POLL: Is EVF an Essential Accessory?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Canonista, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    I'm on the fence about buying an EVF for my E-P3 at this point as I've managed quite well without one. In fact, I've been pleased with the angles from which I can capture an image, no longer bound by having to place eye to viewfinder. Combined with the touch screen shutter and the magnification focus, it has really enabled me to capture moments and viewpoints that I would have missed with my DSLRs. This is quite a revelation for me at this point, as I thought my very first accessory purchase would be an EVF. Instead, I've been able so far to use the money to buy additional lenses.

    I thought it would be interesting to see what others think about the EVF, so here's a poll.
  2. drizek

    drizek Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 5, 2011
    I agree. The first day was terrible, I kept putting it up to my eye and then remembering I had to use the LCD. But after that it became quite natural to frame without one. There are certainly situations where an EVF is preferable, but I really don't think it should be considered essential. I think I would prefer a nicer LCD than the one on my EPL1 than a viewfinder, although the G3 has both...

    At this point I would say that I would rather than no viewfinder than no LCD screen. I used to shoot macro with my E-510 by holding the camera away from me to compose and then squinting into the VF from about 50cm away to check for focus. It worked, but it wasn't exactly elegant. With the PEN these situations are much more natural.

    I would like to try out the VF2 though, because I've heard it is superior to the VF in the E-system cameras.
  3. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    I found that removing the viewfinder as an essential tool for composition was and is one of the greatest benefits of Micro 4/3 and mirrorless cameras in general compared to existing DSLRs. My GH1 has an EVF but the flipscreen is awesome enough to make the EVF almost redundant. There have been a handful of time where I have used the EVF in very bright conditions, but nowhere near enough for me to buy an accessory EVF if a camera didn't already have one in-built.

    However an EVF can be helpful for those with eye conditions and who struggle with LCD screens.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I prefer using LCD. VF-2 is important if you're using MF legacy lenses. Other than that, even in the sun E-PL2 and E-PM1 screens are fairly usable, IMO (I always set brightness to max by default).
  5. DDBazooka

    DDBazooka Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    Maybe a bit off topic but, is there a significant difference in battery life using the VF-2 on the E-PL2 vs the LCD?
  6. Fred49

    Fred49 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    depends of the lens

    with my 14-150 i always use the EVF
    with my 20mm i usualy dont use it.
  7. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    I use the LCD screen much, possibly most, of the time, and especially appreciate an articulating LCD screen to shoot from high overhead, waist level, or ground level with great ease. This makes for much more interesting view points than the typical should/head height shooting position.

    That said, there are plenty of situations where I will make use of the EVF. This applies especially to using long focal length lenses, where I find that the camera held to the face aids in stability when shooting long lenses. My different preferences can occur so randomly and unexpectedly that I think having a built-in EVF is a very nice feature... no need to remember carry along an add-on unit or to have an add-on unit protruding proudly from the top of the camera body - it's just always there when you need it and the hump on the camera poses no noteworthy downside to the utility of the camera to me. GH2 and G3 are my preferred full-featured m4/3 bodies. I do also shoot with a GF3, GF1, LX5, and soon a E-PL3. With these, I tend not to use the add-on EVF, even though I do have one for the GF1/LX5.

    I believe the day will come, sooner rather than later, where we have m4/3 cameras featuring a flush integrated EVF, as well as an articulating/tilting LCD screen. And I believe that m4/3 cameras with this combination of features in a flush body form will sell like crazy. It makes good sense to have the benefits of both tilting/articulating LCD and an EVF immediately at hand whenever needed.
  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I agree with Don that there are times I definitely want one. These days, those times are almost totally limited to the use of long lenses, maybe 100mm and up in m43 lenses. In the past, I often needed/wanted one in bright sunlight as well, but every new camera I've tried in the past 8-10 months or so have had such good rear screens that bright light is rarely a concern anymore, so its pretty much down to long lenses.

    That said, I DON'T want an EVF there for the times I'm not using it, so the Olympus cams with a VF2 is the better solution for me. I had a gh2 for about 6-7 months and the EVF took up enough space in the hump and protruded far enough back from the camera that it was always there and I used it much more - found it less natural to frame without it with that camera for some reason. So, I have one and I consider it a fairly essential component, but I doubt I use it 5% of the time anymore and, when I don't want it, I'd MUCH rather have it tucked away in my bag than riding around on top of the camera.

    So, bottom line, I use it very rarely but still consider it fairly essential, so a removable type is a much better solution for me.

  9. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    I had an EP1 for a year and then bought an EP2 specifically because I wanted the EVF. I use it 90% of the time. I'm now reluctant to buy a camera without one built in. Each to their own I guess.

  10. apicius9

    apicius9 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2010
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    For me it is essential and I don't like the stick-on ones, that's why I have a GH2 and not one of the smaller cameras. I'm fine with the LCD for framing etc, but I really like using manual lenses and then I have to fiddle around with my reading glasses. My sight isn't that bad, but just bad enough that fine focusing on the LCD gets difficult or takes too long. As a companion to the GH2, I want a GF2-sized camera with touch screen and built-in EVF, one button for dummy-mode (all auto, just in case...), one button for movie video, and a wheel for magnifying and compensation. Everything else is luxury.

  11. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    EVF's really help with manual lenses.. if you decide to go that route.
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I have the EVF but the only time I need it is shooting in bright sunlight where the LCD gets washed out. Other times I prefer it for manually focusing legacy lenses as it does get my focus clearer, allowing me to quickly "snap to" focus just like the old days. It's not necessary though, unless I have the bright sun on me outdoors.

    The EVF is like a macro lens... you don't always need its capabilities, but when you need it you need it and nothing else will do. So it's well worth having around, even if you only use it xx% of the time.
  13. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    No camera without an EVF for me. Slightly tempted by the E-P3 because it felt really nice to work with, but will buy a VF-2 then.
  14. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    I suspect much of photography is about personal styles and preferences. On my GF1 I don't have or uses and EVF although I owned one for two days … the store gave me a full refund :smile:
  15. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    LOL, this is the worst poll ever!

    I've got to choose: (a) I use it most of the time; or (b) I rarely ever use it. Nothing in between?

    What I'd choose, if I had a choice, is "I have an EVF that I use sometimes, always with my MF lenses, and sometimes in bright sunlight with my AF lenses. I shoot with MF lenses a lot, so my usage of the EVF couldn't be described as "rare". But I shoot most of the time with my AF lenses without the EVF, so I can't say that I use the EVF most of the time either."

    I would say an EVF is essential if you shoot a lot of MF. It's a convenience sometimes when you shoot with AF lenses.
  16. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, that's exactly my feeling too Mellow. :)

    For me, when I'm shooting in the studio or on-location with a full light setup, I will always use the LCD. When I'm running around outside with just my camera and a couple legacy lenses, I'll pop on the EVF. Lately I've been doing more of the latter... which shows that I'm regaining my passion for photography as more than just a job. ;)
  17. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    If u like, I'll stage a sit-in against this poll with you... For the low low price of 1 vf!

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
  18. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    When I got my G3, I started using the EVF all the time "because isn't that how a real camera works"?

    I find I am much more comfortable with the LCD, especially a tilt/swivel, than the EVF.

    I am glad to have the EVF option for bright days and when you don't want the screen glow to light up all your surroundings (like in a theater)
  19. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    I think an eye-level viewfinder is absolutely essential.

    First of all, it allows a stable camera hold where the hold required by an LCD screen is very unstable. IMHO there is no such thing as a camera that is too stable, regardless of shutter speed or vibration-correction mechanisms. Note that the only time vibration correction can work is when it senses motion, so you have to some extent lost the game before you start. I like VR and use it, but my primary defense against camera motion is to prevent it.

    Second, viewfinders can be used in bright light where the LCD is totally useless.

    I don't think viewfinders give away anything in composition. A skilled photographer can compose a photo as well with a VF as with the LCD. I will grant, though, that the LCDs have substantially improved the average snapshooter's pictures. The common sin of not filling the frame with the subject becomes so painfully obvious that it is eliminated before it can be committed.

    Articulated LCD screens are wonderful where I want to have the camera close to the ground.
    Wonderful, too, for shooting with the camera overhead above a crowd or for a birds-eye view.
    I also use the LCD screen when I am mucking around in the labyrinth of the camera's menu system and for a quick look at the image quality of the last photo I shot. But these cases are 99% of my LCD screen usage.

    If I did studio work with the camera on a tripod I would probably use the LCD on a regular basis, however.

  20. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    I would use the EVF on my Olympus Pen cameras more if it didn't block the hot shoe. I like using bounce flash and it's impossible to use the EVF and a FL-50R/FL-36R at the same time.

    As a former Panasonic owner, I'm not interested in any of the current Panasonic m4/3 cameras (I have no hatred for Panasonic ... the current Panasonic m4/3 cameras just aren't appealing to me).