Question about electronic viewfinder

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by cusedosmil, May 22, 2013.

  1. cusedosmil

    cusedosmil New to Mu-43

    Jul 19, 2012
    Quick question- I'm relatively new tho the m43 movement (less than a year) having switched over from canon FF. for the most part I'm loving the gh3 and 2 but have a concern with the EVF. When used on a tripod in very low light, the EVF in my eyes becomes almost useless, as it can take quite a long time for a preview to appear, which images trying to compose a shot in these conditions very difficult. I used to do a lot of star trails and light painting with my canons but can't even see how that's possible with the EVF. Any thoughts/suggestions ? As I said my main cameras are the GH3 and GH2.
  2. BillW

    BillW Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 22, 2012
    Scranton, PA
    For what it's worth, I also came from Canon FF to m43.

    The viewfinder behaves like a video camera and as a result, is not the same a looking directly through the lens with a reflex mirror. It takes some getting used to. For what you're looking to do, I don't have a direct answer, sorry.

    One thing I will mention is that if you are going to take long exposure on a tripod, be sure to turn off the image stabilization of your camera/lens.

    I just shot back-to-back weddings this past weekend with my m43 and was so happy with the performance and results that my 5D never left my bag. BUT, the viewfinder has a bit of a lag, especially in low light, and I did have to get used to 'timing' some of my shots. That said, I was able to work with it and it's certainly not a deal breaker in any way.
  3. m43 Dark Shots

    I have attempted some night shots with my GH2. It works pretty well when you get it right. As noted, viewing anything in the EVF (or LCD) is difficult in low light. Focusing is tricky and framing can be nearly impossible in very dark situations. If there is street light or buildings, the system works well, as the viewfinder amps up and you can see the image clearly, if with some apparent grain.

    A couple of techniques I have used are:

    - Attempt to focus on any available visible light using manual focus and the focus magnifier. Assuming you are looking for infinity, note the position of the pointer in the in-screen focus gauge. Note that just putting the gauge to infinity is not going to work - the gauge is not accurate. You should be able to see bright stars; pick one and focus on it before mounting your camera to the tripod.

    - Bring a big flashlight. If you can illuminate part of your scene, you can use the illuminated parts to help frame, and possibly focus, your camera.

    - If it's too dark and you can't illuminate anything (like with distant land + sky), take a shot, then review it and adjust your camera position accordingly once you can look at your image. This is kind of awkward and time consuming for long exposures, but it is about your only option other than figuring out how to rig a spotting scope!

    There are some things that electronic viewfinders are not ideal for and, unfortunately, really dark scenes are one of them.
  4. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Real Name:
    FWIW, I find the optical viewfinder on my D7000 extremely difficult to use when doing star photos - there's just not a lot of light. I usually have to wait to review the exposure them reframe. An EVF can only be worse.