Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: LCD viewfinders, EVF's and the end of DSLR's  (Read 4692 times)
Ray
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8939


« on: February 27, 2003, 06:35:28 PM »
ReplyReply

JBL,
All good ideas. There's something a bit unnatural about squinting at the world through one eye. One drawback I can see to replacing the TTL viewfinder with an EVF is the drain on battery power. There would be a tendency towards bigger, brighter and higher resolution EVFs which would result in bigger, heavier and more expensive batteries, but generally I'm in favour of the idea. I think people who need to wear glasses would also find a big advantage to the EVF. Speaking for myself, I'm long sighted. I need glasses to read and for the computer, but not for watching television or for driving, or for looking through the viewfinder of a DSLR. But I do need glasses for all the settings that are not shown in the viewfinder. I find that when I'm shooting with the D60, I'm continually removing and putting back on my spectacles. The histogram I can see without specs and the blinking on the blown highlights, but all the menu settings on the back of the camera require specs, as well as many of the settings on the top LCD. A good EVF would suit my purposes well.
Logged
Paul Sumi
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1217


« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2003, 10:49:59 PM »
ReplyReply

The issue with film-camera-based DSLR's is that their reflex mirrors block the sensor when viewing. "Live" LCD composing is a physical impossibility.

The only optical TTL view digital cameras of which I am aware that have your suggested ability are the Olympus E-10 and E-20. They use a fixed beam-splitting prism, and their flip-out LCD's can be used in this way
Logged

samirkharusi
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 196


WWW
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2003, 05:10:13 AM »
ReplyReply

Large Format viewfinder for the 1Ds? Would it not be fairly simple to hook up the Firewire port wirelessly (Bluetooth adapter?) to a laptop for "Remote Capture" in the field? That should constitute a large enough after-viewfinder. And also slow the workflow sufficiently for all the MF and LF practitioners... Seriously though, some manufaturer ought to come up pretty soon with a wireless hookup to a large LCD screen (you do not need a full PC) that provideds all the functions of an electronic viewfinder or the camera's built-in viewscreen. I'd be quite happy with a 4x6" screen or slightly larger :laugh:
Logged

Bored? Peruse my website: Samir's Home
keith smith
Guest
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2003, 10:18:20 AM »
ReplyReply

someone on a Minolta forum referred to using an Olympus lcd viewer - like a pair of glasses normally used with a portable DVD player - connected to a 7i via the PAL/NTSC output.

is the * silent like the P in bathing?  Cheesy
Logged
Caer
Guest
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2003, 04:11:47 PM »
ReplyReply

Good point, didn't think about the shutter problem, perhaps this is because I assumed that's what'd happen - it seems to be the case on my P&S Fuji 4800Z. The whole idea is similar to the way the aperture stops down when the actual picture is taken, but stays wide open otherwise.
Logged
BJL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5170


« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2003, 01:00:49 PM »
ReplyReply

Reading some recent discussions, on square medium format and rangefinders, I was struck by the irony that many serious photographers like the medium format waist level finder and true rangefinder 35mm cameras, and yet the same people generally dislike the LCD viewfinders, EVF;s and non-SLR compact digital cameras; yet there are many similarites, and the differences should be fixable eventually.

The waist level and LCD viefinder screens suffer from an apparent image size far smaller than the one through an eye-peice ("peep-hole") viewfinder, but onthe  other hand are nice for visualization, as using them is more like viewing a print; the non-SLR approach reduces bulk, noise, shutter lag and vibration, and supposedly allows better wide angle lens designs.


Perhaps high end LCD viewfinders could eventually be upgraded in the following way, as an alternative to a DSLR and its optical viewfinder.


a) A detachable LCD shade hood with magnifier: I imagine this as a pyramid with its base covering completely the LCD and with a magnifying eye-piece at the apex, so when used it would turn the system into a bulky but high quality EVF. The LCD swivels, and so does this.

b) Bigger LCD's: like the 2.5" one on the Leica/Panasonic digital camera or beyond.

c) More pixels: about 600x600 = 360,000 would be enough to match what the eye can resolve in the square MF waist level viewfinder, not so far beyond the best that I have heard of so far ("220,000 equivalent" in the EVF of the Minolta 7Hi); but even more, and viewfinder zooming, would be nice.

d) a regular "four walls" shade hood option too, to allow waist-level style viewing even in bright light.


The "beyond the frame view" (sport finder?) feature would still be missing; I suppose a little optical peep-hole could be included too. Or you could just use a wider lens and live with a bit of cropping (like the cropping that rangefinder and most MF users need to do anyway whenever the desired field of view does not match their available fixed focal lengths so that a somewhat wider one must be used.)
Logged
Mike Levy
Guest
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2003, 10:32:22 PM »
ReplyReply

The articulated LCD monitor as found on a few of the better digicams is simply the most versatile and underappreciated of all viewfinders.  Sure, its not perfect, but the flip-and-twist monitor on my Canon G1 has allowed me to obtain more photographs from more angles more easily and more comfortably than any other type of viewfinder.  When working close to the ground, I don't have to lie down on my stomach to frame and compose the picture.   When working on a tripod, I don't have to stoop and crouch uncomfortably in order to see through an eye-level viewfinder.  I can view the image with both eyes, and not struggle to see the edges of the frame (I wear glasses).  Candid photography can be performed much more unobtrusively.  I can face my body away from the direction of my subject and still accurately frame the photo.

Yes, you don't get as detailed a view as you do with a conventional viewfinder, but the fact of the matter is that for the majority of images, seeing every little detail is not necessary for composing an image.  

While I am quite interested in moving up to the improved image quality of a DSLR, the prospect of being forced to squint through a one-eyed viewfinder for every image I take really puts me off.  

Since the standard eye-level viewfinder is what so many people have used for so long, it is difficult for many of us to envision the advantages of using anything else.  As wonderful as the DSLRs are as photographic tools, I believe that by not incorporating an articulated LCD viewfinder along with the eye-level one (I realize there are some technical issues to address, and perhaps even some trade-offs to be made in order to do this) these cameras are missing a very significant chunk of digital technology.

Mike Levy
www.creative-images.us
Logged
keith smith
Guest
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2003, 03:42:10 AM »
ReplyReply

There seems to be 2 schools of thought on this.  The DSLR's all use "old" technology with flapping mirrors and FP shutters.
The so called procumer camers (like the Miniolta 7i) use an combination of an electronic shutter and a mechanical shutter.  This allows live previews and live histograms.

The question is - is the DSLR (mirror+FP shutter) really the best or is is just that they are fitting into the SLR family.  
I love the live histogram, and the ability to use the rear LCD as a viewfinder, and the 7i also has a movable haed on its viewfinder.
At the moment, howvere , there are limitations on the EVF technology which make sthem less than perfect for - say- action work.
Logged
BJL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5170


« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2003, 10:01:39 AM »
ReplyReply

Thanks for all the comments; I have a number of reactions.

a) Yes, high end MF and LF have all kinds of great off-camera viewfinders, either laptops of things like Leaf's detachable hand-held "DP-67" viewfinder (6 by 7 centimetres?), that looks like a PDA, and probably Firewire or USB2 connections to a PDA and Pocket PC could be done for  live viewfinder.

But that is far away from the "street shooting" ideal of the "compact non-SLR" that I crave. Instead, give me that 6x7 cm display with a pivoting, optionally hooded mount on a camera, and I will be very happy to carry and change the extra batteries it needs, since it will still be less frequent, costly and fiddly than changing film (and AA alkaline batteries are easier to find in remote locations than film you would trust, so what is this story I keep hearing in the photography magazines about battery consumption being a disadvantage relative to film?)

 Current wireless options are too slow for a LIVE viewfinder connection though: Apple and the digital imaging industry need to invent "FireWireless".

c) About the Olympus E-series with its fixed mirror SLR and live LCD viewfinder: I am at least curious about their approach, since it eliminates most but not all of the drawbacks of moving mirror SLR's. So hopefully it will get further tested in the market when they finally come out with their proposed 4/3" sensor, interchangable lens camera. But it might end up being just a good transitional technology, until the LCD/EVF approach works so well that the optical VF option is no longer needed.


P. S. I hope no-one takes me to literally about the death of DSLR at least in the near future: in the short term, cameras like of the Canon 10D and the presumably even less expensive Pentax *ist D [the * is officially silent] are about to open that field up to a lot of photography students and other less well funded enthusiasts.
Logged
Caer
Guest
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2003, 03:14:22 PM »
ReplyReply

Hullo.

I'm confused about something.  I've read in numerous places that live viewing on the LCD is not possible with an SLR, because the mirror obscures the sensor.

Perhaps I'm missing the obvious, but why can't you just lock the mirror up when you want to use the LCD for live viewing and framing?
Logged
BJL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5170


« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2003, 03:46:49 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I've read in numerous places that live viewing on the LCD is not possible with an SLR, because the mirror obscures the sensor.... why can't you just lock the mirror up when you want to use the LCD for live viewing and framing?
Maybe it is possible, but some technical problems must be overcome; mainly that the focal plane shutter of a typical SLR also blocks the sensor's view.

I see three options

a) have the shutter curtain open for viewing, then quickly close it before taking the photo.

 change to using between the lens shutters; which are expensive with interchangeable lenses, reduce maximum shutter speed, and would require a big redesign effort.

c) go to sensors with purely "electronic shutter" operation, and no physical shutter. I am told some current DSLR sensors have this ability already.


Sensors for DSLRs are currently designed without the video output capability needed for EVF use since they do not need it, but I suppose that feature could be added if there were a use.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad