Thursday, April 3, 2014

Get EVIL ... or at least an EV

I got it wrong! Yep, I admit, I really got it wrong.... when questioning the advantage of mirror-less cameras over point&shoots. Don't get me wrong, I love my P&S, the LX7... later more about that.

Since I was 12 years of age, I was using SLR cameras. Of course I had several lenses for several purposes! My workflow was to select the lens for the task, put it on the body carrying the film for the task (no auto-ISO or auto-WB at that time) and stick my eye (the right eye in my case) into the viewfinder. This is how I photographed for decades!

And now you come and take the viewfinder from cameras?! What's the point?!
Well, actually, I bought my Canon G15 because it still had a viewfinder.  Right, this is not a particularly good VF, but, it still works in the old skool way.

Old skool? What do you mean? (I hear you thinking).
A viewfinder, at least the way I personally use it, will create focus when the eye watching it is focused at infinity. Urgh?! I feel you thinking... why that?!
Here's a trick I use for many years (I have not yet seen any photographer telling this trick!): your dominant eye should use the viewfinder of you camera, while the non-dominant eye observes the scene as such!

Dominant eye, what is that?! The dominant eye is the eye you would use to aim a gun (put is simple terms). The dominant eye observes the "subject" (in photography term). The non-dominant eye serves perfectly for observing the scene, setting the background etc.
=> You got 2 eyes (if you are lucky!), use both!

Right... EVIL (EV at least)...

There are many obvious advantages which an electronic viewfinder (EV) can provide:
  1. it shows the field the sensor sees,
  2. it shows the image as amplified by the system,
  3. it shows data about exposure, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc.
But, there are even more important advantaged an EV can provide:
  1. holding the camera close to the face (maybe even hiding it under clothing, e.g. hiding under a hood)
  2. holding the camera very close to your face will force a "brace position", which stabilizes the shot
  3. the EV will enable you to see the scene through one eye and the frame trough the other eye, both in focus...
  4. in low light conditions, the EV will show a scene, which will be invisible to an OV (optical viewfinder).
A main advantage of using EVs to me is that I see all setting of the camera at once.

However, the main advantages of using EVs over BackBodyScreens are:
  • you're not sticking out your camera in someone's face
  • you're not sticking out a camera at the length of your arms, creating additional visibility
  • you're not sticking out your camera at a lever (your arm(s)), creating unwanted shake
  • you are actually aware of your gear!

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