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02-16-2015, 09:21 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonby Quote
one of the advantages of such a system is that it makes it possible to turn all overlay elements off, to give an entirely clear view of the focusing screen, if desired, or to include only the elements which are needed at the time.
An even bigger advantage would be not having all that crap in your way to begin with, that kind of data is what the TOP LCD is for, keep it out of the VF.

A cameras viewfinder should be as unobstructed as possible, it is what we view our subject through. It should be as uncluttered as possible and anything in the OVF that is distracting or visibly gets in the way between me and my subject - is simply unacceptable.

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
if actually true (and not just another way to one-up each other) does that require that Ricoh's customers want them?
Most consumers are idiots - who wouldn't know the difference between a summicron and a summilux. Keep the OVF the way it is (like K5IIs) - no bells and whistles, no Canon EOS 3 style laser light shows. Succinct, Simple, Functional.


Last edited by Digitalis; 02-16-2015 at 09:33 PM.
02-17-2015, 02:31 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
A cameras viewfinder should be as unobstructed as possible, it is what we view our subject through. It should be as uncluttered as possible and anything in the OVF that is distracting or visibly gets in the way between me and my subject - is simply unacceptable.
^ ^ This.

I'd concede a concession for the status quo options, but personally I tend to turn off as much as possible while shooting, and if adding more options comes at the cost of further darkening the view, then please please no.
02-17-2015, 04:29 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Indeed.

An interesting option would be some sort of hybrid EVF/OVF, combining the best of both. I recall asahiman mentioning a while ago that Pentax recently got a patent on something along those lines ...
02-17-2015, 07:21 AM   #34
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This discussion seems to have really caught fire! I'm happy to see that there are so many fans of the pure OVF experience. I'm not demanding a VF full of levels, histograms and gimmicks, but the market seems to like that. A transparent OVF overlay might help OVFs compete with EVFs, and help DSLRs compete with mirrorless cameras.

One of the key things I like about my mirrorless cameras is the easy flexibility of aspect ratios. But I much prefer the traditional OVF for its true colors and greater dynamic range. My thinking was: we already have an OVF that blinks to indicate focus point selection. Let's use similar tech to show aspect ratio changes, and maybe use it to show "zooming" with primes by cropping. I don't think this needs to darken the OVF very much, but I may be wrong; I claim no technical expertise on this. Jonby gets my point here, but I'm not sure about the others.

If the new FF is to be sold this year, this kind of innovation would probably ave to be designed into it by now. I'm only dreaming, which seems like a good way to spend the time until we know more.

02-17-2015, 02:52 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
An even bigger advantage would be not having all that crap in your way to begin with, that kind of data is what the TOP LCD is for, keep it out of the VF.
What kind of data are you referring to? The only 'data' I am advocating being displayed in the viewfinder, over and above that which is already displayed in the viewfinder of current Pentax DSLRs, is a single frame line or dark matte to indicate the currently selected crop. This wouldn't be of much use if displayed in the top LCD. Your statement seems to ignore the fact that the viewfinder (by default, at least), already has some 'crap' in it, in the form of AF area marks and highlighted AF points.

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
A cameras viewfinder should be as unobstructed as possible, it is what we view our subject through. It should be as uncluttered as possible and anything in the OVF that is distracting or visibly gets in the way between me and my subject - is simply unacceptable.
I agree with the sentiment - which is why I am advocating a way of removing such distractions as AF area marks, and any other marks, when they are not needed.

Given that Pentax have stated that they intend to support DA lenses via an in-camera crop, how would you suggest the edges of the crop are indicated, without adding further clutter to the viewfinder? Or do you think people should have to guess?
02-17-2015, 04:09 PM   #36
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When Sony introduced the FF a900/a850 cameras, they offered a crop mode for digital lenses. A few faint frame lines were etched into the focusing screen to indicate the corners of cropped area. I still fail to notice those marks when I use the camera, they're that indistinct-- and ineffective. Sony left a circular image showing in the VF, with no masking. I had no APS-C lenses to bother using, but it seemed a poor solution. I believe that Nikon does show a cropped frame, but I don't know how they do that.
02-17-2015, 05:44 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonby Quote
Your statement seems to ignore the fact that the viewfinder (by default, at least), already has some 'crap' in it, in the form of AF area marks and highlighted AF points.
The AF points only appear when needed - then disappear when they are not needed. The brackets serve the purpose of showing you the area of the AF frame, which is useful reference when one is doing AF tracking.

QuoteOriginally posted by jonby Quote
how would you suggest the edges of the crop are indicated, without adding further clutter to the viewfinder?
Simple corner brackets similar to what is seen in RF cameras - that will be sufficient.
02-17-2015, 06:17 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonby Quote
The original post by Wheatridger was primarily about a method of allowing variable cropping and aspect ratios in camera, requiring a fairly simple viewfinder overlay system to show the framing area. This would hardly amount to an unreasonable amount of viewfinder clutter and is similar to the system used in some very well-liked rangefinder cameras for many years, as he points out. It's a shame that the discussion seems to have migrated towards the much-covered OVF/hybrid/EVF debate while the proposed functionality has hardly been commented upon.
That may just be because there isn't a need for more OVF indicators pragmatically and as such having them there only to switch them off is superfluous.

02-17-2015, 10:45 PM   #39
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If you ever use an FF camera with APS-C lenses, you'll need crop indications in the OVF. If you ever were to have a choice of aspect ratios in an OVF camera, you would need frame lines in the OVF. I don't why you would argue with that, Ash. It would only be "superfluous" if you never wanted to use those capabilities. Do you think the red lights that indicate chosen focus points are superfluous, too?

Last edited by Wheatridger; 02-17-2015 at 10:45 PM. Reason: capitalization
02-17-2015, 11:08 PM   #40
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Mmm pity there are so many compromises to the inclusion of extra data in the OVF. Being an older person the vision corrected viewfinder is easy to read then the top LCD!
02-18-2015, 12:36 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
That may just be because there isn't a need for more OVF indicators pragmatically and as such having them there only to switch them off is superfluous.
As Wheatridger points out, there will definitely be a need to show crop indications for the APS-C frame on a camera which supports APS-C lenses, so this will not be superfluous. The functionality up for discussion in the opening post requires other crop indications. If you don't think this functionality will be useful (a perfectly valid viewpoint), then the markings required for this would become superfluous, but you haven't said that.

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatridger Quote
When Sony introduced the FF a900/a850 cameras, they offered a crop mode for digital lenses. A few faint frame lines were etched into the focusing screen to indicate the corners of cropped area. I still fail to notice those marks when I use the camera, they're that indistinct-- and ineffective.
This is in line with my thinking. To accurately determine what will and what will not be included within a cropped frame, I believe something more substantial than corner markings is needed. To properly visualize your composition within a cropped area, some sort of dark or light masking is needed which reduces contrast outside of the frame or hides it completely. The popularity and dominance of the 100% view SLR OVF is to a large extent predicated on exactly this way of doing things (WYSIWYG). The dichotomy here is that in order to be effective when in use, crop frame indications fundamentally need to be seen clearly. If they can be seen clearly then they will be detrimentally distracting when shooting in full frame mode. The only solution to this in my view is to allow for removable markings/overlays via some kind of LCD/LED overlay system. If such a system is implemented then there is surely no down side, and many potential benefits, to implementing the variable crop functionality up for discussion.

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Simple corner brackets similar to what is seen in RF cameras - that will be sufficient.
A fair viewpoint but I disagree - see above.

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
The AF points only appear when needed - then disappear when they are not needed. The brackets serve the purpose of showing you the area of the AF frame, which is useful reference when one is doing AF tracking.
... and which act as useless visual clutter when you are not doing AF tracking. You seem to be conceding then, that some markings are useful some of the time. Given your previous assertions that anything which gets in the way of your view of the subject is unacceptable, can we not agree then that it would be preferable for these markings (along with any crop frame markings, APS-C or otherwise) to be hidden when not in use and revealed when needed? The AF point indication behaviour is an example of this as you say, and is why I don't have a problem with them personally.

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatridger Quote
I believe that Nikon does show a cropped frame, but I don't know how they do that.
In the D800 at least, they show a black frame line for the APS-C crop when in that mode - see here: Nikon D800 Review: Digital Photography Review. I presume this is done via an LCD overlay

---------- Post added 02-18-15 at 12:45 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
Mmm pity there are so many compromises to the inclusion of extra data in the OVF.
Which compromises do you mean?
02-18-2015, 01:27 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonby Quote
To accurately determine what will and what will not be included within a cropped frame, I believe something more substantial than corner markings is needed.
And I'm saying that is that corner marks are all that is needed. Have you ever used an RF? I suppose you aren't aware of the advantage of being able to see outside of the APS-C capture frame*. There is much more to what is going on that what appears in the immediate area displayed by the OVF, RF cameras use simple brightened framelines to indicate focal length that do not mask or obscure you view** - often you can see what is going on outside the FOV of your lens and it allows you to react to it.

QuoteOriginally posted by jonby Quote
If they can be seen clearly then they will be detrimentally distracting when shooting in full frame mode.
Like the AF brackets - if you don't like them, why are you using the standard focusing screen? The APS-C crop indicators can be simple illuminated ˹ markings that could be added to the illuminated AF overlay that already exists in the OVF***. Simple, effective and no need for additional hardware. And the upside is that when they are illuminated it is easier to see them in the dark.


*This will be useful in the event the APS-C lens you are using happens to deliver adequate image quality for full frame(the DA40mm f/2.8 is a good example), instead of masking or obstructing your view the corner indicators can be used as an unobtrusive cropping guideline.
**though the smaller imaging circle of certain lenses will darken the VF around the edges and the obstruction of the hoods increase this effect, they will provide a rough cue of the capture area in the OVF, the corner marks will allow for more precise framing.
*** and like the Illuminated AF points they can be turned off when needed.

Last edited by Digitalis; 02-18-2015 at 01:49 AM.
02-18-2015, 08:44 AM   #43
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Methinks we could all get what we want. Imagine being able to switch between a shaded crop frame, a box of frame lines that allow vision beyond the captured area, or virtual zooming, or a blank screen without those features. I think we could have it all, and that ought to please everybody. But some folks gotta argue, this being the 'net.

If Ash and Digitalis are reacting to the proliferation of VF bells 'n whistles of EVF cameras, I'm in sympathy with that. I'm concerned that the EVF may someday drive our beloved OVFs out of the market. Devising a smarter, more flexible OVF might be the best way to make them more competitive with the gadget lovers and novices who are impressed by all that, and keep them from going extinct.
02-18-2015, 06:01 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonby Quote
there will definitely be a need to show crop indications for the APS-C frame on a camera which supports APS-C lenses, so this will not be superfluous
I missed this point. Sure, a DX indicator to show that crop mode is enacted in the FF camera is significant and worth putting in the OVF somewhere. There isn't much else above what is seen in the current Pentax dSLR OVFs that I could see worthwhile having flashing up on the OVF to draw attention away from composing and shooting an image.

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatridger Quote
Do you think the red lights that indicate chosen focus points are superfluous, too?
Definitely not. I never insinuated this nor do I argue about any pragmatic function on the OVF. I don't see a need, however, for displaying the drive mode, the WB setting, the photo format setting, the AF mode, etc WITHIN the OVF. This information is clearly displayed on the camera body and/or also on the top LCD. Such information displayed in the OVF does not add value in getting the right exposure for a photographer keeping an eye on the scene. The important information displayed is already available (exposure triad + AF/AE-L lock + metering adjustment) and this information matters to a photographer looking through the OVF in real time.
02-18-2015, 09:42 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
I don't see a need, however, for displaying the drive mode, the WB setting, the photo format setting, the AF mode, etc WITHIN the OVF.
I fully agree, but no-one is arguing for that here.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
There isn't much else above what is seen in the current Pentax dSLR OVFs that I could see worthwhile having flashing up on the OVF to draw attention away from composing and shooting an image.
The only indicators being proposed here are frame crop indicators to show the currently active cropping area, whether this be an APS-C crop, or another crop if the proposed variable cropping system was implemented. Frame crop indicators do the exact opposite of drawing attention away from composing and shooting an image. In the case of a dark mask, they remove the distraction of elements outside the captured frame.

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Have you ever used an RF? I suppose you aren't aware of the advantage of being able to see outside of the APS-C capture frame
Yes I have used rangefinder cameras and I am aware of the advantages that being able to see beyond the captured frame brings. However it also brings some disadvantages - namely that elements lying outside the frame become distractions that can skew your interpretation and visualisation of what will be captured within the frame. In some types of work, such as street photography, the advantages of the this method of framing outweigh the disadvantages. In many others, they don't. Your suggested method of indicating the APS-C frame with a corner markings will force users to switch between two ways of working/composing, because this method will not be available when working in full-frame mode. To me, this feels uncomfortable and at odds with the inherent nature of an SLR camera. I could work with it, but I don't see it as ideal. As wheatridger points out though, with the right implementation technology, it would be possible to choose your preferred method.

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
The APS-C crop indicators can be simple illuminated ˹ markings that could be added to the illuminated AF overlay that already exists in the OVF***. Simple, effective and no need for additional hardware. And the upside is that when they are illuminated it is easier to see them in the dark.
This would be preferable to having the frame indicators permanently visible, as long as they were also visible in bright conditions. However, I would prefer lines to corner marks, and I would prefer a contrast-reducing matte of neutral colour to both of these. If this could be achieved via a variation of the currently used technology then great - I'm just not sure that it could.

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Like the AF brackets - if you don't like them, why are you using the standard focusing screen?
Because I do use AF sometimes and do not find changing focusing screens on a regular basis in the field a practical option. Concerns about damage, possible mis-registration and the resulting mis-calibration of manual focus outweigh the benefits of hiding the AF marks. I would prefer to just be able to turn them off.
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