Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Newbie Help

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Aug 4, 2003, 11:10 PM   #1
AF
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6
Default Optical view finders vs LCD? What's the difference?

I've only ever owned and used a digital camera that lacks an optical view finder (sony Mavica 200) and I want to know if there is an advantage to having one. I'm not just talking about the kind you look through so you have an idea of how the photo will be framed, I mean the kind that have all the fancy focus features like the Nikon 5000.



I've also heard about digital view finders (if that makes sense) that look like optical view finders but they're really just mini LCD screens? Are they any good?



The reason I ask is because I have a lot of trouble with DOF and focusing on just the right spot. My LCD screen doesn't really let me SEE what I'm focusing on, and has the added disadvantage of being almost unusable in bright sunlight. My boyfriend has an old pentax SLR that lets you see whats in focus and has a little needle that tells you whether you are properly exposed or not, is there anything like that available in digital cameras?



Thanks in advance.
AF is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Aug 4, 2003, 11:59 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 340
Default

I HATE my EVF. It doesn't pick up enough light so night photography is a right nightmare .. it looks underexposed .. i just can't stand it.

No EVF is brilliant at night and for that reasoin i would HIGHLY recommend an optical viewfinder.
Alfisti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 5, 2003, 12:23 AM   #3
AF
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6
Default

What about an EVF and an LCD in combination? Would that solve that problem? BTW, what camera are you using, just out of curiosity?
AF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 5, 2003, 12:59 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 340
Default

i think you're very confused ... essentially .. an EVF is an LCD, just smaller.

Fuji 3800 .. but the same can be said for lot of them. I just can't stand them .. i NEVER use mine.
Alfisti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 5, 2003, 12:59 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 331
Default

The only viewfinders that are worth it imho are through the lense viewfinders. I don't care for those that use a separate lense (i.e. canon g3, etc) because of parallax errors and other discrepencies between what you see and what the ccd takes and I don't care for evf's because they are pretty much the same as the lcd (though having an evf would help in sunlight because the skin around your eye would block out the glare). Unfortunately I think that for the time being ttl optical viewfinders are limited to slr's and dslrs.
ardvark50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 5, 2003, 6:35 AM   #6
NHL
Senior Member
 
NHL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 39.18776, -77.311353333333
Posts: 11,547
Default

IMO not all EVF's cameras are created equal! I own a dSLR with an optical viewfinder, but miss some of the features provided by the Minolta D7/i/Hi:

1. In pitch black darkness the EVF changed to B&W and boost up the light just like a military night vision system...
2. WYSIWYG, a stop-down simulated SLR camera mode in manual where What You See Is What You Get, ie change the aperture or shutter speed and the EVF brighten or darken according to the correct EV value (this beat any handheld meter for night shots actually).
3. A real-time histogram can be superimposed in the EVF to aid the metering (with moving peaks and valleys).
4. Also grids and scales can be turn on (instead of changing viewing screens).
5. Color cordinated Head Up display of all camera functions including distance scales (which can be selectively turn off too!)

http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/v...&highlight=evf
NHL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 5, 2003, 8:10 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,162
Default

A lot depends on your expectations. If you are relying on the cam to 'fly by wire' and do everything right (which it won't) then the LCD/EVF is only there to frame a shot. Even then, the lag for motion work can become frustrating. I think if you take away the cameras own decision making, you end up with so many things to get right that you need all the information feedback.

On the other hand, if you really want WYSIWYG then optical might allow you to see the real thing, but doesn't guarantee what gets stored on the media. So at some point, even if you've seen reality, you've got to replay the stored image to make sure, before leaving the shoot.

Ideally, the EVF/Lcd will have the same equivalent resolution and colorimetry as the best monitor or printer, be fast at processing the image (no lag), consume no power (like optical), and have space left over for the function supers. But remember that many of the supers and features are complexities to allow the digicam to 'fly' and get decent pics.

On a film camera, exposure and focus had more latitude for error and you didn't need a histogram or a large battery to support an electronic display. The digicam EVF could end up costing as much as the ccd used to capture the image!
voxmagna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 5, 2003, 9:46 AM   #8
AF
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisti
i think you're very confused ... essentially .. an EVF is an LCD, just smaller.

Fuji 3800 .. but the same can be said for lot of them. I just can't stand them .. i NEVER use mine.
Yes I realize that but I have never heard of that problem. My LCD is bright enough to use as a flashlight, and I never have problems with nightshots. It's only daytime shots that give me trouble.
AF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 5, 2003, 10:04 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 430
Default

Quote:
I've only ever owned and used a digital camera that lacks an optical view finder (sony Mavica 200) and I want to know if there
is an advantage to having one.
One advantage of an optical view finder is that it consumes zero power. For daylight shooting, I turn off the LCD and exclusively use the optical view finder on my Oly. The result is significant improvement in battery life.

Parallax error is a concern, but not such that you can't deal with it, e.g., for shots where framing is critical, switch on the LCD or else, over frame and crop the shot in post processing.

The ideal choice of a zero power optical view finder is, of course, a true dSLR like the Oly E-series where not even a bit of energy is wasted on mirror actuators.

I'm sorry, but 30+ years of owning a sailboat have left me afflicted with this obsession to conserve battery power no matter what the energy is used for.
jawz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 5, 2003, 10:19 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 340
Default

[/quote]

Yes I realize that but I have never heard of that problem. My LCD is bright enough to use as a flashlight, and I never have problems with nightshots. It's only daytime shots that give me trouble.[/quote]

That is one heck of an LCD. Mine and a lot of others are totally useless in the dark ..... i am talking about using the LCD at night to frame a shot ... you're not talkign about viewing pictures are you???

What i am saying is, to view the frame at night using the LCD is near impossible and becuas ei have an EVF, the problem is not resolved, an optical viewfinder would solve that issue.
Alfisti is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:56 AM.