Playing The Long Game: Outdoor Photography With Telezooms

Through a lens, ever more brightly


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Through a lens, ever more brightly

7 Dec 2021 5:19PM   Views : 710 Unique : 432

A couple of things dawned on me recently as I was using a high end mirrorless camera via the EVF, and the first thing was that electronic viewfinders have become so very good that they are virtually indistiguishable from real life. When they started to appear, the view was usable but a bit of a strain really and some were not really usable at all. The second thing that occured to me was that the same could be said of optical viewfinders, that is that some are much better than others. So SLR and DSLR users might claim an advantage, but that advantage is best experienced via a proper glass pentaprism finder, rather than a penta-mirror finder that is not in the same class.

So I was at RHS Bridgewater and using a high end mirrorless camera, and it made short work of seeing the subject in what were virtually black surroundings. Only the trees, nicely illuminated, offered any light in the gloom but the camera focused easily and the EVF still showed a usable image. However, to be fair this image became very noisy in the darkest of corners. This was the point where the glass pentaprism with a fast lens would start to have the edge again - no noise from increasing the gain of the image.

Out in the brightest of days, the EVF still offers a good image, but the back screen of a digital camera starts to become invisible in the light. Here the pentaprism is supreme, with its sharp, unhindered view of the world in a gorgeous mask of black surround.

The EVF has other advantages, such as automatically giving the correct field of view in crop mode (where an APS-C lens is used on a full frame camera); the ability to show what changes in white balance and other adjustments actually look like; superimposition of histograms and other data.

The pentaprism gives a superb clean view of the world free of flicker or strain and without the need to be switched on and hence use battery power.

Clearly there is a place for both approaches, but it has to be said that the EVF has moved up to the point where it's a battlefield of equals.

Shot using an EVF, the image could be made even in the dark

Shot using a glass pentaprism finder, utter clarity in dark conditions

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pablophotographer Avatar
pablophotographer 12 2.2k 450
9 Dec 2021 8:50AM
EVF picture quality has surely improved since 2010 when I bought my bridge camera... Seeing through the. Z50 is like having a new pair of eyes!

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