Goin' EVF-less

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dixeyk, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I just picked up an E-P1 and am going to put my G2 aside for the month of December and see if I can get a real feel (and appreciation) for shooting only with the LCD. I see lots of great stuff coming from folks with E-P1s so I know it can be done and while I really like the G2s layout and controls I think the E-P1/E-P2 is my favorite of the Olympus bodies design wise.

    So. I always tell folks make the best of what they have (my son calls it preaching) so I figure its time to put up or shut up.

  2. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Excellent idea. Let us know how it goes... particularly for shooting outdoors.
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I ll make sure to report back.
  4. timallenphoto

    timallenphoto Mu-43 Veteran

    May 20, 2011
    Kent, England
    You'll be surprised I think, lack of EVF on my EP-1 doesn't bother me at all, just a shame it doesn't have a higher resolution screen though.
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    If you DO have trouble with it in bright light (and not everyone does), don't condemn the technique for the camera's limitations. I found that when I used an EP2 (which was my main rig for a LOT of shooting over the past year and a half), I had a LOT of trouble using the LCD in bright sunlight. I found the same thing with the EPL1, GF1 and LX5 also. But other cameras, generally newer ones, have much brighter and better rear screens that work a whole lot better. The Nex, EP3, EPL3, S90, GRD3, and X10 are all MUCH MUCH better in bright sunlight than the EP2 and, I'd presume, the EP1. With the GH2 I had for a while and the X100, I so rarely use(d) the rear screen I couldn't even tell you how good they are in bright sunlight...

    I personally like shooting without an EVF - my evf is reserved for long lenses now and there may still be the occasional bright light situation that will make me want to pull it out, but I can't recall that happening with any of my newer cameras. The rear LCD and OLED screens really have gotten a LOT better very recently. So, on the chance that you like the shooting technique on the EP1 but don't find it workable in bright sunlight, blame the camera, not the technique. Try it back to back with an EP3 and I think you'd be amazed at the difference.

  6. zerotiu

    zerotiu Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 13, 2011
    If it is indoor or cloudy day, I prefer using only LCD. It feels snappier and it's easy to create composition and I use EP3 so I can choose focus points faster.

    Sunny day? I can see nothing from my ep3 lcd.

    For me I'm more 70% using EVF and 30% using LCD guy. Seeing objects through viewfinder has different feeling for me. It's like I just teleport to another world :)
    • Like Like x 1
  7. dpj

    dpj Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 20, 2011
    If you do have issues in bright light, Delkin do a clip on hood/shade/screen protector that is very well priced and works a treat.
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Good point. Bright light will be a problem but that's expected. I have used things like a Clearviewer and a hood in the past and that mitigates the problem somewhat for bright light. It's just a fact of life with LCDs. My iPhone is also hard to read outside in bright light. For those times that I want or need to shoot in bright light I have my G2 (that's why I keep a camera with an EVF...its nice to have options). I also tend to not shoot in bright sunlight anyway if it can be helped. I find the light harsh and unflattering. I'm pretty confident I can adapt. This little challenge is just to see if I can REALLY get comfortable with a camera that has no EVF. If that means altering how AND WHEN I shoot then so be it. Life's full of little compromises.
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    So far in my playing with it I am getting the same impression. In fact I am staring to feel like that lower resolution screen has some advantages when manually focusing legacy lenses. Right now the biggest thing I am having to adapt to is holding the camera away from my body...feels kinda odd.
  10. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Other than issues in bright sunlight, holding the camera away from my body is the main reason I haven't really enjoyed working with a rear LCD. That doesn't mean you can't work around it, of course. But I don't think it's the most stable technique. It'll be interesting to learn if this will have any impact on your rate of "keepers."
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Just brace your elbow inwards. Being free from the eye-level viewfinder does not make the camera less stable. If anything, it only allows you MORE different stable positions that you can choose from. It's only if you want to hold your camera like a tourist holds a point-and-shoot that you lose stability. Would you expect a handgun to be stable if you swung it around like Yosemite Sam, or would you expect it to be stable if you brace yourself with one arm locked and the other bracing the gun from underneath? It's not the LCD that makes things unstable, it's the poor technique of the shooter. This is only natural though, from inexperience with the form of camera. We've been using SLRs for so many decades now, that our bodies naturally move to the stable positions we've developed over so many years of shooting. A newbie to a DSLR will be just as unstable as a newbie to a Mirrorless camera.

    When I first got the original E-P1 Digital PEN I had thought the same way, that the form of camera made it more unstable. I had to use one ISO stop extra to get the same photos I was getting on my E-System DSLR (which has the same IBIS system). However, after a while of using the E-P1 I eventually discovered that it had nothing to do with the limitations of the camera, but rather my own improper technique... after I naturally developed new holding techniques without even noticing it.
    • Like Like x 3
  12. mclarenf3

    mclarenf3 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 23, 2010
    Yep, that "shimmer" you get on the focus plane of the E-P1 is similar to focus-peaking that the NEX has now. Although, for Olympus, I'm pretty sure it was purely accidental.
  13. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Yeah well, the creation of Jello was accidental too. Doesn't make it any less great. Maybe they should go back and start claiming they had it first. :eek:
  14. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I took out my new/old E-P1 (we had a brief bit of sun so I walked home).

    Past Harvest by dixeyk, on Flickr

    I have a few very early observations...

    1. The LCD is better than I remember it being. I'm not sure by I believe the GGS glass LCD protector has improved the contrast a bit. That said, I found the LCD reasonably easy to use ans even though conditions were not ideal as the I was walking into direct late afternoon sun it was mostly useable. I'd say that is was as useable as the much higher resolution display on my GF2. Perhaps a better way to state that is I did not find the lower resolution to be that much of an issue.

    2. I don't particularly like the controls on the E-P1. The thumb wheel would be a LOT better if it was like the Panasonic in that it could be pressed and switch to exposure compensation...but it's not terrible either. I like the slightly larger size of the E-P1 in my hand and I find it pretty comfortable. I need to lay around with what I want the function button and scroll wheels to do...that will make a big difference.

    3. It's a fast enough. No its not as fast as my newer bodies but practically speaking it is fast enough. I am looking forward to seeing how this goes.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I'm maintaining this thread in two locations so sorry of I double post...

    I had a student of mine come in and show me their brand new Leica M8.2. It's a beautiful camera but I found myself not nearly as impressed as I thought I would be. The controls are not all that friendly, its heavy as h*ll and I found the VF to be a tad on the dim side. It's not like the VF on the Bessa R (which I know is nowhere as nice as a Leica M film camera). It had a cool CV 50 on it but then again that's easily resolved with m43. Now I won't say that the E-P1 is better than the M8.2 all I will say is that I didn't feel the 2 grand burning a hole in my pocket. I have been looking at the images from the Leica M8.2 and they seem nice but I'm not at all sure that they are that much better (or even if they are better than the E-P1). They seem very similar. I find myself wondering why the M8.2 is so bloody expensive. The build quality is nice but so is the build quality on the E-P2 and a lot of other cameras. Do any Leica owners know how it fares build quality wise against Leica film cameras? I'm very curious what the IQ of the E-P1 and say a Summicron C would be like? I suppose if I sold my Panasonic 20, 14, 14-45 and 45-200 I could swing one. Just not usure that would be worth it.

    Did some manual focusing and I find that it's pretty hard in dim light. In bright light its easier (no surprise there) and using just the shimmer and no focus assist is almost as efective as the focus assist. I then compared manually focussing using the shimmer vs the higher resolution LCD on my G2. It was a tie. I also tried my hand at zone focusing...let's just say that is not a skill I possess currently. :eek:
  16. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    I have the top plate function button set to EV. So, when I want to change Aperture (I'm mostly in A mode), then I use the vertical thumbwheel, and when I want to change EV, I hold down the top plate fn key, and turn the thubwheel. I find that easier than the G3 I'm testing right now.

    It's fast enough for still life, alright. Not fast enough for kids in movement (without anticipation), but it's great for walk-around/still life/landscape.
  17. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I'll try setting the top plate button. That's a pretty cool solution. As far as speed goes...yeah it's probably too slow for spontaneous shots of kids at play. But as you say you CAN anticipate and I should think you can prefocus, use AFL (or manually focus) and with the right aperture... That said, its not nearly as convenient.

    ...as you can see by my shot I managed to catch the apple at rest. :biggrin:
  18. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Don't be so modest, Kevin. I'm sure that it was a very fast moving apple.
    • Like Like x 2
  19. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Yes well, I do hate to toot my own horn.
  20. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    So it's been a little over a week now and I am finding out a few more things about the E-P1 and going EVF-less.

    PB281662.jpg by dixeyk, on Flickr

    Lies by dixeyk, on Flickr

    PB281628.jpg by dixeyk, on Flickr

    Maybe it's my imagination but I swear that the E-P1 meters better (on auto) than either of my Panasonic bodies did. The shot from the upper floor (out the window) looking at the waterfront looks (to my eyes at least) quite good. Its a bit underexposed but still useable and very fixable.

    Closeup shots are not as difficult as I thought. The shimmer for manually focusing works well but takes some getting used to. The shot fo the berries was manually focused to get the desired focus since the AF was not getting what I wanted.