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how good is the vf-3 viewfinder for EPM1

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by colbycheese, May 14, 2012.

  1. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    i was reasearching viewfinders availible and i found this one cheaper. how much different is it from the vf-1? does it show exactly what you would see with the screen. does it zoom with the lens? i don't know which one to get
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    HUGE difference from the VF-1! But since you say the VF-3 is cheaper, I assume you meant in comparison to the VF-2, not the VF-1. :)  The VF-1 is an optical viewfinder (only good for framing), while the VF-2 and VF-3 are both Electronic Viewfinders.

    The VF-2 is the highest grade of the Olympus viewfinders besides the integrated one in the E-M5 body. It has the greatest magnification at 1.15x, which is equivalent to the pro-grade Olympus E-5 DSLR, and the highest resolution at 1.44 million dots. The VF-2 on the other hand has a smaller view at 1.0x, which is equivalent to the semi-pro Olympus E-30 DSLR, and a lower resolution of 906k dots. The VF-3 is certainly not bad though... compare it with the original Panasonic LVF-1 which was still being used at the time (it has now been upgraded to the LVF-2 which works on the GX-1 only and is similar in spec to the VF-2), which was only 202k dots.

    The VF-3 does have its advantages though, most prominently a locking mechanism to prevent it from falling off the hotshoe, and a tighter lock on the variable-angle portion of the finder to lock it down horizontally. Many of us VF-2 users have fashioned a tether for our finders instead, to avoid losing our investment.

    For visual quality, the VF-2 is the best.

    Yes, they both show you exactly what you see on the LCD. They even show you the same real-time exposure, white balance, etc., which a DSLR cannot show. They will show you more than what the lens sees (which a DSLR does) but also what the sensor sees, in real-time. You can also magnify the view within the finder as a focusing aid as well, which you were never able to do with a DSLR.

    The VF-1 is another story... it doesn't show you focus or anything, and it only shows you framing for a 17mm or 20mm lens. Be careful that you don't grab that one by mistake. ;) 
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Redridge

    Redridge Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 17, 2012
    Thanks for that Ned.... tried searching for Vf -2 tethered. But came up short... would like to know how this is done. Tia
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    This topic just came up in another thread actually, and somebody asked for some photos. I'll see if I can put something together... Somebody else had a nice walk through on their tether, but I wouldn't know where to find that thread now.

    Speaking of thread, that's the #1 ingredient for the tether. :)  The difficult part of making a tether for the VF-2 is finding something to put around it that won't hinder the closing of the vari-angle arm. The best thing I've found is strong thread. Either use carpet/upholstery thread, or double up some regular thread. Tie that around the hinge of the VF-2, and that will give you something that you can tie any kind of cord to use as a tether line.

    I like to use an elasticized cord for the tether line, as it snaps tighter and neater but still gives me lots of stretch to work with. You can attach the end of the tether directly to your camera's lug. I suggest using a quick-release clip, like that found on neck lanyards (I get lots of those kinda things for ID at events I shoot).

    I personally have a hand-strap I sewed together which also includes a velvet pouch for my VF-2. So I just attach the tether to that pouch so they always stay together...
  5. Redridge

    Redridge Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 17, 2012
    Interesting.... thanks for the ideas. I have an m9 with a magnifier for the viewfinder that is tethered to its case and is mounted on my strap... go figure. Nothing has really changed after all these years.
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