Bell beginning to toll for reflexive optical viewfinders?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RichA, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Fujifilm digital camera to use Kopin Viewfinder
    Spectra-Photonics magazine:

    Fujifilm Corp. of Tokyo will intergrate the CyberEVR 230K-NF
    electronic viewfinder from Kopin Corp. of Tauton, Mass., into its
    FinePix S700 digital camera, designed primarily for amateur
    photographers interested in upgrading to an SLR-styled digital camera
    with advanced features. The viewfinder is designed to provide
    detailed images-even in bright sunlight - and to enable fine focusing.

    Thing I don't get is why the S-700? It's a cheap Fuji. If this
    finder is so great, why not put it in the top line Fuji P&S?
     
    RichA, Aug 18, 2007
    #1
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  2. RichA

    Toby Guest

    Because all LCD viewfinders are crap compared to optical.

    Toby
     
    Toby, Aug 18, 2007
    #2
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  3. "Electronic" viewfinders occupy approximately the same place in the world of
    viewfinders as plastic bodies occupy in the world of camera bodies. Yet somehow
    you expect to see such viewfinders in top-end cameras, while advocating against
    plastic bodies. You are a man of paradoxes, one might say :)
     
    Andrey Tarasevich, Aug 18, 2007
    #3

  4. Because electronic viewfinders are not yet the equal to optical. Maybe
    someday, but until then the better equipment will continue to have optical
    finders.
     
    Joseph Meehan, Aug 18, 2007
    #4
  5. RichA

    N Guest

    How could they ever be? They need to downsample the image to display it on
    a small screen and that makes it useless for checking sharpness.
     
    N, Aug 18, 2007
    #5
  6. SLR viewfinders are limited by the fineness of the fresnel lenses and ground
    glass or microprisms used. Their resolution is actually quite limited.

    So it should be possible to make an electronic viewfinder that's just as
    good. Someday.

    I liked the EVF on the Sony F707. I suspect the EVFs are getting worse, not
    better, though. The ones I've tried in the stores since then have been
    hideous. (I haven't tried them all, of course. I was in the largest camera
    store in Tokyo today and thought that maybe I should play with a few P&S
    cameras and a non-Canon dSLR or two, but just didn't have the energy for
    it.)

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Aug 18, 2007
    #6
  7. Properly prepared ground glass is a really high res way to focus. I
    used to have a camera where I could change the focusing plane. Would
    love to have that on a DSLR camera I could afford. I do a lot of macro
    work, and placing the plane of best focus is essential to good macro
    work.

    Still, the DSLR I have beats by a large margin any EVF I have tried.
    Microprisms are not THAT bad.
     
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota, Aug 18, 2007
    #7
  8. RichA

    HenryD. Guest

    Actually ground-glass focusing screens are a detriment to good focusing ability.
    A clear glass screen is the ultimate tool, where you are focusing on the exact
    virtual image that is reaching your sensing medium, with nothing in the way to
    ruin the smallest of details. I use one often on my Olympus SLR for use through
    the microscope and telescope. In fact due to the low light levels it's the only
    focusing screen that makes the SLR usable in this manner.

    Now to address all the other misinformation in this whole thread.

    Any EVF of high enough resolution is more than capable of providing all the
    image data that you need to achieve a good focus. The ability to focus is not
    dependent on an optical viewfinder, it's dependent on how accurately that image
    is relayed to your eye. Optically or electronically matters not. If you can
    focus at pixel level (which is impossible to do on a dSLR), but is possible on a
    good EVF with a focus-assist feature then you can't get better than that for
    digital imaging. You cannot focus finer than the weakest link, that being the
    resolution of your pixels.

    The upside of an EVF system is that you also see the exact image that will end
    up on your final photo. DOF effects, shutter-speed effects, and all. This of
    course is impossible with a dSLR with only an OVF available.

    Please dSLR fans, at least learn to educate yourselves on the benefits of going
    totally digital instead of continuing to spread your blatant misinformations
    over the EVF vs. OVF wars. I understand how you have to try to justify your
    outlandish costs and misinformed choices at every turn, but don't do it while
    making yourselves look like utter fools too. Thanks.
     
    HenryD., Aug 18, 2007
    #8
  9. What I don't get is why you keep babbling on about things you know
    nothing about.
     
    Randall Ainsworth, Aug 18, 2007
    #9
  10. RichA

    RichA Guest

    A magnifying EVF or LCD is superior for ultra-critical focusing on
    static objects.
     
    RichA, Aug 18, 2007
    #10
  11. RichA

    RichA Guest

    So offer up your vast (wedding photog!) expertise on the matter.
     
    RichA, Aug 18, 2007
    #11
  12. RichA

    RichA Guest

    The pixel density (resolution potential) of the displays is around
    1700 per inch of the material. So a 1/2" square EVF could provide
    800k resolution, which isn't bad.
     
    RichA, Aug 18, 2007
    #12
  13. RichA

    Jim Guest

    It is just advertising puffery. The D40 and D40X have such a viewfinder.
    Jim
     
    Jim, Aug 18, 2007
    #13
  14. RichA

    Roy G Guest

    The reason is because there is mostly a huge difference between Advertising
    Blurb for Joe Public and Reality for those who know about Photography.

    Cynical ? Not me!

    Roy G
     
    Roy G, Aug 18, 2007
    #14
  15. RichA

    Doug Jewell Guest

    And what EVF is available that has a resolution remotely close to high
    enough to focus with it? Even the high resolution 2.5" screens on the rear
    of cameras are insufficient to be able to judge focus with reasonable
    accuracy. A magnifying function helps, but introduces noise and means you
    can't see the whole image simultaneously. It may be possible at some stage
    in the future, but current technology sees EVF's a long way behind.
    Every current dSLR that I've seen has a quick and easy DOF preview function.
    EVF systems though are also limited by their framerate - they don't show an
    instant and immediate image in the viewfinder. When light levels become low
    (ie, indoors, not just night photography), EVF viewfinders drop framerate
    further and/or noise increases. Optical viewfinders don't suffer from these
    limitations, and with a moderately fast lens, the viewfinder brightness is
    close to ambient brightness. A further limitation of EVF's occurs when you
    start getting into very low light, where the brightness of the screen ruins
    your night vision.
    But EVF fanboys have to consider the technical limitations of EVFs too. At
    current technology, EVF falls behind OVF in almost every situation.
     
    Doug Jewell, Aug 18, 2007
    #15
  16. RichA

    RichA Guest

    You'd have to try it for yourself. Fact is, magnified LCD/EVF
    focusing is more accurate than TTL optical viewfinder focusing in some
    cases. If I were testing a lens sharpness, it would be on a tripod
    with magnified LCD focusing and not through the optical viewfinder
    focusing. You might be able to do it through the lens, but it is
    slower and the focus point (depending on the lens and subject) is not
    as easy to judge. With a DSLR sized sensor, the noise you referred to
    is almost non-existent and certainly does not interfere with
    focusing. The side benefit is also that the EVF can allow focusing in
    near darkeness thanks to amplification of the light, something an
    optical viewfinder can't do. How often when taking night shots do
    people have to use lights (point sources) because the rest of the
    image is just too dim?
     
    RichA, Aug 19, 2007
    #16
  17. I did far more than photograph weddings. And I never used Fuji products
    because their film sucked. I am not a fan of green skin tones. Although
    I haven't used them, I would imagine that their digital products suck
    as well. When it comes to digital, I'm a Canon kinda guy (and I know
    you love their products).
     
    Randall Ainsworth, Aug 19, 2007
    #17
  18. RichA

    Doug Jewell Guest

    The key phrase there though is "in some cases". EVF is absolutely useless
    unless magnified. When magnified you lose the overall view of the subject.
    These limitations mean that it is not suitable for anything requiring the
    ability to rapidly frame and focus. So what's left? studio work of still
    lifes and some landscape work is about it. Practically every other situation
    will see you focus faster and more accurately with an optical view finder.
    Especially if that optical viewfinder is a nice large and bright one as
    found on things like the 5D, K10/GX10, and most film cameras.
    Lens testing is a pretty special case though, and doesn't bear much of a
    link to real-world photography.
    I find the irony here quite amusing - the only DSLR's that offer live-view
    are the olympus DSLRs - well known for having one of the worst, if not THE
    worst, noise characteristics of any DSLRs. It is also ironic that for the
    most part, it is only because 4/3 viewfinders are by necessity smaller
    and/or darker than APS/35mm, that olympus have been all but forced down the
    path of EVF.
    Another thing I find somewhat amusing, is that in their own marketing
    material for the E-1, olympus pushed the fact that the CCD was designed for
    still image only, because the circuitry to provide video reduces the sensel
    size and hence increases noise. A couple of generations of cameras later,
    and the video circuitry is there to overcome a shortcoming in the 4/3
    system.
    Can't say I've ever had a problem focussing on moonlit nights, or focussing
    on the stars with my film cameras. Doesn't get much darker than that. The
    GX10 has been a bit of a problem because my wider lenses for it are quite
    slow. When I have tried it with a faster lens, I have no problem focussing
    in low light with it.

    What is important though is letting your eyes adjust to the darkness,
    something that is difficult to do with an EVF glaring at you - it's also
    difficult to do when using cameras that require you to use the screen to
    adjust settings - which is one slight gripe I have at the GX10.
     
    Doug Jewell, Aug 19, 2007
    #18
  19. RichA

    Pete D Guest

    So we agree, for 0.001 % of photography the magnifying EVF or LCD is
    superior. For all else it is not.
     
    Pete D, Aug 19, 2007
    #19
  20. RichA

    Toby Guest

    It is bad.

    I am a professional videographer. We are still using black and white
    viewfinders today in top-end pro videocams because all those little LCD
    viewfinders suck. You can't focus with them worth a damn.

    Not only that, but the eyepoint of LCD viewfinders suck. You have to hold
    them away from you face and focus your eyes very close. In sunlight it is
    more than a joke... Ever tried to do sports photography staring at one of
    those little screens? Pathetic. Plus it robs you of one more anchor point
    for steady shots.

    Toby
     
    Toby, Aug 19, 2007
    #20
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