Why EVF will never replace OVF for me

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
Mattoid
Regular MemberPosts: 250
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Re: Why EVF will never replace OVF for me
In reply to canonagain123, 11 months ago

canonagain123 wrote:

Since the mirrorless crusaders are relentless, here are my reasons for not going mirrorless:

Because the LCD kills my nightvision, and I'm not ready to replace my eyeballs with a tiny LCD screen. Who knows what it would do to my nightvision in the long term. Fully adapted, I can see things that no EVF could dream of seeing.

I just did some testing. I closed my eyes and let them adapt for a few minutes (after making the room extremely dark, but leaving enough light for my test. I can do that, because this apartment has light sealed window shutters which give me a full control of light.) I wasn't fully adapted, but enough for my testing purposes. I'd set the camera settings earlier so no light from the camera would enter my eyes before I'd looked around. I then looked through the viewfinder, without the green indicator lights inside, to compare what I could see through the OVF. I could see about 1/3 the light through the OVF that I could with my bare eyes. I turned on the LCD VF (instant loss of night vision, I practically went blind, I could see nothing but the LCD and the closest camera buttons) and set it to as high as it would go, f/1.4 1/30s ISO 12,800. No chance, a lot darker than the OVF. I could easily discern the white leg of the clothes drier I was looking at with my bare eyes. I could barely see it through the OVF, and not at all through the eVF (LV). I then took some exposures to figure out the exposure the camera needed to take to match what I saw with my eyes. The matching exposure was roughly f/1.4, ISO 3200, 10 seconds. That wasn't a correctly exposed photo (that would have required 1-2 minute exposure time) because at those light levels I don't see full brightness. It was the exposure that most closely matched what I saw. As soon as I checked the LCD preview, I went practically blind because I lost my night vision. I could see everything on the screen but hardly anything around me where it was a million times darker.

Now how could an EVF help me, even if it didn't kill my nightvision? When it gets dark enough, I have to use my eyes to locate the subjects, precompose the shot, and select the brightest spot in the scene that I then try to locate through the darker OVF. The EVF has no chance of making out almost anything I see on OVF except for a direct light source (a red led), and both the OVF and EVF are miles darker than what I see with my eyes. If I did the math correctly, based on the camera settings, that's 0.015 lux of illumination, or 32 times darker than a scene illuminated by full moon.

Of course I don't usually do photography at those light levels, because even in the dead of the night with nothing but stars for light, it's brighter than that. I pushed the test so far because I wanted to see the differences between my eyes, the OVF, and the eVF (LV).

Needless to say, EVF would have lost even at ISO 819,200. At 1/30s shutter speed (as slow as it would go), the EVF would have needed an ISO of over 1 million to beat the OVF.

Turn the brightness of the EVF right down.  Problem solved.

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