A99 viewfinder - please help

Started Apr 8, 2013 | Discussions
Febs
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Re: A99 viewfinder - please help
In reply to Edward Sargent, Apr 8, 2013

Edward Sargent wrote:

The OPs problem is seeing the EVF in bright sun while wearing glasses, not with the pictures the camera takes.

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Yep indeed. The pictures are all fine. It's the EVF. 

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splashy
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Re: A99 viewfinder - please help
In reply to Febs, Apr 8, 2013

As I said before you should see a bright EVF, are you sure the EVF is on, maybe the EVF stays off because your face is far away from the body.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: A99 viewfinder - please help
In reply to splashy, Apr 8, 2013

splashy wrote:

As I said before you should see a bright EVF, are you sure the EVF is on, maybe the EVF stays off because your face is far away from the body.

That is a possibility too.

OP, switch over to manual EVF versus LCD switch over and see if you still have the issue. It may be that the sensor doesn't sense you using the EVF and keeps LCD going.

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Febs
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Re: A99 viewfinder - please help
In reply to splashy, Apr 8, 2013

splashy wrote:

As I said before you should see a bright EVF, are you sure the EVF is on, maybe the EVF stays off because your face is far away from the body.

The EVF is definitely on. Maybe it's max brightness varies from camera to camera???

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Sonyshine
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Re: A99 viewfinder - please help
In reply to Edward Sargent, Apr 8, 2013

The A99 viewfinder should always be bright and clear. If its not then it is either faulty, a setting is wrong or your technique is at fault.

You do not have to put up with a dark viewfinder - they are very very good indeed.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: A99 viewfinder - please help
In reply to Febs, Apr 8, 2013

Febs wrote:

splashy wrote:

As I said before you should see a bright EVF, are you sure the EVF is on, maybe the EVF stays off because your face is far away from the body.

The EVF is definitely on. Maybe it's max brightness varies from camera to camera???

I don't think brightness is an issue at all. Could you post an image taken with the issue at hand?

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William Porter
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Re: A99 viewfinder - please help
In reply to Sonyshine, Apr 8, 2013

I think I understand the point Sonyshine was trying to make but just for the record (as a "clarification," if you'll permit the pun) the A99's EVF is not always "bright and clear." If you're not using flash, it tends to be pretty much WYSIWYG. So if you have the settings wrong (say, you're in P but have applied -5 EC) then the EVF could show something that's very dark.

Will

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Domenick Creaco
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Re: A99 viewfinder - please help
In reply to Febs, Apr 8, 2013

I believe the problem is that the pupil of the eye opens and closes with darker and brighter light. I too noticed this problem when I bought my son an A65. I compared my A900 with the A65 in bright light and saw the problem. The A900 was just fine while the A65 was dark in the viewfinder. I wouldn't say it is a problem with the EVF but it seems the EVF does not have enough brightness to compensate for the closing of the eye pupil in bright conditions. The eye is like an automatic f/stop responding to ambient brightness while the EVF has a fixed maximum brightness and cannot get bright enough to compensate for the closing of the pupil in bright light.

I addressed this question to a few Sony Reps at PhotoExpo and at PMA but never got a satisfactory response. I think it is a mother nature problem. That is why I am reticent in purchasing an A99 as much as I like the features on this camera. can anyone verify my assumptions?
Domenick Creaco

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William Porter
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sounds normal — try applying some +EC
In reply to Febs, Apr 8, 2013

Fabian,

Congratulations on your new A99. I feel pretty confident that, once you get to know it, you're going to love it.

I've read your original post and some of the follow-up comments. The thing that strikes me is your mention of "bright sunlight." That sounds to me like the most important "clue" in your statement, for those of us who'd like to help you.

The EVF on the A99 (and the A77, etc) does a wonderful job in good "normal" light with a normal dynamic range and moderate (rather than high) contrast. What you see in the EVF is pretty close to what you'd see in a good OVF. But when the light is marginal — really dark or really bright — the EVF behaves in a way that might seem odd at first. Let me give you two examples:

  • In very low light, the A99 seems to brighten the scene a bit. I just pointed the A99 behind me at a shelf in a fairly dark corner of my office. Camera is in P for this test. Viewed through the EVF the scene seems brighter than it does when I put the camera down and view it directly. The white door to my office looks much whiter in the EVF than in "real life." DRO is off. The resulting photo was also brighter than I expected.
  • In very bright light, the opposite effect may occur. I just stepped outside and pointed the A99 up at a cloudy but quite bright midday sky; I was pointing in the direction of the sun. In the EVF the scene looked rather dark, and the resulting photo was also dark.

Note that the EVF was in fact WYSIWYG or close to, in both cases. So what's happening here?

What's happening is that the camera is doing exactly what it's supposed to do — and you're seeing it happen live, in the EVF. The camera is simply exposing for middle gray. Photograph a white wall and it will come out gray — unless you apply positive exposure compensation. All cameras work this way. The difference with the A99 (A77, etc) is that you see the exposure-compensating effect in the viewfinder.

So if the scene is very bright and you want it to look very bright (a) in the EVF and (b) in the resulting photo, then apply some positive exposure compensation.

Will

Febs wrote:

When I shoot in bright daylight the viewfinder image appears very dark and when I shoot at an angle of 45 degree towards the sun, I actually can't see anything in the viewfinder unless I use my left hand to shield the eye from all the surrounding light. I should note here that I'm wearing glasses.

...

Are you guys experiencing the same?? Is there a way to fix this problem? As it stands the A99 seems unsuited for use in bright light?!

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Febs
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Re: A99 viewfinder - please help
In reply to Domenick Creaco, Apr 8, 2013

Domenick Creaco wrote:

I believe the problem is that the pupil of the eye opens and closes with darker and brighter light. I too noticed this problem when I bought my son an A65. I compared my A900 with the A65 in bright light and saw the problem. The A900 was just fine while the A65 was dark in the viewfinder. I wouldn't say it is a problem with the EVF but it seems the EVF does not have enough brightness to compensate for the closing of the eye pupil in bright conditions. The eye is like an automatic f/stop responding to ambient brightness while the EVF has a fixed maximum brightness and cannot get bright enough to compensate for the closing of the pupil in bright light.

I addressed this question to a few Sony Reps at PhotoExpo and at PMA but never got a satisfactory response. I think it is a mother nature problem. That is why I am reticent in purchasing an A99 as much as I like the features on this camera. can anyone verify my assumptions?
Domenick Creaco

Domenico, that's exactly what I'm thinking as well. Thank you for your post.

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Febs
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Re: A99 viewfinder - please help
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, Apr 8, 2013

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

Febs wrote:

splashy wrote:

As I said before you should see a bright EVF, are you sure the EVF is on, maybe the EVF stays off because your face is far away from the body.

The EVF is definitely on. Maybe it's max brightness varies from camera to camera???

I don't think brightness is an issue at all. Could you post an image taken with the issue at hand?

Hello EG,

The images are all spot on, it's just the view through the finder that is bothersome.

Greetings, Fabian

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Sonyshine
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Re: A99 viewfinder - please help
In reply to Febs, Apr 8, 2013

I am afraid this is not the case.

I suggest you compare notes with another Sony SLT user local to you on a sunny day?

It is almost certainly either something you are doing or a lack of understanding on the WYSIWYG nature of EVF screens.

I hope you can quickly find a 'solution' so that it does not spoil your enjoyment of a fine camera.

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Febs
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Re: OK so who lives in Germany...
In reply to Sonyshine, Apr 8, 2013

Sonyshine wrote:

I am afraid this is not the case.

I suggest you compare notes with another Sony SLT user local to you on a sunny day?

It is almost certainly either something you are doing or a lack of understanding on the WYSIWYG nature of EVF screens.

I hope you can quickly find a 'solution' so that it does not spoil your enjoyment of a fine camera.

... so that we can compare EVFs???

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Sonyshine
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Re: OK so who lives in Germany...
In reply to Febs, Apr 8, 2013

Absolutely!

I have learned an awful lot by going out on shoots with other photographers who have similar cameras.

See if there is a local Flickr group for instance?

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VaBoater
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Re: Might be a dumb question?
In reply to William Porter, Apr 8, 2013

Are your glasses polarized?

I can't see very well through the viewfinder or screen in bright light with my polarized glasses and have had to stop wearing them when taking pics.

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Febs
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Re: sounds normal — try applying some +EC
In reply to William Porter, Apr 8, 2013

William Porter wrote:

Fabian,

Congratulations on your new A99. I feel pretty confident that, once you get to know it, you're going to love it.

I've read your original post and some of the follow-up comments. The thing that strikes me is your mention of "bright sunlight." That sounds to me like the most important "clue" in your statement, for those of us who'd like to help you.

The EVF on the A99 (and the A77, etc) does a wonderful job in good "normal" light with a normal dynamic range and moderate (rather than high) contrast. What you see in the EVF is pretty close to what you'd see in a good OVF. But when the light is marginal — really dark or really bright — the EVF behaves in a way that might seem odd at first. Let me give you two examples:

  • In very low light, the A99 seems to brighten the scene a bit. I just pointed the A99 behind me at a shelf in a fairly dark corner of my office. Camera is in P for this test. Viewed through the EVF the scene seems brighter than it does when I put the camera down and view it directly. The white door to my office looks much whiter in the EVF than in "real life." DRO is off. The resulting photo was also brighter than I expected.
  • In very bright light, the opposite effect may occur. I just stepped outside and pointed the A99 up at a cloudy but quite bright midday sky; I was pointing in the direction of the sun. In the EVF the scene looked rather dark, and the resulting photo was also dark.

Note that the EVF was in fact WYSIWYG or close to, in both cases. So what's happening here?

What's happening is that the camera is doing exactly what it's supposed to do — and you're seeing it happen live, in the EVF. The camera is simply exposing for middle gray. Photograph a white wall and it will come out gray — unless you apply positive exposure compensation. All cameras work this way. The difference with the A99 (A77, etc) is that you see the exposure-compensating effect in the viewfinder.

So if the scene is very bright and you want it to look very bright (a) in the EVF and (b) in the resulting photo, then apply some positive exposure compensation.

Will

Febs wrote:

When I shoot in bright daylight the viewfinder image appears very dark and when I shoot at an angle of 45 degree towards the sun, I actually can't see anything in the viewfinder unless I use my left hand to shield the eye from all the surrounding light. I should note here that I'm wearing glasses.

...

Are you guys experiencing the same?? Is there a way to fix this problem? As it stands the A99 seems unsuited for use in bright light?!

Hello William,

I like what the EVF does in dark circumstances. But in bright light it's just too dim. A complete nuisance. What I noticed is that when I pull up the exposure by 1 stop, the EVF would get brighter, kind of okayish, but then my pictures are overexposed too. 

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Febs
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Re: Might be a dumb question?
In reply to VaBoater, Apr 8, 2013

VaBoater wrote:

Are your glasses polarized?

I can't see very well through the viewfinder or screen in bright light with my polarized glasses and have had to stop wearing them when taking pics.

Hey VaBoater,

No my glasses are not polarized. When I take the glasses off, I find the finder is too dim also. It's a bit (but not exactly) like looking at the backdisplay in bright light, also difficult, right?

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BrookerT
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Re: A99 viewfinder - please help
In reply to Febs, Apr 8, 2013

I don't think it's the evf being affected at all. I experience the same thing at times and shielding my eye stops it. It's like trying to look at an lcd in bright sun. I also believe this will affect evf or ovf.

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Leon van Roosmalen
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Re: sounds normal — try applying some +EC
In reply to Febs, Apr 8, 2013

I have the same "problem" in bright sunlight. Í also wear glasses. I shoot with my left eye and when the sun is also on the left there is a lot of light entering the viewfinder reflected from my glasses. Not wearing glasses helps but still there is a gap between my eye and the viewfinder so there is light from the side shining on my eye and the viewfinder. Because of this the image in the EVF lookes dark. If I close that gap with my hand the EVF is OK.

This also happens with the settings effect to off. I dont want to do that because the live histogram doesn't show the effect of exposure compensation when this setting is off.

Greetings Leon

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Febs
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Re: A99 viewfinder - please help
In reply to BrookerT, Apr 8, 2013

BrookerT wrote:

I don't think it's the evf being affected at all. I experience the same thing at times and shielding my eye stops it. It's like trying to look at an lcd in bright sun. I also believe this will affect evf or ovf.

Agree with it but maybe there's more? Have you experienced this? You're outside doing some fun stuff and it's really hot and bright. Then your mum calls for lunch. You go inside the house and in the first instance all seems really dark until after a moment when the eyes adjust to it.

"Going inside the house" is like when you put your eyes to the EVF... 

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