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11-02-2014, 08:00 AM   #1
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Pentax should use a viewfinder

Hi, I just thought I would make this suggestion... I love the design of both the K-01 and the Q. But I must have an optical viewfinder. Those of you who are older probably understand that its a strain to look at LCD displays when composing a shot, and somehow just does not feel creative. Electronic viewfinders, although praised just don't seem to yet have the quality I need to feel like it's virtually optical. The last point I'll make is that presently, with the high ISO capability, one doesn't really need a flash. And most of the time the flash just spoils the shot anyway.

So I'm suggesting that the next mirrorless camera have no flash but an optical viewfinder instead. In the case of the Q, one could take the space for the flash and use it for the viewfinder quite nicely. If the K-01 and Q had optical vewfinders, I surely would have bought probably both of them.

Cheers


Last edited by gbeaton; 11-02-2014 at 08:06 AM. Reason: Deleted comment about EVF.
11-02-2014, 08:08 AM   #2
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K-01 with optical viewfinder is.. the K-S1! Only very slightly bigger.
Regarding back LCD, I think it could use an upgrade, screens have gone a long way since the K-01 (or rather, K-5? in how many models was this screen used?).
I think the Q cannot have a through the lens viewfinder, but it can have a clip on optical viewfinder. Would be nice if Pentax made a little optical viewfinder that would automatically adjust the field of view to the same as the focal length of the lens. With modern technology, electronics becoming so cheap, these things should not be too difficult.
And I have mentioned in the past that I would like to see a clip-on EVF, which could be used on Pentax cameras.
11-02-2014, 08:25 AM   #3
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Your second paragraph is what I was getting at. I'm suggesting a built-in OVF - with adjustable FOV based on focal length. Not SLR, nor an add-on.

My first digital camera was a Canon powershot that had these features in a tiny palm sized camera, so its definitely doable.
11-02-2014, 08:29 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
K-01 with optical viewfinder is.. the K-S1! Only very slightly bigger.
But, But..., the KS-1 is a SLR, mirror and all. Or are you suggesting a very confusing name
for the K-01 successor?

11-02-2014, 08:55 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by gbeaton Quote
So I'm suggesting that the next mirrorless camera have no flash but an optical viewfinder instead.
You can only have mirrorless with an OVF with prime lenses. This is essentially what the Leica M-series is.

An OVF with mirrorless has to have a separate optical structure from the imaging sensor. Doing so with zoom capabilities would mean duplicating the optics of the lens.

---------- Post added 11-02-14 at 11:57 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by gbeaton Quote
My first digital camera was a Canon powershot that had these features in a tiny palm sized camera, so its definitely doable.
Not with a large sensor. The larger the sensor the larger the equivalent optics for the OVF. The SLR mechanism is far easier. Fuji's hybrid system is the only real alternative, but it has its limitations as well, and it looks like the EVF side is definitely winning over the OVF.
11-02-2014, 08:59 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by gbeaton Quote
So I'm suggesting that the next mirrorless camera have no flash but an optical viewfinder instead
Please explain how you get the image into the viewfinder without a ......... mirror.

Unless you are suggesting Ricoh release a rangefinder.
11-02-2014, 09:22 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
You can only have mirrorless with an OVF with prime lenses.
Unless you have one that works with a zoom. My Canon G2 has a zooming optical finder, but it is directly coupled to the zoom mechanism. It would not be impossible to make an optical finder that zoomed with a compatible interchangeable zoom, but probably would not be cost effective.

What would be nice is if Pentax provided accessory optical viewfinders to support available primes.


Steve
11-02-2014, 10:43 AM   #8
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There are plenty of optical finders available. I have a Voigtlander 40mm and a Kontur 50mm (both FF FOV) that I use on my Q, and also on my dslrs , and they are available from very wide to moderate telephoto. If you mean a coupled optical finder--they are large, costly, and the Q's depth of field is generally large (deep) and thus not needed--except for parallax adjustment--and this is not usually a problem if you use a finder w/ somewhat narrower FOV than the taking FOV and/or make some approximate manual adjustment.

Why does it matters if it is not being marketed by Penax/Ricoh? But perhaps you did not mean an optical finder?

11-02-2014, 10:48 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Unless you have one that works with a zoom. My Canon G2 has a zooming optical finder, but it is directly coupled to the zoom mechanism. It would not be impossible to make an optical finder that zoomed with a compatible interchangeable zoom, but probably would not be cost effective.

What would be nice is if Pentax provided accessory optical viewfinders to support available primes.


Steve
Later model film P&S cameras had long zooms with OVFs, but they were always approximate and contained wide/tele framelines, as well as a macro frameline.

Small sensor zoom can have a coupled OVF but not with a larger sensor.

The Ricoh GR has 2 options for external OVF's (I have one. Works well but at $200 for only 2 FL's (21/28mm) is very expensive.

Anything small optical element with high acuity is going to be pricey. Anything with a zoom capability is going to be very limited in FL or acuity or get very, very large very fast. If you take an APS-C lens and then try and match it to a non-mirror OVF, you'd have to magnify (cost, distort, people with glasses) on the ocular. You can only shrink the OVF a fraction of hat the size of the mirror is or else you would be peering through a tiny, tiny opening. Really long tele, like over 150mm would be impossible. That is why RF cameras were only able to go to 135mm on 135 realistically, and practically it was 90mm.

That is why no one does it.
11-02-2014, 11:12 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
There are plenty of optical finders available.
Yep, though there is the issue of matching FOV and aspect ratio. Most auxiliary finders are designed for specific focal lengths on 35mm film. Those might be useable on the Q if shooting in 3:2 crop mode (native would be 4:3). Might I add that the good finders tend to be somewhat expensive?*


Steve

* Voigtlander offers a non-coupled zoom finder at about $530 USD.

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-02-2014 at 11:21 AM.
11-02-2014, 11:24 AM   #11
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We have mirrorless cameras and we're willing to spend hundreds of dollars for a good coupled optical finder. Seems to me we already have proven, comparatively simple, cost-effective optical viewfinder technology.

And we call this progress?
11-02-2014, 11:39 AM   #12
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Price range is rather wide, and can expect to pay (new) about $200 for a very bright, low distortion (fixed FOV), optical finder. I cannot think of anything (else) that comes near to the handling improvement--but if one looks for older less bright finders an order magnitude less cost is possible.

Viewfinders are great for fast framing and seeing beyond the image to see what is coming in--and IMO the framing is not precise enough that 3:2 or 4:3 is important. You always have the rear display if it is--although i think the fort of the small camera is for the more spontaneous usage.
11-03-2014, 06:22 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by gbeaton Quote
Hi, I just thought I would make this suggestion... I love the design of both the K-01 and the Q. But I must have an optical viewfinder.
I think you've got it completely backward. Pentax should use an EVF. A K-01 with an EVF would have been much better. When the K-S1 came out, and I read that it has a prism OVF instead of an EVF, I just scratched my head. What were they thinking?

An EVF has significant advantages over an optical viewfinder. It's better in low-light, since the camera can electronically gain-up the image for you. If your exposure is off, you'll see it. If your white balance is off, you'll see it. If you apply any sort of art filter or effects filter, you'll see it. It simply provides a better representation of what your camera is seeing and capturing, and that's a big advantage.

Of course your live view on the LCD does all of this too. What kills the LCD is the glare outdoors on sunny days. I got a hoodloupe for my K-01. It works well, but it's just a nuisance to keep track of and have ready when it's needed.
11-03-2014, 04:21 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony Belding Quote
A K-01 with an EVF would have been much better.
I completely agree, I really wish there'd be a successor with an EVF.

QuoteQuote:
An EVF has significant advantages over an optical viewfinder... It simply provides a better representation of what your camera is seeing and capturing, and that's a big advantage.
Some people don't want a representation of what the camera is seeing - they want to see what they see with their eye, not some company's interpretation.
11-03-2014, 05:38 PM   #15
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I have only used Sony EVFs (Nex 7, Nex 6, A6000 and the add-on EVF for the Nex 5 series) but I found all of them acceptable and the A6000 was excellent. By the way I am only a few months from 70 and wear glasses so my eye sight, while not to bad, is far from perfect. The main advantage is the extra information in the viewfinder and the ability to focus quickly and accurately with manual lenses.
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