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Optical Viewfinder (OVF) vs Electronic View Finder (EVF). Which is better?
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Feb 10, 2019 11:34:06   #
mas24 (a regular here)
 
I don't own a mirrorless camera. My Nikon DSLR has an optical viewfinder. Mirrorless cameras have electronic viewfinders. I have read on this forum, that some don't like the EVF. Especially, if you're accustomed to the OVF. Is one really better than the other?

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Feb 10, 2019 11:37:16   #
BebuLamar (a regular here)
 
I like the reflex viewfinder not optical viewfinder per se. For example if I ever use the Fuji X-pro with the hybrid viewfinder I would never use its optical mode. I didn't like the Leica M viewfinder that was why I didn't buy it.
However, that's me! To each his/her own. You have to decide for yourself.

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Feb 10, 2019 11:41:47   #
olemikey (a regular here)
 
They keep getting better (EVF's), to me it is kinda like watching a very small TV, so I would rather look at an articulating screen/live view rather than the tiny EVF. Done well they can be quite good, some, not so much. I have both, although not "high end", I still prefer OVF. That could change someday. They are a bit of a battery hog, but that could easily be countered with a battery grip, or carrying an extra battery or two.

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Feb 10, 2019 11:42:34   #
CHG_CANON (a regular here)
 
Go grab your DSLR. Turn it on and raise it to your eye. What do you see? The meter, the focus points, the exposure settings?

You can configure your EVF to include a histogram showing the exposure with dynamic changes as you adjust the exposure. The EVF also can zoom the display to 100% on the target, all with the EVF held there to your eye.

Sound some possible improvements?

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Feb 10, 2019 11:46:37   #
John_F (a regular here)
 
An EVF is fundamentally different from an OVF. The OVF shows you as much of a scene as the operating lenses angle of view permits. The EVF shows that portion of the scene that the sensor records. It is the goal of VF design to make those two scene portions equal. If you note a difference, chalk it up to the camera design.

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Feb 10, 2019 11:48:27   #
tdekany (a regular here)
 
olemikey wrote:
They keep getting better (EVF's), to me it is kinda like watching a very small TV, so I would rather look at an articulating screen/live view rather than the tiny EVF. Done well they can be quite good, some, not so much. I have both, although not "high end", I still prefer OVF. That could change someday. They are a bit of a battery hog, but that could easily be countered with a battery grip, or carrying an extra battery or two.


Based on your post, you haven’t seen a mirrorless camera in the last few years. Unless of course you mean a P&S camera.

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Feb 10, 2019 11:56:04   #
burkphoto (a regular here)
 
mas24 wrote:
I don't own a mirrorless camera. My Nikon DSLR has an optical viewfinder. Mirrorless cameras have electronic viewfinders. I have read on this forum, that some don't like the EVF. Especially, if you're accustomed to the OVF. Is one really better than the other?


Better for what? The answer is both are better at some things.

Also, it is difficult to separate the advantages of the EVF from the rest of a mirrorless camera’s features.

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Feb 10, 2019 11:58:04   #
Blurryeyed (a regular here)
 
mas24 wrote:
I don't own a mirrorless camera. My Nikon DSLR has an optical viewfinder. Mirrorless cameras have electronic viewfinders. I have read on this forum, that some don't like the EVF. Especially, if you're accustomed to the OVF. Is one really better than the other?


I really like the EVF on my Fuji for shooting my manual lenses for a number of reasons, I also like the optical view finder on my DSLR's for shooting action. If I did not shoot birds and nature I would probably go mirrorless....

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Feb 10, 2019 12:09:12   #
rjaywallace (a regular here)
 
One vote for the hybrid viewfinder on Fujifilm cameras - gives you your choice and the best of both worlds, optical and electronic

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Feb 10, 2019 12:14:41   #
Largobob (a regular here)
 
burkphoto wrote:
Better for what? The answer is both are better at some things.



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Feb 10, 2019 12:22:44   #
Linda From Maine (a regular here)
 
Blurryeyed wrote:
... I also like the optical view finder on my DSLR's for shooting action. If I did not shoot birds and nature I would probably go mirrorless....
Are you concerned with lag time? There is no issue!

The below were shot with Olympus EM10 M4/3 camera and M. Zuiko 75-300 mm lens. Live-time exposure, ultra-clear EVF.


(Download)


(Download)


(Download)

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Feb 10, 2019 12:55:52   #
TSHDGTL
 
I got into evf with the Sony A57. Had the Canon T2i at the same time. Took both out to shoot at the same time. The Canon would still focus a little later into dusk than the Sony. Other than that, I was ready to throw the T2i in the trash. The full time live view even in the evf, the wysiwyg and focus peaking were major reasons why. Viewing in bright sunlight is not a problem through the evf. Just my opinion though.

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Feb 10, 2019 12:57:53   #
PHRubin (a regular here)
 
burkphoto wrote:
Better for what? The answer is both are better at some things.

Also, it is difficult to separate the advantages of the EVF from the rest of a mirrorless camera’s features.


Ditto! Each has its advantages and shortcommings.

EVF is better in low light, EVF is WYSIWYG as far as depth of field, exposure, area of coverage and can have more info displayed. You can focus manually and know it doesn't need correction.

OVF has no lag, better for BIF etc., but EVFs have improved.

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Feb 10, 2019 13:05:01   #
G Brown
 
Most cameras have had 'live view' for some time which is a form of EVF so how do you like it.
On my sony A6300 the evf allows me to 'zoom in' to focus whereas My old Canon cannot (OVF) it also allows me to alter aperture and 'see' the difference.

on occasion the view has broken up when panning around quickly, but that was me just finding different 'viewpoints' so was not an actual shooting mode.

Lag time ? can't ever say I noticed - but then MY lag time is probably a greater problem!

Go handle one in a bricks and mortar shop...then decide.

Have fun

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Feb 10, 2019 13:19:22   #
mas24 (a regular here)
 
G Brown wrote:
Most cameras have had 'live view' for some time which is a form of EVF so how do you like it.
On my sony A6300 the evf allows me to 'zoom in' to focus whereas My old Canon cannot (OVF) it also allows me to alter aperture and 'see' the difference.

on occasion the view has broken up when panning around quickly, but that was me just finding different 'viewpoints' so was not an actual shooting mode.

Lag time ? can't ever say I noticed - but then MY lag time is probably a greater problem!

Go handle one in a bricks and mortar shop...then decide.

Have fun
Most cameras have had 'live view' for some time wh... (show quote)


I know someone who owns a Sony a6000. Next time I see him, I will request to see his viewfinder. He took it on vacation to the UK a couple of years or so ago. He took some great photos with it, taking two lenses. He wants to upgrade to the a6500. The comments so far have been interesting.

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