Electronic Viewfinder

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by efontu, May 6, 2012.

  1. efontu

    efontu New to Mu-43

    May 2, 2012
    Costa Rica
    I grew up in the film days when all hand held small cameras had an OVF. I just can't get used to compose, focus, and take a picture looking at a LCD screen at arms length with my old and tired eyesight. Would you please give me some advise regarding the use of an external EVF like the Olympus VF-3 in mainly candid and street photography?
  2. Neon

    Neon Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2012
    North Wales,UK.
    I think it may be just getting use to it.I am finding it strange after using a DSLR and now having an electronic vf,but think in time it will be ok.
    Maybe old hands will have some advice.
  3. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    You might be better off with the VF-2 vice the 3 based upon my interpretation of your question.
  4. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Real Name:
    I'm not sure what type of advise you are seeking here. Are you looking for input as to whether the EVFs are useful? Are you looking for a recommendation between the VF-2 and VF-3? Also, providing more details about which camera you have might be useful.

    My take is that if composing with the screen feels foreign then you really have a couple of options: keep trying and hope that practice makes it feel more natural (as suggested by Neon), or try one of the available EVFs and see if that works for you.
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    You use them the same way you used to use an OVF, but you get extra information with the EVF including real-time exposure and color balance. What you see is what you're going to get in the photo, beyond just focus and composition.

    As RT_Panther suggests, I would go for the VF-2 over the VF-3 to better match the optical quality of an OVF.
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Functionally, you can use the EVF in the same fashion as an OVF. It's an eye-level 100% viewfinder that gives you accurate framing. In addition, if you enable the live histogram, you can use it to judge exposure prior to taking the shot. The main downside is that since it's electronic, you're not looking at the actual scene, so it doesn't look as nice (blown highlights look white, shadows look black, colors can be a bit garish, etc.).

  7. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    I wouldn't consider owning a camera without some type of eye level viewfinder.

    In addition to the difficulties in seeing the LCD image in bright light, shooting with a eye-level finder/camera held against my face is an important stabilizing factor when shooting at slow shutter speeds.

    That said, I will sometimes use the LCD when it is more convenient. This is most often when I am shooting from a low or high angle with a camera that has an articulated LCD. The LCD is also handy when I am shooting on a tripod and the ambient light is not too bright. I don't hate them, it's just that they are inadequate IMHO as the sole viewing device.

    So, yes, buy the accessory viewfinder.
  8. efontu

    efontu New to Mu-43

    May 2, 2012
    Costa Rica
    Thank you all for your very informative replies. I'm just getting my feet wet in the MFT format and got myself an E PL-1 with the new Sigma 60mm lens to get started. Now I will take the chance and get myself an EVF. Funny thing that every time a search for info about these Olympus devices, most people choose the VF-2 instead of the VF-3 even with the lower price of the latter and the tendency to slip off the camera as some people complain of the former.
    Thanks again.
  9. peterbee

    peterbee Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 2, 2011
    Huddersfield, UK
    Real Name:
    Peter Bartlett
    This thread interests me as I moved to M43 from an SLR/DSLR background of many years standing.

    I had past experience with a Ricoh GX100 and could never get the hang of the LCD and virtually always used the clip on EVF.

    So, when I researched which CSC system to buy in to I convinced myself that an EVF would be essential. Interestingly, I have become very comfortable with the LCD and particularly find the touch screen functionality invaluable. Since buying the E-P3 I have rarely used the EVF, currently only using it in very bright sunlight or when using the long end of the 40-150mm lens to gain greater stability when hand holding.

    I've reached the point now where I almost feel more comfortable with the LCD on the Pen than the optical viewfinder on my DSLR.

    In conclusion, the EVF is very useful (to me) in limited circumstances and for those I'd not be without it, but for most general photography, I'm content to use the LCD
  10. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Real Name:
    That's because the VF-2 is higher resolution, which trumps the advantages of the VF-3 for many.

    I'm hoping that Oly provides a VF-4 which combines the ergonomic advantages of the -3 with the resolution of the -2.

    Sent from my Android phone using Mu-43 App
    • Like Like x 1
  11. chuckgoolsbee

    chuckgoolsbee Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 6, 2010
    Bend, Oregon
    This is the precise reason why I have always stuck with the G-series cameras: the G1 and the G3.
  12. MexicoMik

    MexicoMik Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 19, 2012
    I have owned an MFT (EP3) for about 3months now, switching over from Nikon DSLRs (and, before that, Nikon SLRs/Leica M6). I bought a VF3 because I couldn't feature using the LCD for general use. I have found that to be exactly the case for me. Yesterday, for example we were out at an event in bright sun and, once again, I found the LCD to be essentially useless. I have tried to "get used" to the LCD and use if for more shooting but I have determined that for me at least, it just doesn't do the job.

    Obviously other folks have a different view but IMO, a VF is mandatory. I basically have no use for the LCD as an image composer.
  13. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    I loved having the vf2 on my ep2. Tried the ep1 and absolutely hated composing via LCD. The OMD is the best in that regard. The tilting LCD is great for waist level shots or getting down on the ground, but the EVF for traditional shooting style is excellent. I don't really miss an optical finder.