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Thread: What are the pros and cons of Electronic vs Optical viewfinder?

  1. #1

    Default What are the pros and cons of Electronic vs Optical viewfinder?

    Does the EVF gives you eye strains after prolonged usage? How about in the day/night, is it too bring, too dark, flicker-ish, etc?

    Have no chance to play with a DC with EVF long enough to find out myself. Owners of EVF-based DC care to comment?

    Thanks for any input...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What are the pros and cons of Electronic vs Optical viewfinder?

    Originally posted by cllai
    Does the EVF gives you eye strains after prolonged usage? How about in the day/night, is it too bring, too dark, flicker-ish, etc?

    Have no chance to play with a DC with EVF long enough to find out myself. Owners of EVF-based DC care to comment?

    Thanks for any input...
    Remember, EVF is just like a little monitor which shines into your eyes. Prolonged usage will cause eye strain. Some of the poorer ones exhibit things like flicker, banding, etc. No good. Optical finders are much better.

    Regards
    CK

  3. #3

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    I wouldn't say that optical viewfinders are much better, I would put it such that both have their selling points and diminishing points.

    Firstly, EVF does give you eye strain after prolonged usage, cos you're using one eye to stare at such a small monitor at a close range, and frequently squinting to see the details. And secondly, EVF is useless at night (for most DCs). It will be almost pitch dark, only showing the bright lights like street lamps, so composition of the picture is one big problem. However some cams like the Dimage 5/7 actually compensate for that by brightening up the display.

    Then comes the good points of EVF. It lets you see lots of things that the optical viewfinder doesn't. Exposure information like shutter speed and aperture, ISO can be seen at one glance. In MF, focussing distance is shown as well. Exposure compensation is nicely tucked away in one corner of the screen too. This may clutter up the screen, but I like it with all the info there when I need them. Also, exposure can be checked immediately, as the EVF usually shows you what the final image will more or less look like. You make EV compensation, then image is refreshed to show you the effect. You can also check focus, when you half-press the shutter, to see if the cam focussed on your intended subject.

    All the above are not possible with an optical viewfinder (of consumer-level DCs), but note that they can be accomplished with the LCD of the camera anyway. It's just that EVF is a energy-conserving type of LCD, and if you like to frame your shots using the viewfinder instead of the LCD screen, the EVF is quite a gem.

    And also, the parallex error associated with the OVF will magnify when taking macro or close-up shots, so it's better to use the LCD. EVF wouldn't have the same problem.

    Ok so this is my breakdown, both types of viewfinders have their pros and cons. In my opinion, the best viewfinder is still that of SLRs.

  4. #4

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    Originally posted by Tweek


    Ok so this is my breakdown, both types of viewfinders have their pros and cons. In my opinion, the best viewfinder is still that of SLRs.
    Combine the best of both worlds... DSLR!

  5. #5

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    Optical TTL! MUHAHAH!

  6. #6
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    Default

    Originally posted by Tweek
    I wouldn't say that optical viewfinders are much better, I would put it such that both have their selling points and diminishing points.

    Firstly, EVF does give you eye strain after prolonged usage, cos you're using one eye to stare at such a small monitor at a close range, and frequently squinting to see the details. And secondly, EVF is useless at night (for most DCs). It will be almost pitch dark, only showing the bright lights like street lamps, so composition of the picture is one big problem. However some cams like the Dimage 5/7 actually compensate for that by brightening up the display.

    Then comes the good points of EVF. It lets you see lots of things that the optical viewfinder doesn't. Exposure information like shutter speed and aperture, ISO can be seen at one glance. In MF, focussing distance is shown as well. Exposure compensation is nicely tucked away in one corner of the screen too. This may clutter up the screen, but I like it with all the info there when I need them. Also, exposure can be checked immediately, as the EVF usually shows you what the final image will more or less look like. You make EV compensation, then image is refreshed to show you the effect. You can also check focus, when you half-press the shutter, to see if the cam focussed on your intended subject.

    All the above are not possible with an optical viewfinder (of consumer-level DCs), but note that they can be accomplished with the LCD of the camera anyway. It's just that EVF is a energy-conserving type of LCD, and if you like to frame your shots using the viewfinder instead of the LCD screen, the EVF is quite a gem.

    And also, the parallex error associated with the OVF will magnify when taking macro or close-up shots, so it's better to use the LCD. EVF wouldn't have the same problem.

    Ok so this is my breakdown, both types of viewfinders have their pros and cons. In my opinion, the best viewfinder is still that of SLRs.
    Sorry, being an SLR user, I am thinking SLRs all the time. I am referring to the optical viewfinder of SLRs. It's TTL, and shows all the info you wanted in its periphery. I am not talking about the OVFs of consumer DCs and P&S cameras, which are not very good, even when compared to the OVFs on the better rangefinders.

    I personally don't like EVFs - though for video cameras, they're pretty much standard fare. For DCs which has it exclusively, or has an LCD as well, it does have it's problems. But that's the cheap way to get a TTL viewfinder.

    Regards
    CK

  7. #7

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    Originally posted by ckiang


    Sorry, being an SLR user, I am thinking SLRs all the time. I am referring to the optical viewfinder of SLRs. It's TTL, and shows all the info you wanted in its periphery. I am not talking about the OVFs of consumer DCs and P&S cameras, which are not very good, even when compared to the OVFs on the better rangefinders.

    I personally don't like EVFs - though for video cameras, they're pretty much standard fare. For DCs which has it exclusively, or has an LCD as well, it does have it's problems. But that's the cheap way to get a TTL viewfinder.

    Regards
    CK
    yep, a TTL optical viewfinder is still the best. Except that they don't show you the effects of exposure compensation.

  8. #8

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    The EVF is a must have tool if you demand accuracy in your shots.
    No more mistakes and missing heads in the pictures .

    It looks that most of you ,are forgeting that the EVF bring more usability than the optical ones , making the PANO photography one easy task .

    The quality of the EVF will bother more the user , but at this point ,the question is not the EVF ,but the over all quality of the camera that you plan to get .
    One cheap DC will have everything cheap on it !

    By my personal point of view, the best EVFs is on the cameras that their design had made for night shots .
    The Olympus C 2100 is one very good example .
    The Focus assistance light ,on one DC is one basic evidence ,that this DC has also one very sensitive in the low light EVF.
    But there is no all the cameras in the same performance level .
    For instance the SONY P50 ,even with Focus assistance light , does not have that sensitive EVF like the Olympus C2100 .
    By the other hand the Olympus C700 that does not have Focus assistance light , is well known that the EVF of it ,does not help in low light shooting , as it gets too dark to see .
    Olympus C2100 X3 - E100RS - C220
    IS/L lenses ALL :-D

  9. #9

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    Being a film SLR user for more than 10 years, I get a sick feeling when looking through a tunnel vision optical viewfinder found in most DC. Borrowed a Oly 2040 from a colleague and I found myself using the LCD almost all the time! The biggest problem for me with optical viewfinder is that it does not show whether your subject is focused or not. Even though a EVF has poorer image quality, it is the next best thing to a SLR viewfinder.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Originally posted by Jango
    Being a film SLR user for more than 10 years, I get a sick feeling when looking through a tunnel vision optical viewfinder found in most DC. Borrowed a Oly 2040 from a colleague and I found myself using the LCD almost all the time! The biggest problem for me with optical viewfinder is that it does not show whether your subject is focused or not. Even though a EVF has poorer image quality, it is the next best thing to a SLR viewfinder.
    SLR viewfinder IS an optical viewfinder already. Just that it's a TTL Optical Viewfinder.

    Regards
    CK

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