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The Joy of having No Viewfinder!

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by fransglans, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    Just wanted to share my two cents of the viewfinder issue.
    As some people know by now, I have a pen ep3 and I have been thinking of getting a viewfinder to it for a year or so.. BUT... I always end up thinking WHY? Just becouse a REAL photographer should have one? does it look more serious? Does my framing turn into magic? the list goes on....

    but for me, NO. its a big no. I have pointed out the reasons for me to not having one:

    1. When I take a portrait I always use the face recognition, I simply halfpress AND AFTER DOING THAT I lift my eyes OVER the camera and just wait for the right moment to push the button. This works terrific! And this technique gives me room to interfere with the person better.

    2. When I had my canons and pushed the camera to eyelevel, everyone around know that a picture are going to be taken. With my E-p3, I´m more lika a ninja, hidden with this sweet point and shoot thing in my hand.

    3. when I use the "nr1" technique I get more photos where my subject are looking into MY eyes and not the cameras, like this pic of my son:
    View attachment 262351

    just my 2 cents. And sorry for my english (as usual: )
  2. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Interesting idea! I wonder if this might work for my cat photos.... And please stop apologizing for your English. I was an English major in college and see nothing wrong with your English. :biggrin:
  3. ptolemyx

    ptolemyx Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 19, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    If you need less attention on the camera, like for the great picture of your son above (nice one!), then yes, the screen could be a better choice than the VF.

    But in other cases, I find I really like the VF when I'm taking my time with photography and not interacting with people around me. It helps me to shut out the world and think about what I'm framing.

    I'm not saying that it can't be done via the screen, but it's a definite preference and for me it increases my enjoyment of and focus (not the lens kind) on what I'm doing.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    Agreed! I live the extra awareness of your surroundings you have shooting with a screen!
  5. aldus

    aldus Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 24, 2012
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Dennis Moser
    Right tools for the job — when you NEED to interact with your subject, then absolutely anything that makes it easier to do it a good thing — so no VF for doing portraits after you've set up makes perfect "working" sense.
  6. marcsitkin

    marcsitkin Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Harwich, MA USA
    Marc Sitkin
    The EVF is indispensable for shooting in sunny conditions. It's impossible to use the rear screen when all you can see is reflection. The other + is anytime you are following a moving subject, it's easier to do by sighting at eyelevel than holding a camera at arms length and swinging your arms and body.

    It boils down to what you want to shoot, and the conditions you are under.
    • Like Like x 3
  7. There certainly are some very real advantages that have been realised by removing the need to press a camera to your face every time you release the shutter. Each method has its place, but I would normally choose not to utilise an eye-level viewfinder.
  8. lorenzo1910

    lorenzo1910 Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 10, 2013
    Massa Carrara,Tuscany
    Mind you,I sold my first mirrorless camera (NEX5) because I was missing the viewfinder...
    Many thanks for "point 1" suggestion...usually I forget about the "gadgets" but the face recognition could be very helpful.
  9. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I definitely understand what you're saying, but somehow shooting through the EVF makes the image seem more "real" to me and I'm more aware of compositional issues than when I shoot from the back screen. But I agree there are times when having the camera away from your face is very helpful.
  10. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I also find that using a VF (electronic or not) guarantees that you almost always get exactly one viewpoint -- eye level. Relatively few photographers really explore perspectives other than that and it's a shame.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. gr6825

    gr6825 Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 10, 2012
    I agree. I enjoy using my GX1 EVF free. Using the rear LCD, I find greater flexibility in positioning the camera for different perspectives. It is also a way to shoot without drawing attention to yourself.

    I would say that it does become more difficult sometimes in bright light. I compensate for that by using the grid lines and electronic horizon on the GX1.

    I still like using an optical VF on my DSLR, but I don't feel any pressing need to add an electronic finder when using micro four thirds.
  12. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    I use an eye-level viewfinder 95% of the time because that's how I prefer to shoot, not because I care a rat's proverbial butt how it makes me look, nor about how a "real" photographer should be doing things. A camera without an eyelevel finder, or an option to add one, is a simple no-go for me, the reason I got the Fuji X10 instead of a Sony RX100 for a point and shoot. Except for maybe an occasional indoor snapshot around the house, or sometimes macro, I just don't like composing on an LCD, though I'll sometimes use the tilting screen on the E-M5 to take a shot on the sly, something I do but seldom.

    I don't assume my way of shooting should be universal. I shoot how it pleases me to shoot and in a manner that works for me. Everyone should.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. dd1

    dd1 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2011
    There is another problem working that way though, you are interacting above the camera, hence the subject is looking at your eyes, and you then lose eye contact in the image. Your example image shows what I mean, there is nothing in the eyes, they are looking out of the photo and I feel it lessens the impact.
  14. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    But even at 61, I have no problem crouching, kneeling, or lying on my belly, if that's where I need to be to get the shot.

    One should use the viewing technology of one's choice, and a tilt screen can sometimes keep one from having to lie down in a puddle -- or at all -- but since everything I see is seen from wherever my eyes are, an eye-level finder makes perfect sense to me about 95% of the time.

    The best viewfinder is the one that works for you and gets you the shots you want to take. Personally, I don't like composing on the screen (at least outside) if I can possibly scrunch myself into a position to avoid it. As I get creakier with age, that could well change.

    Time to get back to the gym!:biggrin:

  15. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    its an interesting area... I grew up with film slrs... then digital slrs and got used to the what you see is what you get framing inherent in a slr... then i shot for a year or so with an e-p1 and found the live view and the' not even looking through the camera' paradigm interesting

    recently I have been lucky enough to shoot with a Leica rangefinder, where you can see 'outside' the frame and have instantaneous shutter response.

    this was shot with the leica... I knew roughly what was going to happen... but I am not sure I would have got this shot with live view or a eve

    L1001133 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    its horses for courses I suppose

    • Like Like x 1
  16. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    I don't understand the issue. If you have an EVF, your LCD doesn't stop working. An EVF is just another tool, as is the LCD. Most of us use one tool more than another as a matter of preference, but in some special cases only one will do the job.
  17. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    I don't understand the issue either. I've owned the E-PL3 and know the cons with not having a viewfinder (difficult in bright sunlight, easier to accidentally tilt horizons, hard to gauge eye level which is important in child photography). Yes, the little camera also has its upsides with being able to more easily shoot from the hip ninja-style. But it's better to have something that you sometimes use than to not have it when you need it the most.
  18. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Eye wonder :wink: if shooters that wear bi-focals strongly feel one way or the other (viewfinder/no viewfinder)....:confused: 
  19. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    I've worn progressive lens glasses for a number of years -- not bifocals, with a line, but lenses with different areas for different view distances.

    And, as I mentioned earlier, a camera without an eye-level finder (or an option to attach one) is a non-starter for me. My glasses give me more trouble tilting my head back to look up at a top grocery store shelf, when I might have to reach up and pull them down to the "distance" part at the top, than they've ever given me using a viewfinder.

    But I'll bet there are people you wear the same kind of glasses who hate using a viewfinder.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    I'm a glasses wearer & I definitely prefer a viewfinder....

    • Like Like x 2
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