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OVF vs EVF

jdphoto

Well-known member
I know this has been debated before with subjective opinions, but I wanted to share my experience while shooting with the D810. For a little background, I have used many EVF's, including Leica, Fuji, and Sony. I decided for me, that shooting in low light, or bright ambient locations the EVF's were terrible when transitioning between ambient light and the EVF. I do love the WYSIWYG aspect of EVF, but I can do that with the D810 too, using the LCD. But what really confirmed to me that OVF's can sometimes be preferred was the intimate connection between composing and my model. I was "in the moment", so to speak, during a recent portrait session. The studio was dimly light, so there was no distraction of an EVF. I can imagine that this will also translate to shooting landscapes because through the OVF, you're a part of the experience or moment and not just watching a screen. It's easier to disengage with an EVF, imo. Obviously, these are just subjective ramblings, but with all the technology involved with digital photography, it's nice to have the starkly simple, primitive experience of a OVF that's been fundamental to photography since the 1800's.
 

SrMphoto

Active member
I am still using OVF and EVF cameras. A good OVF is a beauty to use. Nothing beats the view through the viewfinder of an H6D/H5D cameras, IMHO.

Previously I accepted EVFs mainly as a compromise necessary to have lightweight cameras. This has changed. I do not agree with the WYSIWYG claim as I definitely cannot judge the color, contrast, and exposure looking through the EVF. However, a small histogram in the corner is quite helpful. Image reviews in EVF can be quite useful as well when eyesight or ambient light is an issue. Yes, there are several advantages of EVFs vs OVFs, but I still prefer OVFs.

For me, EVF or OVF is not the major criterion that determines my preference for a camera.
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
OVF for me, but admittedly I'm old school. Plus, I have yet to see an EVF I really liked. However, I could do a lot of my landscape work with a large, high-res rear LCD and wouldn't need a VF at all.
 

pegelli

Well-known member
I like both, I use both for different applications. EVF's are nice with a magnified view for achieving critical sharpness with manual focus lenses as well as for macro photography. An OVF can't achieve the same control. I like OVF's for faster action situations where an EVF usually is less suited to what I want to achieve.

I don't experience the "disconnection" you mention as a drawback of EVF's. I feel equally connected using either technology. For me it's just a matter of "horses for courses".

I overcome your problem with overly bright EVF's in low light situation by just dialling the brightness of the EVF down. This also has a positive effect on the noise in the EVF image, which can sometimes hinder critical focussing in low light situations. But you can still manually focus an EVF to much lower light levels than an OVF.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
About half the time these days I just point the camera where I want to capture something and don't even look through the viewfinder. :D
 
V

Vivek

Guest
primitive experience of a OVF that's been fundamental to photography since the 1800's.
If that is true then what Steen asserts is very true.

Notwithstanding all these claims, Ansel Adams used a Wratten #90 filter to help visualise what he saw in B&W.
 

pegelli

Well-known member
If that is true then what Steen asserts is very true.
For framing indeed, for several other aspects of the resulting image I think it's doubtful. Btw, the same statement is true for EVF's, for me they both have their strong points and weaknesses.
 
V

Vivek

Guest
For framing nothing other than functional fingers/hands are needed.


(If you train yourself to “see” in the FL you are working, even that is unnecessary)
 

Shashin

Well-known member
I am definitely in the OVF camp. Higher rez, no lag, and perfect color fidelity.

While I have never really been impressed with EVFs, I do use the LCD. I put a grid projection on it and it just reminds me of ground glass cameras, except for the fact the image is not upside-down and dim...
 

jdphoto

Well-known member
This isn't a one is better than the other debate as pegelli duly notes, "horses for courses". There are certainly moments when using an EVF is beneficial, and the technology of EVF is pretty good. I wonder though, if those refresh rates in the EVF can have any other effects not obvious to the casual photographer.
My model was kind of nervous when taking direction as she didn't have any experience with a camera, but she gained confidence because I was in the moment and able to connect more personally. If I was steeped in peaking with an EVF or distracted by other tricks, I might have missed her expression all together-Who knows?
Perhaps adjusting the color spectrum and lux value of an EVF would offset the effects to a degree and make it more pleasant when shooting.
 
My model was kind of nervous when taking direction as she didn't have any experience with a camera, but she gained confidence because I was in the moment and able to connect more personally. If I was steeped in peaking with an EVF or distracted by other tricks, I might have missed her expression all together-Who knows?
I have heard this said before, but it is not my experience. Seems to me more like folklore. I feel perfectly in the moment with an EVF.
 
V

Vivek

Guest
Not everything should be dissed as fake. May be that was real for him.
 

jdphoto

Well-known member
I have heard this said before, but it is not my experience. Seems to me more like folklore. I feel perfectly in the moment with an EVF.
Folklore doesn't pay the bills and remember this is just my personal experience with shooting portraits using both. There's also, imo, less fatigue associated with an OVF if one doesn't have to constantly adjust to ambient light and then back to the EVF and then back to ambient which is common in a portrait shoot. The technology is certainly improving for EVF's and I think the Leica Q had one of the best. Actually, some probably work more comfortably with EVF because of the ability to disengage with the scene and view it as a more finished, composed image. That's works too. I think it's inevitable that mirrorless cameras would bring about this debate. The ability to transcend traditional ideas is great for technology, but my desire to unplug digitally extends to my cameras too.
 
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