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08-04-2013, 11:37 AM   #2296
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
If I want to know the scene really looks like, I'll look at it directly, not through a viewfinder! The viewfinder is an aid to capturing the scene, and it can help to know what it is capturing. For example, is the camera clipping highlights or shadows?
That's sort of a catch-22. If the EVF reveals clipping, why make that a user correction upon observation? Automate it.

EVF's are better at magnification and head's up displays. But to really take advantage of magnification one needs a larger ocular and eye piece, taking away one of the eVF"s advantages which is the space saved from not needing a prism.

Just look at a Sony SLT. Their oculars protruding from their EVF's are about as large as a prism box.

QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
OVFs are faster to view, but slower to shoot. They have to move a mirror out of the way. It is likely to be easier to reduce the lag in EVFs than to reduce the mirror-movement delay. (Reaching 15 fps, say, may be tricky with mirrors, less so with EVF).
Oddly, those who would most benefit from higher FPS are sport shooting pros who almost resoundingly purchasers of OVF systems.

Max shutter speed in modern DSLR's is not really a factor for the vast majority of photographic situations. And more FPS = more shots = more editing which is turning into the bane of the hobby already.

QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
The test of an evf is the ability to find a subject and track it using a 500mm lens.
Either an OVF or EVF could soon feature auto-tracking. That's just superspeed face detection. It would likely be more abstract in an OVF (twinkling light overlay) whereas an EVF could "paint" the subject.

Realistically the rear LCD may be superior as one could use a touchscreen rear LCD to indicate the subject to be tracked directly, and then watch it being tracked. When they can do this with seagulls at 300mm, we're there.

Like matrix metering we'll have matrix tracking AF. I suspect an EVF camera will do this better in the VF, but it will not be exclusive, and may be better for video that stills.

QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
This is why rangefinder cameras like the Leica
were often better for tracking action than an SLR with OVF.
Meh! The real reason an RF is 'supposed' to be better is that one can open the other eye while shooting due to the offset VF. As a very long time RF shooter I chalk this one up to myth as I find almost no difference in shooting my RF's and my Pentax ME Super.

QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
If I want to know the scene really looks like, I'll look at it directly, not through a viewfinder!
Not in many high-speed sports or wildlife situations at long zoom you won't. Watch a pro at work and their eyes rarely leave the VF once the subject is acquired. They are far more likely to chimp quickly than look at the scene save to pick the next shot.

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I will simply note for discussion that Pentax has worked with Eye-Fi to integrate their cards into the Q line and GR camera's Menu, then speculate that the engineering relationship might not end there - might actually extend to a Firmware license. If a radio can fit in an SD card . . . . .
Eye-fi is a kludge. The real reason why the camera makers have not implemented it is because they suffer from "not invented here" syndrome.

The real problem for system cameras is the rise of mobile OS's as the dominant interface between consumers and content, both content consumed and created.

08-04-2013, 12:17 PM   #2297
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
I find almost no difference in shooting my RF's and my Pentax ME Super.
Ever done a long pan?
08-04-2013, 12:37 PM   #2298
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Oddly, those who would most benefit from higher FPS are sport shooting pros who almost resoundingly purchasers of OVF systems.
The vast majority of my photos recently have been at 7 fps, shooting airshows, motor sports, birds in flight, etc. The results indicate that I would benefit from about double this rate. Why don't I use a Pentax EVF camera? Because there isn't one suitable! Why don't I use Canon or Nikon? Because I have a massive investment (for me) in K-mount lenses.

Why are those sport shooting pros resoundingly purchasers of OVF systems? It isn't because they have a free choice of EVF versus OVF, with everything else equal! They haven't really made that choice - they have made a choice between top-end Canon and top-end Nikon. And that dictates OVF. It will be interesting to see whether the same is true in 5 years time.

We are not seeing a free choice of EVF versus OVF by photographers. We are seeing the commercial choices of particular technologies, for various reasons, of major manufacturers, and the choices by photographers from what is available.
08-04-2013, 12:38 PM   #2299
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
OVFs are faster to view, but slower to shoot. They have to move a mirror out of the way. It is likely to be easier to reduce the lag in EVFs than to reduce the mirror-movement delay. (Reaching 15 fps, say, may be tricky with mirrors, less so with EVF).
You are right, of course; the mirrors have not only to move fast, but also to not introduce significant shocks which could negatively affect the image quality. A SLR would also close down the aperture to it's working setting, which could add to the lag.
However, they're fast enough for most photographic purposes; even the affordable K-500 can do 6fps, with the pro cameras reaching 14. OTOH, while in theory the EVF cameras can do much better than any DSLR, actually they can't: they have serious limitations, for example NEX-7 reaching 10fps mode without live view streaming, and an amazing (NOT!) 3.7fps with live view streaming, yet no autofocus.

And there's another thing: it's easier to adapt to shutter lag than to cope with viewfinder lag. Good luck trying to track those birds without live view streaming, and no AF!

Regarding your last post, I strongly disagree about your "free choice of EVF versus OVF, with everything else equal" dilemma. Everything is not being equal! And, while several camera makers abandoned SLRs by their own will and are fully supporting the EVF technology, it doesn't means the others should also switch their entire range to EVFs.


Last edited by Kunzite; 08-04-2013 at 12:44 PM.
08-04-2013, 12:59 PM   #2300
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
Why are those sport shooting pros resoundingly purchasers of OVF systems? It isn't because they have a free choice of EVF versus OVF, with everything else equal! They haven't really made that choice - they have made a choice between top-end Canon and top-end Nikon. And that dictates OVF. It will be interesting to see whether the same is true in 5 years time.
And top-end Sony.

I have heard pretty much zero clamour for what Sony has from any professional imaging institution from editors, to publishers to the photographers themselves. None.

There is no dearth of superb action and wildlife photos from pros using OVF's. None.

You might be making a statement that an EVF could close the gap between pros and amateurs using the tech to overcome technique, and I would argue that is precisely Sony's objective in the market. Still, at a major sporting even the whirring of the OVF at 12 FPS seems to indicate they miss nothing.

At a certain point you're liking shooting video, again what Sony seems to be aiming for as well. What publishers don't want to pay for anymore is agonizing on the clock and on the dime over stacks and picks.

As for mirror slap, they've damped that so much it's a non-effect, especially on a pro camera with a reasonably competent user. People drag it up like a zombie from the 1980's. Carbon fibre and advanced plastics have reduced the mass for the assembly and effectively solved the problem.
08-04-2013, 05:10 PM   #2301
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
We are not seeing a free choice of EVF versus OVF by photographers.
LOL. Of course we we freely choose among viewfinders. If sports photographers wanted to use EVF cameras, that's what they would use.

Oh, you mean that other EVF, the one whose attributes mitigate all the issues that made sports photographers chose OVF over EVF? The one made by ... Um, sorry, that's right, nobody makes it. The technology isn't there yet.

Unless you're suggesting that manufacturers are refusing to bring a product to market that has every possible advantage over the OVF because they are just stupid, or have some other nefarious motives, I just don't get your point. It seems you're gettting awfully worked up about photographers who choose an OVF now rather than what an EVF will be (you hope) in 5 years time.
08-04-2013, 08:23 PM   #2302
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Some of you need to get your hands on a Nikon V1 or V2 to see where the future is headed; good AF tracking, good EVF, 60FPS RAW bursts or 10FPS RAW until the card fills or the battery dies, whichever comes first. I have no problem tracking moving subjects with the V1. Truth told, I trust the V1 more than my K-5 to capture the moment. That's saying a lot for first generation technology.


08-04-2013, 08:29 PM   #2303
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Leica is a rangefinder, though, and AFAIK the optical rangefinder system has a mirror - or prisms, which are close enough
yes, but those mirrors and prisms aren't flipping up an down in front of the sensor/film the way they do on an SLR.There is a BIG difference there.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
The real reason an RF is 'supposed' to be better is that one can open the other eye while shooting due to the offset VF.
Also don't forget that we are able to see outside of the framelines and time the moment precisely when our subject will be the FOV of the lens - as opposed to SLR viewfinders that only show the FOV of the lens. The ability to leave your other eye open when looking through a camera's viewfinder is certainly useful - but I do that with SLR cameras just as often as I do it with my RF cameras.

08-04-2013, 11:45 PM   #2304
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
yes, but those mirrors and prisms aren't flipping up an down in front of the sensor/film the way they do on an SLR.There is a BIG difference there.
Of course it's not a SLR, but it's not what we call "mirrorless", either. It's sometimes associated with them, just to give them more credibility.
But there is a huge difference between a rangefinder and EVF or no viewfinder (true for most of them) electronic gadgets.
08-05-2013, 12:45 AM   #2305
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Of course it's not a SLR, but it's not what we call "mirrorless", either. It's sometimes associated with them, just to give them more credibility.
But there is a huge difference between a rangefinder and EVF or no viewfinder (true for most of them) electronic gadgets.
I'm a big lover of classic RF cameras.
However, when examining them more closely, impartially and comparing with today's cameras big bright, bright LCDs, I see no significant difference between them. LCDs can adequately substitute the need for RFs. What I mean?

RFs are usable from some 28mm up to some 70mm.
Wider than that one often cannot fit in RF at all, and longer than than, one doesn't see enough to focus on.

Cameras with LCDs only are very similar in usability, but better. For example, on a camera with 24-72mm equivalent zoom, LCD works better than on a camera with 28-112mm zoom lens, because even the slightest movement of hand when the lens is extruded to 70-ish mm and over, results in very imprecise framing because the lens "dances around" significantly more.

In an RF camera, one can "see more" than just the frame, or, what the lens should see. That is an advantage. However, a camera with a big, bright LCD with quality antiglare coating can be held away from our face, much farther way, and we can see similarly larger scene with both eyes, and even more so.

For telephoto work, nothing beats DLSRs though, and no RF or LCD only camera can come close. That is DSLR speciality field, and that was the reason people complained about the K-01 — telephoto work is painful without an EVF.

Rangefinders were inventions of necessity — it was one way to help us imagine what part of the scene the film will record.
With LCDs we have the same but in the realm of digital photography. LCDs were unimaginable in days of film, but if they were possible, nobody would waste time to invent RFs because LCDs would do the job equally well, and perhaps even better.

Last edited by Uluru; 08-05-2013 at 12:52 AM.
08-05-2013, 12:58 AM   #2306
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Regarding your last post, I strongly disagree about your "free choice of EVF versus OVF, with everything else equal" dilemma. Everything is not being equal! And, while several camera makers abandoned SLRs by their own will and are fully supporting the EVF technology, it doesn't means the others should also switch their entire range to EVFs.
I was making the point that we can't judge that OVFs are inherently better than EVFs simply because so many people use them. It was a response to "Oddly, those who would most benefit from higher FPS are sport shooting pros who almost resoundingly purchasers of OVF systems" from Aristophanes.

They are using OVFs for lots of reasons, such as the fact that cameras with all the other things they want happen to have OVFs, and systems with a suitable range of lenses and other important equipment happen to include mainly cameras that happen to have OVFs. If there were systems suitable for top-level professional use that had top-grade cameras with either EVFs or OVFs, then those professionals would be choosing between them solely according to the merits of EVFs versus OVFs. If they still overwhelmingly chose OVFs, we could validly say "with the current state of development professionals have concluded that OVFs are better than EVFs for their purposes".

I suspect that at the moment they would come to that decision, because EVFs haven't yet developed to be suitable for such extreme uses. There is a chicken-and-egg problem - until there is sufficient market for top-end EVFs they probably won't get enough investment to catch up fast at that level. But I think it is a matter of "when" not "if" they will become suitable. What discussions will be taking place in these forums in 5 years time?

I'm not arguing that "the others should also switch their entire range to EVFs." I'm not arguing at all what manufacturers should do - that is for them to decide. The points I have been making in this thread are that there are good engineering reasons why moving mirrors will eventually die out, and why electronic-based viewfinders (including some with features we perhaps haven't thought of here) will take over from them. (And for some people this has already happened). I am drawing on my experiences as an engineer in the IT industry (before I retired).

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
And top-end Sony.

I have heard pretty much zero clamour for what Sony has from any professional imaging institution from editors, to publishers to the photographers themselves. None.

There is no dearth of superb action and wildlife photos from pros using OVF's. None.

You might be making a statement that an EVF could close the gap between pros and amateurs using the tech to overcome technique, and I would argue that is precisely Sony's objective in the market. Still, at a major sporting even the whirring of the OVF at 12 FPS seems to indicate they miss nothing.

At a certain point you're liking shooting video, again what Sony seems to be aiming for as well. What publishers don't want to pay for anymore is agonizing on the clock and on the dime over stacks and picks.

As for mirror slap, they've damped that so much it's a non-effect, especially on a pro camera with a reasonably competent user. People drag it up like a zombie from the 1980's. Carbon fibre and advanced plastics have reduced the mass for the assembly and effectively solved the problem.
I don't know enough about Sony's total systems to comment about why they are not penetrating this market. I don't know if they have the lenses they would need to make an impact as professional-grade equipment at sports events. Nor do I know whether their EVF-based cameras have all the other things that professionals at such events need. If not, we can't judge whether EVFs are the problem for Sony or whether it is all the other things.

I know professionals who believe that 2 seconds is not long enough for a camera to settle down after the mirror has flipped up, and advocate much longer delays. And I've been in hides where many occupants have been concerned that the noise of cameras firing at X fps is frightening the birds away. The problems of moving mirrors have certainly not been solved!

QuoteOriginally posted by cfraz Quote
LOL. Of course we we freely choose among viewfinders. If sports photographers wanted to use EVF cameras, that's what they would use.

Oh, you mean that other EVF, the one whose attributes mitigate all the issues that made sports photographers chose OVF over EVF? The one made by ... Um, sorry, that's right, nobody makes it. The technology isn't there yet.

Unless you're suggesting that manufacturers are refusing to bring a product to market that has every possible advantage over the OVF because they are just stupid, or have some other nefarious motives, I just don't get your point. It seems you're gettting awfully worked up about photographers who choose an OVF now rather than what an EVF will be (you hope) in 5 years time.
How would those sports photographers use EVF cameras if there aren't top-end EVF cameras accompanied by top-end systems including lenses? I've already made this point earlier in this post, so I won't repeat it.

I don't know what research and development on EVFs is going on in the major companies, nor why they are making the investment decisions they are making. I am confident that they are not making all those decisions for purely rational reasons! Companies simple don't work like that. If they did, we wouldn't so often hear people say in forums "what did they have in mind when they decided to do that?!"

For example, for years I've thought that it would be better for users and the industry as a whole for Canon and Nikon and the others to use the DNG raw file format. That topic is probably what I am best known for on the web, and I've published masses of information and analysis on DNG. But they haven't done so, and show no signs of doing so, even though Pentax has shown that it is possible to make the switch from a proprietary format. Why don't they? Partly because they simply have the weight in the marketplace to get away with not doing so, despite the potential advantages to their users if they did so. In fact, somehow they have even made many of their users into anti-DNG advocates! So DNG has become the raw file format of niche and minority manufacturers, even though it has advantages for photographers such as no need to wait for support for new camera models, and the fact that DNG is the only archival raw file format.

I'm not the slightest bit worked up about photographers and their choices! Why should I care what choices they make? That is their business, not mine. I'm speaking here as an engineer, and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of different technologies, now and in the future. Because I've been using Pentax SLRs for about 46 years, and because my career was in the computer industry, I'm trying to take a long view based on the nature of changes I've seen in the past.

There is an interesting feature of new technologies: they tend to take a lot longer to penetrate the marketplace and have an impact than their advocates expected; but when they do make an impact, perhaps after many years, it is bigger than they expected. That may be happening here.
08-05-2013, 01:48 AM   #2307
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Some of you need to get your hands on a Nikon V1 or V2 to see where the future is headed; good AF tracking, good EVF, 60FPS RAW bursts or 10FPS RAW until the card fills or the battery dies, whichever comes first. I have no problem tracking moving subjects with the V1. Truth told, I trust the V1 more than my K-5 to capture the moment. That's saying a lot for first generation technology.


Well the advantage off the smaller sensor and thus larger DOF is kicking in and helping you on these matters. I do wonder if it still works with 32mm/f1.2 wide open since that is about the same as 55mm/f2.1 on aps-c.
08-05-2013, 03:07 AM   #2308
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
I was making the point that we can't judge that OVFs are inherently better than EVFs simply because so many people use them. It was a response to "Oddly, those who would most benefit from higher FPS are sport shooting pros who almost resoundingly purchasers of OVF systems" from Aristophanes.
But we can judge they're better (for a specific usage), if e.g. sport shooting pros are avoiding them. It's more complicated than simply looking at numbers, as you said the system matters quite a lot; but possible.
For example, they could prefer 10-14FPS with AF-C to 10FPS with no AF and no live viewfinder stream; and Canikon could really believe they are better serving that market by sticking with the OVFs.
08-05-2013, 03:30 AM - 1 Like   #2309
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote

They are using OVFs for lots of reasons, such as the fact that cameras with all the other things they want happen to have OVFs, and systems with a suitable range of lenses and other important equipment happen to include mainly cameras that happen to have OVFs....
Or we can try to be very honest and to the point, which many won't really like. But it's the real reason behind the EVF/OVF tirade: many people like EVFs because the EVF with feedback is the only way for them to imagine what the output will like. Without it, they are as blind as bats.

With OVF and RF, the number of rejects is too high for their taste because OVF and RF devices require some level of imagination, skill and experience to deliver best results. There is also a room for surprises when using OVFs and RFs, which more experienced users welcome as a creative side-effect of their passion for photography.

But which many amateurs despise with passion because they feel they are totally out of the loop, cannot control a device which they have paid for— and therefore it is supposed to do *exactly as* their limited experience and imagination prescribe.

Last edited by Uluru; 08-05-2013 at 03:36 AM.
08-05-2013, 04:58 AM   #2310
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Or we can try to be very honest and to the point, which many won't really like. But it's the real reason behind the EVF/OVF tirade: many people like EVFs because the EVF with feedback is the only way for them to imagine what the output will like. Without it, they are as blind as bats.

With OVF and RF, the number of rejects is too high for their taste because OVF and RF devices require some level of imagination, skill and experience to deliver best results. There is also a room for surprises when using OVFs and RFs, which more experienced users welcome as a creative side-effect of their passion for photography.

But which many amateurs despise with passion because they feel they are totally out of the loop, cannot control a device which they have paid foró and therefore it is supposed to do *exactly as* their limited experience and imagination prescribe.
I don't think I know anyone like that! That may be because most of the photographers I know belong to, and compete in, photographic societies. We see a lot highly creative and artistic photographs. And some of us know a lot about post-processing, from the film era to the digital era. (For example 50 years ago I did my own darkroom work, and more recently I've given workshops in various aspects of Photoshop).

But I don't see any merit in being unable to examine various options at taking time. "Control the controllables" is a good motto - there is still room for surprises afterwards. I've calibrated both my monitor and every printer/paper/ink combination with my ColorMunki so that I can see on the monitor pretty much what I will be seeing on the paper. That isn't because I lack the experience to imagine what the results will be like - it is just plain common-sense! Using an EVF may perhaps be equivalent to soft-proofing in Photoshop - being able to pre-judge the results.

For example, at a recent studio shoot (that involved shooting vertically downward to a model posing on a bed) I used PK Tether (for the first time) to fire the camera (which was near the ceiling!) and download the results and view them on the PC screen. I could then change the scene and shoot again until satisfied. It would have been faster to be able to view before shooting. And the same applies when shooting in a more conventional posture. I don't think it is just about imagination: I also think it would be useful to be able to press a button and see a 1:1 crop of the raw image in the viewfinder for evaluation.

I'm confident that for many people that lack of skills and imagination is not the "the real reason behind the EVF/OVF tirade". (Is it a "tirade"?) Some, maybe, but certainly not all. My own views are influenced by a career in computing where I've seen major advances that involved replacement of mechanical ways of doing things with electronic ways. Think of a camera as a computer with a lens on the front: I think the trends will be similar.
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