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08-24-2010, 12:40 PM   #61
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I should probably start an EVF vs OVF thread in off topic conversations, but since this thread already derailed into that I'll paste this here...

It seems like Imaging Resource has reached the same conclusion myself as well as other pro-EVF photographers have reached:

QuoteQuote:
The most telling point was how hard I found it going back to an "ordinary" SLR after just a day of shooting with the A55. I've long been an avowed EVF-hater, but the viewfinder display on the Sony A55 is good enough that I found myself sorely missing it when I returned to shooting with a conventional sub-frame SLR with a typically small optical viewfinder.
I just don't know that there's anyway to stop the demise of the OVF. I think it will always be around in niche cameras just like the rangefinder is now, but the bottom line is EVF's are just in their infancy and they're already winning over many long time photographers, and as far as the P&S crowd goes...most of them don't want either an EVF or an OVF. They are perfectly content using the rear LCD.

08-24-2010, 12:58 PM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by Art Vandelay II Quote
I just don't know that there's anyway to stop the demise of the OVF. I think it will always be around in niche cameras just like the rangefinder is now, but the bottom line is EVF's are just in their infancy and they're already winning over many long time photographers, and as far as the P&S crowd goes...most of them don't want either an EVF or an OVF. They are perfectly content using the rear LCD.
I understand that EVFs are in their infancy now, but can electronic viewfinders EVER be as good—sharp, bright, clear—as optical finders? Well, I bet they can be as bright, perhaps even brighter. But as sharp and clear? I'm skeptical....

I shot 35mm film for decades, then around 2000 or so, I gave it up (more or less) in favor of the excellent new digital cameras that were becoming available. When I finally switched from my bridge cameras to a real dSLR (the K100D) in 2005, I think, one of the things that really struck me at the time was that there is a real tactile or physical advantage to using an optical viewfinder. (I probably felt the same thing back in the 1970s when I switched from using Rolleiflex twin-lens cameras to using my first 35mm SLR, but I don't remember.) Anyway, using the K100D, I could feel my eye pointed at the subject, moving with the subject, as if I was directly connected to the subject. It was so striking an experience that I blogged about it at the time.

I had kind of forgotten about this for the last several years, during which I used nothing by dSLRs. But earlier this summer, I bought my first compact camera in years, the Panasonic LX3. I love the camera, but using it has reminded me of the importance of having a viewfinder rather than simply having a rear display. I bought the OVF for the LX3, which is not "live": it's just a thingy that slides into the hot shoe and helps you frame your shots. Kinda sorta like using a rangefinder, because what you see in the OVF isn't exactly what the camera sees—esp if you aren't using the 3x2 aspect ratio (which I usually don't). Anyway, despite its imperfectness, I prefer the OVF to the rear display. When I frame a shot with the rear display, I feel like I'm dealing with the scene at arm's length—not just physically (which I am, because I'm holding the camera out in front of me) but also metaphorically, that is, I'm not directly connected to the scene the way I am when using the OVF.

If they can make EVFs as sharp and clear as OVFs, well, I suppose I can imagine the OVF going away. But what I can't imagine is the viewfinder going away. I can't imagine shooting a wedding that way, walking around holding out my K20D + grip + hot-shoe mounted flash + cable to battery pack. Can't imagine shooting birds that way, either, come to think of it, since holding the camera at arm's length is inherently less stable than pressing it against your face.

Will
08-24-2010, 01:08 PM   #63
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Oh I agree with you on a lot of your points. My personal preference heirarchy is as as follows:
  1. Classic SLR OVF's (Pentax LX, Olympus OM-1, Etc)
  2. Large EVF's (Panny GH1, Sony A55)
  3. Rangefinders (yes, I prefer the classic range finder over APS-C OVF's)
  4. Cropped Sensor DSLR OVF's
  5. Rear LCD only (I'll never own another one of these again)

Luminous Landscape also mirrors Imaging Receources conclusion:

QuoteQuote:
What I expect to be one of the more controversial features of the A55 is its electronic rather than optical viewfinder. After using the similarly endowed Panasonic GH1 with success for the past year or so I have to say that I don't regard the move away from optical viewfinders as that big a deal anymore. The EVF found in the A55 is in fact preferable to any of the reduced frame optical viewfinders that I've used
The problem is not that the best EVF's are better than the best OVF's...its that EVF's are better than the crappy OVF's manufactures try to pass off onto us these days.


EDIT: As far as the shooting at arms length opinion, I generally hate that too, but I found I actually like it when doing studio stuff. You can actually look at your subject in the face and make them relax while snapping pics without hiding behind the camera. I've found it just makes people less nervous. That and they never know when I'm going to fire

Last edited by Art Vandelay II; 08-24-2010 at 01:22 PM.
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