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I have had many cameras, both Digital and Film.

Yet I am still to find a situation where using the EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) is of benefit.

With a DSLR I use the optical viewfinder, it is accurate and natural. Sometimes I use the Back LCD in Live View, but not very often for stills. With Mirrorless / Point & Shoots I use the back LCD, even if it has an EVF.

When would I use the EVF over the rear LCD?

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    So glad you asked this! I was bashing my husband’s Fuji X-E1 saying EVFs are stupid but I can see some advantages now. – Belle-Sophie Jan 26 '18 at 10:20
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  • Pushing the camera towards your head will significantly stabilize the framing; I, for one, need a faster shutter speed when shooting without looking through the VF. Also, it is less strenuous to use the camera close to the body. I also like that the distance between my eye and the EVF does not change (that much) compared to the rear LCD, so I can be fairly sure that my eye is well-adapted to the screen at any moment.

  • Another situation where it might come in handy is when shooting against the light - with the backside LCD, you might be blinded by the light. Looking through the EVF will effectively block your eye from surrounding light. Mind you: pointing your camera directly at the sun is still a bad idea - with EVF, it will not hurt your eyes, but the sensor (it's a bit less bad - but bad enough ;-) ).

  • Also, a quick googlelin'1 turned up a blog entry called "Sony a7rII current draw — EVF vs LCD" that states:

    The EVF does draw more current. However, because it drops down to rougly 250ma when your eye isn’t at the finder, you may indeed find your batteries lasting longer with the EVF.

1: Thanks to aaaaaa for the inspiration!


However, I would not think that there is a "always use EVF if..."-rule. If you don't like it and you don't need it, then there's nothing wrong with that.

  • Very good point regarding back-to-the-sun shooting :-) – Digital Lightcraft Jan 24 '18 at 14:46
  • does EVF consume more energy than LCD or vice versa? I talk about same camera. I guess EVF should be less battery-hungry because of its smaller size and intensity – aaaaaa Jan 24 '18 at 15:28
  • I would think an evf uses far less energy, I have a GH5 with both but am not going to test! – Digital Lightcraft Jan 24 '18 at 15:50
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    EVF is usually the equivalent of a bigger screen - both in resolution and perceived size and it tends to have more pixels. the rear screen cannot be bigger than the back side of the camera. the projected image of the EVF screen can be whatever size the eyepiece optics wants it to be. – szulat Jan 24 '18 at 23:30
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    In general EVFs use more power than the LCD. This did seem counter intuitive to me but it is because there are much more circuits in an EVF and their consumption is more significant than the smaller back. Otherwise, nice answer. One more point I would add is that it is easier to get a level shot with the EVF since you are looking directly towards the scene. – Itai Jan 25 '18 at 14:59
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When the bright sun is behind you, the subject can`t be moved and the shot has to be taken from a specific location, an EVF is convenient. When taking pictures in tight quarters (such as some crowded events, or in my case salvage yards), an eye against a viewfinder is sometimes a convenient way to readily frame a picture. Sometimes I just get tired of viewing phone type screens - I grew up with film SLRs.

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The LED view-screen is wonderful; you hold the camera at reading distance and compose. If the situation allows, you make an effort to enrich the picture you are about to take by scrutinizing the view. Often, outdoors in bright sunlight, the screen on the back of the camera is washed-out and impossible to review.

We went from no viewfinder to wire-framing, then to a crude optical setup resembling a backwards telescope view. Next came the rangefinder viewfinder, still a backwards telescope with a focusing aid. Some sported an illumined white frame, maybe several each for a significant focal length. We were overwhelmed when the SLR came out (late 50’s). Now we could compose and focus inspecting the image the camera will soon see.

Initially, digital took the exquisite viewfinder view away. We were flung back to a view similar to what we saw under the black hood of days gone by. Eye-level electronic viewfinder to the rescue: The electronic viewfinder, while not as good as the SLR view, restores the SLR view. Digital cameras have grown out of infancy, now in the toddler stage, and tomorrow’s viewfinder will be even better. Who knows, soon you might be interconnected, mind’s eye with camera. We never know what this “pixie dust” era will bring.

  • As I understand the question it is about today's EVF, not what might happen in the past or future. And it has nothing to do with the SLR viewfinder. This really doesn't answer the question. – Mark Ransom Jan 24 '18 at 20:54

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