snip........ since manual focus is not so easy with the small viewfinder. .........snip
I'm with you on this.
One of the most difficult things to learn is taking a three dimensional world, looking at it through a semi three dimensional optical viewfinder then lighting, composing to make the 2 dimensional end result look almost three dimensional.
That's how most of us trained ourselves.
When the RED's EVF came out I thought they were pretty spiffy. High rez enough to focus and heck everything starts out in two dimensions, so less brain drain on my end.
What I noticed was everything looked kind of flat. I was missing that intermediate step.
Now, I don't have a single doubt that someday all cameras will be evfs. It's just too easy and too electronic for them not to be. Also we have a new generation of photographers learning on iphones instead of cameras.
Still, there is a difference. When we got our first REDs we would use the RED's to base out the shot and the lighting (if we were using continuous light). I think everything suffered. Now even if I'm using a RED as the primary camera I still base out with a still camera or no camera at all.
It makes for more thoughtful imagery . . . at least for me.
My partner and wife who is our producer and on set style director is one of the few non photographers I know that can see a 3 dimensional set with her eyes and transfer it into a two dimensional outcome.
In fact, she never, ever looks at the monitor when we're shooting tethered. She finds it completely uninteresting and says anything important is happening on set, not on a screen.
Even though she is at a separate angle from the camera she can spot a bad tangent a block away and when she mentions it I'll say, naw it's ok and she says check the files. She's right everytime. You can't fool a trained eye.
Actually, to take this one step further, the thing I miss about the lab and film is the surprise of going from an optical viewfinder, two steps further to seeing the final image on film.
It's a gas and somewhere with camera lcds, tethering, hot folders to special processes like lightroom, we lose some of the surprise some of the innovation and I think spend way too much time looking at a screen and less time on set.
Not to debate this silly d800 vs. the world thing because I still think a few protagonists want to googlize he negatives of medium format, but if there is anything I dislike about dslrs is the crappy manual focus on those tiny screens. If your ever used a F5 Nikon and go back to one of the digital era nikons it's like a cheap prosumer view and since I shoot people shooting with life view really isn't that appealing.
I just find it a dumbing down of the photographic process.
To take this thought to a different level, I think everyone should try a rangfinder like a Leica. There is something so cool about looking through that weird viewfinder with crop lines and no real view of the lens, taking a series of frames and then looking at them in final. It's a leap almost like going to the lab.
In fact, I love my REDs, but the only thing that would make me go to an Arri is it has an optical viewfinder. That's something I can really understand.
In regards to the Zeiss glass, I have a few of those lenses we use one one of our RED One's for hand holding and the previous versions were great lenses and you can focus them on a RED, but I put them on my still Nikon D3 and their a beast to manually focus on that small ground plastic.
As I said someday I guess we'll all focus on Ipad screens mounted to some kind of lens and probably even have cameras that we can say, light it like Newton or Bordin and the camera will do it, maybe it will even talk to the model and give direction, like smile now, or looks off camera.
Sounds like a lot of fun. (yawn).