Living with no Viewfinder...how?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by exakta, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. exakta

    exakta Mu-43 Regular

    86
    Jun 2, 2015
    I'll try to keep this short.

    I have yet to find a digital camera with a display bright enough to be usable outdoors in bright light. As a result, after one disastrous purchase I swore to only buy cameras with a viewfinder.

    At the same time I see some really expensive finderless cameras, like the Sony RX1.

    For those of you using finderless cameras, what strategies do you use when working in bright light?
     
  2. pasisti

    pasisti Mu-43 Regular

    66
    Dec 16, 2013
    Helsinki, Finland
    I have used Olympus E-P5 for almost a year now, before that I had the E-PL3. I have been thinking of buying a viewfinder but then I haven't really had the need for it so at least for the moment I'm only using the display. The display has always been bright enough so I can't really answer to your question because I haven't ever had to play around any obstacles!
     
  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I struggle with the same question. I had an E-P5 a while back and absolutely loved it - except that in bright light it became unusable. The VF4 fixed the problem, but then the camera was bigger and less robust than the E-M5, so I sold it and vowed never to get a camera again without an EVF. So far I've managed to stick to that despite being tempted by the RX100 and the RX1.
     
  4. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    I, too, struggled with that issue with the PENS. I came to same conclusion you did and won't have a camera without an EVF.
     
  5. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The interesting thing for me is that in bright sunlight, my EVF is hard to see, too. It's still usable, but not terribly so.

    I actually find myself using the LCD 95+% of time. Which is odd considering I transitioned from a 100% of the time viewfinder on an SLR. I thought I'd have to have the viewfinder and now I almost never use it.
     
  6. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Philly
    Steve
    If you think that one was bad, you should have tried the EP1. :mad: Horrible LCD and no articulating screen and no EVF option. I still had a foot (and a half) back in 4/3rds til the EM5 came out. That was a dream camera at the time. The EP1 was actually a nice camera though. 12mp was fine w/me and nice colors...although it's aged...1000-1600iso was about max useable. Seems sluggish today by comparison.
     
  7. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    789
    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Richard
    I've only had one occasion where I found the GM1's lcd a little difficult to se and that was with very bright, very low sun at just the wrong angle. A non-reflective screen protector may help a bit (these work well for me - http://www.amazon.co.uk/atFoliX-Pro..._sim_23_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1K38B2XH6GNPCSE8ZAHN) , and I suspect living in the UK with it's wonderful weather probably helps too... I rarely use the evf on the GX7.
     
  8. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    679
    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Evan
    I've used the GM1 extensively. Aside from getting really irritated on occasion in bright sunlight, I try to view it as a test of my skill as a photographer. If I have the settings on the camera correct and estimate the framing based on the dim outline of the main features on the lcd, it should turn out fine. And it usually does. :biggrin: It's sort of like shooting film in the sense that you shoot but really have no idea what the shot looks like until you sit down at home to look at your pictures.

    I love the GM1 and think it's the best small travel camera ever. But I did recently buy an E-M5 primarily to get the viewfinder and I prefer to use it when size and weight don't matter.
     
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  9. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    You can hold the camera lower so it is shaded by your body.

    If the sun is directly overhead, well, your pictures are going to be ugly anyway due to the lighting! :biggrin:
     
  10. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    I was quite fine without EVF for like 4 years, even sold off VF2 for no use.
    Ususaly, I used tilting screen and shoot from my belly level.
     
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  11. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    I think the RX1 has an accessory EVF, and some others (Ricoh GR, Coolpix A) have accessory OVFs. I had many years before digital, so didn't grow up composing on a screen, but I got used to it. Occasionally, the image on the screen is not particularly clear, but if the camera (or phone) is lightweight I don't find shooting without a VF to be much of a problem.
     
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  12. exakta

    exakta Mu-43 Regular

    86
    Jun 2, 2015
    The RX-1 does have an accessory finder, $450 on top of a $2800 camera, ouch!

    Thanks for the replies, guys. I was just wondering if there was some secret I didn't know that would keep my display from getting washed out. I guess the secret is shade :roflmao:
     
  13. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    Shooting at eye level all the time can result in a boring viewpoint, especially if the viewfinder is fixed (one of the benefits of the GX7, of course, is that it has a tilting viewfinder). But in my mind the tilting LCD is responsible for the growth of great compositions seen on the net, due to the varied viewpoint adding to the variety and interest.
    I probably use the lcd a good 80% of the time, saves my kneeling on the floor. But a backup viewfinder is convenient for the times when the lcd is difficult to see due to lighting conditions.
     
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  14. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    ㅇtㅈyㅅr
    An OVF on my Ricoh.
     
  15. Geoff3DMN

    Geoff3DMN Mu-43 Veteran

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  16. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    One of the major benefits of the modern mirrorless camera is the articulating LCD to enable low and high shots. I often walk around on the street with the display out horizontal, but I don't think the shade would work in such situations.
    As somone said earlier, just aim the camera using hand coordination, after a while your hit rate goes up.
     
  17. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    I always stick a VF-2 or VF-4 ontop, wouldn't be without one!
    (And the RX1 does have an add-on EVF, no?)
     
  18. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
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  19. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    593
    Feb 23, 2012
    Toronto
    I refuse to buy a camera without one - even if it's not great (GM5), I'd still rather have that than nothing. Most of the time it doesn't even occur to me to look at the display when taking a photo.
     
  20. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Viewfinders are not just about bright light. In slow shutter speed situations, a camera held against your face is more stable and will thus produce better results than one held at arms length, unstabilized. Certainly there are workarounds to stabilize an LCD-only camera, by setting it on a railing for example. But in the end the viewfinder-equipped camera is easiest to stabilize, the main reason why I won't have a camera without a viewfinder.

    That said, I like the semi- and fully-articulated LCDs for low and high angle shots. They are also nice for indoor tripod work. I am hoping that the GX8 comes with a fully articulated LCD so that I can take low angle, vertical format shots. The lack of this ability is one of the major shortcomings of my GX7s.
     
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