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EVF: VF-4 versus VF-2 or E-M1 vs E-M5/E-M10 EVF?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Cymen, May 25, 2014.

  1. Cymen

    Cymen Mu-43 Rookie

    May 6, 2014
    I am curious what your opinion is if you have used both the high resolution EVF (VF-4 or E-M1) and the lower resolution EVF (VF-2, E-M5, or E-M10). Did you notice much of a difference? Was it more that just more detail? Have you changed your buying decisions based on the EVF or is it a minor thing?

    I haven't had a chance to try either. One of my first cameras was an Olympus C-2100 UZ. It had an EVF which was quite usable but is probably laughable today. At a certain point, a little more resolution is nice but not a huge deal. Is that the case here? I realize there may be more differences than resolution so any other opinions/comments/thoughts would be appreciated.
  2. dejongj

    dejongj Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 3, 2013
    Whipsnade, UK
    I really like my VF4....I was the only m43 user on a photography meet recently, and a lot of the pro's with their big FF gear commented on how absolutely superb the viewfinder was...I only had brief experience with the E-M5, enough to see that I prefer the VF4....However the buying decision for my E-P5 wasn't about the viewfinder, it was about the handling and where the controls are located....I found that much more important....

    I shoot a lot from the hip, I have changed my style and use the back screen a lot as a waist level viewfinder....Oh and one advantage of the VF4 is how it tilts up....it was great when I needed to get low down, but the grass was very wet....
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  3. I don't particularly care to use eye-level viewfinders very often, but having tried both I found the VF-4 to be a fabulous piece of technology whereas the VF-2 is merely very good.
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  4. gochugogi

    gochugogi Mu-43 Veteran

    In fairly even light the VF-4 is amazingly clear and detailed and as large as a FF optical VF. The VF-2 is smaller and less detailed. Bigger and more detailed is a lot more fun to use--the glory of the sense is more apparent--and composition is easier and more natural. The VF-4 also handles panning better than the VF-2, suffering very little smearing. Where it falls down is high contrast light: shadows are blocked up in bright sun or in typical studio lighting. I can see into shadows fine with my naked eye or with an optical finder but the VF-4, like the VF-2, has a very limited dynamic range. Yeah, I love the tilting feature and use it all the time. For me, a large high rez EVF is a big deal. If I had to use a crappy EVF, e.g., VF-3, or the rear LCD I wouldn't bother with M43.
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  5. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    There's a noticeable difference in size and resolution in favour of the VF4/EM1 but the VF2/EM5 is perfectly good enough for its purpose. There's no additional info displayed in the higher spec models and like all EVFs they both suffer from lack of DR on high contrast daytime scenes. If you've got the money, then the VF4 is better, but I wouldn't upgrade for the sake of it.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    For me, the answer is simple. If you shoot thru a viewfinder, get the best possible, which in this case would be the VF4 or the one in the EM1.

    IMO, there's a huge difference between the VF4 and it's earlier versions as well as the EM1 vs the EM5/EM10. Although I would love to buy an EM5 as a backup body, the viewfinder is a deal breaker for me. On a related note, I'd like to the see the next Pen EP7 to have a built-in viewfinder in lieu of the built-in flash. If that happens, I'll be the first one in line to buy one.
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  7. gochugogi

    gochugogi Mu-43 Veteran

    If I'm only shooting with my Oly 17mm F/1.8, I prefer the VF-1. It's a simple brightline finder but is tiny, clear and vivid. You can see outside the frame a wee bit and, obviously, into shadows in bright light. Of course there is no data display and you need to leave AF on the center point so you can lock on without guessing. Reminds me of using my old Zeiss rangefinder sans focusing dot. I have toggle LCD on/off assigned to a function button on my Pen.
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  8. fof9l

    fof9l New to Mu-43

    Mar 2, 2014
    Toronto, Canada, and Bournemouth UK
    Nigel Blumenthal
    My buying decision was based entirely on the EVF issue. I had an E-PL5, which produced great shots, but whose control placement didn't suit me, so I found an E-P5 on Bay with a VF-4. I was absolutely wowed by the clarity and size of that VF-4 display, but it had the unfortunate side-effect of making the fairly small E-P5 awkward to put away in my camera bag, and made the whole camera less convenient to use (especially since the much-vaunted flip-up feature meant that every time I grabbed the camera from the bag, the VF-4 would flip up unnecessarily).

    Then the E-M10 came out - at last, a 4/3 camera with a built-in EVF and a flash. Sold the PEN, bought the E-M10, and I couldn't be happier with the end result. Is the EVF as good as the VF-4? No, nowhere near as good. But does it do the same job? Well, yes, it enables me to take photos in bright sunlight when I can't see the screen at the back of any of these cameras. And that's really what it's all about. If the EVF is your sticking point, then you may get a better result from the VF-4 with whatever camera you pair it with. But if you really want to use it simply as an aid to better photography, I would say, try the E-M10.
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  9. gotak

    gotak Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 28, 2012
    I was using an e-m5 till last week then I got myself a e-m1 after ditching my canon DSLRs.

    I know the new EVF is suppose is be worth ranting and raving about but for some reason I hardly notice the difference when I first started using the e-m1. Maybe something's wrong with me? Or is this because I wear glasses? I don't know but really either works well enough for me and neither makes me go wow. They are good but so was the VVF in the 7ds I was shooting before.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. polarpix

    polarpix Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 24, 2014
    Elliot Lake, Ontario Canada
    My feelings too, I shoot with both the E-M1 and E-M5 and haven't really noticed a difference, possibly because I'm paying more attention to my subject then the viewfinder. I very seldom use the rear monitor but when I do it's not because I find the EVF lacking but because my old back just refused to bend like it used too :) )
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    So far, pretty much the same here as I moved from a VF-2 to the E-M5 and E-M1. My only gripe is with the E-M5. If you trun off the auto select between the EVF and LCD, you can only use the default EVF style. I like to manually switch, but I prefer one of the other styles, so that was a bit annoying. The E-M1 respects the EVF style when manually switching, but otherwise, I have not been paying much attention as I move back and forth between bodies.

    Last edited: May 22, 2015
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