ClearView vs. VF-2

Started May 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
Michael Meissner
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Re: ClearView vs. VF-2
In reply to BobT, May 12, 2013

I wrote the following when I got a clearviewer specially modded to work with my leather case:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/38501501

Personally, I have problems with both VF-2 and clearviewer:

VF-2 problems:

  • VF-2 is useless if you shoot in landscape orientation with polarized sunglasses.  If you shoot in portrait orientation, VF-2 is great.  This is the opposite of the LCD, where you can see landscape mode fine with polarized sunglasses on, but the screen is dimmer if you are shooting in portrait mode.  However, while the LCD screen is dimmer using polarized glasses, you can at least shoot with it.  I cannot use the VF-2 at all in landscape orientation.
  • The VF-2 does not have a lock, and several people have lost theirs.  I wrapped some thin wire around my VF-2's hinge, and put a clip on the end that I attach to the shoulder strap.  They solved this with the VF-3, and presumably the VF-4.
  • You cannot use the VF-2 when you are using a flash, except if you are using the pop-up flash on cameras that have a builtin flash (E-PL1, E-PL2, E-P3, and E-P5).  You also can't use it when you are using the external microphone (SEMA-1) and other accessory port accessories (Penpal, MAL-1, etc.).  I often times have the FL-36 constantly attached to my E-P2, and at other times, I want to shoot movies and use the SEMA-1.  One thing I've meant to so, is somebody found the wires to the flash are still active with using the VF-2, so you could tape/solder wires underneath the VF-2 so that you could use an external flash.
  • The VF-2 is a rather big power hog, and it drains your batteries a lot quicker.  This may be hard to imagine, given the LCD in the VF-2 is much smaller than the LCD on the back of the camera, but it is driving with a refresh rate of 60 fps, and it has more pixels than my E-P2's lcd.  My newer E-PM2 has more pixels, but I haven't used the VF-2 as much.
  • I would worry about packing the camera with the VF-2 mounted, as it would seem likely it would knocked and broken.

Clearviewer problems:

  • It is a minor hassle to unfold the clearviewer, particularly if you have something else in your other hand.  I often times in things like renaissance faires or steampunk events will go with the camera turned on and in my right hand by my side, and if I see a decisive moment coming up, I will raise the camera to my eye, take the picture and put it back down.  This tends to be less annoying that stalking somebody with the camera up to your eye.
  • When i have the camera dangling on my shoulder strap, I don't like the clearviewer lens bouncing on my side, even folded up, but this is fairly minor.  You could buy the one that fits on the hot-shoe, but then you have the problem of using it with flash.
  • You do have to have your eye in just the right position to see the screen (particularly with glasses), and depending on the camera, you might not be able to see the left/right sides as clearly without moving your head.  I find it takes a small amount of time to get used to it when putting the the clearviewer on after I haven't used it in awhile.

The rare few times I manually focus, the VF-2 is far superior for such focusing.  Due to the issue of polarized sunglasses, I tend to use the clearviewer when I use either one for shooting out in the sun.  My go to camera for shooting in the sun is still my E-5.

 Michael Meissner's gear list:Michael Meissner's gear list
Olympus C-2100 UZ Olympus Tough TG-2 Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus E-5 Olympus PEN E-PM2 +19 more
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