LX7 external EVF

Started May 18, 2013 | Questions
dpreviewdotcom-user
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LX7 external EVF
May 18, 2013

Stupid question: why would anyone need the external EVF when you can shoot with the built-in monitor?

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Jack Brandt217
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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to dpreviewdotcom-user, May 18, 2013

Because many of us believe it is better to bring the camera up to your eye rather than hold it at arms length in order to see the scene better and hold the camera steadyer like a real photographer. You may or may not see this as important. Many on this forum also believe that a better alternative is a Clear viewer (Google it) which attaches to your camera and does the same thing but is much less bulky, less expensive and affords you the chance to cut down outside light from the .

Jack

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carizi
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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to dpreviewdotcom-user, May 18, 2013

Wild guess here: you shoot in 100% optimal conditions all of the time?!

I do not.  Sometimes the LCD gets so glary that all I see is my own reflection and have to literally rely on the focus beeping as indication of "nailed" focusing.

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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to carizi, May 18, 2013

Interesting discussion. The fact of the EVF is the very reason I may opt for trading my RX100 in on the LX7 since I am one of those people who have a terrible time seeing the LCD screen in daylight and have difficulty composing images at arm's length.

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JamesD
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walkaround
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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to Jack Brandt217, May 18, 2013

Jack Brandt217 wrote:

Because many of us believe it is better to bring the camera up to your eye rather than hold it at arms length in order to see the scene better and hold the camera steadyer like a real photographer.

Now, is this type of response really necessary? I'm pretty sure one can be a "real photographer" while using the LCD.

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Travis
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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to JamesD2, May 19, 2013

JamesD2 wrote:

Interesting discussion. The fact of the EVF is the very reason I may opt for trading my RX100 in on the LX7 since I am one of those people who have a terrible time seeing the LCD screen in daylight and have difficulty composing images at arm's length.

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JamesD
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For me, adding an EVF to either the LX7 or RX100 negates the advantage of having a very compact camera.  In that case, I might as well use something bigger with a built-in EVF and articulating LCD.  The whole point of both of these cameras (to me anyway) is having the smallest body possible with the best picture quality and lens possible.  Both cameras succeed in this.

With the LCD brightness turned on Sunny mode on the RX100, it is quite useable even in bright light.  Just prepare to take extra batteries, which are cheap and ubiquitous.  On the other hand, I am quite intrigued by the Clearviewer, which is something I could see myself using on occasion.

For the LX7, I guess the LVF2 is a good option for times when you might want to pop it on when you really need it.  But there's no way I'd leave an EVF or Clearviewer on either of these cameras all the time.

Travis

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SwatOx
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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to dpreviewdotcom-user, May 19, 2013

I use the ClearViewer, but only on a sunny/bright day: otherwise there is a lot of guess work on composition. The ClearViewer is really a magnifying glass: more like a large plastic magnifying glass. It won't give you sharpness or anything fancy, but it is a life saver *for me* on sunny days. And I take it off and put in my pocket when not in use. I probably use it 25% of the time, if that. But it is really useful. Of course, the EVF sold for the LX7 is no doubt a lot better -- but it is bulky...and expensive....

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Erik Ohlson
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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to Travis, May 19, 2013

Travis wrote:

JamesD2 wrote:

Interesting discussion. The fact of the EVF is the very reason I may opt for trading my RX100 in on the LX7 since I am one of those people who have a terrible time seeing the LCD screen in daylight and have difficulty composing images at arm's length.

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JamesD
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For me, adding an EVF to either the LX7 or RX100 negates the advantage of having a very compact camera.  In that case, I might as well use something bigger with a built-in EVF and articulating LCD.  The whole point of both of these cameras (to me anyway) is having the smallest body possible with the best picture quality and lens possible.  Both cameras succeed in this.

That's the idea - as small and therefore pocketable as Possible.

With the LCD brightness turned on Sunny mode on the RX100, it is quite useable even in bright light.  Just prepare to take extra batteries, which are cheap and ubiquitous.  On the other hand, I am quite intrigued by the Clearviewer, which is something I could see myself using on occasion.

For the LX7, I guess the LVF2 is a good option for times when you might want to pop it on when you really need it.

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But there's no way I'd leave an EVF or Clearviewer on either of these cameras all the time.

On the contrary - perhaps you confuse the EVF & the Clearviewer. The EVF is a large lump on top of the camera and undoubtedly gives a good view.

BUT, the Clearviewer takes up very little room, folding flat against the camera back:

It adds about 1/4 inch to the camera thickness right behind the LCD but doesn't actually touch the LCD so it tends to protect it when in a pocket.

Then it folds out for use:

You kook into themagnifying lens just like looking into a Telescope, with your eye right up to the magnifier (and in my case, my thumb ):

And when the right hand is also on the camera, the hands form a nice, dark, "tunnel" which keeps glare off the LCD extermely well, so you can see focus, composition Icons & Histograms very well.

These photos show a CV + a ZS# - I carry my ZS19 in my pocket ALWAYS - and always with the clearviewer attached - I would not have it any other way.

And it costs LOTS less than the EVF.

-Erik

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Mudbug104
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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to Travis, May 19, 2013

This is only my opinion and reflects what works for me personally.  YMMV

I recently took a photo vacation to airplane museums in Arizona and So. California.  Extremely bright sun was the normal lighting condition. The light is not ony from the sky, but the ground acts like a "reflector" as well.

I had significant issues with trying to use the LCD screen to frame my photos.  I confess to being a serious "frame filler".  Without a viewfinder, using the LCD only, I did manage to cut the nose or tail off a number of airplane pix. I couldn't really see the LCD clearly in these conditions and was often guessing or trying to use other parts of the scene to frame the target of the photo.

The first thing I did after returning home was to order the external viewfinder for the LX7. I like a viewfinder.  I am used to pressing the camera up against my forehead to steady it before pressing the shutter button. It also enables me to get a better hold on this little camera.

Anyway, that's how I roll.

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Erik Ohlson
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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to SwatOx, May 19, 2013

SwatOx wrote:

I use the ClearViewer, but only on a sunny/bright day: otherwise there is a lot of guess work on composition. The ClearViewer is really a magnifying glass: more like a large plastic magnifying glass.

It is a GLASS magnifier.

It won't give you sharpness or anything fancy,

It ia sharp enough to EASILY see the individual dots on the LCD.

but it is a life saver *for me* on sunny days. And I take it off and put in my pocket when not in use.

Are you sure you are talking about a folding Clearviewer, and not the early - and now superceded version which slips into the hotshoe? If the camera HAS a hotshoe?

It would take time to remove & re-install it - I just flip it closed as I return my camera - in it's plastic bag - to my pocket, and flip it open as I draw it from my pocket to take a picture, in the same motion as turning on the camera.

I probably use it 25% of the time, if that. But it is really useful. Of course, the EVF sold for the LX7 is no doubt a lot better -- but it is bulky...and expensive....

I haven't seen the add-on EVF, but I do have 2 cameras with EVFs, and the Clearviewer is at least as good - maybe better, as the image is much larger.

The "Regular" CV does blur the extreme corners a bit which doesn't bother me - rarely are the extreme corners important in a composition & I can actively 'look' for the corners.

HOWEVER, should the corners bother you, get a Premium (slightly less magnification) CV and the corners are just fine.

Recently I was testing some other cameras & I recall looking out the door and seeing some of our wild turkeys displaying, so I went back in, grabbed the ZS19 (for it's 20x Zoom) - and discovered that the Clearviewer was on the other camera! Gadzooks! I couldn't utilize the zoom at all!

That taught me a lesson: ALWAYS have your clearviewer on your camera (and; it protects the LCD, too)

I use mine 100% of the time. 

-Erik

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danielsonkin
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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to dpreviewdotcom-user, May 19, 2013

dpreviewdotcom-user wrote:

Stupid question: why would anyone need the external EVF when you can shoot with the built-in monitor?

I have a EVF on my LX and a Clearviewer on my ZS and I love using them both.  They are on the cameras all the time.  Personally, I just enjoy the viewfinder experience.  I have used a viewfinder for over fifty years on cameras, and although I use the LCD on my cameras some of the time, I like how I can better analyze a scene with the viewfinder. As Jack mentioned, I also like the additional benefit of stabilizing the camera in this position. A lot of people (younger?) are so used to seeing the world through an LCD, maybe its just not in their body memory the way it is for us old-timers. BTW, it's not a stupid question.

Daniel

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rollingstone
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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to danielsonkin, May 19, 2013

Well, after a bright day in Wine country (Paso Robles area of California), I forked out the $160.00 for the EVF. It was too hard to frame in the bright CA sunshine. Given that the LX7 is so good in many areas, I decided that the external evf is worth it when in bright outdoor situations. I will leave it unmounted and only mount it when outside. This keeps the camera very portable.

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Veducci
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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to walkaround, May 19, 2013

walkaround wrote:

Jack Brandt217 wrote:

Because many of us believe it is better to bring the camera up to your eye rather than hold it at arms length in order to see the scene better and hold the camera steadyer like a real photographer.

Now, is this type of response really necessary? I'm pretty sure one can be a "real photographer" while using the LCD.

Heh,heh,heh.   Obviously, lots of folks are getting some good images holding their cameras at arms length (thanks to Image stabilization) but lets be honest , it conveys an amateurish look if nothing else.  IMO it`s an awkward way to use a camera especially when there are better alternatives available for most higher end compacts.

Of course the LCD at arms length works good enough for most folks snapping pics in most situations  but an EVF or Clearviewer offers a solid advantage.

The clearviewer (or EVF) definitely allows the user a solid 3 point stabilization  ( vs extended arms )which is a huge advantage when shooting in low light situations at slower than usual shutter speeds.

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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to Travis, May 19, 2013

Travis wrote:

VF to either the LX7 or RX100 negates the advantage of having a very compact camera.  In that case, I might as well use something bigger with a built-in EVF and articulating LCD.  The whole point of both of these cameras (to me anyway) is having the smallest body possible with the best picture quality and lens possible.  Both cameras succeed in this.

With the LCD brightness turned on Sunny mode on the RX100, it is quite useable even in bright light.  Just prepare to take extra batteries, which are cheap and ubiquitous.  On the other hand, I am quite intrigued by the Clearviewer, which is something I could see myself using on occasion.

For the LX7, I guess the LVF2 is a good option for times when you might want to pop it on when you really need it.  But there's no way I'd leave an EVF or Clearviewer on either of these cameras all the time.

Travis

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Here's how I would respond to this. First off, we're all different with different eye sight which therefore give varying abilities to see an LCD screen even at its brightest setting. Furthermore, I noticed on the Panasonic videos on YouTube that Charlie Waite (famous English landscape photographer who frequently uses the LX cameras in his workshops and his own photography), makes use of the external EVF. He carries it in his pocket and when the situation calls for it, he puts it into the hot shoe. Sometimes low level shots are made much easier with this EVF which I believe is articulating. Carrying the LX in one pocket and the EVF in another is no real problem but being unable to see the LCD screen clearly is.

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JamesD
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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to danielsonkin, May 19, 2013

danielsonkin wrote:

A lot of people (younger?) are so used to seeing the world through an LCD, maybe its just not in their body memory the way it is for us old-timers. BTW, it's not a stupid question.

Daniel

And herein lies, perhaps, one of the reasons for varying acceptance of the EVF - age. My eyes are not what they once were and I have considerable difficulty seeing the LCD screen in daylight. In addition, stabilizing the camera against my cheek rather than holding it out at arm's length helps when I compose. I'd also add that decades of photography using various slrs (all with viewfinders) has made using a camera without a viewfinder somewhat awkward for me. The expense of the external viewfinder is really of little importance given the low cost of the LX7. By the time you factor in the added cost, you're still under the cost of my RX100 and now have a viewfinder and a slightly faster lens.

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JamesD
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Erik Ohlson
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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to JamesD2, May 19, 2013

JamesD2 wrote:

Travis wrote:

VF to either the LX7 or RX100 negates the advantage of having a very compact camera.  In that case, I might as well use something bigger with a built-in EVF and articulating LCD.  The whole point of both of these cameras (to me anyway) is having the smallest body possible with the best picture quality and lens possible.  Both cameras succeed in this.

With the LCD brightness turned on Sunny mode on the RX100, it is quite useable even in bright light.  Just prepare to take extra batteries, which are cheap and ubiquitous.  On the other hand, I am quite intrigued by the Clearviewer, which is something I could see myself using on occasion.

For the LX7, I guess the LVF2 is a good option for times when you might want to pop it on when you really need it.  But there's no way I'd leave an EVF or Clearviewer on either of these cameras all the time.

Travis

-- hide signature --

Here's how I would respond to this. First off, we're all different with different eye sight which therefore give varying abilities to see an LCD screen even at its brightest setting. Furthermore, I noticed on the Panasonic videos on YouTube that Charlie Waite (famous English landscape photographer who frequently uses the LX cameras in his workshops and his own photography), makes use of the external EVF. He carries it in his pocket and when the situation calls for it, he puts it into the hot shoe. Sometimes low level shots are made much easier with this EVF which I believe is articulating. Carrying the LX in one pocket and the EVF in another is no real problem but being unable to see the LCD screen clearly is.

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JamesD
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I don't want to beat this to death - some will say I already have 

Before I found the CV, I had my own device - an old Kodak slide viewer with the diffuser removed:

That required carrying it in another pocket opening and aligning it with the camera each time it was used - each step very minor, but it resulted in many missed shots.

When I saw the Clearviewer, with all the mounting problems solved, I was sold and now - some 5+ years later, I still am.

Like so many, after 60 years of shooting with a viewfinder, arm's length just puts me off - although with Panasonic's super OIS - and the high shutter speeds I get as a bonus when shooting wide open (with ZS19) - camera movement is non-existent.

I much prefer the larger "EVF" which the CV provides to the small EVF of my FZ18, and flipping the CV open and closed concurrent with turning the camera on & off is just 'second nature'.

Placing something too large for a trouser pocket on a camera, or fixing it to the camera every time is - to me - just too much trouble.

Naturally, "YMMV" but I actually think that the objection to the CV is that people just don't realize that it is held right up to the eye, like a telescope - in my illustration, my thumb is flexed a bit too much - the thumb and finger are pressed next to the eye much like a rubber "eye cup" on a telescope or dSLR.

Even at our local camera club, people try to look through it at arm's length!

Anyway, Cheers,  -Erik

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NIK11
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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to dpreviewdotcom-user, May 19, 2013

dpreviewdotcom-user wrote:

Stupid question: why would anyone need the external EVF when you can shoot with the built-in monitor?

As others have said, some people like to frame and carefully compose their shots. Even the best LCD's are not good enough for this in harsh lighting. Try framing when you are surrounded by bright refeflective surfaces and facing directly into low sun - impossible. EVF's are not perfect, but much better than LCD for this.

Also, most people over the age of 50 need reading glassses, meaning without them the LCD is often out of focus even in ideal lighting. Donning and doffing glasses whilst shooting on the hoof is a pain. An EVF with dioptre adjustment solves this problem.

Nick

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James Pilcher
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Let's rephrase the question...
In reply to dpreviewdotcom-user, May 19, 2013

dpreviewdotcom-user wrote:

Stupid question: why would anyone need the external EVF when you can shoot with the built-in monitor?

Why would anyone need the built-in monitor when you can shoot with the external EVF? 

I'm only pointing out that the question can be asked from opposite ends of the spectrum, in the very same way answers will come from opposite ends of the spectrum.

I put the EVF on my LX7 as soon as it arrived. I have never taken it off the camera except to prove to myself that the locking mechanism works and disengages properly!

Jim Pilcher
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Chris62
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Re: Let's rephrase the question...
In reply to James Pilcher, May 19, 2013

LX7 is my first camera without viewfider and what I can say ... working without one is very difficult in some lighting conditions.

I want to buy this external LVF2 (also for GX1) but I wonder what I can do withi it if the next camera will be uncompatibilie with this type - the problem is in the price in my country LVF2 costs over 300$!!!!

It means it isthe  second LX7 for people who can buy it in this price.

When we look to MFT market the new Olympus is equipped in newer better viefinder (optional) so probably Panasonic will create the better one soon.

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Chris62
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Re: LX7 external EVF
In reply to dpreviewdotcom-user, May 19, 2013

Sometimes shooting without viewfider is very uncomfortable.

LX7 is my firs camera without viewfinder and the last.

In theory there is an option to buy external LVF2 but it costs over 300$ in my country
In such price people buy LX7 camera even cheaper...

Additional issue is the question if this viewfinder will be useful on the next camera.

So in sunny days I use my old NX10 (APC-C CSC.)

The problem is when I need to take small camera with zoom and there are  very bright lighting conditions - than working with the screen only is terrible.

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