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, Apr 3, 2006
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  2. 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

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

    Colin Brace Guest

    I hope you have already discovered combining images automatically
    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, Apr 3, 2006
  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
  7. David J Taylor, Apr 3, 2006
  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
  9. 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.

    Daniel Silevitch, Apr 3, 2006
  10. ******************************************************

    "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-
    John A. Stovall, Apr 3, 2006
  11. Colin Brace

    tomm42 Guest

    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

    tomm42, Apr 3, 2006
  12. Colin Brace

    Paul D.Smith Guest

    The best EVF I've ever seen was that on the Minolta A2 - full VGA
    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
  13. Colin Brace

    Jem Raid Guest

    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 Raid, Apr 3, 2006
  14. Colin Brace

    Alf Guest

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

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

    Hope, this does help you.

    Alf, Apr 3, 2006
  15. 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 Martindale, Apr 3, 2006
  16. Colin Brace

    Colin Brace Guest

    perspective correction:
    Thanks for pointing this out. I hadn't discovered that feature of gimp
    I will look for that . I also have the plugin "pandora" for making
    panoramas which works quite well:
    Colin Brace, Apr 3, 2006
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