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Thread started 13 Dec 2012 (Thursday) 18:28
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Future of DSLRs - hybrid viewfinder?

 
LostArk
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Dec 13, 2012 18:28 |  #1

Electronic viewfinders. I've always hated them, but perhaps that's because I owned a couple cameras back in 2005 that had them (Minolta DiMage A200, Panasonic FZ20). Yuck!

However, I'm unable to deny the benefits of recent high quality EVFs, such as that of Sony's A99; live exposure preview, live white balance, live histogram, with good resolution and low lag times. Yes, you can get all the benefits of an EVF on a DSLR with live view, but then you have to take the camera away from your eye.

I still prefer optical viewfinders, but the prospect of EVFs being the future no longer scares me as much. With that being said, I wonder how difficult it would be to implement a hybrid viewfinder in a DSLR, such as the finder on the Fuji X100. After all, the optical finder is one of the main "advantages" of SLRs over mirrorless, which is why I haven't been tempted by Sony's A99.

If the A99 had a hybrid finder, however, my interest would seriously be piqued.


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fotocrack
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Dec 14, 2012 00:53 |  #2

I agree with you. The feature I wished the 5D3 had is the ability to see the histogram in the ViewFinder.
My NEX-7 has this and it really helps to get the exposure right.
ETTR is so easy on the NEX-7


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Brendo666
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Dec 14, 2012 02:10 |  #3

I feel some may have the same view as me on this but the 5DIII isn't exactly an entry level camera. So with that being said most people would be fairly comfortably with how their camera exposes and can nail it or get fairly close without that costly feature.


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Dec 14, 2012 02:12 |  #4

I'd have to try the a99, I haven't used a camera with an electronic viewfinder that I liked as much as a nice full frame viewfinder. The Sony A900 had a great viewfinder, comparing the a99 against that would be interesting.


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LostArk
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Dec 14, 2012 03:11 |  #5

Brendo666 wrote in post #15365185 (external link)
I feel some may have the same view as me on this but the 5DIII isn't exactly an entry level camera. So with that being said most people would be fairly comfortably with how their camera exposes and can nail it or get fairly close without that costly feature.

I doubt anyone can nail exposure to 1/3 of a stop through the viewfinder 100% of the time, and even if they could, I suspect they'd still bracket or chimp to get it just right. It would be much easier to have a live exposure preview in the viewfinder. Further, "nailing" white balance by eye is even more difficult of a proposition. If your goal is accurate white balance, your only option with an optical finder is to use a gray card or expodisc (or similar). I don't understand shooting in AWB and then adjusting in LR - your memory isn't going to match exactly with the scene. With an EVF you can adjust WB will it matches the scene, no additional doohickeys required. Having live WB would also lend itself to easier creative WB usage, like using tungsten to render things blue etc. Do you really think a hybrid viewfinder would be "costly?" If so, why? Like I mentioned in my original post, the X100 has one and it's a $1200 consumer camera.


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hollis_f
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Dec 14, 2012 05:35 |  #6

LostArk wrote in post #15365272 (external link)
Further, "nailing" white balance by eye is even more difficult of a proposition. If your goal is accurate white balance, your only option with an optical finder is to use a gray card or expodisc (or similar). I don't understand shooting in AWB and then adjusting in LR - your memory isn't going to match exactly with the scene.

The easiest way to get an accurate WB is to shoot raw and adjust in LR. If it's that essential that you be accurate then you can shoot a greycard at the beginning and end.

Of course, most of the time an accurate WB is just a good starting point to get the correct WB.


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Gregg.Siam
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Dec 14, 2012 09:52 as a reply to  @ hollis_f's post |  #7

I doubt anyone can nail exposure to 1/3 of a stop through the viewfinder 100% of the time, and even if they could, I suspect they'd still bracket or chimp to get it just right.

I can in many cases. The histogram has it's own share of problems, so I wouldn't rely on it.

I don't understand shooting in AWB and then adjusting in LR - your memory isn't going to match exactly with the scene.

So what? I want to adjust WB to match what I think it should look like. I shoot a lot of places with crap light, so I don't want my images to reflect this. Even when I shoot in pleasant light like a sunset, it's not hard to set it correctly. Auto WB has come a long way.


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Dec 14, 2012 11:12 as a reply to  @ Gregg.Siam's post |  #8

I'm happy with OVF. Don't need all bells&whistles to clutter my view.

If WB is important for me, I'll spend time to take the picture and set it to CWB. If it is very important, I'll use my color passport gadget, not camera.
If I need to check the picture I have all I need already in play mode. No rush for me.
And most likely I'll spend less time by taking shot, viewing it and adjusting instead of trying to see something small in EVF and get the shot right by first time.

I like to have minimum info in VF. Not something like screen view of f16 game.


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RHChan84
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Dec 14, 2012 11:35 |  #9

I'm happy with OVF, EVF is nice but that is info overload on that small screen on top of what your taking a photo of. If I need all that info, if rather do it on the bigger screen.


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Dec 14, 2012 12:29 as a reply to  @ RHChan84's post |  #10

As long as there was no loss of the advantages of a real viewfinder, I wouldn't have any problem with an electronic one. Of course that means that there would be no discernible difference in resolution, no time lag, no blur as fast action moves across the scene, etc. AT this point, You could then use exposure simulation which would give you a preview of what the image would look like using the settings you have since you would in essence be looking at the actual image all the time. Or you could turn it off and it would revert to exactly what you would see now through the viewfinder.

One nice advantage here would be the ability to have a much brighter scene in the viewfinder when shooting with long, slow glass. For example, a 400mm f5.6 with a 2x TC can be quite dim in a traditional viewfinder.

What I think would be even more interesting is the use of the additional space around the image. Assuming you have just freed up a bunch of space, you could then incorporate histograms, previews and other such information not just as overlays, but in the space around the image making it where you could even preview an image without taking your eye away from the camera and without interrupting the action on the screen.


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Yogi ­ Bear
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Dec 14, 2012 17:17 as a reply to  @ kfreels's post |  #11

LostArk wrote in post #15365272 (external link)
I doubt anyone can nail exposure to 1/3 of a stop through the viewfinder 100% of the time, and even if they could, I suspect they'd still bracket or chimp to get it just right. It would be much easier to have a live exposure preview in the viewfinder. Further, "nailing" white balance by eye is even more difficult of a proposition. If your goal is accurate white balance, your only option with an optical finder is to use a gray card or expodisc (or similar). I don't understand shooting in AWB and then adjusting in LR - your memory isn't going to match exactly with the scene. With an EVF you can adjust WB will it matches the scene, no additional doohickeys required. Having live WB would also lend itself to easier creative WB usage, like using tungsten to render things blue etc. Do you really think a hybrid viewfinder would be "costly?" If so, why? Like I mentioned in my original post, the X100 has one and it's a $1200 consumer camera.

I don't see why it should be 'costly'. The 7D, 5D3 and 1DX all have active matrix, transmissive LCDs in the OVFs. If focus points can be 'overlaid', why not histograms and other data too?


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JeffreyG
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Dec 14, 2012 17:31 |  #12

LostArk wrote in post #15363781 (external link)
However, I'm unable to deny the benefits of recent high quality EVFs, such as that of Sony's A99; live exposure preview, live white balance, live histogram, with good resolution and low lag times.

I think those advantages are real, but not all that critical to most shooters. The biggest might be the live histogram, but then again....I find that in most situations I can get my metering right in about 10 seconds and then trust that metering for the next 10 to 1000 shots I take.

The point I really want to get to though is that even the best of the current EVFs still have drawbacks. I've used the Sony and IMO it still has not reached the point where it is competitive with an OVF for action and sports.

Perhaps the EVF will get there, and when it does (supposing it really, really is perfectly competitive in every way) then great. After all, if it really is just as good as an OVF then why would I resist it?

But the A99 isn't competitive yet.


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LostArk
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Dec 14, 2012 17:57 as a reply to  @ JeffreyG's post |  #13

Seems like everyone replying to this thread is weighing EVFs against optical finders. What I'm wondering is if there would be any reason for DSLRs not to have a hybrid viewfinder like the Fuji X100.


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LostArk
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Jan 04, 2013 18:46 |  #14

Seems like Nikon engineers are on the same page as me:

http://nikonrumors.com …d-screen.aspx/#more-51174 (external link)


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pulsar123
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Jan 04, 2013 19:47 |  #15

I believe EVF is the future of pro/semi-pro photography (but I don't see DSLRs in that future - only mirrorless cameras).


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Future of DSLRs - hybrid viewfinder?
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