P&S optical viewfinders

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Colin Brace, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. Colin Brace

    Colin Brace Guest

    Some months ago, I retired a 35mm Yashica T5 in favor of a Sony DSC W5,
    which takes better pictures and is in many ways a more versatile
    camera. However, in one particular respect, the Yashica was superior to
    the Sony; its optical viewfinder was much better. My number one
    aggravation with the Sony is that its viewfinder is about 25% smaller
    than the actual picture. I like to photograph architecture (see
    <flickr.com/photos/cbrace>), and I spend an inordinate amount of effort
    trying to frame the pictures correctly, since normally it is a tight
    fit, and it exasperates me no end that that what I see throught the
    optical viewfinder doesn't match the final image.

    At this point, buying a different camera is not an option but just out
    of curiosity: are there digital P&S cameras with better optical
    viewfinders? I for one just can't get used to shooting pictures by
    means of the TFT screen, like I see many people doing.

    --
    Colin Brace
    Amsterdam
     
    Colin Brace, Apr 3, 2006
    #1
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  2. Colin Brace wrote:
    > Some months ago, I retired a 35mm Yashica T5 in favor of a Sony DSC
    > W5, which takes better pictures and is in many ways a more versatile
    > camera. However, in one particular respect, the Yashica was superior
    > to the Sony; its optical viewfinder was much better. My number one
    > aggravation with the Sony is that its viewfinder is about 25% smaller
    > than the actual picture. I like to photograph architecture (see
    > <flickr.com/photos/cbrace>), and I spend an inordinate amount of
    > effort trying to frame the pictures correctly, since normally it is a
    > tight fit, and it exasperates me no end that that what I see throught
    > the optical viewfinder doesn't match the final image.
    >
    > At this point, buying a different camera is not an option but just out
    > of curiosity: are there digital P&S cameras with better optical
    > viewfinders? I for one just can't get used to shooting pictures by
    > means of the TFT screen, like I see many people doing.


    Colin,

    For your next camera, look at those with an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF).
    This is small LCD, which is fitted into an SLR-like viewfinder enclosure,
    so you use it like an SLR and bring the camera to your face. Being
    electronic rather than a "best-attempt compromise" optical finder, it can
    be 100% accurate. However, the image quality is not as high as the finder
    on an SLR.

    For my architectural stuff, I like my Nikon 8400 with its 24 - 85mm zoom,
    coupled with a long-zoom camera (the Panasonic FZ5) for details. I hope
    you have already discovered combining images automatically for a wider
    view, and using programs such as Paint Shop Pro for "perspective
    correction".

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Apr 3, 2006
    #2
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  3. "David J Taylor" <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk>
    wrote:
    > Colin Brace wrote:
    >> Some months ago, I retired a 35mm Yashica T5 in favor of a Sony DSC
    >> W5, which takes better pictures and is in many ways a more versatile
    >> camera. However, in one particular respect, the Yashica was superior
    >> to the Sony; its optical viewfinder was much better. My number one
    >> aggravation with the Sony is that its viewfinder is about 25% smaller
    >> than the actual picture. I like to photograph architecture (see
    >> <flickr.com/photos/cbrace>), and I spend an inordinate amount of
    >> effort trying to frame the pictures correctly, since normally it is a
    >> tight fit, and it exasperates me no end that that what I see throught
    >> the optical viewfinder doesn't match the final image.
    >>
    >> At this point, buying a different camera is not an option but just out
    >> of curiosity: are there digital P&S cameras with better optical
    >> viewfinders? I for one just can't get used to shooting pictures by
    >> means of the TFT screen, like I see many people doing.

    >
    > Colin,
    >
    > For your next camera, look at those with an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF).
    > This is small LCD, which is fitted into an SLR-like viewfinder enclosure,
    > so you use it like an SLR and bring the camera to your face. Being
    > electronic rather than a "best-attempt compromise" optical finder, it can
    > be 100% accurate. However, the image quality is not as high as the finder
    > on an SLR.


    SLR snots such as myself often turn up their noses at these, but I really
    enjoyed the Sony F707's EVF.

    The only problem is that you should try before you buy; a lot of the EVFs
    aren't as nice as the Sony's was.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Apr 3, 2006
    #3
  4. David J. Littleboy wrote:
    > "David J Taylor"
    > <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk> wrote:
    >> Colin Brace wrote:
    >>> Some months ago, I retired a 35mm Yashica T5 in favor of a Sony DSC
    >>> W5, which takes better pictures and is in many ways a more versatile
    >>> camera. However, in one particular respect, the Yashica was superior
    >>> to the Sony; its optical viewfinder was much better. My number one
    >>> aggravation with the Sony is that its viewfinder is about 25%
    >>> smaller than the actual picture. I like to photograph architecture
    >>> (see <flickr.com/photos/cbrace>), and I spend an inordinate amount
    >>> of effort trying to frame the pictures correctly, since normally it
    >>> is a tight fit, and it exasperates me no end that that what I see
    >>> throught the optical viewfinder doesn't match the final image.
    >>>
    >>> At this point, buying a different camera is not an option but just
    >>> out of curiosity: are there digital P&S cameras with better optical
    >>> viewfinders? I for one just can't get used to shooting pictures by
    >>> means of the TFT screen, like I see many people doing.

    >>
    >> Colin,
    >>
    >> For your next camera, look at those with an Electronic Viewfinder
    >> (EVF). This is small LCD, which is fitted into an SLR-like
    >> viewfinder enclosure, so you use it like an SLR and bring the camera
    >> to your face. Being electronic rather than a "best-attempt
    >> compromise" optical finder, it can be 100% accurate. However, the
    >> image quality is not as high as the finder on an SLR.

    >
    > SLR snots such as myself often turn up their noses at these, but I
    > really enjoyed the Sony F707's EVF.
    >
    > The only problem is that you should try before you buy; a lot of the
    > EVFs aren't as nice as the Sony's was.
    >
    > David J. Littleboy
    > Tokyo, Japan


    David,

    The best EVF I've ever seen was that on the Minolta A2 - full VGA
    resolution, unfortunately advertised as 900,000+ pixels. No it's just
    over 300,000 pixels! Nevertheless, I wish all were as good as that. It
    was a pleasure to use, and a great pity that more manufacturers didn't
    take it up.

    Completely agree on try before you buy - precisely why I said "look"
    rather than "consider"!

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Apr 3, 2006
    #4
  5. Colin Brace

    Colin Brace Guest

    > I hope you have already discovered combining images automatically
    > for a wider view, and using programs such as Paint Shop Pro for
    > "perspective correction".


    I've stitched images together using gimp (I am on linux), but I haven't
    figured out how to do perspective correction, which is defintely a
    problem with the geometrical shapes of buildings and the like. If
    anyone here knows how to do this with gimp, I'd be interested in
    hearing about it..

    --
    Colin Brace
    Amsterdam
     
    Colin Brace, Apr 3, 2006
    #5
  6. Colin Brace

    m Ransley Guest

    I also have the W5 and in 3000+ shots have used the viewfinder maybe 5
    times, I use it for accurate exposure and composition . I wont buy a
    Dslr till there is Lcd preview.
     
    m Ransley, Apr 3, 2006
    #6
  7. David J Taylor, Apr 3, 2006
    #7
  8. Colin Brace

    m Ransley Guest

    I am hoping to wait out a Canon, since I have alot of Canon glass., The
    Panasonic isnt out yet but is worth a consideration if reviews rate it
    extremely high, but their present sensors dont leave that a sureity. My
    lenses and Canon reviews make Canon my first choise.
     
    m Ransley, Apr 3, 2006
    #8
  9. On 3 Apr 2006 03:39:11 -0700, Colin Brace <> wrote:
    >> I hope you have already discovered combining images automatically
    >> for a wider view, and using programs such as Paint Shop Pro for
    >> "perspective correction".

    >
    > I've stitched images together using gimp (I am on linux), but I haven't
    > figured out how to do perspective correction, which is defintely a
    > problem with the geometrical shapes of buildings and the like. If
    > anyone here knows how to do this with gimp, I'd be interested in
    > hearing about it..


    Get a copy of hugin (hugin.sourceforge.net); it's designed for stitching
    multiple frames together, but it can also do all sorts of perspective
    corrections on single frames.

    -dms
     
    Daniel Silevitch, Apr 3, 2006
    #9
  10. On 3 Apr 2006 01:49:08 -0700, "Colin Brace" <>
    wrote:

    >Some months ago, I retired a 35mm Yashica T5 in favor of a Sony DSC W5,
    >which takes better pictures and is in many ways a more versatile
    >camera. However, in one particular respect, the Yashica was superior to
    >the Sony; its optical viewfinder was much better. My number one
    >aggravation with the Sony is that its viewfinder is about 25% smaller
    >than the actual picture. I like to photograph architecture (see
    ><flickr.com/photos/cbrace>), and I spend an inordinate amount of effort
    >trying to frame the pictures correctly, since normally it is a tight
    >fit, and it exasperates me no end that that what I see throught the
    >optical viewfinder doesn't match the final image.
    >
    >At this point, buying a different camera is not an option but just out
    >of curiosity: are there digital P&S cameras with better optical
    >viewfinders? I for one just can't get used to shooting pictures by
    >means of the TFT screen, like I see many people doing.


    ******************************************************

    "I have been a witness, and these pictures are
    my testimony. The events I have recorded should
    not be forgotten and must not be repeated."

    -James Nachtwey-
    http://www.jamesnachtwey.com/
     
    John A. Stovall, Apr 3, 2006
    #10
  11. Colin Brace

    tomm42 Guest

    Colin Brace wrote:
    > Some months ago, I retired a 35mm Yashica T5 in favor of a Sony DSC W5,
    > which takes better pictures and is in many ways a more versatile
    > camera. However, in one particular respect, the Yashica was superior to
    > the Sony; its optical viewfinder was much better. My number one
    > aggravation with the Sony is that its viewfinder is about 25% smaller
    > than the actual picture. I like to photograph architecture (see
    > <flickr.com/photos/cbrace>), and I spend an inordinate amount of effort
    > trying to frame the pictures correctly, since normally it is a tight
    > fit, and it exasperates me no end that that what I see throught the
    > optical viewfinder doesn't match the final image.
    >
    > At this point, buying a different camera is not an option but just out
    > of curiosity: are there digital P&S cameras with better optical
    > viewfinders? I for one just can't get used to shooting pictures by
    > means of the TFT screen, like I see many people doing.
    >
    > --
    > Colin Brace
    > Amsterdam


    Something very overlooked in viewfinder P&S camera. You can try the
    Canon G6, higher end than the Sony. Not sure even that will be as good
    as the T5, one of the best bang for the buck cameras ever made. How
    about the Epson RD-1s, what's a few $, right? I always found EVFs to be
    annoying ( I'm a Leica M, and SLR user). So I gave up and bought a
    DSLR.

    Tom
     
    tomm42, Apr 3, 2006
    #11
  12. Colin Brace

    Paul D.Smith Guest

    > The best EVF I've ever seen was that on the Minolta A2 - full VGA
    > resolution, unfortunately advertised as 900,000+ pixels. No it's just
    > over 300,000 pixels! Nevertheless, I wish all were as good as that. It
    > was a pleasure to use, and a great pity that more manufacturers didn't
    > take it up.


    300,000 x (red, green, blue) = 900,000. It's an old marketeer's ploy which
    I thought had died out.

    Paul DS
     
    Paul D.Smith, Apr 3, 2006
    #12
  13. Colin Brace

    Jem Raid Guest

    The Black Cloth

    I used a homemade 4x5 and got used to ducking under a black cloth.

    It works very well with the tilty screen on my digicam and after awhile you
    don't notice the odd stares :)

    Jem

    -------------------------------------
    Birmingham Independent Photographers
    http://bip.wikispaces.com/
     
    Jem Raid, Apr 3, 2006
    #13
  14. Colin Brace

    Alf Guest

    Colin Brace schrieb:
    >>I hope you have already discovered combining images automatically
    >>for a wider view, and using programs such as Paint Shop Pro for
    >>"perspective correction".

    >
    >
    > I've stitched images together using gimp (I am on linux), but I haven't
    > figured out how to do perspective correction, which is defintely a
    > problem with the geometrical shapes of buildings and the like. If
    > anyone here knows how to do this with gimp, I'd be interested in
    > hearing about it..
    >


    perspective correction:
    DE: Werkzeuge -> Transformationen -> Perspektive (Gimp 2.2)
    EN: Tools -> Transformations -> Perspective (?)

    stitching:
    You should give the python plug-in "Stitch Panorama" by Thomas Metcalf
    a try.

    Hope, this does help you.

    rgs
    Alf
     
    Alf, Apr 3, 2006
    #14
  15. "Colin Brace" <> writes:

    >At this point, buying a different camera is not an option but just out
    >of curiosity: are there digital P&S cameras with better optical
    >viewfinders? I for one just can't get used to shooting pictures by
    >means of the TFT screen, like I see many people doing.


    I think it's a matter of zoom vs. fixed lenses. There are a number of
    35 mm cameras with fixed-focal-length lenses that have nice bright wide
    viewfinders. I have a T4, and I assume the T5 is the same (except for
    the additional waist-level finder). I also have a Canon A200 2 MP
    digital camera that has a nice bright wide (though not terribly
    accurate) finder; the A200 also has a fixed-focal-length lens. Both of
    these finders seem to be simple Galilean telescopes.

    But most digicams, particularly anything above the lowest-price line,
    tend to have zoom lenses, and zoom viewfinders. And zooming optical
    finders all seem to be narrow and dim - on the P&S film cameras I've
    looked at as well as the digital ones.

    Dave
     
    Dave Martindale, Apr 3, 2006
    #15
  16. Colin Brace

    Colin Brace Guest

    > perspective correction:
    > Tools -> Transformations -> Perspective


    Thanks for pointing this out. I hadn't discovered that feature of gimp
    yet.

    > stitching:
    > You should give the python plug-in "Stitch Panorama" by Thomas Metcalf


    I will look for that . I also have the plugin "pandora" for making
    panoramas which works quite well:
    http://www.shallowsky.com/software/pandora/

    --
    Colin Brace
    Amsterdam
     
    Colin Brace, Apr 3, 2006
    #16
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