Sequential EVF "tearing" effect - reality or myth?

Started Apr 19, 2016 | Polls
WhiteBeard
WhiteBeard Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Sequential EVF "tearing" effect - reality or myth?

OK, here's the deal. I've been hearing about the infamous rainbow / tearing effect on Panasonic's sequential EVFs for quite some time. The most obvious criticism was made on the GX7 review complaining about "an unpleasant 'rainbow effect' when rapidly panning the camera, engaging menus or blinking." Now, I've tried to replicate this on my venerable G3 (half the res of the GX7 but same sequential tech) to almost no avail; only very fast pans where tearing was the last of my concerns exhibited any hint of it. To be fair, it is said that this is a rather subjective thing, affecting some people more than others, however, the subject always comes up (for example, in a lot of the comments about the GX-85's own EVF) but I haven't read or heard of that many real user complaints about this.

The purpose of this very scientific poll (yeah right) is to either put this matter to rest or prove me wrong when I think a vast majority of users aren't bothered with the "rainbow effect". Before answering, please make sure your camera uses a sequential EVF as many of the more recent ones don't.

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POLL
Never saw a rainbow effect except just after a thunder shower.
50.9% 55  votes
I have seen it a few times, can't say it bothers me much.
28.7% 31  votes
I see it often enough to find it annoying.
10.2% 11  votes
I see it all the time and will ditch the camera on ebay just after answering this stupid poll.
10.2% 11  votes
  Show results
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
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TheClueless
TheClueless Senior Member • Posts: 1,992
Try it in low light when the EVF gains up and the refresh rate goes down.
1

WhiteBeard wrote:

OK, here's the deal. I've been hearing about the infamous rainbow / tearing effect on Panasonic's sequential EVFs for quite some time. The most obvious criticism was made on the GX7 review complaining about "an unpleasant 'rainbow effect' when rapidly panning the camera, engaging menus or blinking." Now, I've tried to replicate this on my venerable G3 (half the res of the GX7 but same sequential tech) to almost no avail; only very fast pans where tearing was the last of my concerns exhibited any hint of it. To be fair, it is said that this is a rather subjective thing, affecting some people more than others, however, the subject always comes up (for example, in a lot of the comments about the GX-85's own EVF) but I haven't read or heard of that many real user complaints about this.

The purpose of this very scientific poll (yeah right) is to either put this matter to rest or prove me wrong when I think a vast majority of users aren't bothered with the "rainbow effect". Before answering, please make sure your camera uses a sequential EVF as many of the more recent ones don't.

You're more likely to see it then. But in general situations you're right - it's usually pretty hard to see.

Also, I think more gearheads subconsciously start attributing everything they see as FS artifacts to the tech once they sorta-kinda-understand what it is, especially within a return window

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tt321
tt321 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,049
Missing a choice
1

I see it in my G3 'all the time' and it 'does not bother me at all'.

Seeing it all the time does not mean it bothers you.

You just need to know how to see it. Then you can see it reliably every time you try. The easiest would be with a data projector of field sequential technology - a lot of them are. Not by looking at the projected image, but by looking at the lens when it is projecting. Best from a side angle as you don't want to stare directly into a bright projector lens. Move your eye from side to side quickly enough the entire front of the lens becomes a rainbow.

After a few times of that, seeing it in an EVF is easy. And it still would not bother most people after that.

Even given that, when you can buy a camera without this colourful effect for less money, why bother with the more expensive item unless you enjoy this show?

Allan Brown Senior Member • Posts: 2,605
Re: Sequential EVF "tearing" effect - reality or myth?

WhiteBeard wrote:

OK, here's the deal. I've been hearing about the infamous rainbow / tearing effect on Panasonic's sequential EVFs for quite some time. The most obvious criticism was made on the GX7 review complaining about "an unpleasant 'rainbow effect' when rapidly panning the camera, engaging menus or blinking." Now, I've tried to replicate this on my venerable G3 (half the res of the GX7 but same sequential tech) to almost no avail; only very fast pans where tearing was the last of my concerns exhibited any hint of it. To be fair, it is said that this is a rather subjective thing, affecting some people more than others, however, the subject always comes up (for example, in a lot of the comments about the GX-85's own EVF) but I haven't read or heard of that many real user complaints about this.

The purpose of this very scientific poll (yeah right) is to either put this matter to rest or prove me wrong when I think a vast majority of users aren't bothered with the "rainbow effect". Before answering, please make sure your camera uses a sequential EVF as many of the more recent ones don't.

I cannot see the effect on my G5 and I didn't see it on my G3.

However, I do see the flicker of the EM10 MkII's EVF.

Allan

Djaaf Regular Member • Posts: 152
Re: Sequential EVF "tearing" effect - reality or myth?

18 months ago, while I was trying to decide which camera to buy between the GX7 and the E-M10, I had the opportunity to test both at "Le Salon de la photo" in Paris (kind of Photokina, only much smaller. ).

Under the very bright and artificial light of the place, the GX7 EVF was truly awful. You got it all, rainbows, flickers, everything. The E-M10 was a lot better (no rainbows, a bit of flickering only at specific angles... ).

That closed the deal for me, I bought an E-M10 a week later and I've been happy with my choice since... (Although to be fair, I would probably have been happy with a GX7 too... except for the EVF under those circumstances, it was and still is a very nice camera).

Djaaf.

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jalywol
jalywol Veteran Member • Posts: 9,467
EVF problems vary
2

Different people are sensitive visually to different things.

For instance: The VF-2, while very clear and without rainbow effects, always gave me a wicked headache when I used it. The VF-4 was perfectly fine. The EVF on the A7 is fine, too.

All of the Panasonics (except for the GH3, which had that dreadful OLED EVF with the fuzzy sides, GX8, and GH4) have/had field sequential EVF's. The only one that ever bothered me at all was the one in the GX7. Sure, I would see the rainbow effect on all of them on occasion, but not frequently, and since that effect doesn't give me a headache, it doesn't matter to me. Not sure why the GX7 version was so awful, though...maybe just the 16:9 ratio combined with the eyepoint and the uncomfortable plastic housing. For some odd reason the tiny one on the GM5 doesn't bother me at all, so not sure why the GX7's did.....

-J

CaliforniaDave Senior Member • Posts: 1,455
Re: Sequential EVF "tearing" effect - reality or myth?

For me it is a non-issue. I have to try hard to see it. Obviously others are more sensitive to it. Everyone should try out a Sequential EVF to see how they are affected.

Some DLP projectors have a spinning color wheel, and that can cause a similar effect. I have noticed it with such DLP projectors, but it isn't a really strong effect for me, while others are really bothered by it. So it is real, but depends on the person.

Øyvin Eikeland Regular Member • Posts: 172
Missing choice: Tested it and opted out
2

I tested the GX7 in a shop and found that it was not for me. Hopefully the GX85 and coming implementations has a higher refresh-rate. Annoying as hell IMO.

BR,

Øyvin

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alcelc
alcelc Veteran Member • Posts: 9,604
Should be highly personal "feeling"....

Same finding as yours.

From my 1 year ownership, and had been put into few real uses (continuously shooting night and day for a few >1 week travelling) had found the issue for a few times that were brief to nearly non-noticeable. If had never read the complaints before I would likely not take notice on it.

In our last trip to Iran, GX7 became my wife's main camera and she found nothing at all.

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Albert

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ThePhilips Contributing Member • Posts: 749
Re: No rainbows for me

When I got the GX7 and heard about the "rainbow effect" of the FS EVF, I actually tried to reproduce it. I have failed. At most - some several pixel wide RGB discolorations. Nothing really colorful or huge to be worth calling "rainbows".

I'm much more bothered by the relatively small EVF of the GX7. That's one of the things I'm eyeing the GX8 for.

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SteveY80 Senior Member • Posts: 1,054
Re: Sequential EVF "tearing" effect - reality or myth?

I got used to the sequential EVF rainbow effect on my old Sony A57 - it was something I could live with, despite being very noticeable and a bit unpleasant. The GX7's EVF is pretty dire, but the rainbow effect is only a small part of that.

When I first bought a Sony A77ii I actually found its higher-end OLED EVF's flicker more unpleasant than the A57's rainbow tearing. I'm quite sensitive to flicker -- I always hated CRT monitors set to a low frame rate -- and at 50hz (PAL) the flicker was very obvious in bright scenes. Setting the camera to 60hz (NTSC) improved things a lot.

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Roderick Balle
Roderick Balle Senior Member • Posts: 1,826
Re: Sequential EVF "tearing" effect - reality or myth?

I guess I'm one of the ones not to see it. I had a GH3 which was said to suffer from it, but I never saw it, and found the GH3 EVF to be fine.

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jalywol
jalywol Veteran Member • Posts: 9,467
Re: Sequential EVF "tearing" effect - reality or myth?
2

Roderick Balle wrote:

I guess I'm one of the ones not to see it. I had a GH3 which was said to suffer from it, but I never saw it, and found the GH3 EVF to be fine.

The GH3 was an OLED display, so it did not have the rainbow effect.  People's complaints about that display were that the colors were not very accurate and the optics made the edges of the EVF look very blurry unless you were exactly on center when looking through it.

-J

Roderick Balle
Roderick Balle Senior Member • Posts: 1,826
Re: Sequential EVF "tearing" effect - reality or myth?

jalywol wrote:

Roderick Balle wrote:

I guess I'm one of the ones not to see it. I had a GH3 which was said to suffer from it, but I never saw it, and found the GH3 EVF to be fine.

The GH3 was an OLED display, so it did not have the rainbow effect. People's complaints about that display were that the colors were not very accurate and the optics made the edges of the EVF look very blurry unless you were exactly on center when looking through it.

-J

Oh okay, thanks for setting me right. I don't always remember the minutiae specs of cameras. Must be getting old.

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WhiteBeard
OP WhiteBeard Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Re: Sequential EVF "tearing" effect - reality or myth?
1

So, to summarize th results of this poll and rounding off the %:

  • 50% of the "population" never saw the effect while another 30% saw it once in awhile but was not bothered by it; so at first glimpse, the tearing effect is a non-event for 80% of owners.
  • About 10% were slightly bothered and another 10% were bothered enough to replace theirs cameras. The problem here, as was noted in some of the posts, is that the poll considered only present/past owners but did not include those who tried the camera before buying and decided against it because of the tearing effect. At least three posts explained just that. 
  • For this reason, making a totally un-scientific adjustment to the results - some would call it fudging - I suppose we are looking at about 77% that are not concerned by tearing as opposed to 23% who are bothered by it, with 15% or almost one out of six people that just can't stand it at all. This is somewhat surprising as a) I haven't heard that kind of noise about this issue in the forum and b) if it was true that 10-15% of the population was allergic to this product, it would seem strange that Panasonic not only waited so many years to come up with cameras that don't use a field-sequential EVF (GH3/4, and GX8 coming to mind) but that their latest product, the much-awaited GX85, is still touting a field-sequential EVF...  True, a population of 60 is not a very good basis to get a true picture (pardon the pun) but it is still a sign that we should wait for more tests and user experience on the GX85 to find out if the FSEVF tearing issue is still relevant or not.
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ThePhilips Contributing Member • Posts: 749
Re: Sequential EVF "tearing" effect - reality or myth?
2

WhiteBeard wrote:

This is somewhat surprising as [...]

... all Leica Q owners swear by their field-sequential EVFs being the best thing since the sliced bread...

That is in human nature. If nobody points the problem out, everybody would live on happily. But once somebody points at something, lots of people would start looking at it and be overall bothered by it.

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Jeanadriane Senior Member • Posts: 1,673
I'm not sure rainbow tearing is this EVF's main disadvantage
1

ThePhilips wrote:

WhiteBeard wrote:

This is somewhat surprising as [...]

... all Leica Q owners swear by their field-sequential EVFs being the best thing since the sliced bread...

That is in human nature. If nobody points the problem out, everybody would live on happily. But once somebody points at something, lots of people would start looking at it and be overall bothered by it.

I'm not too sure about that, Philips. I discovered this poll too late to participate, but I'm one of those who sold the GX7 mainly because of the EVF. It really bothered me. And I can't even say it was because of the rainbow tearing. It just was too damn unpleasant while I was (am) used to the gorgeous LVF2s on my GX1s. I think I was more bothered by the tiny size of the EVF at 4:3 and the fact that the diopter correction stopped at +3 while the LVF2 goes up to +5, which is great for me. Had the EVF of the GX7 been bigger, I probably just could have done with the +3, after all there are other EVFs In that range that I can deal with, but not with this puny thing on the GX7 and I'm afraid it's gonna kill the GX80 for me too. The GX8 on the other hand.... WOW! Thát's an EVF!

BTW, what surprised me in my months with the GX7, was also that I actually preferred the weaker contrast and saturation in the LVF2. To me it felt more comfortable to the eye and by that made it easier to judge or even see the image. But again, that as well might have been the result of tiny size & diopter limitation.

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uRebel Rob Senior Member • Posts: 1,525
Re: Sequential EVF "tearing" effect - reality or myth?

WhiteBeard wrote:

So, to summarize th results of this poll and rounding off the %:

  • 50% of the "population" never saw the effect while another 30% saw it once in awhile but was not bothered by it; so at first glimpse, the tearing effect is a non-event for 80% of owners.
  • About 10% were slightly bothered and another 10% were bothered enough to replace theirs cameras. The problem here, as was noted in some of the posts, is that the poll considered only present/past owners but did not include those who tried the camera before buying and decided against it because of the tearing effect. At least three posts explained just that.
  • For this reason, making a totally un-scientific adjustment to the results - some would call it fudging - I suppose we are looking at about 77% that are not concerned by tearing as opposed to 23% who are bothered by it, with 15% or almost one out of six people that just can't stand it at all. This is somewhat surprising as a) I haven't heard that kind of noise about this issue in the forum and b) if it was true that 10-15% of the population was allergic to this product, it would seem strange that Panasonic not only waited so many years to come up with cameras that don't use a field-sequential EVF (GH3/4, and GX8 coming to mind) but that their latest product, the much-awaited GX85, is still touting a field-sequential EVF... True, a population of 60 is not a very good basis to get a true picture (pardon the pun) but it is still a sign that we should wait for more tests and user experience on the GX85 to find out if the FSEVF tearing issue is still relevant or not.

These numbers are pretty close to what I've heard about eye strain; about 10-15% of the population are bothered by 100-120 Hz lighting. (I think GX7's EVF is 120 Hz). I'm fine with my GX7, but my brother is one of those 10-15%, and can see blinking LEDs that look solid to me (such as some car's tail/brake lights). (I tried finding a link supporting my numbers when I voted, but couldn't find any, however.)

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ThePhilips Contributing Member • Posts: 749
Re: I'm not sure rainbow tearing is this EVF's main disadvantage

Jeanadriane wrote:

It really bothered me. And I can't even say it was because of the rainbow tearing. It just was too damn unpleasant while I was (am) used to the gorgeous LVF2s on my GX1s.

The EVF of GX7 being small is a different story, and here there is no argument: it is small.

But again, that as well might have been the result of tiny size & diopter limitation.

And that is a valid quantifiable complain.

The question was about the rainbow effect of the field-sequential EVFs, and you seem to fall into the group who are not bothered by it.

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rashid7
rashid7 Senior Member • Posts: 3,336
Re: I'm not sure rainbow tearing is this EVF's main disadvantage

i've used the best EVF's in the industry, along with FF OVF's, and for the life of me I can't figure out why some folks hate the one on the GX7.  I find it more than adequate!

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