What's the state of Panasonic EVFs?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by John M Flores, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    I loaned my friend my GH2 for a weekend and he returned it to me saying that he just couldn't get along with the EVF. He's an old film guy and has a Nikon D3 so maybe that has something to do with it.

    He was interested in the GX1 for a while, until the Fuji X1 Pro was launched. He wants to photograph his grandkids, so if the Fuji's AF proves to be slow, the GX1 may in fact be a better choice.

    My question is this - is the new Panasonic EVF any better than the GH2's EVF? How does the G3 EVF compare? Any and all thoughts appreciated!
  2. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Your friend might also want to look into the NEX-7..,
  3. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    My friend is enamored with the idea of a 3-prime setup like he had with his Contax G2. Fuji X1 Pro's got it. M43's got it . NEX....not so much
  4. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    My understanding is that the g3, gx1 (external) and gh2 all have evf's with similar resolution and refresh rates. I think the only difference is that the gh2 is a fraction wider to cater for 3:2 and 16:9 ratios better - there's buggerall difference in performance...

    The x-pro EVF is the same as the x100 I think, which I found comparable in most cases to my gh2.
  5. bobbywise

    bobbywise Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2011
    Nantes, France
    My GX1 and DMW-LVF2 turned up today.
    From what I can see, it seems to be the same as the EVF on the G3.
  6. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    John, it's your friend's money so he can buy whatever he wants. But I have to wonder... There are a lot of traditional photographers who say they "can't" get along with EVFs. I wonder how much of that is "can't" and how much is "won't." In your friend's case, it may very well be "can't" if he had no preconceptions going in. But I suspect if he wants the kit he's taking about without paying Leica prices, he may have to adjust.
  7. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    To his credit he did give it a go. I loaned him my GH2 for the better part of a week. He had good words for the IQ, it's just the EVF that bothered him. He thought that it was getting in the way of him visualizing an image.

    Truth told, the EVF does take getting used to. I still remember the first time I brought the GH2 up to my eye....and saw nothing because the camera was off! And I remember the second time too, with the camera on, and having the distinct feeling that I was looking at a digital image.

    I'm sure that we'll eventually have EVFs that are nearly indistinguishable from OVFs. But we're not quite there yet, and, putting aside the wealth of information they can display for a moment, the look of EVFs aren't quite there yet.

    Maybe I should look at the Sony NEX-7 just to see what that's like...
  8. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    the G3 built in EVF is awesome.. not as good as X100 or the VF2 slide in Hot Shoe accessory on Oly. but satisfactory.. just my 2 cents.. LOL.. I like it..
  9. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    That's why I love my Contax G1...And it's real film, not an emulator... :tongue: :biggrin:
  10. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    I came from DSLRs with optical viewfinders. It does take some getting used to the EVF. There are trade-offs, and the EVF does some things better and some things worse, but it's definitely a change. I'd suggest it takes more than a couple of days to find out if it's really going to work for you, but if he's not happy with it he's not happy with it.

    Maybe mirrorless isn't the best choice for him. Maybe he should consider a small Canon or Nikon DSLR. At the least, he should look through the relatively dim, tunnel-like VF of those cameras before he rejects and EVF.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. allan

    allan Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 24, 2009
    What about the Nikon V1? The EVF is excellent, plus its PDAF in good light should be fast enough to track moving kids. Lens selection is poor right now but it only launched in September so more lenses should be on the way.

    Based on the track record of the X100, I doubt the Fuji X-Pro 1 will have fast AF. Plus, the X-Pro 1 will be as big as most entry level DSLRs. The V1 and Panny's GX1 are tiny compared to it:

    X-Pro 1 and GX1 side by side
    X-Pro 1 and V1 side by side
  12. agwe

    agwe Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 13, 2011
    Manila, Philippines
    How about the EP3 + VF2? He'll still have access to the m43 lenses anyway with that setup.
  13. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    The Nikon 1 EVF is excellent, but it's very small. It's clearer than the Panasonics, but when I tried one out, it appeared to be about half the size.

    I was a very big naysayer to the EVF before I got my GH2. I had tried the G1 in stores and didn't like it, and I was used to the big clear viewfinder on my Canon 1Ds II. Then I got my GH2, and the EVF is much clearer with better color than the G1s (just the refresh and color make a big difference, plus it's far less laggy and noisy in low light), and I was surprised to see it was the same size as my 1Ds II viewfinder! After using manual focus lenses on it, I was sold, and I now find using an OVF to be a slight step down. I find the new Panasonic EVFs to be very, very good, but if they could have the Nikon 1's clarity with the Panasonic's size (or bigger), that would rock.
  14. nicholasswan

    nicholasswan Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 28, 2011
    Owning the lvf2 and only using the lvf2 for oly I can say its something that is very easy to get used to and something that can be very beneficial. I think a giant thing for me is the waist level shooting. I hate laying on the ground if I don't have to. And being able to see things like wb change , the level (gx1) and zoom focus is just great.
  15. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    You aren't going to find better than the GH2's EVF. Besides, it sounds like your friend wants an optical viewfinder, so no significant improvement is going to sway him anyway. If your friend has a D3, his best choice for photographing his grandkids is probably a Nikon D3100 or D5100, especially since he is against the idea of an EVF. I can completely see where he's coming from; when I first used my G2 it reminded me of using my dad's super Hi8 camcorder in the 1990's.

    Those Nikon cameras are significantly smaller than his D3, have great image quality (the D5100 is identical image quality to the D7000), and most importantly, all of his lenses, flash, etc. can carry over, so he doesn't have to make a significant investment in a new system. Both cameras use the CAM-1000 autofocus engine from the D200, which means that he won't have any autofocus tracking issues if he wants action shots of his grandkids. Whatever holes he has in his lineup can be supplemented relatively inexpensively with Nikon's DX lenses, such as the $200 35mm f/1.8. However, if he wants the specific 3-prime setup and an optical viewfinder, it sounds like he has already talked himself into the Fuji system, all others be damned. Give him the recommendations, but overall I'd stay out of his way and let him feed his LBA.