An best electronic or digital best viewfinder is a mechanism on the back of a digital camera that allows the photographer to view the image that will be captured. Most cameras have an electronic or optical viewfinder, but there are also compact cameras where there is no room for a viewfinder. You judge the image content on the LCD screen on the back of the camera. As a result, you hold the camera further away from you and it becomes less stable when shooting.
An SLR camera has a built-in mirror that allows you to look through the lens through an optical viewfinder. A system camera is more compact and has no room for a built-in mirror. That is why the best electronic viewfinder was devised as an alternative to the optical viewfinder. But the image that emerges is not quite the same.
Do I need a digital viewfinder?
Large cameras have a best viewfinder that you can recognize by the rectangular window at the top of the camera. You place that viewing window against your eye. This gives you a better idea of what is in the picture. At the same time, this position improves your posture. Because the camera finds support against your head, while it also rests in your hands, which are for the most part under the camera.
One arm detaches from the body to operate the zoom and focus ring. The other serves as a tripod, because it sits against your sternum. When you also spread your legs slightly, you limit the chance of camera shake and take the sharpest photos.
Cameras that don’t have a viewfinder are further away from you to judge the photo on the LCD screen. This makes the camera less stable. The optical viewfinder and best electronic viewfinder therefore always offer an advantage. But although they look very similar at first glance, they are different from each other. They have a different effect, which is especially noticeable when you look in the window.
Behind the optical viewing window is a prism that makes it possible to assess the image formed on the mirror after the light entered the camera through the lens. The system is similar to a submarine or tank periscope, but works in the opposite direction. System cameras are more compact and have no space for a mirror. Therefore, the optical viewfinder is replaced by an best electronic viewfinder that captures and displays the photographic image in a different way.
What is the difference between an optical viewfinder and an best electronic viewfinder?
To be correct and complete, we have to distinguish between the window with which you look through the lens and the viewing window in a corner of your device with the optical viewfinders. The latter window is sometimes found on cheaper photo cameras. It only gives you an impression of what will appear in the photo, but does not fully reflect what is recorded by the sensor behind the lens. Because there is a clear difference between the angle at which you shoot and the angle from which you look at the subject. That’s what photographers call the parallax distortion .
Your photo is taken centrally in the camera, because that’s where the lens is. And the result does not match what you had previously observed. Such optical viewfinders have hardly any added value. Except that you can hold the camera up to your eye. You better judge the image itself on the LCD screen on the back of your camera. Because the proportions and image border can be seen correctly.
The optical viewfinder of an expensive SLR camera is centrally located above the lens and mirror. Which makes it possible to see the mirrored image well. It actually works like this: the sunlight or the light from the studio flash bounces off the subject you want to frame. That light enters your camera through the lens.
A mirror image is formed on the mirror, which is projected to the top of the camera.
There is a prism viewfinder that places the image frame upright again and shows you what the camera will register when you press the shutter button. At that point, the mirror will tilt up and allow the light that passed through the lens to pass freely.
Until it has formed a negative image on the sensor just behind it, which corresponds exactly to what you had seen through the viewfinder via the mirror. This happens live and without delay. You will see a JPEG version of your photo on the LCD screen. You can digitally zoom in on it to assess its quality.
System cameras and larger compact cameras with a viewfinder do not have a flip-up mirror that reflects the light into the camera. To be able to see what you are going to shoot, the image in the viewfinder is shaped differently. That happens electronically. The light falling on the subject will still be reflected in the direction of your camera. It enters your camera through the lens and is led up to the camera body, where the image sensor is located.
The pixels on that light-sensitive plate capture the light. This creates a negative. That image is converted by the processor into a photo by adding color to it. The projection is then displayed in the best electronic viewfinder and can also be viewed on the camera’s LCD monitor. The images are identical, only the rear screen is larger.
Because the photographic image has to be converted first and you can’t see it live through the mirror, there may be a small delay before you see it in the best electronic viewfinder. This is especially noticeable with older and cheaper cameras. Recent, more expensive cameras have that problem much less. The manufacturers are doing everything they can to improve the best electronic viewfinder even further and to significantly shorten waiting times.
For most disciplines, this has already been successful. But sports and studio photographers are often frustrated by the limitations of the electronic viewfinder. When taking sports photos , you want to be close to the action and not miss a moment of the game.But when you set the camera for continuous shooting, things go wrong. Between shots, the best electronic viewfinder turns black for a moment before the registered image appears. In the meantime, you can no longer follow the action.
And in dark studios where you only use flash, it sometimes happens that you don’t see anything on your best electronic viewfinder. However, the viewfinder also has advantages. In bright sunlight you won’t see anything on the LCD screen, because the light reflects off the large surface, while the image remains visible in the viewfinder. And the camera is more stable.
Is an optical viewfinder better than an best electronic viewfinder?
The extremes are better avoided when using an best electronic viewfinder. Too bright light and the pure darkness of a studio cause problems, because then you can’t see anything through the viewfinder. But for normal evening shots, the electronic viewfinder is very well equipped. Because it then gives a better indication of the amount of light that enters the camera through the lens and which image will be formed. With an optical viewfinder you have to assess the situation more yourself.
This certainly works if you are an experienced photographer. But if you shoot sporadically, it’s more difficult.Another advantage of the best electronic viewfinder is that you can call up everything you see via the LCD screen through that small window. Such as indicating areas that may be over- or under-exposed before taking the photo; reviewing and assessing a photo taken; and displaying the image information, such as the histogram.
The big disadvantage is that you can’t use the best electronic viewfinder at all without the camera on. Which consumes constant current . That is not the case with an optical viewfinder.
The optical viewfinder stays better in most situations. That is why it is still on the most expensive photo cameras. The advantage of looking through the lens is that you see the situation live and lifelike.
Even when the camera is off. The colors are bright and the image is sharp.
Of course, the quality of the lens also plays a role in this, because you look through the lens through the viewfinder. The camera only consumes power after you turn it on, when you’re ready to take the picture. There is therefore never any delay. So you won’t be faced with surprises and you won’t miss a moment of the action.
When you need to act fast and set your shutter speeds fast, that’s very important. For example, when photographing: sports activities, wild animals, birds and vehicles.
If you often suffer from dry or tired eyes, the optical viewfinder is also the best option. Because your eyes are less stimulated than with an electronic display. It is like looking at a TV screen, which is more tiring and less pleasant. If you want to work differently, you can still use the live view on the camera. But be sure to place the camera on a tripod .
If you wear glasses, you can also make adjustments based on the diopter .