EVF - is 115,000 enough? Or is 205,000-230,000 really what is needed?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Paul D. Sullivan, May 22, 2007.

  1. I'm curious about EVF's for superzoom cameras. One I'm looking
    at has 115,000 pixels for the EVF, and I'm curious how well that
    is working for most folks. Is it sufficient for clear focus at
    specific points, or does that EVF resolution make it difficult to
    achieve the precise focus that one may want?

    Is a higher resolution on the EVF obviously preferred? Or is
    115,000 sufficient for most folks?

    Paul D. Sullivan, May 22, 2007
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  2. Paul D. Sullivan

    nobody Guest

    It's pretty poor. Unfortunately it's a common standard. You have to get used to
    working within its limitations. You can sometimes use the pixilated image to
    your advantage, in a sort of "reverse micro-prism" effect. Just as you would
    watch on an SLR focusing screen for the micro-prism to stop scintillating and
    disappear when the object was in-focus. In a low-resolution EVF you can watch
    for "scintillation" on sharp contrasting bits and edges to start happening
    letting you know you are near as possible to a good focus. This of course is
    even easier if you use any digital focusing aids included, like the central
    portion of the image being magnified to help with manual focusing. Then the
    scintillation showing up in this magnified image makes the focus even more
    accurate. Out of focus areas don't cause this scintillation because the pixels
    slowly change as the subject moves. When it's in sharp focus the adjoining
    pixels brighten and darken rapidly to match the sharper edges and higher

    A low-resolution EVF and smaller sensor sizes are the ONLY things preventing
    single-lens, long-zoom cameras from vastly surpassing dSLRs in performance and
    functionality. They already surpass dSLRs in every other way, such as real-time
    preview showing the exact image you are going to get, movies, longer
    shutter/performance life-span, faster flash-sync speeds, etc.

    Manufacturers purposely keep the EVF resolution low on these cameras just to
    encourage people to buy into their more profitable and self-destructive dSLR
    lines of cameras (which require more frequent replacement, repair, and
    overpriced accessory lenses), just because they insist on using last century's
    light-path technology.

    I've since learned to use a low-res EVF to my advantage by watching for this
    reverse micro-prism effect. When sharp edges start to scintillate I know I'm in
    focus. I'd still prefer a much higher resolution EVF though. There's nothing to
    prevent them from incorporating one, other than their own greed.
    nobody, May 22, 2007
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  3. When I first got my Canon S1 I was *immediately* disappointed by the 115k
    EVF. If I hadn't bought it mail order I might have handed it back. I did
    love the EVF live preview as a creative tool, but hated the resolution
    and the lack of easy focus confirmation.

    The 200k-ish EVF on my Olympus SP-550 is much better, and confirms my
    decision not to buy the Canon S2/3 (and now 5) purely because of the EVF
    resolution. Sadly the rest of the 550 has failed to live up to my
    initial expectations (ok, apart from the 28mm wide end... I love that).
    But that's cameras for you. :)

    Andrew McP
    Andrew MacPherson, May 22, 2007
  4. Paul D. Sullivan

    ray Guest

    I found that in looking through one (canon s31s and a couple of other
    brands as well) and then comparing with a higher res model from Kodak that
    the difference was striking - I strongly suggest you do a 'side by side'
    at a camera store, best buy, whatever. For me the difference was enough
    just looking through the viewfinder that I was not willing to find out if
    I could live with the lower res versions. I bought a Kodak P850 (refurb)
    from Kodak's online store for $250 and I'm quite pleased with the
    purchase. If you decide to go Kodak, I'd suggest the P series as it has
    quite a few more features than the Z series - saves raw, tiff, jpeg - has
    full manual mode . . .
    ray, May 22, 2007
  5. Paul D. Sullivan

    M-M Guest

    You forgot about shutter lag, which puts DSLR's way ahead. Sensor size
    and noiseless long exposure ability also. And start-up time, bokeh,
    faster AF. I could go on.
    M-M, May 22, 2007
  6. Paul D. Sullivan

    nobody Guest

    Yes, you could go on, but you'd be wrong on all counts. There are ways around
    the shallow DOF caused by small sensor sizes and being able to create nice bokeh
    effects. (I won't bother sharing, you'd only want an argument on how its done.)
    Shutter lag? What shutter lag? My new P&S is every bit as fast if not faster
    than any dSLR that has to wait for last century's mirror to quit flapping around
    making all that noise. Long exposures? Who needs them with a camera that can
    shoot in the pitch dark at fast shutter speeds using IR light only.

    You dSLR folk sure are insecure about needing to hold onto why you wasted that
    much money, aren't you. Your problem, not mine.
    nobody, May 22, 2007
  7. Paul,

    You can manage with "115K", but the VGA resolution EVF in the Minolta A2
    (advertised as "900,000 pixels") was much nearer to something which
    provided a comfortable view. I find that with auto-focus, and the much
    larger depth-of-field of the small-sensor cameras, I don't tend to use the
    EVF for precision focussing (and remember that DSLRs have long abandoned
    the focussing aids like split-image and micro-prism used in earlier film

    I am unsure why other manufacturers (or even Minolta themselves) did not
    follow-up on the VGA resolution EVF. Cost and sensor readout bandwidth
    may come into it.

    David J Taylor, May 22, 2007
  8. Paul D. Sullivan

    Grumps Guest

    Ah! I was just starting my search for a P&S with short shutter lag, to
    replace an old Canon PS. What P&S do you have? Is it EVF only, or optical
    Grumps, May 22, 2007
  9. Paul D. Sullivan

    Ray Fischer Guest

    Yeah, use an SLR.
    Which one is that? I know of SLRs that take 10 pictures per second.
    What a stupid statement.
    Look in the mirror.
    Ray Fischer, May 22, 2007
  10. Paul D. Sullivan

    Cynicor Guest

    Seriously? This is just dumb. And I don't say that too often. This isn't
    even a worthy troll.
    Cynicor, May 22, 2007
  11. Paul D. Sullivan

    Cynicor Guest

    I wouldn't say that. I would say that this was actually one of the more
    hilariously stupid things I've ever seen.
    Cynicor, May 22, 2007
  12. Most P&S *these days* have very short delays from half-press to
    full-press. The problem is, they still focus slowly (contrast-detection
    autofocus driven off the sensor is much slower than phase-detection
    autofocus with a dedicated specialized sensor). If something holds
    still, you can half-press and then wait for the right moment. But this
    isn't very effective, I find, for children, cats, dogs, or sports.

    dpreview measures the various delays, check their reviews. My Fuji F11
    has a *very* short half-press to full-ress delay, but I find the slow
    focus annoying (and there's no manual focus as an alternative).
    David Dyer-Bennet, May 22, 2007
  13. Paul D. Sullivan

    Cynicor Guest

    There's a good chart here:

    How long does it take your F11 to take five photos? I see it's got a
    shutter lag of 0.01 second according to dpreview.
    Cynicor, May 22, 2007
  14. Paul D. Sullivan

    Ray Fischer Guest

    I though of explaining how IR doesn't illuminate moonlit landscapes,
    or how it doesn't actually provide for color photographs in dim light,
    but I've found that stupid people aren't always amenable to logic.
    Ray Fischer, May 22, 2007
  15. Paul D. Sullivan

    Cynicor Guest

    I was thinking of a couple of long-exposures I've done to blur motion
    (waves, auto lights, etc.) but I suppose you can just get a blur effect
    by moving your P&S while it's taking the picture.
    Cynicor, May 22, 2007
  16. Paul D. Sullivan

    ray Guest

    Seems to me that we're getting considerably off track here.
    ray, May 22, 2007
  17. Yep, the .01 is the half-press to full-press delay. And it's not a
    problem, that's faster than most DSLRS.

    Five photos, though, gets into the fact that there's no buffer. I think
    it's about 2.5 seconds, if I can find continuous exposure mode.
    David Dyer-Bennet, May 22, 2007
  18. Paul D. Sullivan

    Cynicor Guest

    No, the .01 is great. Any faster and it would be taking the photo before
    you pressed the button.

    One of the many things I love about the D200 is the continuous shooting
    mode, especially when I'm doing kid or dog pix. Take ten, and one will
    have the right expression.
    Cynicor, May 22, 2007
  19. I found that in looking through one (canon s31s and a couple
    Are there any super zoom cameras (8x zoom or higher) with image
    stabilization and standard AA batteries and a hot shoe with EVF's
    that are 230,000 or so?

    The Canon S5 IS sounds nice, though it would be good if the
    sensor was larger and the EVF had 230,000 or what not.

    I'm just not sure what brands have all that. Don't know if I can
    find all I'm looking for in a single camera.

    Heck, I still wish the S3 / S5 had an optical viewfinder even! :)

    Paul D. Sullivan, May 22, 2007
  20. Paul,

    I just know that for me, when I looked into the EVF of the S3 IS,
    I felt it was too grainy and hard to get a crisp focus with.
    Back in the day the old PENTAX 35mm had one of those split image
    things that worked incredibly well, along with a light meter
    internal to the viewfinder. It rocked.
    Paul D. Sullivan, May 22, 2007
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