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MicroOLED promises even greater electronic viewfinder resolution

By dpreview staff on Jan 27, 2012 at 23:24 GMT

French manufacturer MicroOLED has announced a 5 million dot OLED suitable for use as an electronic viewfinder - far beyond the resolution of the current best units used in recent Sony cameras. The 5.2M effective dots mean it can display 1280x1024 pixel resolution in color, assuming a four-dots-per-pixel layout. Imaging Resource has written an  article in which they suggest it could spell the end of the optical viewfinder.

They also point out that the company (majority owned by French defense company Photonis), is targeting the high-end photography, industrial and military markets with its product, rather than the more mass-market products in which Sony has included its 1024x768 pixel (2.8M dot) OLED viewfinders.


Press Release

MicroOLED introduces highest pixel density OLED microdisplay

MicroOLED's new 5.4 mega pixel 0.61 inch diagonal microdisplay gives users SXGA resolution in full color at half the power consumption of competing products

Grenoble, France, January 27, 2012-MicroOLED, a maker of highly power-efficient superior image quality microdisplays for near-to-eye applications, today introduced a new 5.4 million pixel density 0.61 inch diagonal, low power consumption OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Display) microdisplay on silicon for applications demanding high picture quality, such as professional camera and camcorder equipment, night vision systems and head-mounted displays used in surgery.

The ultra-compact 5.4 million-pixel microdisplay with a sub-pixel pitch of 4.7 micrometres by 4.7 micrometres is the highest pixel density OLED microdisplay available today. By doubling the pixel density of comparable products, MicroOLED has eliminated the gap between pixels. With no black matrix present, the resulting image resolution is of the highest quality. This makes the 5.4 million-pixel 0.61 inch diagonal microdisplay most suitable for defense, medical and professional camera applications that demand sharp images with very smooth transitional tones.

High contrast (maximum 100,000:1) and high uniformity (96 per cent) also play key roles in picture quality. Depending on how one drives the OLED microdisplay, it can perform using as low as 0.2W, half the power consumption of other products in its category.  MicroOLED achieves this low level power consumption even when the fully digital video input is embedded.

"We are really excited by the market potential of our new 5.4 million pixel density 0.61 inch diagonal OLED microdisplay that is superior in picture quality to any product in its category," said Eric Marcellin-Dibon, CEO of MicroOLED. "This OLED microdisplay is already creating quite a stir among world leaders in imaging products who commend the high pixel density and the remarkable image quality. Moreover, the current trend in replacing optics with electronics components fits excellently with our ability to produce this exceptional picture quality in miniature format. We see many opportunities opening up in existing applications and new markets as a result."

MicroOLED will market the 5.4 million-pixel density 0.61 inch diagonal microdisplay to address needs in three areas: head-mounted displays used by surgeons, where high resolution and quality of colors and contrast are a must; professional camera and camcorders, where picture quality is key; and night vision applications, where heightened contrast and uniformity enable defense and security professionals to improve the performance of detection and identification equipment.

The 5.4 million-pixel density microdisplay comes in full color (16 million colors), SXGA or monochrome formats (2,560 by 2,048 pixels), both with digital video input. It meets the standard environmental operating requirements for military applications. The new product builds on MicroOLED's exclusive OLED patent technology that is recognized for its ability to eliminate defects common in other microdisplays, such as color non-uniformity or fixed pattern noise.

Comments

Total comments: 215
12
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (Jan 16, 2013)

TOF and howardroark, in DSLRs light is projected onto a matte focusing screen from where it travels in a new direction through the prism. You can't watch directly through a matte screen, it is designed to break the light's path.
http://adrienchan.wordpress.com
/2011/01/31/cleaning-your-dslr-sensor-viewfinder/

0 upvotes
spencerberus
By spencerberus (Feb 17, 2012)

Any improvements in EVFs is welcome, the sooner this technology is available the better. I'm not at all anti-EVF, but I'm always pro-quality. As a Micro Four Thirds users, this is welcome news.

1 upvote
Edgar_in_Indy
By Edgar_in_Indy (Jan 31, 2012)

I really wish the LCD screen makers and the camera makers would stop referring to how many "dots" their displays have. Nobody ever talks about "dots" in the real world, and this causes confusion for people who think they must be referring to pixels.

It would be like somebody stating their salary in pennies instead of dollars, just so they can throw around a bigger number. I blame it all on the marketing department.

A while back, I was thinking of upgrading from my Pentax K-x, to the K-r, partly because the K-r boasted a new LCD with "920k" dots. Well, 1280x720 is 921,600, so I mistakenly thought that the K-r screen could display the full resolution of 720p video, which would help with manual focusing during video. Luckily, I found out about this "dots" business before I bought the K-r on a mistaken premise.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jan 31, 2012)

I'm afraid it's not so simple. In fact at least one company still refers to dots as pixels - which would have been more confusing, since several dots are required to represent what would usually be considered a pixel.

The complication comes, however, because there are several different dot patterns used for screens. For instance a 614k dot PenTile screen can convey essentially the same resolution as a 920k conventional RGB array. Believe me, if there were an easier way, we'd use it.

0 upvotes
Edgar_in_Indy
By Edgar_in_Indy (Feb 1, 2012)

It seems to me that it *is* that simple. Regardless of how you define dots, and how many dots make up a pixel, don't you still end up with a final effective resolution?

For example, my K-x screen is 640x480, and the new viewfinder screen being discussed here is apparently 1280x1024. So why not use that number? Or why not multiply that number out, just like we do for camera sensors. So that 1280x1024 screen would be a 1.3 megapixel screen. But in this article, they call it a "5 million dot" screen.

2 upvotes
bushi
By bushi (Feb 1, 2012)

...well, the pixel resoluton notion is in fact misleading, number of "dots" is absolute, and number of "pixels" is prone to trickery, as Samsung Galaxy S owners should know best - in that screen, Pentile GRGB pattern is marketed as 800x480, ie standard Android hi-res screens of it's days, but unfortunately, unlike traditional full-RGB pixels, they have conveniently (for them) counted each RG, BG pair as a full pixel. So, the stated resolution was in fact "algorythmic, sub-pixel rendering" BS resolution, and the actual, physical number of "dots" was significantly lower (and perceived visual sharpness, too), than competing traditional RGB LCDs of the day.

3 upvotes
wutsurstyle
By wutsurstyle (Jan 30, 2012)

A good advance in tech indeed. I welcome the improvements because it helps those who like it. Hopefully it doesn't make the OVF obsolete because there are impressive limits to the human eye..around 1,000,000:1 (20 f-stops) dynamic range I think. Also, what about refresh rate? Fast moving objects anyone?

Edit: Come to think of it..even though the contrast ratio of the screen is wide, isn't the picture being displayed still dependent on the dynamic range of the sensor sending it information??

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Jan 30, 2012)

I'm spoiled rotten by GF1 w/20mm lens. I'm getting great pics and use this cam as the IQ standard that needs to be improved before I move on or up. I need fidelity between what the sensor is seeing and what I'm seeing and I'm getting it on the GF1 display. EVF or OVF as such will not give it to me unless and until the sensor is part of the equation.

Sensors and cams today struggle with WB. New LEDs used for general lighting change things, too. I use spot metering and I want the display to reflect correct exposure (GF1, again, is very good at this). I think OLED, as organic as it might be, tends to be over-saturated -- which is great for the couch potato in all of us -- but if a get a great EVF I want the see the sensor's colors when adjusting for WB.

WB comes to the forefront when you start making great pics without a flash. The whole world changes.

So I say fantastique to the new EVF -- just don't need fantasy colors.

0 upvotes
Mike Walters
By Mike Walters (Jan 30, 2012)

There is no doubting that at some stage in the near future EVF's will have more functionality than OVF's, however currently the OVF is better for the purpose for which it was designed than the EVF. I await with interest to see how EVF's progress.
I have to say though, I dont think the developement of the EVF is that important to photography (if at all)...it may just make it a bit easier but if you understand photography and the tools you use to take photographs it will not help you take better photographs. It might make cameras a little lighter and smaller but it seems the expectations of people today is to have everything made easier for them so that they can put as little effort into things as possible.

1 upvote
olyflyer
By olyflyer (Jan 30, 2012)

Good news. Now they just have to make cameras which can handle this without lag.

0 upvotes
jsandjs
By jsandjs (Jan 30, 2012)

Exactly. OVF is continuous and EVF has a refresh rate.

0 upvotes
chrisnfolsom
By chrisnfolsom (Jan 30, 2012)

One point missing here is what this advancement can do for interfacing with digital devices in general - a viewfinder but integrated with your computer, maps, phone so you can overlap information - take emails in you viewfinder perhaps, or in the future just have glasses and leave the still/video to a box that has a lens and a sensor - why replicate displays for computers/phones/cameras and such (I know there are some reasons...).

In regards to health though there is a problem with viewing through a viewfinder if the refresh rate is too low, and some people can get headaches focusing so close for a long time.

And don't forget the hidden bogeyman of the age of electronics - Signal Processing. So much more will come - good or bad - with processing of the image - 3D, Lytron processing, HDR, focusing, edge detection, tagging, management - what we do now with photography will seem rather backwards in just a few years. It will be interesting and distressing at the same time!

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (Jan 30, 2012)

Digital viewfinders will ultimately overtake optical viewfinders for the same reasons that digital photography overtook film photography: because it's better and more convenient. Some people don't believe it right now, in the same way that some film photographers didn't believe that digital would replace film. Just like the digital vs film discussions, people will need to realize that a digital viewfinder doesn't look *exactly* like an optical viewfinder, but that doesn't mean the digital viewfinder is worse. In fact, we'll see that digital viewfinders will have a lot of advantages over an optical viewfinder.

So just like digital vs film, the market and users will ultimately *choose* digital viewfinders over optical viewfinders because A) they're finally as good as optical viewfinders or better, and B) they offer advantages over optical viewfinders. Also, there will be some hold-outs who still prefer an old-school viewfinder, just like some people still shoot film.

4 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Jan 30, 2012)

T3's summing up is just the best summing up I've seen in quite some time!

Lately, electronic viewfinders have improved step by step, the revolution beginning with the Olympus VF-2, then the viewfinder for the NEX-5N, and now this!

Combining this with Pentax' near silent shutter, and you have the basis for a very nice camera indeed!

0 upvotes
Pasha001
By Pasha001 (Jan 30, 2012)

I used EVF and I can say for certain: it is worse because significantly harder to see and is therefore less convenient.

2 upvotes
datiswous
By datiswous (Jan 30, 2012)

@Tord: I don't see what Pentax' has to do with any of this.

I think it is probably harder to see the improvements of a EVF over an OVF than just the anolog camera vs digital camera thing.
One of the drawbacks of an EVF is that it (probably) has the same amount of DR as the sensor of the camera, which isn't always perfect for framing. I'm not sure how this would look on a medium format mirrorless camera.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
1 upvote
T3
By T3 (Jan 31, 2012)

Pasha001- like I said, some people don't believe it right now, just like some film photographers didn't believe digital would overtake film because they thought digital was so much worse than film.

datiswous- if EVF has the same DR as the sensor, that's actually an *advantage* because it is a better reflection of what the sensor can actually record. You can then adjust your exposure to best capture the scene you are trying to record.

Sometimes, with an OVF, you shoot an image, then only find out afterwards that part of the scene had too much DR for the sensor to capture. With an EVF that *accurately* shows what the sensor can record, you can make any adjustments before you take the shot.

1 upvote
Pasha001
By Pasha001 (Jan 31, 2012)

Believe what exactly? You say "it's better and more convenient" while EVFs today are actually not and it is not a matter of faith. And there is nothing that hints at EVFs possible improvement in the future - either EVF is dim or energy consumption is too high. The situation is like that with in-camera flash - there is not and will never be any room for improvement.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jan 31, 2012)

Pasha001- your stubborn narrow-mindedness is no different than the people who hated digital in the early days. I remember people used to say, "I can shoot for months with my manual film camera with nothing more than a button battery to power it! I will never use any of these electronic digital cameras that are so dependent on battery power." Well, what happened to all those manual film cameras and their users? They've basically gone extinct. Sorry, Pasha001, you're going to find yourself on the wrong side of history.

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Feb 1, 2012)

lol T3,
Every EVF I have ever looked through pales in comparison to an OVF. Especially if you want to see fine details. Not to mention the unexplored potential consequences to your eye sight from having an LCD screen less then an inch from your eye for several hours. Heck even after ten minutes with an EVF my eye starts getting fatigued.

EVF's may replace OVFs some day but that day will not come until some new, game changing technology is invented. small improvements in resolution and refresh rate are not enough.

0 upvotes
Frederick Lim
By Frederick Lim (Jan 30, 2012)

No matter you like or not, you must admit that EVF ultimately will replace the pentagonal prism finder, just like sensor replace film, and putting Kodak in trouble. It is just the matter of time.

And all pro video cam are using EVF, right? Why not Pro still camera?

0 upvotes
max metz
By max metz (Jan 30, 2012)

Though Nikon and Canon may wish otherwise, seeing what the sensor sees accurately is understandably the future, cost will be the determining factor as to how quickly this becomes universal.

0 upvotes
nickmt
By nickmt (Jan 30, 2012)

More irony and the march toward "progress". What about health, and the cost to the human eye? I'm talking about the actual eyeball. Like a computer screens these things have to be ruinous to your vision over time. Staring at light emitting screens is not what the eye evolved to do. Maybe at some point they have an EVF for sale to pop into our heads. Talk about counter intuitive....hello...?

3 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jan 30, 2012)

I doubt the intensity of light emitted by these new utra-thin, low energy EVFs is any more intense than the light coming through the lens. In fact, there are times and conditions where the amount of light coming through the lens is probably a lot more intense than an EVF!

An EVF has the advantage of having a brightness limit, whereas an optical viewfinder has no such limit! If you point your lens at the sun, it's just like looking at the sun, with all that light reflecting through the OVF. An EVF is like having a maximum volume setting on your mp3 player. An optical viewfinder would be like using an mp3 player with no max volume setting, which means that you can blow your ears out.

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jan 30, 2012)

Also, the brightness of an EVF screen is a lot less than the brightness of a computer screen. A computer screen is designed to be bright enough to be viewable in normal room light, or in a room with daylight coming through a window, or in an office building with lots of overhead lighting. In other words, a computer screen is designed to work in fairly bright conditions.

An EVF, on the other hand, is operating in a dark viewfinder. It doesn't have to overpower or out-compete surrounding lighting. If you viewed an EVF screen on its own, naked, in normal room light, it would probably seem quite dim compared to a computer screen...and that's because it /is/ quite dim compared to a computer screen. An EVF just doesn't need to be very bright, because the only place it's ever going to be used is in a very dark viewfinder.

The image you see above is most likely just a simulated (Photoshopped) image.

1 upvote
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Jan 29, 2012)

An EVF gives you a better representation of the image that you are about to take than an OVF, because the image is electronic. An OVF gives you a better representation of what you would see if you took the camera away from your eye and looked at the scene, but that is not what ends up on your memory card.

EVFs are also better for accurate focus, particularly accurate manual focus. There is no comparison in this regard.

Nevertheless, having used EVFs extensively for the past couple of years, I am coming back around to appreciate the benefits of an OVF, particularly that OVFs allow you to continue shooting while looking through the viewfinder. The EVF viewfinder blackout seemed exaggerated to me at first, but now it annoys the heck out of me.

I wish that people who say that EVFs are terrible would really give them a try, and I wish that EVF fanboys would stop wishing for the death of OVFs. Both types of viewfinders have a place in the world.

1 upvote
Pasha001
By Pasha001 (Jan 29, 2012)

The problem with EVF I have personally encountered is low brightness and the press release is suspiciously silent about the new model brightness but still mentions that it consumes twice less than current solutions. This may mean it is not particularly brighter - which means as dim in daylight.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Adam Filipowicz
By Adam Filipowicz (Jan 29, 2012)

Its very impressive if you consider that this thing is only .482" wide and .375" high (approximately) and with a resolution of 1280 x 1024 has an effective PPI of 2655 PPI compared to the iPhone 4S screens "retina" display of 326ppi.. its very impressive density. if the iPhone 4 had this density its screen would have a resolution of 5170 x 7752 now thats a retina display :D

4 upvotes
eyewundr
By eyewundr (Jan 29, 2012)

'See a lot of comments about the representative effectiveness of EVF's to, ultimately, the mind of the photographer.
Quick analogy:
A good pair of earphones, or even a good pair of earbuds, deliver as good a music listening experience as most decent speaker systems.
Similarly, a good EVF can deliver as clear and useful a visual representation as glass (prism). To match top quality glass will require an EVF I have yet to read about.
But either way they're for FRAMING the scene to be captured.
Just as neither speakers nor headphones can match a live concert performance, neither prism nor EVF can substitute for pulling the camera away to LOOK at the scene BEFORE you frame it in the viewfinder.

2 upvotes
kadajawi
By kadajawi (Feb 2, 2012)

Unless you are listening to an unamplified life concert (at least singer and instruments that don't require an amplifier like the e-guitar) then a great set of speakers can deliver better sound quality than what you would hear standing in the audience. They also only use speakers, and usually low quality ones that have one priority: Being loud.

People say the EVF can never catch up. Are they sure? All APS-C cameras have tiny viewfinders, even those with big viewfinders. If find it very hard to determine what is sharp or what is not. With a bigger EVF that has a very high resolution (something that will come, it's just a matter of time) that is less of an issue, also the center can be enlargened to assist in manual focusing. Ideally an EVF will be able to show you exactly what you will get... something an OVF will never be able to do.

1 upvote
kadajawi
By kadajawi (Feb 2, 2012)

That being said I haven't seen an EVF that I consider superior to a good OVF. Yet. But I'm sure the time will come when EVF can equal or surpass OVF, and that day I'll switch (as soon as possible). It also means we can get rid of the noise a DSLR makes (yes, it's nice and cool, and in 20 years we'll find that hip, but for the moment it annoys me most of the time).

1 upvote
eyewundr
By eyewundr (Jan 29, 2012)

deleted

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
english_Wolf
By english_Wolf (Jan 29, 2012)

Actually, regardless of perfection in the electronic view finder I avoid them like the plague.
Why? I have thick glasses and my eyes cannot adapt (no dioptic elements is able to correct my vision). The result is that I purchase only DSLR cameras whose view screen can change to prism adjustment. When what I need 'snaps' into place as I focus, I do not seen the image but feel the difference. Then I snap.
I do not see any electronic capable of doing that so, for me, at least, my answer to this progress is 'blah'.
Would love to see this technology applies to my computer monitors thought.

2 upvotes
bushi
By bushi (Feb 1, 2012)

"Would love to see this technology applies to my computer monitors thought."
...gosh, speaking about unnecessary technological progress?? And why on earth would anyone like to have a computer screen with pixel densities like the above - where the whole 1280x1024 (good resolution for a 19" monitor) fits in 0.61 inch diagonal? That is, frankly, a big nonsense.

0 upvotes
KMRennie
By KMRennie (Jan 29, 2012)

At the risk of seeming naïve. Aren’t many of you completely missing the point. The viewfinder is an aid to composition. The view through an OVF is not reality. If you want reality I will happily sell you a precision cut piece of mounting card with a 3:2 cut out (4:3 cut outs will also be available). This can be made weatherproof with the addition of some cling film. Reading many of the posts I get the distinct feeling that many contributors never get beyond the “looking at the image in the viewfinder stage” and do not actually press the shutter far less print the resulting image. If you want to “see” what you are about to shoot can I suggest raising your eye a few cm above the eyepiece (OVF or EVF ) and look. You can even save a lot of money and weight by not bringing the camera. Larger viewfinder, no problem, larger piece of card.
There is only one question to be answered. Does the viewfinder help ME take better images?

3 upvotes
BasPaul
By BasPaul (Jan 29, 2012)

Completely agree on that a viewfinder is an aid for composition. But weren´t we born with a handy viewfinder? The thumbs and forefingers trick? Hold your hands in front of you and make a little square using said fingers. Shift the hands to make any cut from 1:1 to 16:9 or whatever. Vary the distance to your eye to ´zoom´. While doing so walk around a bit, you might find a better shot of the subject.

1 upvote
low earth orbit
By low earth orbit (Jan 29, 2012)

No doubt EVFs have a lot of potential for useful things that can not be done with OVFs like exposure simulations/information and manual focus assist.And will be better than OVFs for a lot of people for certain applications.

But who ever says EVFs (no mater how good) will "spell the end of OVFs" clearly does not understand the basic principles and physics of electronic imaging.There are a lot of pros and cons but...

For an EVF to work you need continuous readout from the sensor and that will always mean heat.Heat will always mean noise.Unless you have active cooling,which would of course require a lot more energy.

An EVF no mater how efficient,will always consume more energy than an OVF.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
bushi
By bushi (Feb 1, 2012)

Well, it is all true, until the advances in technology render all these three arguments into the category: negligible, negligible, and negligible. Throw in lower price to boot, as fourth, when eventually achieved.

AT this point, we will be firmly in the "spell the end of OVFs" realm.

I daresay that particular display, if indeed delivers what it is saying on the tin, is a darn close to make a good attempt today.

1 upvote
Nick TMC
By Nick TMC (Jan 29, 2012)

deleted

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Sergey Borachev
By Sergey Borachev (Jan 29, 2012)

The writing is on the wall!

0 upvotes
LightRoom
By LightRoom (Jan 29, 2012)

I'm very glad EVF are getting better, but nonetheless the day the OVF disappears will indeed be a sad day for me.

1 upvote
gleung
By gleung (Jan 29, 2012)

when consumer digital camera first came out the 90s, the resolution was 640x480 (by Kodak i think?).. if internet forum was popular back then, i'm sure many people will laugh and say no digital camera will be superior to 35mm film.. but of course everything changes now (with some exception cases). people need to realize that EVF is still an infant technology and it will only improve in the future.

this also goes to any analog vs digital comparison. digital always start off much lower quality than analog counter-parts, but as technology improves and if there's market demand, they will definitely surpass it.

1 upvote
bushi
By bushi (Feb 1, 2012)

"digital always start off much lower quality than analog counter-parts"
of course not, digital starts off much lower quality than its CONTEMPORARY analog counterparts, which were evolving for decades to their CONTEMPORARY forms. But look at the original analog pioneering counter-parts, and you will se the fair picture.
For example, compare first commercially available digital cameras, to first commercially available analog cameras. I would take digital any day of the week :).

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
DFPanno
By DFPanno (Jan 28, 2012)

No EVF is going to be superior to the human eye and that is what an OVF is (in essence).

Of course an excellent EVF stands to be better than a poor OVF but that goes without saying.

The substitution of one for the other may create the opportunity for other design advantages but that is a tangential conversation.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Jan 28, 2012)

exactly .. you get the chance of viewing DIRECTLY through the lens with your eye ... and there are people that prefer looking on a tiny monitor ? who cares how much megapixel it has if you could watch right through the lens with your own eye ^^

1 upvote
random78
By random78 (Jan 29, 2012)

You don't really watch "directly" through the lens in an OVF. The lens forms an image on a screen and you then watch that screen through a prism. And that process does NOT show exactly what the lens sees. For example OVFs do not reliably show the depth of field captured by the lens at large aperture. Everything at f2.8 or larger shows as about the same. An EVF does not have this limitation and shows the depth of field exactly as captured by the lens. As for looking at a "tiny" monitor, have you actually used an EVF. A good quality EVF hardly feels like a tiny monitor. In fact when I use an EVF on my camera, most of the times I don't even feel that it is an EVF and not an OVF. It is not perfect, there are times when I feel the limitations of the EVF. But thats why it is good that the technology is improving and removing the remaining limitations.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
9 upvotes
rudymnv
By rudymnv (Jan 29, 2012)

Well correct thing to say would be: "I think that - no EVF is going to be superior to the human eye"... and I will say: "I think you are wrong with your assumption" , then again I agree with rest of your post.
Cheers!

1 upvote
oselimg
By oselimg (Jan 29, 2012)

While there may be small amount of people who live in denial of technological advancement majority of people are aware and and pleased about it. The problem is, before any technology's reached a desired level compared to previous ones people are so eager to see the demise of the older one. Don't you realize this results only in paying for somethings over the odds and makes the company executives richer at our expense and nothing else. Instead of demanding a better performing product a lot of people fall for the marketing tricks and become voluntary advocates for big corporations without a pay. Why do you think the big economic crisis hit the western economies? Because the company execs and governments were way out of control and people thought they can and should spend their hard earned money (even sometimes the money they didn't have) on anything like there is no tomorrow. Chill out and give yourself a chance to think.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Revenant
By Revenant (Jan 29, 2012)

Technological advancement doesn't exclusively mean electronics. Optical and mechanical engineering are still improving, and research is ongoing in these fields too. Yes, EVFs will only become better, but there are still ways to improve OVFs too. I think we'll see a parallell evolution of mirrorless cameras and DSLRs, at least I hope so.

0 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (Jan 29, 2012)

I hope so "Revenant"

0 upvotes
TOF guy
By TOF guy (Jan 29, 2012)

random78 wrote:
> You don't really watch "directly" through the lens in an OVF.
You do in a dSLR
> The lens forms an image on a screen and you then watch that screen through a prism.
Not in a dSLR. In these a mirror and a prism reflects the image towards the viewfinder. The prism also achieve the function of turning the image around or it would look upside down
> And that process does NOT show exactly what the lens sees.
Not in a dSLR
> For example OVFs do not reliably show the depth of field captured by the lens at large aperture.
That is not correct. And on most dSLR a DOF button allows to check DOF at less than maximum aperture (at the expense of brightness)
Not to say that EVF are not a good technology, but at least let's not make up some nonsense about OVF to justify the existence of EVF

0 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (Jan 30, 2012)

Depth of field preview button. Screen??? An SLR uses a mirror, pentaprism, and through, not on, a focus screen.....it isn't projected onto a little movie screen.

0 upvotes
Carsten Saager
By Carsten Saager (Jan 30, 2012)

I have to disagree: An OVF will never be able to magnify the view, adapt to the actual exposure or integrate the response curve of your sensor. Display of real-time histograms in the viewfinder - would love that. Real DoF preview, manual focus aid only possible with EVFs. Next step: Eye scan to select the focus point by looking at it, this will make tracking moving objects much easier, especially when we get rid of of the mirror, too.

I found the EVF of the new Sonys quite good, now with doubled resolution it should be at least as good as a crop-DSLR viewfinder - if the lag is acceptable

The only downside is that it consumes battery.

0 upvotes
bushi
By bushi (Feb 1, 2012)

you gotta love this kind of definitive statements.... and why shouldn't it? Is there any physical constraint there, that I am not aware of?

It is just silly, it sounds like someone pronouncing "no man can ever fly" in 17th century, or "no machine heavier than air can ever fly", hundred years later.

And of course, there were many that were saying just that, back then.

0 upvotes
Take57
By Take57 (Jan 28, 2012)

I hope OVF's will never completely go away. I've worked as a TV Cameraman for 30 years, and one reason I enjoy shooting stills is a chance to occasionally NOT look at the world though a EVF...

5 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jan 28, 2012)

I've been using the Olympus VF2 electronic viewfinder with my E-PM1 for the last month or so. I used to hate EVF's (I had one on my Panasonic FX-28 which I didn't like every much), but I don't have any problems with the VF2. It's not bad at all, and I've had no problem adapting to it. Now, I can go between a DSLR's optical viewfinder and the VF2 electronic viewfinder, and it makes no difference to me. And the VF2 is hardly the best electronic viewfinder out there. Plus, future electronic viewfinder will be so much better. So I think the future looks really good for EVF.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Jan 28, 2012)

come on ^^which camera/ovf are you using ?

did you ever used an analog slr or a rangefinder ? nothing is superior to an optical viewfinder ... only cheao dslrs probably

i use a d3 and a d700 both with the 1.2x magnifier and no evf comes even close to that ..

1 upvote
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Jan 29, 2012)

Yes, its nice to gaze through an optical viewfinder but it does not - by itself - tell you what the camera is 'seeing' and give any indication of highlight exposure. Of course, experience and area metering settings help but it takes longer to do this using an optical viewfider and separate metering idicators. But, I suppose, that was the charm of traditional photograhy and some find that hard to let go.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
T3
By T3 (Jan 30, 2012)

When I say, " it makes no difference to me", I'm not saying that I don't see a difference in quality of the image. I'm just saying that both do the job just fine for me. I use my viewfinders for composition, and both EVF or OVF are perfectly fine to me. I see a good image in either the EVF or the OVF. Using an EVF hasn't impeded my photography one bit. That's why I say "it makes no difference to me."

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Jan 30, 2012)

Agree fully: The EVF on the NEX-7 (and NEX-5N) is far better than the VF-2, but both awesome!

0 upvotes
kff
By kff (Jan 28, 2012)

What would be so awesome for a good detail in time taking photos?

... minimum 10" tablet with cca 2600x1500 pixels ... Appple/Android/W8/etc. device with sensor and lens module like Ricoh GXR ... when I am thinking how to get someting for better using and really to see all deatils and of course with zoom view for more details !!!

max.800g without module ... for daily using and possibilty to load module from small sensor like compact camera to MF (of course mirrorless)

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Jan 28, 2012)

what exactly are you talking about ?^^

0 upvotes
JJMacks
By JJMacks (Jan 28, 2012)

Is this technology going to be able to display a view at the speed of light like an optical viewfinder or have the annoying image frame delay I see in current electronic viewfinders? IMO best suited for video recorders and be better large so you don't need to hold the recorder to ones eye.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ovrebekk
By ovrebekk (Jan 29, 2012)

It doesn't have to view the image at the speed of light, just quick enough for the human brain not to notice the delay.

I am sure in 5-10 years time OVF's will be a thing of the past...

3 upvotes
bushi
By bushi (Feb 1, 2012)

"Is this technology going to be able to display a view at the speed of light like an optical viewfinder "
of courser it will - the day after you will be able to react to changing scene in less than 1/100th of a second (which is, to say, both: never, and not needed)

0 upvotes
taktak91
By taktak91 (Jan 28, 2012)

I don't understand why some people want to stick to just one type of camera. I use OVF cameras, mirrorless cameras, and compact p&s depending on the situation. They're all useful. Both OVF and EVF should continue to develop. I would be lost if there was just one type of camera available in the market.

6 upvotes
brian57
By brian57 (Jan 28, 2012)

Sounds good. But the EVF on my Sony 5N is awesome. I don't think I need much better than that. It is night and day compared to the GF1 EVF from 3 years ago. It is 1/3 more expensive and 10x better IMO.

0 upvotes
simon65
By simon65 (Jan 28, 2012)

I was aghast to look through the electronic viewfinder of a Sony NEX-7 recently and be told it represented the "state of the art" and was recognized as the best in the market.

What I saw was lots of noise and pixels and colour distortion.

The Sony guy explained that, "Well we are inside".

Hmm, well, defintely lots of room for improvement there by MicroOLED and then some, before electronic viewfinders can claim to replace optical viewfinders as found on DSLRs or indeed on Leica and Fuji's rangefinders.

3 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Jan 29, 2012)

I suppose your particular store must have really low light levels. When I tried the A77 EVF (same as NEX-7) at a Sony store I didn't see any noise at all. And that was with the slow kit lens. I tend to use relatively fast primes so my real-world experience is likely to be even better. The EVF was easily better than most APS-C DSLR OVFs and second only to the full frame OVFs.

2 upvotes
AlanG
By AlanG (Jan 29, 2012)

I thought the EVF in the Nex 7 was excellent when I handled it at the Javits Center in October. I saw no noise and the color looked good. It was easy to intuitively adjust the exposure simply by looking at the image on the EVF. This can make working with the camera a bit faster as it is one less thing to think about.

I have been a commercial photographer for 35+ years and would have no problem using it. As it stands I often use my 5DII in live view mode with a Zacuto viewfinder. But that is not nearly as fast as the Nex 7 when used this way. It gives a nice bright view even in low light and I don't find that it gets so noisy to bother me.

I see a big advantage in viewing the image as it will appear when it is saved and I also like being able to magnify the view for precise focusing.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
bushi
By bushi (Feb 1, 2012)

"What I saw was lots of noise and pixels and colour distortion.
The Sony guy explained that, "Well we are inside". "
...and how that same scene looked like through the OVF? Was it completely black, or were you able to recognize at least contours and shapes?

See, that's but another advantage of EVFs: they can gain in ultra-low light, giving you (noisy and laggy, yes, but still) some picture to frame, versus OVF, which would display mostly darkness.

0 upvotes
kadajawi
By kadajawi (Feb 2, 2012)

Surprise surprise. That's what your photo would probably look like too. Ideally it gives an accurate representation of what your sensor is seeing, and thus what the photo will look like. It might not be as fun to use, but to get the best shots an EVF is the way to go. You can correct poor exposure before you take the photo and take a look at the screen.

0 upvotes
JohnHoppy
By JohnHoppy (Jan 28, 2012)

Bad news for all who insist OVFs will always beat EVFs and DSLRs with mirrors and OVFs will last forever – Sorry, they won’t. The good news is, EVFs will keep getting better. When a mirror box/pentaprism camera costs 30% (or more) above the electronic solution, no prizes for guessing which way the makers will go. But be patient, and positive – tomorrow’s cameras will be better than today’s in every way, and guess what – eventually you won’t notice they’re all-electronic!

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Jan 28, 2012)

ok but you mixing stuff ...
evfs keep getting better, but ovfs are expensive ?

are we talking about whats the better viewfinder or are we talking about money ? because: YES an ovf is more expensive, and people pay that because its better and faster/realtime

even with 10 MP you need a SUPER fast internal image pipeline .. and the more megapixel you want in the viewfinder, the more CPU power you will need, the more batteries you need and the slower the viewfinder gets

with ovf, you dont need power while you compose, at the moment you hit the shutter, the sensor gets read out picture through pipeline and saved on the card and then it doesnt consume power again until you hit the shutter again. and its optical!

man that people in a photography forum are even discussing wether optical or electronical vieafinders are better, shows us where it took us that everyone has cameras nowadays even people that dont care if the viewfinder in an optical instrument is optical haha ... thats funny

0 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Jan 29, 2012)

There is a mistaken assumption that OVFs are somehow a more "pure" way of viewing for photography. I was recently reading an article from a professional photographer who uses large format film cameras and medium format digital backs. Interestingly he was happy that his medium format back now has a good LCD and live-view because for the first time he could reliably achieve precise focusing for his medium format system. Funny no one told him that live-view through LCD is not what proper photographers use :)

5 upvotes
JohnHoppy
By JohnHoppy (Jan 30, 2012)

Yes, that's a good point. Trouble is, many people (our friend above perhaps?) want immediate benefits - I WANT IT NOW! - and lack the vision to see that technology adapts to new developments over time, it's no good saying "EVFs will never replace OVFS", period. Many just resent the status quo being moved, but OVFs have changed little in decades, indeed until Olympus introduced LiveView not long ago our cameras had improved only slowly in the film age. We will see EVFs prosper along with other tech, I personally want to see Canon's Eye Control brought back so that eventually you will take a photograph by blinking an eye whilst holding the shutter button and viewing via EVF - who needs all those focus points to slow us down? But everything will improve and simplify to accommodate the new tech, we just have to have patience - a comodity lacking in many respondents here who can only see how poorly some aspects of the new tech compare thus far.

0 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (Jan 28, 2012)

At least this technology will give us a chance to see some of these real 3D glasses with decent resolution. I assume these would be quite expensive at first but with adoption it could be reduced to consumer level. The more popular current offers only give you up to about 852 x 480 (Vuzix latest model Wrap 1200) @ 400 GB pounds, or 960 x 540 (Epson Moverio BT-100) @ about 520 pounds.

I can't understand why Sony are not comming out with a cheaper or better model since their NEX 5n EVFs are 1024 x 768 and cost about 250-300 pounds, so they should be able to come out with a 1024 x 768 3D glasses for about 500 quid.

1 upvote
Shogi
By Shogi (Jan 28, 2012)

Sony does make just that, and you can buy it today. It's called the HMZ-T1 and it's $799 which is about £500. The resolution of the LCD's is actually even higher than you are asking, at 1280x720.

Cheers.

1 upvote
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (Jan 29, 2012)

Thanks for the info, I had never heard about these, they should either be recently announced or their marketing is not doing a very good job.

They appear to be a bit bulky, but the fact that they are making them is great news for me, next year they would be more compact and cheaper, perhaps, HMZ-T3 would be afordable. Unfortunately for new products pricing does not work logically so in the UK these cost 799 GB pounds :( from sony's website:
http://www.sony.co.uk/product/head-mounted-display/hmz-t1

1 upvote
Shogi
By Shogi (Jan 31, 2012)

The median income in the UK is £26,000 while it's $25,000 in the US, so the price differential is entirely logical. Beyond that is economies of scale.

0 upvotes
GSD_ZA
By GSD_ZA (Jan 28, 2012)

I would like to be among the first to applaud the end of tricks with mirrors and levers. The mechanical nonsense that goes on inside an SLR has no right to persist into the near future.

1 upvote
Karl Gnter Wnsch
By Karl Gnter Wnsch (Jan 28, 2012)

That "mechanical nonsense" is still and always will be far superior to a lagging video feed with limited dynamic rance, high power consumption, overheating issues and higher eyestrain which can easily lead to head aces and even more severe problems...

6 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Jan 28, 2012)

I think one of those mirrorless cameras would be a perfect fit for you.
It's all about choice.

1 upvote
Fullframer
By Fullframer (Jan 28, 2012)

That mechanical nonsense as you call in DSLR is still the choice of the best cameras in the world that the pros use. They don't use the mirror less. Ever look at the big sporting events.. No mirror less there by the pros'... all Full Frame PRO Canon or Nikon DSLR

4 upvotes
mgblack74
By mgblack74 (Jan 28, 2012)

I wonder how EVFs will do 300,000 actuations and umpteen hours of video later? When they die, you're pooched. OVF's can still let light through.

0 upvotes
mzillch
By mzillch (Jan 28, 2012)

Agreed. Mirrors have flap vibration problems and poor low light capability since they have no electronic gain up [or IR potential] including stopped down preview mode so you get to see your real DOF. They also lack the ability to zoom in for enhanced fine focus capabilities in manual mode. There may be a few ways they are better than current EVF, however they have reached there limit and will never get any better, whereas EVFs are in constant development and will soon eclipse the mechanical nonsense in ALL ways, not just some. I can't wait.
[It's funny to read the Luddites' responses who seem to think the current state of affairs is stagnant and any current short comings of EVFs wont ever be addressed and completely conquered, hopefully soon.]

0 upvotes
Karl Gnter Wnsch
By Karl Gnter Wnsch (Jan 28, 2012)

@mzillich, I resent the tone of your post and no matter how much the EVF will be enhanced there are simple laws of physics they can never avoid and which limit the usefulness. The medical problems that come from messing one eye up in terms of adaptation are real and a real threat to the photographers health.

0 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (Jan 29, 2012)

"That "mechanical nonsense" is still and always will be far superior to a lagging video feed with limited dynamic rance, high power consumption, overheating issues and higher eyestrain which can easily lead to head aces and even more severe problems..."

I'm sure that no one is denying that right now (2012) OVF's are superior to the current level of EVFs. But do you think in say 10 years time EVFs will still be the same as they are now? No, technology will continue to develop and improve incredibly quickly. Compare how far digital cameras have come since 10 years ago. One day there will be no problems with EVF resolution and the computer inside the camera will be powerful enough so that there will be no lag at all. EVFs will replace the majority of OVFs and the mirror will go the way of the dinosaur, just as digital cameras have "replaced" film cameras today.

0 upvotes
Helena777
By Helena777 (Jan 28, 2012)

-English is not my mother tongue-

I was very surprised by this news: a unknown French manufacturer far exceeds the Sony EVF... until I read the explanation: the military industry is behind.

Well, seeing that at the moment human beings need weapons to threaten and defend in an infinite loop, I hope that at least the outcome of the EVF is good and soon implement in consumer cameras.

I love the EVF, seem to me a more useful tool than OVF most of the times. But certainly I am not going to insult who likes OVF, sometimes this forums seems a schoolyard.

8 upvotes
Funduro
By Funduro (Jan 28, 2012)

Well stated about the name calling and petty fights. Progress scare the persons that can't handle change well. BTW I started to learned English at age 8 watching Sesame Street.

Avatar by Steve McCurry for National Geographic

1 upvote
Klaus dk
By Klaus dk (Jan 29, 2012)

I, too, quite agree.
I am happy about the OVF of my low budget DSLR (Canon 550D) but if I could have similar quality and flexibility in a smaller package at the same price, I would not mind if it used an EVF.
BTW I think "Kindergarten" would be a more adequate description than "Schoolyard".

1 upvote
Karl Gnter Wnsch
By Karl Gnter Wnsch (Jan 28, 2012)

Unless they manage to produce sensors that can convey the *full* dynamic range of the scene (not just 6-7 EV in video mode like today, which is at least 20 stops short of the required range) and the EVF would manage to show the same dynamic range (the OLED is limited to about 5-6 EV) and that without lag and without heating up the sensor and without draining the battery... EVF is a solution to a non existing problem, OVF is and always will be superior, it's just hapless NOOBs which crave for the EVF solution as they lack the knowledge (and with an EVF they will never acquire this knowledge) to judge a scene.
EVF are incapable of showing the vital aspects in any high contrast scene - so they are a deal breaker for many!

8 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 28, 2012)

Are they still making modern digital cameras with that old-school optical viewfinder technology? Didn't even know that.

0 upvotes
SteB
By SteB (Jan 28, 2012)

I assume you are aware that the viewfinder doesn't take the photograph. Yes I'm well aware that a good optical viewfinder is nice and I'm aware of the limitations of older EVFs. However, I also realise that a viewfinder is only a tool, a gude to frame a shot. The issue is how much is a tool limiting, is it possible to use a work around. There are obviously cases where an OVF itself can be limiting. Below a certain light level you can't see anything at all in an SLR viewfinder, so it's clearly not an advantage then. You cannot shoot video through an SLR viewfinder. A lot of modern SLR viewfinders are not particularly good or accurate for manual focusing.

One would have to assume to you yourself lack experience, if you cannot understand situations where OVFs themselves become limiting. Several times with a DSLR live view has saved the day, when I was not able to frame the shot with the viewfinder. However, I always have my eye to check the scene.

5 upvotes
Karl Gnter Wnsch
By Karl Gnter Wnsch (Jan 28, 2012)

@oselimg - such as? It's always those that have no viable argument that resort to inappropriate name calling without providing any arguments to sustain their position.
@SteB - yes an OVF is limiting in some circumstances but to photograph in these situations you can apply different remedies which all are readily available - with the exception of video. But photographic tools are not about video, they are about photography. For video an EVF is indispensable. If you don't have an OVF anymore I'd challenge you to properly take back lit portraits - as in every circumstance where the contrast of the scene while viewing exceeds the strongly limited EVF you are at a loss. And these circumstances are present far more often than those that may require an EVF - so by mandating an EVF you are favoring the worse solution to the problem of delivering a viewfinder. There is no reason not to have a live view solution as well but to only have a live view solution is unacceptable!

3 upvotes
Sosua
By Sosua (Jan 28, 2012)

The thing is Karl, the EVF has an advantage in that it is WYSIWYG - its a sensor readout, so any dynamic range limitation is what the sensor see's. If you adjust the contrast on your jpeg settings, the EVF adjusts. If you adjust your DRO settings, the EVF adjusts.

I would make the point that an OVF see's the same dynamic range as the human eye which no sensor could hope to capture, therefore the OVF has the inherent fault of not accurately displaying your image.

EVF's are great, and i'm no hapless noob, thank you very much.

I'm just not stuck in the past.

2 upvotes
Karl Gnter Wnsch
By Karl Gnter Wnsch (Jan 29, 2012)

@Sousa: That's a misconception. It is not WISIXYG - as the dynamic range of a sensor video feed is lower than the captured still photo and the EVF can't manage to reproduce even this limited dynamic range properly. So you rather have a limited view of what you certainly capture but won't see what you may have captured inadvertently? Put yourself into the place of someone using flash to manage the subject lighting against a bright background - what will you see in the EVF? Nothing worthwhile, not a chance you can make out the subject or the background at the same time but yet both will be clearly seen in the photo taken! To manage photography like this you need to control the complete dynamic range of the scene to fall within the severely limited dynamic range the EVF will be able to convey - so instead of flash you need several thousand watts in terms of permanent lighting just like film crews carry around.

1 upvote
Emacs23
By Emacs23 (Jan 29, 2012)

You would be surprised: http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-sony-rgbw-coding-hdr-movie.html
I believe it's pointed mainly to overcome video DR limitations

0 upvotes
wus
By wus (Jan 29, 2012)

I agree that dynamic range and brightness are rather limited in today's EVFs for very bright environment such as full daytime sunshine. I'm using a Sony A55 so I know what I'm talking about. At the same time I can say that even the A55 EVF offers advantages in other respects that compensate this disadvantage by far.

Before I bought the A55, I tried several other APS-C SLRs with optical viewfinders. But these viewfinders were all too small for me. The A55 is the first APS-C camera which overcomes this size limitation.

0 upvotes
wus
By wus (Jan 29, 2012)

Also I love the low light capability of the A55's EVF. I shot with OVFs - good pentaprism implementations of Minolta's top models - for 25 years, but the fact that I couldn't see much in real low light situations always bugged me. For the advantage of being able to see, for the first time after all those years, a strongly brightened up version of a low light scene in the EVF I can easily accept that the picture that I get to see there is very noisy, and updates only a few times per second. At least I can see something!

You'll have to accept that for me the EVF is the answer to problems that did exist for along time, like it or not. And I know that I'm not alone. Your writing ("hapless NOOBs" ... "they lack the knowledge (and with an EVF they will never acquire ...") is so harsh that I was *VERY* close to clicking the "Flag as inappropriate" button. You insult all users of such cameras.

0 upvotes
wus
By wus (Jan 29, 2012)

Without doubt, the MicroOLED display we are talking about here has the potential of a big progress over existing EVFs (if it ever makes it into a commercial consumer camera). But one aspect is still neglected as it seems.

If it's true what the company writes, it has a contrast of 100000:1. Unfortunately, the company also says it supports 16 million colors. That tells me that they haven't understood the contrast problem in viewfinders yet. 16 M colors means a color depth of 24 bit, or 8 bit per basic color. With 8 bit per color you can differentiate only 256 brightness levels. With such a coarse stepping it is not possible to reproduce a 100000:1 contrast while still maintaining "very smooth transitional tones" as they write on their website.

0 upvotes
wus
By wus (Jan 29, 2012)

I hope future EVFs will be backed by a signal processing with considerably higher color depth than 8 bit per color. 16 bit would be phantastic, but even 12 or 14 bit - color depths as used by today's DSLRs for the RAW image - would be a big progress. OLEDs can reproduce much bigger contrasts than LCDs, so in my opinion such a step would be necessary to take full advantage of these display's potential.

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Jan 30, 2012)

As Karl says, an EVF is not more What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get than any optical viewfinder, but not worse, either! You can, on many cameras with an OVF, get an idea of DOF by closing the aperature to the size the camera will use when taking the shot. Not perfect, but OK. But you can't get any idea about how it really will be, unless you look at your display (or EVF), is there?!

Karl evidently haven't used a modern EVF, so he doesn't quite know what he's talking about: All modern EVFs show a flash photo in the viewfinder, after the shot, just as the display does (no better no worse - but with a higher resolution), but you don't have to move the camera away from you to see it, as most of us do with normal eye-sight and head design: I bet Karl himself checks his flash photos by looking at the display, or he's a very unusual guy indeed, using film cameras!

There is no way anyone of us can see how your flash shots are by looking through the OVF, is there?!

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Feb 1, 2012)

wysiwyg is nice if you dont know the camera or shoot jpeg, but as soon as you become familiar with photography and your camera you will learn how your camera behaves, and wont need this feature anymore, and thats the time where you wish the ovf back :)

this feature is demanded by people that arent really interested in photography at all, they just want the picture and thats it

0 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (Jan 28, 2012)

I wonder if the people saying "EVF need more rez" are the same people saying "Stop the MP war" ... ?

1 upvote
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Jan 28, 2012)

What does EVF have to do with the sensor mp war ? Go look through a P&S 240k dot EVF and the Sony Nex-7 EVF and tell me what looks better.

0 upvotes
Fullframer
By Fullframer (Jan 28, 2012)

"Go look through a P&S 240k dot EVF and the Sony Nex-7 EVF and tell me what looks better."

Go look through that NEX7 EVF and a D3 or D3S OVF and tell me which looks better?

1 upvote
Eleson
By Eleson (Jan 28, 2012)

I'd say that some people that defend the OVF with the argument that "it needs more rez" are the same that says that
6 (then 10 (then16)) MP is enough for most shooting.
- I just think it is a funny discussion for a device that is there for framing.
As to "Go look through that NEX7 EVF and a D3 or D3S OVF and tell me which looks better?"
I'm sure it is possible to find situations that supports either solution.

2 upvotes
Emacs23
By Emacs23 (Jan 29, 2012)

@Fullframer
Wrong comparison: NEX7 should be compared to something like Nikon D7000 or Pentax K-5. And I've recently moved from this pentax to NEX-5N + EVF. It really suffers from low DR, but MF experience is superior, even though the EVF didn't properly utilized by Sony (need better way of magnification area selection without using joystick and touchscreen.)

0 upvotes
revio
By revio (Jan 28, 2012)

"1280x1024" said somebody would not be sharp enough...eeeeh...this new EVF is said to be much better than that:
"The 5.4 million-pixel density microdisplay comes in full color (16 million colors), SXGA or monochrome formats (2,560 by 2,048 pixels)"

Why rant on, and critisize, "only 1024x1024" then???

0 upvotes
wus
By wus (Jan 29, 2012)

Because the real resolution of the color version of MicroOLED's new display has indeed only 1280 x 1024, by their own definition (look up their website!)

2560 x 2048 is only for the monochrome version.

0 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (Jan 28, 2012)

Even the best EVF will never be as good as an OVF as they are implemented in the current FF DSLRs. Period.

4 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (Jan 28, 2012)

Thanks for sorting that out.

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 28, 2012)

Yeah, but when will the last OVF digital camera be made? Not too far off in the near future, in my estimation. OVFs are hanging on by a thread now,

0 upvotes
jvkelley
By jvkelley (Jan 28, 2012)

An EVF won't be able to beat the best OVF in resolution or refresh rate, but they could beat them in brightness, cost, and displaying more information.

0 upvotes
Fullframer
By Fullframer (Jan 28, 2012)

"Yeah, but when will the last OVF digital camera be made? Not too far off in the near future, in my estimation. OVFs are hanging on by a thread now"

They are still being made. Not hanging on by a thread based on your silly post. The just announced D4 and Canon Professional body have OVF's.. so do all the next generation DSLR on the market.. Nice try!

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Cephalotus
By Cephalotus (Jan 28, 2012)

"Digital sensors will NEVER be better than film."

Nothing new with these kind of arguments.

4 upvotes
Sosua
By Sosua (Jan 28, 2012)

The world isn't round! A computer will never need any more than 64K of RAM!

Seriously guys, wake up and smell the coffee - its 2012.

1 upvote
Ganondorf
By Ganondorf (Jan 28, 2012)

Stick it in the EP4, put in a newer sensor and sell it :)

0 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (Jan 28, 2012)

I think that people who have nothing to say through their photography keep staring at their new camera and dream about when the newer model will come out. They are so eager to kill something. It's sad that in a supposed to be creative website so many people talk about killing and ending something. A very sad state of affairs.

9 upvotes
Eric Glam
By Eric Glam (Jan 28, 2012)

I'd rather have a 3.5" OLED LCD with this resolution.

I hate OVFs and EVFs. They are just too limiting.
You must have the camera up close to your eye, and many situations require the photographer to extend his/her hands to get a shot. So a good articulating LCD is the better choice, at least for me.
The ONLY reason for having a view-finder is so the photographer can see in highly lit environments (broad day light, strong studio lights, etc).
I'm waiting to see what manufacturers bring to the table in 2012. I'll bet the LCD on the back is going to get so good, that photographers will see much less of a need to use a view-finder. Just look at all those gorgeous cellphones we have today with brilliant LCDs. I can't wait.

3 upvotes
Peter Shute
By Peter Shute (Jan 28, 2012)

Try composing with an LCD with a 400mm lens. You'll have trouble even finding the target, let alone holding it still enough. For some (many, maybe) you're right, but I need some kind of viewfinder.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 28, 2012)

Let's kill all viewfinders, yeah! Kill 'em all.

0 upvotes
Fullframer
By Fullframer (Jan 28, 2012)

"I hate OVFs and EVFs. They are just too limiting.
You must have the camera up close to your eye, and many situations require the photographer to extend his/her hands to get a shot."

As someone else already posted.. good luck taking a picture with a 400+mm (Big telephoto) lens via the LCD a feet from your face vs with the OVF up to your eye. BTW, holding the camera extended via your hands LCD is not as good as up to the eye in many cases. Esp for arm/hand fatigue. if you are PRO you would know that.

0 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Jan 29, 2012)

OK first, 99% of photos are not taken with a 400mm lenses.

Second, if it's somehow wrong to compose on a screen not at eye level, then you'd better start telling everyone how the photographer in the following photo is making a huge mistake by using a camera that is clearly inferior because they are composing on a screen far from the eye.
http://www.vivianmaier.com/research/vivian-maier/

2 upvotes
Antonio de Curtis
By Antonio de Curtis (Jan 28, 2012)

let's say that I compose the image and then the EVF gives me somehow the opportunity to zoom in, then it would impress me, otherwise I simply don't care, glass is sufficient

0 upvotes
RPJG
By RPJG (Jan 28, 2012)

That sort of function has got nothing to do with the display itself (as long as it's high enough resolution to do the job). That's just something the camera designers would have to build in.

0 upvotes
pannumon
By pannumon (Jan 28, 2012)

You can do that (magnify the image) with current mirrorless cameras. It's useful especially when using manual focus. You got also other nice features, such as large viewing area, live histogram, you can follow how tracking focus/face detection is working, you can perceive world in B/W etc. The possibilities are huge. The drawback of course is that it is not optical. People tend to like analog over digital and there are good reasons to do so.

0 upvotes
Antonio de Curtis
By Antonio de Curtis (Jan 28, 2012)

I didn't know such func is already there, I agree with both of you said

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jan 28, 2012)

By no means am I a luddite, but having used several decent EVFs and OVFs, I can't understand why the photographers on here are so anxious to see the demise of the OVF. Is a mirror-box so large that you must do away with it? Peaking is cool, and WB preview is fine, but I would still rather actually see what the lens sees than have a representation of the image created for me. Reality is always better than virtual reality, especially when the light gets low. :-)

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
8 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Jan 28, 2012)

It's not anxiety about a new choice, but anxiety about the lack of choice! The forceful and illicit denial that I have a right to prefer a book over a iPad, or OVF over an EVF.
The whole essence of life is about having a choice, and articles like this one above sing a tune where savage curtailing of our rights to choose is the "way of progress". The progress of the economy of scale DOES NOT necessary work for wider social and human interest.
Imagine, for example, that in 50 years EVFs will be so good they could replace human eyes. Would you undergo a surgery to take your natural eyes out to be replaced with artificial eyes, just because they are more 'economy efficient' and you can 'see' UV and IR spectrum too as a bonus?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
eyewundr
By eyewundr (Jan 28, 2012)

Generally, an EVF is smaller, lighter and cheaper than a good prism viewfinder. Electronics are generally less maintenance intensive than mechanicals. More importantly, eliminating the mirror reduces vibration and improves speed.
I doubt this EVF can match the prism on a five or six thousand dollar camera, but will probably stand up well against the optical viewfinders on anything with an APS-C or smaller sensor.

3 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Jan 28, 2012)

marike6, I would rather see what the sensor sees than what my eye sees even if an EVF cannot render subtle focus variations which is perhaps more to do with resolution anyway. I would rather know that the sky may wash out before I take the shot.

3 upvotes
Donald Chin
By Donald Chin (Jan 28, 2012)

I think part of the reason is...
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&message=40411362

0 upvotes
aliquis
By aliquis (Jan 28, 2012)

At first I wanted to say that the EVF show what the lens see (didn't got the representation), but then there's the lag I suppose.

So instead I have to change it into:
So what's wrong with seeing what the combination of sensor + lens + algorithms actually will result in?

Which would be more appropriate.

As far as low light goes I assume if not now then at least in some time the light will probably be able to be boosted beyond what you naturally see with your eyes.

2 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Jan 28, 2012)

Rocklobster EVFs are not calibrated so they don't represent what the final photo file will look like when you open it up on a calibrated screen with a computer. To rely on them in that way at present is a huge mistake because they are just not up to the job. You need to be able to recalibrate them on a regular basis which can't be done yet.

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Jan 28, 2012)

Eyewundr EVFs do not require less maintenance than optical/mirror box viewfinder. EVFs wear out. Like computer screens their colours start to shift from the first day you use them. Like computer screens they need to be calibrated and re-calibrated but you can't do that yet. Plus pixels die as well.

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 28, 2012)

Viewfinders should only be used for two things mainly:

1. Compose the shot.

2. Set proper focus.

You don't need to "recalibrate" a camera's VF to achieve this, Stu 5.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jan 28, 2012)

@Zvonimir. "We are Borg - resistance is futile". Actually, it may happen. Cyborg is the future. Eventually we will fix eyes for those that are blind or have bad sight. It will start with some improvements, e.g. lenses with auto focus. And then, eventually those with artificial eyes will have an advantage ... and then its very close to replacing also normal functioning eyes. And ... voilla ... there we are.

0 upvotes
eyewundr
By eyewundr (Jan 29, 2012)

I`ll be surprised if future statistics show EVF`s wearing out or needing repair more often than mechanical mirrors.

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Jan 28, 2012)

If it spells the end of batteries, then it would be groundbreaking indeed.
The whole round of many 'innovations' circles around replacing one 'inconvenience' and replacing it with another two, while claiming 'progress' being the excuse. We'll replace all OVFs with EVFs and consume more batteries, and not even ask people do they want a choice?

2 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Jan 28, 2012)

Maybe you missed the part about this EVF being much more efficient than current EVF solutions. Liveview means having an EVF, and this appears to be a significant advance.

0 upvotes
Fullframer
By Fullframer (Jan 28, 2012)

"Maybe you missed the part about this EVF being much more efficient than current EVF solutions. Liveview means having an EVF, and this appears to be a significant advance"

Maybe you missed the part that any EVF still uses up battery power, vs a good prism OVF that doesn't use any battery power. Thats why a PRO D3S gets 4,000 CIPA rated shots. vs what.. 600 if your are luck on a powered EVF camera?

1 upvote
453C
By 453C (Jan 29, 2012)

@ Fullframer
Yes, an EVF uses more power than an OVF, but your comment on battery life is misleading. Put your D3S in Liveview and see how fast it sucks its battery flat with its sensor powered up. Also, a FF body has a larger battery capacity than most (any?) EVF/Liveview camera. That has a lot to do with why a PRO (gosh, I wish I could make a bigger deal out of PRO) D3S gets more shots per battery. Pretending otherwise is silly.

I'm not wishing for the death of the OVF (why would anyone?), or saying EVFs are the one true path to photographic enlightenment. Please don't get me confused with that crowd. The Champions of OVF need to lighten up. It's just another bit of tech. If you don't like it, don't buy it. No need to go PRO on us.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (Jan 29, 2012)

And the small evf uses less power than live view on the large display on the back. For now, this is a solution to put EVFs on mirrorless cams, built in, which will likely trickle up in some way to higher ups.

I welcome this for smaller cams.

On top of that, look at the prices Panasonic and others are charging for their OVFs. Way higher than their EVFs!

0 upvotes
DVT80111
By DVT80111 (Jan 28, 2012)

If it is expensive like French food, then it is a no way.

2 upvotes
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (Jan 29, 2012)

Your comment demonstrates than you know absolutely nothing about french food. :)

0 upvotes
Franka T.L.
By Franka T.L. (Jan 28, 2012)

1280X1024 , and probably cost quite a deal , does not sound advance enough. Nice to be seeing such , but we need better than that and which that can better project the image.

1 upvote
aliquis
By aliquis (Jan 28, 2012)

Better what really?

Will you really see the individual pixels in that one? Won't it be brighter nicer than an OVF anyway? (lag being the only issue.)

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jan 28, 2012)

Lag is not the only issue. I have used the X100, where you can switch between optical and electronical. I think it was a clear advantage with the optical. It looked much better. You could see finer color hue gradients better. But - of course - the freedom from lag rocks!

1 upvote
Fullframer
By Fullframer (Jan 28, 2012)

"Lag is not the only issue. I have used the X100, where you can switch between optical and electronical. I think it was a clear advantage with the optical. It looked much better. You could see finer color hue gradients better. But - of course - the freedom from lag rocks!"

I used an X100 and did NOT like the viewfinder at all, compared to my D3S OVF. It just felt like a lag/gimmick etc..

0 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (Jan 28, 2012)

There will come a day in the far future where EVF will replace OVF for good. It is inevitable. I, for one, welcome our new EVF overlords.

7 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Jan 28, 2012)

I'm more interested in TRANSPARENT OLEDs that could offer HYBRID OVF-EVF FLEXIBILITY... 'and/or' modes.

I still want the option to have OPTICAL TELE ZOOM NON-POWERED LONG TERM VIEWING/SPOT/Composition-Framing-Focus/MONITORING... which any EVF-Only cameras are handicapped for lacking.

Any suggestions to the death of OVF is identical to advocating BINOCULARS be EVF-Only, which is preposterous. Likewise, for Gun-Scopes AND Telescopes, Microscopes. Non-Powered direct optical viewing will always be desirable in many visual-oriented applications.

As for Canon... it can afford to WAIT till technology for EVFs are of high enough quality that hasn't current lagging lo-res drawbacks (current offerings by others are just pathetic, STILL, making at least a Screen (LCD or OLED) still 'tolerable' compromise from any mfr).

Comment edited 7 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (Jan 28, 2012)

I don't think hybrids will ever float. to many drawbacks, both for end user and makers. That doesn't mean that there will not be choices around, but ...
As for Canon, look outside the box, the best choices around may not be perfect , but they are a leap forward to anything that was around 2-3 years ago.
You don't have to swap brand, but you will know what to demand and expect. :)

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 28, 2012)

Canon's viewfinders are probably the most left-behind-the-times of all camera makers today. Just check out the 1920s era OVF in their new G1 X.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 215
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