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Author Topic: EVF advantages  (Read 8325 times)
jbgeach
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« on: October 08, 2012, 09:39:57 AM »
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Michael
Thank you for your A99 review.
I learned photography on film and then transitioned to digital photography. I share your love for a big bright viewfinder.
However, you have missed the biggest advantage of the EVF for me. What you see is what you get (WYSIWYG).
After shooting the NEX-7 for one year, I recently picked up my 5d and as I was shooting it, I felt that the exposure compensation was broken. It wasn't it was just that after getting used to a preview with the exposure, white balance and settings previewed, I had to return to chimping.
Maybe this isn't a problem for you as you are clearly an excellent photographer who prefers a more methodical type of photography, but for me, the EVF helps me cut down on chimping and have more keepers
Jonathan Geach
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2012, 10:29:18 AM »
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What you see is what you get (WYSIWYG).
I am getting raw files and certain important parameters are nowhere to be found in EVF.
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David S
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2012, 11:39:04 AM »
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The advantages of the EVF are mostly person specific. I have used SLRs with optical viewfinders for years starting in 1970 but strangely I like a good EVF. (Olympus OMD and the Panasonic GH2) There are significant limitations but they don't bother my style of shooting but I can well see that many others would not like them at all.

It will be interesting to see how this Sony does.

Dave S
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jbgeach
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2012, 11:50:02 AM »
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I have found that by having an EVF I am able to shoot jpg much more often as I rarely have to make major changes in post. It really saves a lot of time getting it right the first time
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douglasf13
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 12:13:03 PM »
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Yeah, while OVFs certainly still have advantages, I'm not sure how Nick Devlin doesn't see at least some advantage to EVFs.  Since I started shooting EVFs, it's amazing to go through my Lightroom catalogue and see how much more consistent my exposures are, because WYSIWYG.  Also, manual focusing, with both peaking and magnification, is much better than even my A900 with a matte screen.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 12:18:53 PM by douglasf13 » Logged
MatthewCromer
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2012, 12:28:26 PM »
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The biggest advantage, to me, is the SLT cameras give the possibility of handheld landscape photography.  No mirror slap, and electronic first curtain shutter.  These make a huge difference to platform stability (along with sensor-based stabilization, of course!).

I wouldn't consider going back(wards) to an OVF camera. . .
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ndevlin
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2012, 07:08:16 PM »
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I can see advantages to the EVF model, just not with the present EVFs.  If Sony had really raised the bar on EVF technology and put a stunning finder in the A99, that would have been really exciting. What we got was rewarmed mediocrity.

I shot with the EOS RT back in the day and there were some things it did well that a modern EVF could mirror (pun intended). But the degradation of colour and tonal relationships which I see with present-day EVFs make them an inherently major compromise. 

As for mirror-slap, I've become resigned to 3x focal length, with a minimum of 1/125th being the new rule for  handheld shooting on the D800E. Not sure how much image-degrading vibration really comes from the mirror these days versus other sources - be interesting to know.

And nobody seems to talk about the image degradation caused by the pellicle mirror. It's minor, but less than an AA filter?

All in all, it's a question of taste.  If you like'em, use'em.  If EVFs got a lot better, we'd all be using them, but presently its not a compromise I care to make. 

Cheers,

- N. 
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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera
MatthewCromer
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2012, 08:28:26 PM »
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I can see advantages to the EVF model, just not with the present EVFs.  If Sony had really raised the bar on EVF technology and put a stunning finder in the A99, that would have been really exciting. What we got was rewarmed mediocrity.

I shot with the EOS RT back in the day and there were some things it did well that a modern EVF could mirror (pun intended). But the degradation of colour and tonal relationships which I see with present-day EVFs make them an inherently major compromise. 

EVFs are very useful for composition and focusing and DOF determination, and they work well for those purposes.  The view isn't as pleasing in some ways as an OVF.

Quote

As for mirror-slap, I've become resigned to 3x focal length, with a minimum of 1/125th being the new rule for  handheld shooting on the D800E. Not sure how much image-degrading vibration really comes from the mirror these days versus other sources - be interesting to know.

The tests I have seen have shown very significant degradation both from the mirror and the physical first curtain shutter.

Here is just one example of MLU making a huge difference:

http://stinsonphotography.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/mirror-lock-up.jpg

And here is an example of electronic first curtain shutter making a substantial difference:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/39763467
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And nobody seems to talk about the image degradation caused by the pellicle mirror. It's minor, but less than an AA filter?


I have seen no evidence of any image degradation caused by the second/third generation SLT mirrors.  The first gen (Alpha 33/55) had some very slight blurring and also "ghosting" artifacts with extreme bright hotspots, but Sony has improved the design since then.  The image degradation caused by mirror slap and shutter slap can be very visible and noticeable.  I fully expect the Sony Alpha 36MP FF camera expected next year to significantly outperform the Nikon D800 in day to day usage for handheld photography since it will be a much more stable platform.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2012, 12:14:59 AM »
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Hi,

I was testing with 200/2.8 on tripod. Not using MLU cut resolution in half. I could achieve the same sharpness shooting free hand at 1/15 - 1/125 using AntiShake as on tripod with MLU. AntiShake did not help on tripod.

So, without MLU my best result was around 3MP and with MLU it was around 12MP.

Interestingly enough, all images looked decently sharp, until I measured MTF with Imatest. After seeing the Imatest results I could see the differences at actual pixels on the screen.

I don't know which camera I used, it was probably my Alpha 700.

So now, I'm quite religious about using MLU whenever camera is on tripod. Never ever use AS with camera on tripod and MLU. It will destruct image quality.

Best regards
Erik

I can see advantages to the EVF model, just not with the present EVFs.  If Sony had really raised the bar on EVF technology and put a stunning finder in the A99, that would have been really exciting. What we got was rewarmed mediocrity.

I shot with the EOS RT back in the day and there were some things it did well that a modern EVF could mirror (pun intended). But the degradation of colour and tonal relationships which I see with present-day EVFs make them an inherently major compromise. 

As for mirror-slap, I've become resigned to 3x focal length, with a minimum of 1/125th being the new rule for  handheld shooting on the D800E. Not sure how much image-degrading vibration really comes from the mirror these days versus other sources - be interesting to know.

And nobody seems to talk about the image degradation caused by the pellicle mirror. It's minor, but less than an AA filter?

All in all, it's a question of taste.  If you like'em, use'em.  If EVFs got a lot better, we'd all be using them, but presently its not a compromise I care to make. 

Cheers,

- N. 
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2012, 01:20:07 AM »
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But the degradation of colour and tonal relationships which I see with present-day EVFs make them an inherently major compromise. 

how does that make your shot worse though ?
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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2012, 07:03:54 AM »
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how does that make your shot worse though ?

That's the bottom line for me.  EVF and what it makes possible (no mirror slap, ever) trumps looking through the optical VF in my book.  YMMV.
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dreed
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2012, 07:35:06 AM »
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So now, I'm quite religious about using MLU whenever camera is on tripod. Never ever use AS with camera on tripod and MLU. It will destruct image quality.

When using a tripod in windy conditions, I've found that enabling image stabilisation on my lenses helps when the shutter speed is slow.
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ndevlin
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« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2012, 07:35:31 AM »
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how does that make your shot worse though ?

Because, for me at least, my relationship to the scene I am trying to photograph is deeply influenced by the visual quality of what I see through the finder. My emotional creative instinct just doesn't fire when what I see through the finder/ground glass is uninspiring.

Also, I find EVFs very difficult to use to judge colour and DR. This is obviously personal and others obviously feel there are able to work with/relate to the image through an EVF just fine.

But notwithstanding that, I am quite sure that the number of photographers who will actively prefer the A99 to its rivals is a small percentage.  

Both Michael and I really looked forward to using the A99 - in particular Michael who has a significant investment in Sony lenses - but both of us had an identical, instant and somewhat surprising response...we really disliked the experience of looking through the A99's finder.

- N.
  
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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera
deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2012, 08:32:35 AM »
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Because, for me at least, my relationship to the scene I am trying to photograph is deeply influenced by the visual quality of what I see through the finder. My emotional creative instinct just doesn't fire when what I see through the finder/ground glass is uninspiring.

I see... that is what I never could understand myself because I subjectively prefer to see the scene unaltered w/ anything and viewfinder is only for framing... more so because I know that the scene is not going to look exactly as I see it - it will be postprocessed and hence no viewfinder is going to reflect that... so on top of EVF I can happily leave w/ the green cast of UniWB.

Also, I find EVFs very difficult to use to judge colour and DR.

well - camera's spotmeter can help to judge the DR... more so if there is no split prism making spotmetering impossible (or very difficult)... and some cameras (Olympus I'd say) can in fact get very close to realtime raw clipping indication in the picture presented in EVF w/ blinkies (not histogram - but right in the image)... not exactly unfortunately but very close... and well some lenses they have 1-2+ EV vignetting wide open - so does it not affect your judgement while evaluating a DR through OVF with the lens wide open - I can't believe that you will stop down the lens to the actual aperture if it is an autofocus/autoaperture lens and not fully manual to see if there is a change in the corner

« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 08:38:45 AM by deejjjaaaa » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2012, 08:45:14 AM »
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According to a friend shooting with th 77, the EVF is a pain with PL filters since it tries to compensate for the brightness change which makes challnging to adjust polarization. Not sure if somebody else experienced that?

As far as OVF go, I personally find them a lot more enjoyabl to use also, but stitching has taught me that I don't need a viewfinder to compose.

I could probably live with a decent EVF, but it would definitely make photography less enjoyable. I do understnd that results are sometimes more important than enjoyment though and the Sony is for sure an intersting offering.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2012, 09:00:23 AM »
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Hi personally I have mixed feelings. Sometimes I like EVF sometimes less so. I like to have live view focusing on the screen. Virtual horizon etc. Specially with picture effects on sometimes it is just to dark.

I'm shooting the old Alpha 900 and the Alpha 77 in parallell, and sometimes prefer one over the other.

Best regards
Erik



Because, for me at least, my relationship to the scene I am trying to photograph is deeply influenced by the visual quality of what I see through the finder. My emotional creative instinct just doesn't fire when what I see through the finder/ground glass is uninspiring.

Also, I find EVFs very difficult to use to judge colour and DR. This is obviously personal and others obviously feel there are able to work with/relate to the image through an EVF just fine.

But notwithstanding that, I am quite sure that the number of photographers who will actively prefer the A99 to its rivals is a small percentage.  

Both Michael and I really looked forward to using the A99 - in particular Michael who has a significant investment in Sony lenses - but both of us had an identical, instant and somewhat surprising response...we really disliked the experience of looking through the A99's finder.

- N.
  
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MarkL
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« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2012, 09:23:14 AM »
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A lot of the advantages come from not having a mirror rather than the EVF itself, in many ways the EVF is just a consequence of this.

A good area to look at EVF uses is video: focus peaking, false colour modes/zebraing etc. unfortunately stills camera manufacturers seem determined to ignore these even with the cameras with video capability.
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2012, 09:38:40 AM »
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According to a friend shooting with th 77, the EVF is a pain with PL filters since it tries to compensate for the brightness change which makes challnging to adjust polarization. Not sure if somebody else experienced that?

but that is not a genetic feature of EVF - it is just how particular firmware is working...

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BJL
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« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2012, 10:17:50 AM »
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According to a friend shooting with th 77, the EVF is a pain with PL filters since it tries to compensate for the brightness change which makes challnging to adjust polarization. Not sure if somebody else experienced that?
Bernard, [Revised after I checked my camera's settings and tested a few things!]
    Yes, I have occasionally had that problem with my EM5, caused by EVF auto-level adjustment (called "Live View Boost" on the EM5), along with the related problem that one does not get a preview of how luminosity levels are effected by exposure compensation or a histogram that reflects exposure compensation settings. But AFAIK, all these problems can be avoided by suppressing that auto-brightness adjustment, giving a more WYSIWYG display of brightness. On the EM5, this "Live View Boost" is on by default, but more experienced users will probably benefit by turning it of most of the time.

On the other hand, I am of the faction that uses the VF primarly for framing, manual focusing, and checking for appropriate exposure level (like avoiding blown highlights), so for me, the eye-level live preview given by an EVF wins over both OVFs and rear-screen live view for:
- the ability to do accurate manual focusing while using an eye-level VF, including the cases of focusing at an off-center point, and hand-held close-ups where focus and re-compose is impractical.
- live histograms and warnings of over-exposed and/or underexposed regions in the VF.

Of course, an SLR with accessory EVF could offer the best of both worlds, and seems appropriate for at least some high-end cameras, especially DSLRs intended for serious video usage. I wonder if and when Canon or Nikon will offer that, given that they seem to be the only two major camera makers still interested in making high-end DSLRs.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 01:54:31 PM by BJL » Logged
Pete Berry
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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2012, 11:50:18 AM »
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According to a friend shooting with th 77, the EVF is a pain with PL filters since it tries to compensate for the brightness change which makes challnging to adjust polarization. Not sure if somebody else experienced that?


With my GH2 I find that simply seeking the longest shutter speed in the EVF with filter rotation (in A-priority and unlocked metering) gives a fairly narrow "null" point.

Pete
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