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Showing posts from March, 2012

How does the Sony A77's EVF handle high-contrast scenes?

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) in the latest Sony DSLT cameras, including the A77 and A65, tries to show you the scene you are shooting as it will appear in the capture file. If you're photographing a scene with a dynamic range that the camera can handle easily, then  it can be said that the EVF is WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get"), at least with respect to exposure. What you see through the EVF is going to be too dark if it's underexposed, too bright if it's overexposed, and just right if it's, um, exposed just right. By way of contrast, if you are shooting the same scene with an old-fashioned optical viewfinder (OVF), what you see through the viewfinder is not what you're going to get at all.

Here for example is a shot taken with my A580, which has an OVF:

The scene I saw through the OVF looked fine, because it's midday and my dining room (where I took the shot) is well lit. The problem is, the camera was in M mode and the exposure settings…

Why don't pros shoot with the LCD more often?

Why don't serious photographers use live view more often, considering how useful it is?

By "live view," in this post, I mean, "live view on the camera's rear display (LCD) screen." I have to make this distinction because, with the new Sony DSLT cameras like the A77, you're using live view whether you're looking at the rear display screen or through the (electronic) viewfinder. So I'm asking, why don't photographers more often look at their camera's rear display screen to compose and focus their shots? Why do they insist on using the tiny little viewfinder instead?

A couple reasons come to mind quickly.

First, it is almost certainly true that there is a sort of stigma against live view. Amateurs stand up straight, hold the camera out at arm's length and look at the rear display. Pros crouch a bit, and look through the finder. Pros also use big cameras, use Gary Fong lightspheres on their flashes (even outdoors), and wear flack jacke…