What is EVF ?
EVF is an abbreviation of Electronic viewfinder.
Viewfinder is a small hole above the LCD Panel(see above picture) on the camera back to see through in too bright situations, where the LCD is not really visible.
The EVF is more and more popular today for mirrorless cameras like Micro Four Thirds system cameras like Olympus or Panasonic, or Fujifilm or other marks as well. EVF is also widely used in advanced compact cameras called bridge cameras like Panasonic Fz series, Canon SX, or Fuji S series cameras.
Why is EVF needed ?
The cameras equipped with EVF also has a back LCD which is usually good to frame the pictures. But in several situation like bright sunlight it is hard to see the LCD.
Cameras with EVF
Panasonic, Olympus, Fuji, Sony, Nikon1 mirrorless cameras are equipped with EVF. Some mirrorless camera doesn’t have EVF like Canon Eos M or several Sony Nex models. This camera are only equipped with back LCD, which is not very useful for example in bright sunlight. Most bridge compact cameras(more serious cameras with longer zoom range) has also EVF. In newer mirrorless cameras the EVF can be substantially better, than the EVF used in compact cameras.
The EVF put together the colors from three dots (red, green, blue), and like TV’s some backlighting is necessary, because there is no light in itself, like white Led or other lighting. Because of this the actual resolution is 1/3 of the actual pixel count. Newest cameras today have EVF with 2.3 Million pixel resolution, with OLED quality, with high refresh rate, earlier this was very rare, the Panasonic GH1 with 1.4 Million pixel was the best.
What is the difference between Dslr cameras optical viewfinder (OVF) and electronic viewfinder(EVF) ?
In Dslr cameras the mirror and the prism lead the light directly in our eyes, while in case of the electronic viewfinder the image in a viewfinder projected by the image sensor as the LCD works in compact cameras. It is like the camera would have two LCD monitor one at the back of the camera other up in the hole in a smaller shaded place.
Pros and Cons of electronic viewfinder
-No mirror, the cameras can be much smaller and lighter
-EVF has usually 100% coverage
-Possible to show other informations as well in the viewfinder
-in sunny weather it is possible to look back pictures as well
-in dark the evf can be better because it is illuminated, if it has gain control,unfortunately most viewfinders becomes blank
-picture magnification is possible
-we can see aperture, color, white balance depth of field before we make the picture
-crop mode can be possible for example Sony a99
-delay compare to reality
-refresh rate, at optical viewfinder of the Dslr’s such as refresh rate is not exist, because we see as we see with our eyes continuously
-the picture much worse than the optical viewfinder, many times useless, especially in very bright scenes when we want to photograph upwards the electronic viewfinder has the limitations of the electronic sensor, while the Optical viewfinder is not influenced by the electronics
-energy consumption high like the LCD, battery life is shorter – eye sensor helps to save energy
-fast moving objects appear strobed
-most viewfinders becomes blank in the dark
What you prefer?
If I can choose for serious photography I prefer the optical viewfinder and Dslr camera, but if I want the camera to be small and light the EVF is better. Most advanced photographer prefers optical viewfinder above Electronic viewfinders.
Advantages of optical viewfinder:
-No delay, real picture
-No electronics, no battery consumption
-Simple, not gone wrong unless broken
-No problem in the extreme lighting situations, or in the very dark
Some cameras like Fuji X- pro1 camera has hybrid viewfinders, meaning that there is an optical viewfinder and a back LCD panel as well.