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There are still photographers who hate electronic viewfinders (EVFs). They just can’t get used to them. But sometimes, I think that it’s part of just not adapting and embracing what’s possible. I myself love electronic viewfinders. They’ve revolutionized how much easier it’s become for someone legally blind (me) to use a camera. But at the same time, I keep them functioning like optical viewfinders. Technologically, they’re superior to optical viewfinders. They’re also better if you understand them. So I’m going to help some folks understand electronic viewfinders better.
It Might Be the Wrong Camera
First off, not all electronic viewfinders are created equal. The best ones we’ve tested tend to be on Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and Leica bodies. Fujifilm’s are alright. Sony’s aren’t always there, or they tend to be small with a small amount of magnification. Panasonic’s tend to be so good that I sometimes don’t need my glasses to shoot with them because of the diopter. So overall, you have to just try various electronic viewfinders.
Probably the best one I’ve used is on the Canon EOS R5.
Disable Exposure Preview
This is a big one! Always disable exposure preview with electronic viewfinders. Lots of folks will say you’re then throwing away a big advantage. And in some ways, you are. But if you know how to meter to begin with, you won’t need to worry. Keeping exposure preview also slows the camera’s autofocus. That’s why manufacturers are pushing to make their cameras autofocus down to the lowest and darkest situations possible. The darker the scene is that your camera sees, the harder it will be to focus on the subject.
Set the electronic viewfinders to instead have a constant readout.
Disable White Balance Preview
Here’s another big one; disable the white balance preview. I sometimes like to keep white balance preview on because I shoot in Tungsten or Daylight. But in this case, electronic viewfinders are better with a neutral setting. Some cameras, like Olympus cameras, have a simulated OVF mode. Try that!
Maximum Refresh Rate
One big complaint about electronic viewfinders is that there’s a lag in the refresh rate. That’s easily fixable. You have to set the refresh rate to the maximum or something that doesn’t make you lose your mind. Sometimes it can appear like there’s tearing going on. But that’s not all the time.
This has become significantly better with cameras made after 2017.
Consider a Viewfinder Magnifier
Lastly, maybe the viewfinder is just too small. This happened to me many years ago when it became really tough for me to see my camera’s viewfinder. So, I prolonged the life of my camera by using a DSLRKIT viewfinder magnifier. It’s sometimes harder to get them for mirrorless cameras, but they’re not impossible to find.
Kits like this are adaptable. They fit around the camera’s viewfinder and then magnify exactly what’s in the viewfinder. Sometimes you need to recalibrate the diopter because of this. But it’s worth it. If you have bad eyes and your camera’s diopter isn’t doing it, then grab these. They’ll really enhance electronic viewfinders.