then objective discussion about the improved viewfinders.
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