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Old May 18, 2006, 7:19 AM   #1
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Hello to all...

I'm searching for my first digicam. I'm an absolute amateur picture taker using a AF standard srl.

I'm having my eye on the Fuji Finepix S 5600. Yesterday I went to Fnac and asked to manipulate one. From what I've seen and touched I'm not sure if I'll get used to the evf. I'm used to slr's and compact camera viewers.

I know that it's quite a subjective issue... I ask those who had been trough the same If they got used to it.

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Old May 18, 2006, 8:24 AM   #2
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An EVF is something that I've never fully gotten used to. It is often hard to see --darkness and bright sun both present more problems to an EVF than an optical viewfinder. An eye cup helps a lot, but it's never as good in terms of image quality. Manual focusing is really hard, even with the "zoom" that most EVFs provide.

On the other hand, there are two things that it does better than optical -- first, you get the complete field of view in the EVF. In terms of composition, it is truly WYSIWYG. And second, it shows you the real exposure in the viewfinder before you shoot. Under the right lighting conditions, you can do manual focus from the viewfinder, with or without the live histogram -- another plus of the EVF.

I understand that the E330 (?) is a low-end dSLR that offers either EVF or optical, which would allow you to use either as you saw fit. But that's not really a very good compromise -- the EVF is a crummy viewfinder. What one would like is either to have a live histogram or the like projected onto an optical viewfinder, or have so much resolution at sufficient brightness on an EVF that you don't miss the optical viewfinder. Such a beast is yet to be offfered, though. I imagine that the number of pixels you'd need in the EVF is probably somewhere around 500,000 -- roughly 800x600 should feel analog at that size, I would guess. And the brightness would need to be upped a lot under some lighting conditions. I wouldn't be surprised if EVFs will achieve the necessary thresholds sometime within the next decade, but we're a long way from there now.


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Old May 18, 2006, 12:12 PM   #3
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Newbie_PT wrote:
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I'm having my eye on the Fuji Finepix S 5600. Yesterday I went to Fnac and asked to manipulate one. From what I've seen and touched I'm not sure if I'll get used to the evf.
Now I wouldn't blame anyone for not getting used to such crappy 115000 pixel EVF...
And button zoom is propably last thing you would get used to after using manual/mechanical zoom.



tclune wrote:
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But that's not really a very good compromise -- the EVF is a crummy viewfinder. What one would like is either to have a live histogram or the like projected onto an optical viewfinder, or have so much resolution at sufficient brightness on an EVF that you don't miss the optical viewfinder. Such a beast is yet to be offfered, though. I imagine that the number of pixels you'd need in the EVF is probably somewhere around 500,000 -- roughly 800x600 should feel analog at that size, I would guess. And the brightness would need to be upped a lot under some lighting conditions. I wouldn't be surprised if EVFs will achieve the necessary thresholds sometime within the next decade, but we're a long way from there now.
It would be already possible but people are just so fond to 70+ something old design required by entirely other sensor format.

Over 2 years old KonicaMinolta A2 has 922 000 pixel EVF giving 640x480 three color resolution. (every "pixel" of image requires RGB "subpixels") That's enough for not really seeing single pixels and focusing is already quite easy without any zooming of preview.
In low light shown preview image turns to black and white image which is amplified and it allows focusing/framing in quite dark, or at least dark enough that SLR viewfinder propably wouldn't be any better. (maybe except using fast prime)
Also there's no freezing of image when focusing (complained by some) and there doesn't seem to be much any image delay, normal refresh rate is 30fps but by halving vertical resolution (640x240) framerate increases to 60fps.

After release of dumbed down "successor", A200 there was discussion in Dpreview forum that maker of A2's EVF had already capability to build still higher resolution ones... so it was release of low end cash cows which killed chances for good EVFs, not lack of technology.


tclune wrote:
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An EVF is something that I've never fully gotten used to. It is often hard to see --darkness and *bright sun both present more problems to an EVF than an optical viewfinder. An eye cup helps a lot
Never needed any eye cup with Minolta prosumers...

And it isn't EVF/LCD image which is used for deciding exposure, that's for what real time histogram is.
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Old May 18, 2006, 12:34 PM   #4
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I agree that an EVF will never give the kind of clear view you get from a SLR. But there are enough advantages to make it worth the effort to learn to accept the lower resolution. As tclune pointed out, an eyecup helps quite a bit. I prefer an EVF to an optical viewfinder. Optical finders never show the entire image so you usually have to crop. And there is no information in the viewfinder. You never have to remove your eye from an EVF once you get familiar with the controls.

All EVFs aren't created equal. The Minolta A2 had an excellent EVF, but unfortunately they dropped it for a lower resolution EVF on the A200. Even if you don't consider the A2, there is a quality difference between EVFs.

One thing I find really helps is a digital readout of the focus distance. You can get pretty good at estimating distances and get good manual focus with a digital readout. Assuming it is calibrated correctly you can also measure for macro work on a tripod. Distance scales are useless for manual focus.

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