If you’ve shot with DSLRs in a professional capacity, you probably know about the idea of a tilted viewfinder. You’d probably also understand it if you’ve shot medium format SLR film cameras. But to date, nothing like that has come to mirrorless cameras, with the exception of a few external viewfinders for Leica, Panasonic, and Olympus. However, Canon apparently has a patent for one that’s part of the camera — and we’re all about it.
Canon filed a patent for a tiltable EVF, according to Photo Rumors, and in the still photography world, this is pretty revolutionary. Granted, stuff like this has existed for a while in the view world. In fact, it’s been an integral part of the company’s camcorders for over a decade now. But it hasn’t been a native part of a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Instead, you could only do it via an external viewfinder attachment. It was one of the most exciting parts of the Olympus Pen cameras.
While nearly every camera on the market has a tilting LCD screen, it’s not quite the same as using a tilting EVF. One of the biggest reasons why is that the standard LCD screen on a camera hasn’t increased in resolution in years. They’re all right around the same. However, the EVFs on the market have become more and more pixel-dense. In lots of applications for critical focus and when wearing glasses, it usually makes more logical sense to use the EVF.
For the record, this is something that really has to be experienced, but there are tons of situations where a tilting EVF is so much better than using the LCD screen. Here are a few:
- Shooting sports while prone.
- Shooting wildlife photography while prone.
- Shooting macro images without a tripod while trying to minimize camera shake. This is especially the case when shooting with just natural light.
- Holding the camera closer to your chest while shooting at a slower shutter speed.
In the days of DSLRs and SLRs, these were sometimes called sports finders. Using the EVF also tends to use less power on the camera. And considering how much of an energy suck modern Canon cameras compared to the older DSLRs, this is especially valuable.
For the record, Leica and Sony have better EVFs than Canon has currently. But Canon’s still aren’t all that bad. Leica has often licensed their visioflex EVF from Olympus — now OM System. Canon has also made them for their EF-M series cameras for years.
So why not just make an external EVF? Well, let’s face it: modern cameras have become ridiculous. For video, you have to attach a million things to them to make them viable. For photography, you don’t need as much, but there are additions that truly do help.
Canon could surely still screw this up, though. They’re a brand that somehow or another tends to butcher features of cameras. They could do something like make a tilting EVF but not give it a diopter. Canon could also make it have an unusually low resolution. On the other hand, they could deliver this feature with a camera that doesn’t hold back at all. If the new Canon EOS R1 or Canon EOS R5 II come out with this new tilting EVF, I’d hope that it’s got a higher resolution.
If the new Canon EOS R5 II has the tilting EVF along with the eye detection autofocus feature, then it could be a truly fascinating new feature for several photographers.