Using TL500/EX1 with optical viewfinder?

Discussion in 'Samsung Forum' started by Oren Grad, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad New to SC

    8
    Feb 17, 2011
    Do any TL500/EX1 users here have experience using the camera with an optical viewfinder?

    A couple of specific questions:

    * Can the camera be turned on and used with the LCD swiveled so that it's closed against the body? I realize that you'd have to flip it open to change any settings. If not, is there any way to keep the LCD turned off, except when you want to change settings?

    * Does the camera remember the last zoom setting when you turn it off?

    Any other thoughts as to why this would or wouldn't work well would be much appreciated.

    I should say, I've been tinkering with a GR Digital which, as many of you will know, is nicely set up for this, between the focus indicator lamp and the fact that you can leave the live view switched off but still be able to make changes in control settings. I'm wondering how close I can get to that with other cameras. The TL500/EX1 seems to have the accessory shoe and the focus indicator lamp, at least.
     
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  2. Wally Billingham

    Wally Billingham SC Regular

    106
    Nov 27, 2010
    Laurel, MD
    since the camera is a zoom and not a prime fixed focal length lens using an optical finder would not really work. In theory you could use one from a rangefinder and mount it to the hot shoe but the issue would be getting that to match up exactly with the lens on the camera as the camera has no indication on the LCD as to what focal length you are so if you used say a 28mm finder setting the lens at 28mm equivalent would be next to impossible to do with any consistency.

    You also can not turn off the LCD and there is no focus indicator lamp besides what is on the LCD. There is an LED light that will help the camera focus in low light but it does not indicate focus.

    It sounds like you would be really happy with something in the Sigma DP line up as you can turn off the LCD and just use a viewfinder if you wish
     
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  3. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia SC Veteran

    242
    Nov 10, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Maybe if you nudge the zoom a bit, the next step up will be 28mm? I don't know, just asking.
     
  4. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad New to SC

    8
    Feb 17, 2011
    Thanks, Wally. Yes, not being able to set the FL easily would tend to defeat the idea. Oh, well.

    The instruction manual shows an indicator lamp on the back of the camera, just to the right of the accessory shoe. It's described as:

    >> Status lamp
    Blinking: When saving a photo or
    video, being read by a computer or
    printer, or out of focus
    Steady: When connecting to a
    computer or in focus <<

    I was thinking that might work as a sort of focus indicator. Perhaps it's not responsive enough to be practical.
     
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  5. Wally Billingham

    Wally Billingham SC Regular

    106
    Nov 27, 2010
    Laurel, MD
    I never noticed that little green light before. Yes it is there and it could work in theory but the problem would be that you have no idea which focal point is in focus. You could set the camera for a focal point however. I leave mine on the center point 100% of the time
     
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  6. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia SC Veteran

    242
    Nov 10, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Someone at DPreview had compared all the available focal lengths and maximum apertures across the TL500 zoom range.

    After 24mm, the next 'step' was 30mm. So maybe it's not so hard to set the camera at 30mm- just one quick nudge from 24mm and you will always be at 30mm (close enough to 28 I think.) That status lamp would seem to be pretty handy, combined with center point AF. With all 3, using an optical viewfinder might be practical...

    I also love the GRD! In some areas it is still unparalleled IMO (JPEG processing, customizable dials/buttons, ergonomic feel) but the old sensor combined with f/2.4 means the TL500 totally outclasses it in moderate to low lighting (in RAW.)

     
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  7. ricardovaste

    ricardovaste SC Regular

    30
    Jan 29, 2011
    UK
    A optical viewfinder does work very well, people have been using them for years on the Panasonic LX series, I'm surprised why people are so dismissive. AFAIK when the screen is facing in, it's turned off, people report it saves battery this way so it onl makes sense that its turned off.

    The lens returned to 24mm everytime you turn it on, but as it doesn't zoom freely it's easy to handle. There are a few specific focal length in the zoom range, so press it twice and you'll get to around 35mm, a nice all-round focal length.

    The blinking light works too, it's why it was put there... Samsung do make a viewfinder for this of course, so it's not like the function was completely overlooked and we're just trying to make it up as we go along. When the light is constant/green, it's in focus.

    I've been wanting to get a viewfinder for sometime and had one a few weeks ago but it was damaged so I returned it. However, I did mount it and it works exactly as i anticipated and very well. Of course, this makes the camera almost completely "P&S", but if you want that quick function it has it's place.
     
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  8. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad New to SC

    8
    Feb 17, 2011
    To bring closure to this one: I ended up going with an LX5. I'm still using the Ricoh 28mm mini-finder. The framelines are quite tight for 28, and actually make a decent match to the 35mm-equivalent field of view in the LX5. That suits me fine, since 35 is my "normal". So I've been using the LX5 primarily with the optical finder, and primarily as though it had a fixed 35mm-e lens. Occasionally I'll turn on the LCD or switch to a different focal length to deal with some special situation.

    Thanks all for the various comments.
     
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  9. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Oren, thank you for bringing us up-to-date. Your viewfinder sounds quite cool. Perhaps you'll be able to get a picture of it on the LX5 at some point.

    In the meantime, I do hope you'll post some of your pictures in some of the image threads. :wink: