V/F delay - why has nobody questioned this?

Started Jul 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
Flat view
Michael J Davis
Michael J Davis Veteran Member • Posts: 3,326
V/F delay - why has nobody questioned this?

One of the advantages of a DSLR[1] over a live view view camera lies in the speed of light.

[1] So I'm told, before digital I was a rangefinder camera user.

Thus the reaction time in taking a shot viewed through the rangefinder comprises:

a) The delay between reality and what is seen in the VF
b) The user's delay in seeing the action and pressing the shutter
c) The time for the shutter to open and record the image.

(In addition there may be a b1 -> the time taken for the camera processor to calculate the exposure, set the IS, stop down the lens etc. but I'm assuming they are incorporated in my b, above.)

We are told that Live view cameras are getting closer & closer to DSLRs in performance, but ISTM that the live view delay is still a limiting factor compared with the speed of light through the optical system.

My reason for asking is that I was focussing my OM-D on the computer screen with both eyes open (as I normally do for the 'normal' range of f/ls) and found that the camera showed me the change in image [2] around 1/5th second after I had observed them with my 'direct eye'. "Odd, I thought", and repeated the exercise with my G1. That seemed to give a similar delay.
[2] I used the Dpreview 'review' image to the right of the forum.

So the next obvious step was to use one eye for each camera - and surprise! There was hardly any difference between the two cameras - at a guess, under 10ms between the two apparent image changes.

Now Dpreview (and as far as I'm aware other review sites) have never attempted to measure this delay (I recall some early commentary suggesting that it could be as high as 300msm but cannot find this now.)

So two questions:-

1. Why has this hardly changed from the first MFT camera (G1) to the latest and fastest (OM-D)?

2. How come that reviewers are so keen to record continuous shooting speeds to the nearest ms, but ignored this major handicap in the compact camera challenge to DSLRs?

Mike Davis
Photographing the public for over 50 years

 Michael J Davis's gear list:Michael J Davis's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +5 more
Flat view
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
(unknown member)
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow