Electronic Viewfinders: 7 Things You Should Know (EVFs)

What is an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)?

It is through the viewfinder of your camera that you will frame your photograph. The term “optical viewfinder” refers to the viewfinder found on the majority of DSLR cameras. Looking via an optical viewfinder is similar to looking through the lens of a camera, only it is more accurate (the light is bouncing off a mirror and flipped through a prism). It’s actually rather interesting!

However, while using an electronic viewfinder (EVF), you’re essentially only gazing at a little screen on your computer (usually LCD or OLED). Although it may not seem like a huge change, using a camera with an electronic viewfinder (EVF) may make learning photography far easier. Here are seven things you should be aware of while using an electronic viewfinder:

1. Exposure preview

A real-time preview of your exposure is provided by an electronic viewfinder, which means that the brightness of your shot will be similar to what you see via the EVF when you take your photo. It is impossible to overstate the importance of this. Having a real-time exposure preview can assist you with dialing in the precise exposure you desire without having to constantly chime the camera (like you might do with a DSLR with an optical viewfinder).

2. Depth of field preview

With an electronic viewfinder, you can receive a preview of what your depth of field will be, just as you can with exposure. You’re looking through the optical viewfinder with the lens aperture wide open with most optical viewfinders, which doesn’t give you a good picture of what the real depth of focus will be in the image when you hit the shutter release button. There is a “depth of field” preview button on most DSLRs, which will close down the aperture to whatever you have set it to – the problem is that if you’re shooting at smaller apertures, the depth of field preview button will make things appear unrealistically dark through the optical viewfinder (because the small aperture will greatly reduce the amount of light passing through to the optical viewfinder). In addition, having to push a button every time you want to see a depth of field preview is a pain in the neck.

If you use an electronic viewfinder, you’ll have a better notion of what your depth of field will look like (at the right exposure), and you’ll be able to make more rapid judgments regarding lenses and focal lengths in order to get the depth of field you wish.

3.  Black and white preview

In many cases, using an electronic viewfinder, you can turn on picture style options and see a sample of what those settings will look like before you commit to them. To give you an example, you could receive a live preview of how everything would look in black and white (which may be really helpful in terms of composition and exposure choices). In many cases, you may still shoot in the raw format (giving you the option of color later).

4. The camera needs to be on

It is possible to glance via optical viewfinders even while the camera is not in use. With an EVF, on the other hand, the camera must be switched on (since the camera’s sensor must be gathering light information and showing it on the small screen), and the camera must be turned on. Inconvenient delays such as holding the camera upright to snap a picture, the camera is switched off or sleeping, and then looking into a black EVF while waiting for an image to show might occur.

5. EVFs deplete battery life

Using an electronic viewfinder (EVF), the camera must be continually receiving sensor information and presenting it on the tiny screen. The result is that batteries used by EVFs often last much shorter periods of time than batteries used by optical viewfinders in most cameras.

6. The EVF might not be bright enough

Even if you are shooting in full sunshine, you may discover that the EVF is not bright enough to view the image clearly and that you are unable to compose your shots effectively. This will change based on whether or not you wear glasses, as well as the eyecup surrounding the EVF on the camera you’re using.

7. Some EVFs are better than others

Not all electronic visual displays (EVS) are created equal. Others EVFs have more resolution than others, and some have lower resolution than others. Currently, the resolutions range from 2.36MP to around 4MP. The sharper the screen appears, the higher the resolution is set to.

However, the resolution is not the only thing to consider. EVF displays, like those used in televisions, can be either LCD or OLED. OLED screens have the advantage of being brighter and showing more color than LCD panels. Some cameras (such as the Fuji X-Pro2 and Fuji X100F) also include hybrid viewfinders, which let you to switch between optical and electronic viewfinders as needed.



Joseph is a talented photographer and videographer based in the USA, with a thriving career as a freelance creative. Over the past several years, he has had the privilege of working with renowned brands, capturing captivating images and videos. His portfolio encompasses a diverse range of subjects, specializing in fashion, portrait, and lifestyle content creation. From editorial shoots to engaging social media videos, Joseph's versatile skills ensure exceptional visual storytelling in every project. Beyond his professional endeavors, he nurtures a personal passion for travel and nature photography, channeling his deep appreciation for the environment into a commitment to sustainability and environmental causes.

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