Eye strain, E-M5 Mk II vs E-M1 Mk II

connloyalist

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A little over a year ago I upgraded from an E-M5 Mk II to an E-M1 Mk II (and am loving that E-M1.2, wonderful). When doing so I noticed something that I haven't been able to figure out. I hope the assorted wisdom and experience of this forum might be able to help.

I pretty much always use the EVF, only very rarely do I use the LCD screen. Mostly the LCD screen is folded into the body, unless I want to check a picture or settings. On the E-M5.2 using the EVF after a while I get eye strain. Adjusting the little dial on the side does not help. However on the E-M1.2 I have no problems whatsoever, I can go all day with that. I must add that I wear glasses and my prescription is such that the adjustment range on the dial next to the EVF is not enough to compensate. So I do need to have my glasses on while using either of these cameras.

Comparing the specs on the respective EVF's I really can't figure out what the relevant difference is. But there is a difference somewhere; today I took the E-M5.2 out briefly to check something and after 15 minutes or I started noticing the eye strain appearing again.

The reason I am eager to find out what it is, is to be able to avoid it when purchasing any future camera (although at this point if my E-M1.2 needed to be replaced I would go looking for an E-M1.3).

Regards, C
 

ABFoz

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On the E-M5.2 using the EVF after a while I get eye strain. Adjusting the little dial on the side does not help. However on the E-M1.2 I have no problems whatsoever, I can go all day with that.
That's interesting to know, Christine. I also wear glasses when using the EVF. I still get eye strain even though my lenses have the blue-light filter coating.

The reason I am eager to find out what it is, is to be able to avoid it when purchasing any future camera (although at this point if my E-M1.2 needed to be replaced I would go looking for an E-M1.3).
This is not my field but it may be that the E-M1.2 has additional coatings to reduce EMF radiation because no matter what/how users feel about EVFs, it's still an electronic display/electrical component that emits radiation. I am only speculating but since the E-M1 is a Pro-level camera, they may have added whatever to aid in the long-term use of the EVF?

Your concern is significant to me because it relates to my use, as well. When I remove my glasses and use the EVF, I develop eye strain within a few minutes. With my glasses on, I develop such after a few hours.

In terms of upgrade path, the E-M1.3 is a good one if the E-M1.2 EVF works for you. Alternatively, it's going to be the live view screen/the OVF. I know a few pros who have gone back to using DSLRs because of eye strain.

For me, I am mitigating my EVF use because I really like MFTs due to the overall compactness of the systems, body + lens. If I am to upgrade, I am more likely to get the E-M1.2 or E-M1.3 because it's still compact vs other systems and, even though it weighs around 600g, it still fits my hand like a glove with its hardcore ergonomics. Cheers.
 

John King

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Make sure that you adjust the camera dioptre for the distance vision part of your glasses script.

This saves the adjustment back and forth from your distance to close and back to a minimum, not just in using the camera, per se, but also between the camera and environment generally.

This may or may not help. We are all different in our sensitivity to these things.
 

ac12

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hmm
No problem using the EM1-mk1, EM1-mk2 for HOURS.
Also no problem using the EM10-mk2. Though I never used it as much as I did the EM1s.

Following up on John's comment.
If you use progressive glasses, those can be a PITA.
The reason is the Rx on a progressive, is not even. The distance Rx is only in a small spot in the center. If I hold the camera off center on my glasses, for whatever reason, the image is NOT sharp and that really bothers me, until I can get my glasses and EVF lined up.
My next glasses is going to be a tri-focal, simply to get away from that problem with the progressive.
 

connloyalist

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Thanks for the replies, interesting discussion.

While I suppose I ought to be wearing bifocals of some kind, I don't (yet). These are (quite strong) "single focal" glasses for nearsightedness (not sure if near or farsightedness makes a difference). Actually, when I need to read something small or my eyes get tired in the evening, I put a pair of grocery store reading glasses over the top of my normal glasses. Yes it looks funny, but it works remarkably well and is a very cost effective way of doing it. And it avoids problems such as the ones mentioned above. I have more or less decided to avoid progressives.

Dioptre. That is the word I was looking for, thank you :)
I have tried adjusting the dioptre, but it does not make a difference.

Thinking about the EVF, it is a small LCD screen about an inch or so from your eye. There must be a lens of some kind lens in front of it because nobody can focus their eye on something that close. According to the specs they both use a 2360k dot EVF with 0.74 magnification, so my guess is that it is the same component. Perhaps the way it is installed in the E-M1 is a bit different from the E-M5? Just guessing here.

Some time ago out of sheer curiosity I picked up a used Fuji X-T1. That EVF has all kinds of problems for me (such as stray light coming in from the side and uneven brightness correction) but no eye strain problem on it. But as cameras go I much prefer my Olympus.

Regards, C
 

ABFoz

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There must be a lens of some kind lens in front of it because nobody can focus their eye on something that close.
Yes, definitely. EVFs have complex optics in them and some are just better than others. Below is a cross-section virtual sample of an Olympus EVF:
1617793518500.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

I have had a good run with Sony EVFs when I did short films in the 90s.

Some time ago out of sheer curiosity I picked up a used Fuji X-T1. That EVF has all kinds of problems for me (such as stray light coming in from the side and uneven brightness correction) but no eye strain problem on it. But as cameras go I much prefer my Olympus.
I tried the A7C in a Sony store last year and EVF of that was just too harsh/hard to use. I think they may have forced the camera to be really compact, which it isn't really because it's still stout, and then sacrificed the EVF. That's very unusual because they have been doing EVFs for more than 3 decades now.

You can also try the G9. It's EVF has 3 different sizes and has much bigger one vs the E-M1s. The eyecup also protrudes further away from the rear LCD screen. The Olympus has much better ergonomics though, so I would still go for the E-M1s. Cheers.
 

Brownie

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Your problem isn't the camera, it's the optometrist! If you're putting grocery store glasses over regular glasses you need a rethink.

Seriously, go see an eye doctor. I wear progressive lenses (I think that's what @John King is referring to as "continuous grind') and have adapted to them beautifully. In my case, the doctor said if I went with bifocals things at arms length would always be blurry. I need near/far and normal adjustment. I adjust the cameras diopter based on how I hold it, once done I never need to hunt for the sweet spot, it's just natural.
 

connloyalist

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Your problem isn't the camera, it's the optometrist! If you're putting grocery store glasses over regular glasses you need a rethink.

Seriously, go see an eye doctor. I wear progressive lenses (I think that's what @John King is referring to as "continuous grind') and have adapted to them beautifully. In my case, the doctor said if I went with bifocals things at arms length would always be blurry. I need near/far and normal adjustment. I adjust the cameras diopter based on how I hold it, once done I never need to hunt for the sweet spot, it's just natural.

I don't think the problem is my "creative solution" for reading small print. I don't use reading glasses when looking through the EVF. It seems to me that the EVF on a camera is much closer to an eye than even perfect uncorrected vision can handle.
 
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Myself, since age started affecting heavily my near sight when wearing the proper prescription correction (-4,25) over the past years, I have come up with the solution of contact lenses+glasses: -2,25 lenses plus -2,00 glasses for a total of -4,25 correction. This way when I remove the glasses I can see from very close to reasonably far and with the glasses on from reasonably close to infinity. Works well over the past year, however I have not yet asked a doctor if there is any long term caveat in my improvised solution so beware!

But, could the strain be related to the much higher contrast rate of the EM5 OLED evf panel vs the EM1 TFT panel?
 

connloyalist

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Myself, since age started affecting heavily my near sight when wearing the proper prescription correction (-4,25) over the past years, I have come up with the solution of contact lenses+glasses: -2,25 lenses plus -2,00 glasses for a total of -4,25 correction. This way when I remove the glasses I can see from very close to reasonably far and with the glasses on from reasonably close to infinity. Works well over the past year, however I have not yet asked a doctor if there is any long term caveat in my improvised solution so beware!

But, could the strain be related to the much higher contrast rate of the EM5 OLED evf panel vs the EM1 TFT panel?

My prescription is around -8 (left and right eye are about 0.5 different). Perfect when I need "macro" for my eyes when looking at something really small but other than that..... Too much for the dioptre adjustment on most devices. In focus is about 12cm from my eyes. At 15cm it is blurry.

Interesting solution you came up with. Not a bad idea actually.

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't the E-M5 Mk. III have the OLED panel but the E-M5 Mk. II a TFT panel? Mine if the Mk.II, so I don't think it is OLED. But I could be wrong. My Fuji X-T1 does have an OLED display according to the specs and it does not bother me in terms of contrast. Although as I mentioned previously I encounter other ergonomic problems with it.

Regards, C.
 

Mack

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I gave up on progressives. Eye doc said "I have no ambition to see" when I complained about them (After three different pupil exit positions tried.) and I went back to circular bifocal lenses where I have distance to the sides and bottom which I lost with the progressive. A friend wears them and when I asked her about them she wanted to know "How I knew?" I told her "When she walks towards me, she tilts her head backwards as she gets closer to get the near progressive lenses to focus and I'm looking up her nose."

Had to buy a Rx pair of computer glasses since the screen isn't in my near and far range in my normal glasses.

Eye surgeon told me I have a scratched cornea probably from abrasives in grinding. Some 5 layers of cornea where the underlying fluids can change the Rx daily so I need to use salt water drops and he'd like me to use nightime eye moisture goggles while sleeping. Old age. Bah!
 

Armoured

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I don't use reading glasses when looking through the EVF. It seems to me that the EVF on a camera is much closer to an eye than even perfect uncorrected vision can handle.
If I understand your question properly, I think the easy way to understand it is this: the EVF has optics inside the viewfinder to 'correct' the internal distance so that to your eye, it's eg 20ft away, and the eye must focus as if 20ft away.

Yes, without that correction, the EVF would be way too close for most people to focus well on it. (I don't know how close it is - a centimetre perhaps?)

I'm sure I've not used proper terminology here but I think that's a simple way to understand what's going on.

(Nearsighted since forever and more recently long-arm syndrome with my glasses on, not quite happy with current progressive prescription)
 

ac12

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I gave up on progressives. Eye doc said "I have no ambition to see" when I complained about them (After three different pupil exit positions tried.) and I went back to circular bifocal lenses where I have distance to the sides and bottom which I lost with the progressive. A friend wears them and when I asked her about them she wanted to know "How I knew?" I told her "When she walks towards me, she tilts her head backwards as she gets closer to get the near progressive lenses to focus and I'm looking up her nose."

The other clue is is you see a glasses wearer moving their head around.
I do that to find the "sweet spot" on the lens to view something like a clock, or a person at a distance.

Interesting, I had not heard of a circular bifocal lens. I wonder if they have a circular trifocal?
Time to do some research.
 

Mack

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The other clue is is you see a glasses wearer moving their head around.
I do that to find the "sweet spot" on the lens to view something like a clock, or a person at a distance.

Interesting, I had not heard of a circular bifocal lens. I wonder if they have a circular trifocal?
Time to do some research.
Some optometrist turned me onto the circular bifocals as he also wore them. Harder to see the line between the near and far portion than a straight-line bifocal.

Might cost a bit more as they need to the measure distance between your pupils as if you were reading a book since that's where the near distance lens is situated. Harder for the optician to set them up right too and why little is heard of them. From the near and reading lens, they transitions out to the far lens to the sides and top so the near lens line isn't as apparent. Helps with driving too since your distance and peritoneal vision is also sharp unlike the blur of progressives - plus those progressive things also made my neck sore just trying to read a newspaper scanning back-and-forth looking for the sharpest spot.

Fwiw, my third visit to the eye doc about the progressives led me to meeting with the sales rep for Varifocal who was the supplier then. He re-examined mine and said they were measured wrong by the optician. The following pair he supplied were no better so I went back to the circulars.
 
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Interesting solution you came up with. Not a bad idea actually.
I hope that I am not doing something wrong that would manifest itself as time passes - due to the covid situation I have minimized all interaction, eye doctors included
My prescription is around -8 (left and right eye are about 0.5 different). Perfect when I need "macro" for my eyes when looking at something really small but other than that..... Too much for the dioptre adjustment on most devices. In focus is about 12cm from my eyes. At 15cm it is blurry.
My solution works very well for me with the added bonus of using just the -2,00 glasses to look up to the screen and removing them to fiddle with miniaturized electronics stuff without the need for + correction glasses that I find very annoying.
However you need way more correction than me so this solution may not work well enough for your case - as I come closer to 50 years of existence my solution might also stop working for me if my near sight deteriorates any more.
doesn't the E-M5 Mk. III have the OLED panel but the E-M5 Mk. II a TFT panel?
hmmm, I am not sure - I thought the switch to OLED was made from the Mk.I to Mk.II but I am not known for my memory precision and it looks like most people say the Mk.II is TFT indeed
 
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mfturner

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The specs for the two EVFs look the same, same TFT lcd with the same number of pixels, same 21mm eye relief, same -4 to 2 diopter adjustment range. In a pre covid world, I might suggest that you go by a camera store to look through another m5.2 copy to see if there is just something out of adjustment with yours. If it is hard to see immediately, and not something that builds up over time, it sounds like the EVF optics might need some adjustment.

The m5.3 has 27mm eye relief which makes usage with glasses a little easier, the m1.3 is still 21mm.
 

djtaylor7

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I remember the E-M5 Mkii had several reported problems with sun spot damage in the EVF, but not sure that was the case with the E-M1 Mkii. Perhaps Olympus added a filter or tweaked the lens composition in the EVF.
Even if they have the same LCD unit, it is quite possible there is a different driver chip on the motherboard. There is 12 months between the models.
 

John King

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Cataract surgery will fix all these problems.

My brother in law had -10 or similar since childhood. He had cataract surgery, and after that only wore reading glasses for reading the tiny contents label on goods in the supermarket.

My elder brother has also had lens replacement done for cataracts. Same thing, he now only needs glasses for reading and computer work.
 
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