1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

EVF for RX1 - Second Thoughts

Discussion in 'Sony RX1 Forum' started by Paul Giguere, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. Paul Giguere

    Paul Giguere www.paulgiguere.com

    97
    May 4, 2011
    Wayland, MA USA
    Hi all,

    I bought an EVF for my RX1 when it came out and after several days I returned the EVF. Maybe I'm just spoiled by optical viewfinders, but I found the EVF to be "unreal." The quality of the image looked like a small LCD screen (and not a very good one at that although I understand this is probably as good as they get right now) and was very contrasty (not showing the scene truly as it was truly being lit but something more akin to fluorescent lights that are too bright for the room). Basically I felt that other than for very basic composition and being able to see camera data, the EVF was actually inferior to the LCD screen which can also show a more true to life preview of what you will get when you press the shutter button.

    Yes, it can be difficult to see the LCD in bright light but I think most people haven't really tried it (it is quite good in all but direct on sunlight when you are using the "Sunlight" setting for the LCD brightness). Also some people don't like holding the camera out in front of them but most people who compose using the LCD (and know what they are doing) will, in reality, hold the camera closer to their face or, like me, to my chest where I can still see the image (kind of like how I used to use a twin-lens reflex camera). Only tourists (no offense to tourists intended) hold the camera out with fully extended arms (aka: the stinky diaper phenomenon) and I think this is overemphasized by people who hold this particular way of shooting in disdain.

    Anyway, am I missing something here? Is there some advantage that I don't get or understand? Do you really get used to it over time? I'm asking all of these questions because I'm having second thoughts about the EVF for the RX1 and perhaps I should rethink it.

    Thanks,

    Paul

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Paul, to the specific point about "people who hold this particular way of shooting in disdain", I fully agree with you. I frequently see the term 'hold the camera out in front of my like a tourist' used with derision. I shoot a LOT without a viewfinder of any type and I generally hold the camera within about 8-10 inches of my face, with my elbows braced against my body, and I don't find this position has any disadvantage relative to using a viewfinder in terms of stability or being able to really compose the image well or anything else, at least with normal lenses. With a long telephoto I prefer a viewfinder because I like all the stability of the additional anchor point, and with my OMD (which is what I use for long tele work), the EVF is stabilized and that adds another level of aid in framing. And with cameras with flip up LCDs I often flip it up and use it like a TLR, shooting at waist or belly level. And frankly, shooting with a camera at belly level, stabilized by the strap around my neck, I think its as stable as it would ever be held to my eye with a viewfinder.

    To your larger point, I sometimes prefer using viewfinders and sometimes don't and I can't find any rhyme or reason or pattern to when I do and when I don't. I can't explain it. I prefer a really good OVF to an EVF, but I'm fine with a good EVF. I currently don't have any cameras with OVFs (I have had an X100 and X-Pro which had them and some SLRs in the film days) but I do have a little 28mm hotshoe mounted OVF that I can occasionally use with my Nikon A (and did use with the Sigma DP1M loaner I've had), but I find those little snap on OVFs with no shooting information to be pretty close to useless unless you just absolutely cannot see the LCD. But, as you say, many of today's LCDs are getting good enough to work well enough even in the brightest sun. For street shooting I almost always prefer shooting without a viewfinder, but I've got a few street shots I like a lot that I did with one. For landscapes and architectural shooting that requires really precise framing, I like having one, but it still depends on the camera and the day and how I'm feeling whether I use it or not...

    That said, I do prefer shooting the RX1 with the EVF to shooting without it. I occasionally leave it off just for somewhat less bulk when carrying the camera and I don't mind shooting with it that way. But I prefer it with, even if the EVF doesn't give quite as accurate a picture as the LCD. Maybe its because the RX1 just feels like such an incredibly substantial camera that it just feels right holding it to my eye more often than not? I can't really explain it. My Nikon "A" I prefer shooting without any sort of viewfinder and I strongly suspect I'd feel that way even if it had a built in EVF or OVF. The Fujis I've had that had OVFs and the XE1 I currently have (with only an EVF) I sometimes use with just the LCD and sometimes use the OVF/EVF. With the XE1 I use the EVF more often than not because the LCD isn't that great and the EVF is a pretty good one (and is built in). With my OMD, it seems to depend largely on the lens. With long lenses I usually use the EVF, with wider lenses I almost never do.

    I love having the option of a viewfinder and I'd love it if everyone used Fuji's hybrid OVF/EVF approach, but nobody else does and I don't even own a Fuji with the hybrid viewfinder at the moment. I prefer an EVF to a dumb OVF with no shooting information in it. And sometimes I prefer to shoot without one at all. I can't justify any of it. Like almost anything else in photography, its largely a matter of personal preference. And my preferences seem to depend on the camera I'm using and the day of the week - they're all over the place...

    If you prefer using the RX1 without, I wouldn't worry that you're somehow doing something "wrong" - if it feels right to you, it IS right for you!

    -Ray
     
  3. rpavich

    rpavich SC Veteran

    267
    Jul 17, 2013
    I'm going to agree with Ray...and I'd only add, you'll get used to it, I know I sort of felt the same way at first but I do like the "immersion" that you get from it where you can see your subject clearly and brightly. (But I don't see where it's "too bright" or "fake bright"...it seems to represent the exposure you'll get pretty well...I use it all of the time that way...to dial in +/- EV while looking through the finder to fine tune the exposure)

    You may not know that when you compose using the EVF, in a pitch dark room, it lights up as if the lights were on, which allows you to trigger flashes or take a long exposure...something that you can't do with just the LCD or OVF...

    Either way; it's a matter of preference, and I (like Ray) go back and forth (but mostly have it on as I don't like shooting from an LCD.)
     
  4. Paul Giguere

    Paul Giguere www.paulgiguere.com

    97
    May 4, 2011
    Wayland, MA USA
    Thanks to both of you for responding to my questions. I guess I should just ignore the reviews and such (many of which promote the use of the EVF as essential) and just keep shooting the way I feel most comfortable. I don't think I need to plunk down $450 for the EVF if it will be something that rarely finds its way on to the camera. In actual fact, I use a ThumbGrip on the hot shoe (which prevents an EVF anyway) and I find that works great for me for handling. Anyway, it is the results that matter after all and I'm quite happy with what I'm getting out of the RX1. Thanks again.

    Best,

    Paul


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  5. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    I shoot whichever way works and frankly I LOVE having the option to use the EVF for bright light and stability, but use the LCD when it's a better choice. I don't have an RX1, but all my cameras have EVF's of one type or another.

    I just recently got the Fujifilm X100 and I like now having the THREE choices of OVF, EVF, and LCD.

    Although I agree with you, Paul, about the unnatural look of an EVF image, it really isn't any worse than the LCD and it was more of a psychological barrier to me at first to use one. Over time, I've become an EVF convert due to the ability to review pics if I need to in bright light -- though I have auto-review turned off on all cameras as I hate that. The informational accuracy and controllable complexity of the presentation is often superior on EVF's as well.

    With what some accessory EVF's cost, though, they should also do my dishes, lol.

    So, after decades of OVF's on mostly SLR's, I'm now an EVF convert but not a partisan, lol. I like them as a tool even though they are "artificial" in every sense of the word.
     
  6. LisaO

    LisaO SC Regular

    123
    Jul 11, 2010
    As one who needs reading glasses but not glasses for distance the EVF is important for me because I can't focus on the back of the camera without my glasses. If I didn't have this issue it wouldn't be important though being able to tilt the EVF viewfinder up and look down into it works well doing street photography as it is less obvious than holding a camera in front of your face.
     
  7. rpavich

    rpavich SC Veteran

    267
    Jul 17, 2013
    Not to derail this thread, Lisa but I checked out your flickr photostream, nice stuff. I see that you hung out with Matt Grainger a bit eh?
     
  8. LisaO

    LisaO SC Regular

    123
    Jul 11, 2010
    Yes, I did Matt's Lighting workshop in New York in March. I am a photoworkshopaholic too. I am working on a workshop a month this year. Matt Granger puts on a good well organized and informative workshop. He is well organized and efficient. He is know as that Nikon Guy but he really is not camera specific (he recently got a Canon D1X). He has nothing against compacts but he is more of a big camera guy.