a55 EVF questions

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mvanrheenen

a55 EVF questions

Unread post by mvanrheenen »

Hello,

Because I am looking for an upgrade to my a390 I'm reading a lot of articles about the a55 and the a580.

I like several things about the a55 (no mirror movement, small form, high ISO performance, pronounced VF for someone with glasses), but am a little worried (as a lot of people with me) about the amount of detail displayed by the EVF.

I only focus manually and I'm worried that the EVF won't let me focus accurately enough. Anyone have experience with manually focussing the a55?

Also, I've read that the EVF doesn't display colors that accurate. Is this true?

Thanks in advance.

Mark
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by alphaomega »

mvanheenen, I suggest you read David Kilpatrick's in depth review of Sony's A55 if you have not done so already here http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2010/12/1 ... -and-cons/
It may provide you with some answers.
mvanrheenen

Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by mvanrheenen »

Hi alpha,

Well, I did skip and glance through the review. Maybe I have to read it more carefully. Thank you for the suggestion.

I would like to hear some experiences though.

Mark
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Mr_Alpha_2011
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by Mr_Alpha_2011 »

my A33 manual focus EVF is great as how i used it but not in dark areas :)
well the details i see from the EVF is accurate plus the camera will tell you if your doing good or not :P
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Dr. Harout
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by Dr. Harout »

Mark, through the EVF you'll see not what you are staring at, but approximately at the final image that you will get with all the settings you are using.
It's unusual for someone who has always used an OVF, but I assure you, you'll get used to it in no time. BTW, you can even see and notice the changes when using a polarizer.
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mvanrheenen

Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by mvanrheenen »

Hi Alpha, Dr.,

I've read the very informative review of David on the front page, but sometimes it's hard to relate someone else's experiences with your own situation. Technical evaluations are always nice, but real life experiences are worth just as much in my opinion.

Before I bought my a390, I used several P&S cameras which, in recent years, all had LCD displays. So I'm fairly used to those and I'm not an OVF aficionado per se. I do however like to focus manually, as I find it more rewarding in handling, experience and result.

I was a little bit worried about the EVF in the a55 not being of a high enough resolution to make manual focusing very usable.

I think the bottom line is that I just have to take a lens with me and just try it out in a store. Now to find one.

Thank you for your advice.

Mark
mvanrheenen

Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by mvanrheenen »

So, I visited several camera stores today. In one of them a Sony representative was present and was actively promoting the a33 and a55 cameras :D

I jumped at the chance to try one of the camera's. Unfortunately, she only had an a33 which I could try.

After a few minutes of manual focusing and using the EVF, I concluded that although the EVF protruded enough, I still wasn't able to see the whole image. I concluded that the Alpha viewfinders aren't very usefull for people who wear glasses.
The EVF was quite capable to support manual focusing though.

The body is small, but big enough for me to hold it quite firmly.

Although the a33 seemed a good camera, the EVF still has me doubting. I'm going to give the a580 a try when I can find one nearby.
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by WaltKnapp »

Dr. Harout wrote:Mark, through the EVF you'll see not what you are staring at, but approximately at the final image that you will get with all the settings you are using.
It's unusual for someone who has always used an OVF, but I assure you, you'll get used to it in no time. BTW, you can even see and notice the changes when using a polarizer.
You will see an image produced by a wide open lens, even if you are shooting with a stopped down lens. It will only be the same as your final shot if you only shoot with your lenses wide open.

And if anything is moving, it's location in the viewfinder won't be current, but a significant delay, ie history of where it was rather than it's current location. This will not be something that will be that easy to get used to. In trying the a55 even moderate movement could result in the object being a good half way across the frame in the final photo from where it appeared to be in the viewfinder.

You also won't see the image produced by flash, everywhere, not just in studios.

Surprise! You can see in the OVF the changes when using a polarizer. No EVF needed.

Walt
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by agorabasta »

You will see an image produced by a wide open lens, even if you are shooting with a stopped down lens. It will only be the same as your final shot if you only shoot with your lenses wide open.
Generally speaking, that's a sheer misinformation. The DOF preview button is there for your perusal. And quite unlike your OVF, the EVF is not dimmed at tight aperture previews.
And if anything is moving, it's location in the viewfinder won't be current, but a significant delay, ie history of where it was rather than it's current location.

Human eye-brain always perceives an about 40ms delayed chunk of visual info of up to 2s duration. The 'real-time' reaction capability is delivered by predictive analysis of that historical data and that ability is a basic function of intellect.
Good brain can easily cope with additional 20-30ms delay. Then if the additional delay is reduced to about 10ms, it becomes essentially negligible.
Surprise! You can see in the OVF the changes when using a polarizer.
Another piece of misinformation.
Human brain tries to correct for the changes caused by the polarizer, and hence its effect is far less pronounced when observed through the OVF. The less natural EVF picture prevents such intellectual masking, and you may see the polarizer action much better.

All in all, the current EVFs have only two real downsides - the field-sequential display causes colour fringes when you move your eyeball and the resolution is lower than it would be desired (but you may magnify). Both downsides will be addressed in the next gen of such displays.
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by Neonsquare »

@Walt
Regarding "significant delay" and other nonsense: Did you actually ever try the thing? Well... following your comments you certainly did never try it. It's a pity, that you seem absolutely unable to engage with alternative concepts like the SLTs or even only an EVF. I fully respect, that you like classical DSLR designs, but I really start to see you as a negative, irrational old man when it comes to things that differ from this path. We do not have to like all things, but please get your facts right before critizizing them.
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by bakubo »

Neonsquare wrote:but I really start to see you as a negative, irrational old man
No need for that.
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by David Kilpatrick »

I second that ticking off - no need to sling insults like 'old' at Walt.

And, despite the usability of the EVF in everyday conditions, there are certain things it can't reveal to the user like nuances of rapidly changing expression. Walt deals with small amphibians as a subject. I think certain things including eye blinking, vocal pouch expansion, tongue catching insects etc would be quite impossible to time with the EVF - they are not exactly easy with the OVF.

Anyway, I have got myself a nice old wooden metronome and I have been doing some tests of my personal timing - and this is of course a regular repeated movement. OVF wins of course.

This does not change my liking for the EVF as a working tool for extreme tele, low light and similar situations. But I do not think Walt is being irrational or negative. I do think he would find the A55 useful alongside other equipment and would be impressed by its audio quality too, despite known limitations.

David
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by agorabasta »

Anyway, I have got myself a nice old wooden metronome and I have been doing some tests of my personal timing - and this is of course a regular repeated movement. OVF wins of course.
It's the periodicity of that motion that prevents effective sync with the delayed EVF. The brain simply assumes the normal no-delay environment and corrects its delays perfectly for the periodical motion, much like a PLL circuit.
Then if you need the same kind of sync with a delayed EVF picture, you have to provide a visual feedback in that picture by e.g. putting your hand into the frame and moving it around there. The brain then takes the additional delay into account and corrects for that too - that's a simple and straightforward training technique.
But the non-periodical motion viewed with an electronic delay readily provides the means for such calibration while you move your camera around, and the picture then changes in the EVF with corresponding delays. Normally, the brain then catches up very well after some very short learning time. But the success really depends on the intellect of the particular observer.
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by agorabasta »

I think certain things including eye blinking, vocal pouch expansion, tongue catching insects etc would be quite impossible to time with the EVF - they are not exactly easy with the OVF.
There always are the reaction delays - that's the nature of all living things, humans included. But the natural delays may be minimised by reducing the area of attention to a very small subset of crucial visual data. Then the brain has less complex model to reconstruct and predict, thus the reaction delay may be reduced. That's the matter of training, naturally.
The response delays of electronic displays really can be reduced to a few ms range; and if the EVF's not there now, it will be shortly. The response delay of a human being cannot be reduced as much.
The point is that even the current tech already may deliver response times of EVFs much better than those of a human being. In fact, those EVFs already can be made faster than not only the human reaction as a whole, they may be made faster than even the minute variations of the human reaction speed.
That's not to say that an a55 EVF is fast enough already for all possible applications - that's a cheap and simple camera after all. But the EVFs in general pose no real speed limitations; now that would be true for more expensive systems, and with the next gen tech that shall become cheaply available for all applications - there are absolutely no fundamental limitations, just a pure engineering/manufacturing effort is all what's needed.
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Re: a55 EVF questions

Unread post by bfitzgerald »

It's a bit like this to me put a good monitor next to a window showing picture you've just taken of the view and look at both however decent the monitor it simply pales in comparison to the optical view from your eye. There are more than technical problems however good the tech get it will never match a pure optical path.

As decent as the A55 EVF is (for an EVF) it's just alien to me and some users I honestly just would not want to work with it leaving aside the current issues even if all solved and the res doubled I'd still feel the same way.

A lot is made about WYSIWYG great we know there are advantages but some folks forget you might not even have the time to reference that with some types of shooting. At the end of the day the digital die hards will never be satisfied until we have no VF camera with awful handling and almost no on body controls..all in the name of progress, thanks..but no thanks
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