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Viewfinder vs LCD

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by BobBill, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. BobBill

    BobBill Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2010
    MN USA
    Bob Hively-Johnson
    I am one of those persons who prefers a viewfinder, particularly if it will permit 90 degree viewing and/or live view.

    If a serious camera does not have a viewfinder (LCD or not), I do not give it a look, save quick shot stuff like the wee OLY point and shoot cameras for shock/waterproof gallivanting and family snaps.

    Same with serious cameras not having interchangeable lenses, including the nifty looking but unavailable Fuji X 100.

    Not all that hard to make a good item near perfect, it seems. Why go to the trouble with an incomplete product?

    Am very curious how Fuji will shoot itself in the foot with pricing.[/COLOR]
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    Bob I know you like ti but i can't read the blue text.
  3. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    Ditto on a VF.
  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    As noted in the other thread, I like having one available, but rarely find them necessary and don't want one taking up much real estate on a camera body. Which is why, so far, I love the pen cams with their great removable finder (vf2) and the gf1/lx5 with its not nearly as nice but still helpful evf.

    I grew up shooting film SLRs (and rangefinders, and TLR, etc, but mostly SLR) and was very used to holding the camera to my eye. When the first point and shoots with lcd viewers came out, I wasn't comfortable with them, but learned to use them pretty quickly and over time came to prefer them most of the time. They were a lot easier than the twin lens cameras that you looked down into the top at an image that was backwards, which I never quite got used to despite using them a LOT.

    The only situations I find myself pulling out the evf these days are either really bright light when you can't really see the lcd or when I'm using a long lens and want the extra stability of anchoring the camera against my face. The first one is becoming less and less of an issue as rear screens get better and better. I had an S90 for a while and the screen was so good and so bright that I could always get by, even in the brightest light. And the new OLED screens are reputed to be even better, so I'd guess within another couple of years, all new cams will have screens that will be perfectly useable in bright sunlight. Which only leaves the use of long lenses. I'd say I shoot long (lets say anything over about 50-70mm in m43 terms) less than 10% of the time, so this is really not something I want on the camera very often at all.

    So, if Oly or Pany or someone else can come up with a way to add a finder to a pen style (and size) camera without adding notably to the bulk of the camera and do it affordably, I'd be happy enough to have one. But if the finder is gonna add much in the way of bulk or price, I'm happy enough staying with a non-finder camera with an external finder occasionally added on.

    Getting a good articulating screen on a pen style cam (something like the Nex oled screen that can be tilted up or down preferably - not the swing out screen of the Pany G series) is a MUCH higher priority to me than a built-in viewfinder.

  5. BobBill

    BobBill Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2010
    MN USA
    Bob Hively-Johnson
    I will try another color...

    Black works for me, but...ok, will change it.
  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I'm a VF guy. Hold on ....I used to be a VF guy.
    Now I like the screen. I like seeing in B&W and in 2 dimensions.
    The screen does that perfectly.
    The OVF has it's merits but still in 3 dimensions.
    The EVF are good but like Ray I don't like the real estate it takes up.
    I also don't like changing the form of the camera.
    So, it's screen for me.
  7. BobBill

    BobBill Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2010
    MN USA
    Bob Hively-Johnson
    I did not wish to hijack the thread on the new Oly P and S...

    That swing screen works but, at least for me working, the flip finder is wonderful, was all I ever wanted on my slrs and r/finders of old...I guess I need to be fast and familiar with most of my exposures. I guess, looking back, that if Pan and O and even L went to all the trouble to devise the live view mirrorless machine, why not offer it as standard with LSD? If one can do it, all can do it...to do otherwise mollifies their claims to be best...

    I have missed too many truly wonderful shots with slow equip or technique, honestly, one or two were or would have become somewhat famous, but am sure we all have such misses. And, maybe that is the point.

    The comments should prove interesting.
  8. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    Thanks Bob on the dark skin and with feeble brains it was hard to read.

    I use to be a viewfinder guy and now ...

    With a viewfinder when I bring the camera up to my eyes I would hold the camera in both hands and press it to my forehead or chin depending on the camera and this gave me three point contact and I felt it was as stable as I can get handheld. The second thing I like about it is that even though I shoot with both eyes open, I know strange habit, I get a feeling of abstraction and while I can’t put numbers to it I feel as if I am inside the image. Finally while I try to avoid mid day shooting in bright light in these situations I do fine a viewfinder easier to use than a screen.

    I use to think screens were things you had to get around but I have changed my mind. First of I agree with Shooter because I too set mine for B&W and the 2 dimensional thing really does seem to add a new feel to the scene. The second thing is I can place my camera far from my eye to get a new point of view and that has given me some interesting shots. I am not just talking low to the grounds, although I do that, I am talking putting it on the end of my mono pod leaning way out and shooting under the keel of a boat at waters level and still see the corp from seven feet away. Well, a seven foot view of the crop is better than no view. Now I can even see the advantage of and articulating screen

    So the bottom lines, for me, is viewfinder or screen they are just tools.
  9. NetizenSmith

    NetizenSmith Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 28, 2010
    I like to have both available :) 
  10. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    I obviously would like a built-in viewfinder, but I do agree that it has to fit in a small package. I haven't had the nerve, yet, to hack into $500 worth of camera equipment, but I am 100% convinced that I could build the LVF1 internals (without the articulating hinge) into the flash cavity of the GF1 without increasing the height above the hot shoe and mode dial. I've looked closely at the available space, including removing the hump inside for the flash release button, and the space actually needed for the optics of the LVF1. It is quite doable. The flash, itself, is pretty small and could easily be built into the front of the body above the lens (including where the mic is now.) With a small amount of modification, it could be changed to the flip up style my concept. I guess what I'm saying is that I could make a prototype GF1 with built-in viewfinder without increasing size, if money weren't an issue, so Panny or Oly should be able to do it, too.
  11. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I use both, and feel that I need both. I would be less happy with my GF1 if it did not have the EVF.

    I like the sense of holding the camera to my eye, and appreciate the stability. I am much less comfortable with any extended arm position.

    My ideal would be the VF built in, without adding too much bulk. In fact, in some ways I would say the shape of the overall camera is important to me. What I mean is this: I would not mind if adding an internal VF meant a camera a bit larger overall than my GF1. But if the change meant losing the broadly RF shape it would annoy me. This shape is unobtrusive, easy to handle and swift to deploy from a small bag or large coat pocket. Even when stuck on a monopod it is still (relatively) unobtrusive.

    The articulating screen is where I am neutral to negative. Perhaps useful, but likely to add bulk and weight.

    By the way, my screen is B+W too. Same reasons.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. DarrenG

    DarrenG Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 3, 2011
    Hampshire, UK
    It does seem to be a conscious decision on the part of the manufacturers 'not to' provide a built-in viewfinder. Witness the slimming down of the GF2. Rather than make it smaller, which is, IMHO, not a strong desire amongst Micro 4/3rds enthusiasts, they could easily make room for a built-in EVF.

    Having said all that, I'm happy with a removable EVF for those occasions that warranted one but would like to see a higher resolution for the Panasonic version. I wonder if there is any likelihood of that happening or what the rumoured new model might bring to the table if it exists?

    While we're kicking about our ideal camera, I love the style and design of the Fuji and the hybrid EVF. Would love to see a similarly styled Micro 4/3rds camera but I'm guessing the optical VF is a difficult thing to do properly on a camera with removable lenses?
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    My guess is its really tough to do with a lens that zooms also. If you're just dealing with a single lens, the two viewfinders, electronic and optical, can be synced up, calibrated, whatever. With a variety of lenses and/or zoomable lenses, I would think it would be exponentially more difficult to get both parts of that system working together. So while I love seeing anyone pushing the technology like this, I have my doubts about that particular approach applied more broadly. Then again, I'm just guessing based on my VERY limited understanding of how this thing is supposed to work in the first place. Maybe it wouldn't be that tough? But I'd like to actually see one before I even commit to whether I like it or not.

    Personally, I like the whole live view concept a lot (lcd or evf, take your pick) and great strides seem to be happening in terms of making it faster and making the contrast based AF faster and better. So my hopes mostly lie with improvements there rather than hybrid systems, which seems like a temporary measure while the live view technology gets past some critical point.

  14. DarrenG

    DarrenG Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 3, 2011
    Hampshire, UK
    True, I suspect it would be impossible to accomplish in an optical VF that had to support all manner of focal lengths of lens. But a nice high-res EVF incorporated into a retro design such as the Fuji but with Micro 4/3rds sensor would be great.
  15. BobBill

    BobBill Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2010
    MN USA
    Bob Hively-Johnson
    Not to hijack the thread, but could not send you a PM.

    I read somewhere to shoot in color and later, when processing with whatever, go to green and then as BW with a given application for it...I have not tried it as I am still doing film for BW, but curious...you shoot from get-go in BW...so wondering what you think?
  16. G1 User

    G1 User Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 20, 2010
    The VF, to me, is what us older farts are used to from the SLR/RF days.
    I only use the LCD to check exposure/sharpness. Witch is a nice feature.
    I shoot film also, So, I have to get it right in my mind, and know I got it right on film.

    OT: :rolleyes: 
    Maybe having a film camera can improve the mental process on framing and other stuff. Since you have to wait to see the results.
  17. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran


    I shoot exclusively in RAW there my out of camera image is in colour. I have my screen set to black and white this allows me to concentrate on the form and ignore the colour as I find colour can over ride my feeling of form. Form is most important to me. If the only component of the image I am shooting is colour I will switch my screen to colour.

    That being said I know if I intend my image to be colour or B&W at the time of shooting and only rarely do I deviate.

    Sorry for any confusion I may have caused.
  18. Fiddler

    Fiddler Mu-43 Veteran

    I like to have a screen and a VF. I've managed to gather a few hotshoe mounted OVF's of various focal lengths - some with parallax correction, and enjoy using them with my GF1. I actually switch between the two quite a lot, but it seems to work OK.

    All the best,

  19. Bill

    Bill Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2009
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill (really)
    I still love my GF1

    It took me a little time (starting with the LX3) to get used to no EVF. But it was just so good, and in such a small package, that I took it on.

    Then, in bright sunlight I would miss it all over again.

    Then, the GF1 reinforced my appreciation of the small size. And, the GF1 even worked with my 14-140mm -- for which bought the viewfinder (that is just good enough to focus the 14-140).

    But when the G1 bodies got so cheap, I couldn't resist.

    The GF1 is still with me all the time (with the 20mm), but the 14-140 (and the 7-14mm) are almost always with the G1.

    Horses for courses.

    Panasonic, please build a quality EVF into the GF3.
  20. BobBill

    BobBill Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2010
    MN USA
    Bob Hively-Johnson
    No problem, Grant and interesting method. May have to try that one. What do you use to work with RAW, if I may ask, and not to alter thread topic?
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