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Monday, 02 January 2017


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I had a Contax RTSiii and found the v/f great indoors, or in overcast light. But in bright sunlight, those light blue letters just washed right out. The Aria was much better, with its green lettering system.

Mike, you are missing the most commonly used viewfinder of modern cameras ... the LCD. I have the X-Pro2 and now find that I only use the OVF or EVF whenever I can't use the LCD. It is getting to be a rare occasion when I don't use the LCD now that I'm mostly making pictures inside or in bad weather. Even outside on a bright day I use the EVF or OVF only as a last resort.

Yeah, I saw that when it came out, and Fuji has it again (with an option) for their new DMF camera. I wish every camera had this feature---including the OVF's! And I agree with you that a *good* (meaning, pleasing to me for some reasons)VF makes a big, big difference in shooting.

Hmm. Well perhaps there's more to the GX8's rotating viewfinder than its predecessor's? I was attracted to the GX7's tilting viewfinder when it was introduced in 2013. It seemed clever and handy. But surprisingly in actual practice I didn't find it so useful. I prefer to keep the camera AWAY from my face as much as possible, to which end I find the tilting high-res screen to be THE (almost) must-have feature on my list. The P.O.V. enabled by the tilting viewfinder just isn't that far off the standing eye axis unless you're on your knees.

To each his own.

I'm looking forward to testing the Fuji GFX, which is reported to have a detachable (upgradeable?) EVF with 3.7M dots, .85x mag and an optional attachment for tilt. The viewing screen has 3-way tilting, all in a weather sealed package, with a 43.8x32.9mm sensor and 51.4MP. The lens line looks promising, too.

The Leica S007 still has the most gorgeous OVF, but comes at a cost (in dollars and size/weight), and still has lens AF motor reliability issues.

Leica is expected to announce a new M on January 18th, and rumors abound regarding possible changes to its RF/viewing system, either in this model or another forthcoming one. I've loved traditional M viewing from film and digital; it will be interesting to see if any changes represent the future or merely present an additional option.

It is, indeed, the best thing sinced slice bread (how old am I, huh?). Though mine's on a GX-7.


Thanks, pal, I have a GX7 and very little money, and I have come to find myself satisfied with it and my OMD-EM5ii in a way that I have not been since film. Cameras for years, I thought, till I saw the announcement of the GX-8, but after reading about it, I though, that's a pile of money for a little good ans a problem I don't have (that pesky shutter business: is it a real thing or not?), and now I think maybe it would be a good idea after all.

Oh well....

[Nothing wrong with a GX7. I believe Carl Weese still shoots with his.

Oh, and check out Stephen Scharf's Featured Comment for the new upgrade *I* can't afford. --Mike]

When I first checked out the GX8, for some reason, I thought it didn't have a microphone jack. For me that was a deal breaker. I love the GX7 I purchased from you but alas I had to replace it with the G85. My sweetie is very excited to get my GX7 as she is sick and tired of lugging her 5DmkII and all that heavy L series glass around when we travel. The G85 has a wonderful EVF as well.

Mike, in case a few of your readers aren't familiar with the quirky Ricoh GXR that offered a clip-on EVF, here's a photo of mine with the A12 "M" mount (module).


OM-n series. best viewfinders by a mile in my opinion, especially give the small form factor of the cameras. Not to mention interchangeable screens. This is why I cannot warm 100% to the otherwise great qualities of the Fuji XT-1. I still use my OM's and when I bring one up to the eye, the difference is palpable...

I have never handled a GX-8, so there may well be details of the way it implements the tilting EVF that make a big difference in the user experience. However, "looking on from the outside", it appears to be a copy of the EVF of the Konica-Minolta A-2 that I bought in 2004.

I really liked that camera, and especially the tilting EVF. It has since been replaced by my Sony A6000, but I really, really wish the Sony cameras had inherited the tilting EFV, as I often find the tilting screen to be a poor substitute for the tilting EVF when I want the capability to frame the image while looking down.

- Tom -

Back in the day, I was hot to trot for the revolutionary small OM-1. Instead, I opted for a substantially larger Nikkormat FT2 with a somewhat smaller VF simply because it was so damn sharp and contrasty as opposed to the Oly's VF that was as flat as it was large.

Right now, EVF's are overwhelmingly superior in the dark, perfectly adequate in the shade, and at times, barely tolerable in direct sunlight/contrasty lighting. When EVF's equal LCD's- mirrorless will have finally come of age operationally.

Flip-up screens aren't very useful for shooting in portrait orientation...

What we need is a flip up screen that can also rotate 90 degrees.

20 years ago I used a Nikon RF with a 1:1 VF. I've been looking for something as perfect ever since. Personally, I haven't found it yet, but in our world of infinite possibilities I'm still hopeful.

@ Dave Millier: "What we need is a flip up screen that can also rotate 90 degrees.".

Buy a Fuji X-T2. It's as close as exists today.

The innovation is that it is *in-built*, and as such originated in the GX7, although the GX8's is a much-needed upgrade.

Tilting EVF's were a common hotshoe-mounted accessory for VF-less Olympus and Panasonic cameras for a few years, until the GX7 integrated it, and that was the innovation.

Like you, I loved the tilting feature of my GX7 EVF.

I mostly agree with you about the Peugeot 604. Wide track, wide tires and good fore/aft weight distribution, together with whatever they did in the linkage details, made it a joy to steer.

I loved my gas version, until the minor repairs I could do moved into full falling apart mode.

The Audi 5000CS Turbo Quattro that overlapped with and succeeded it was also a joy to drive/steer. The all mechanical full time quattro drive and weight balance made it an amazing handling car in the curvy stuff. Lighter/quicker on its feet than the 604 for that.

I had a GX7; used it for over 10,400 shots and liked it a lot. I never could find a use for the tilting aspect of the EVF. I don't recall ever wanting to look down and not using the LCD screen for the purpose. I can't imagine what the GX8 can have changed that would make me use it differently.

If they had dropped the tilting feature on the GX8, it would have had zero effect on my choice to buy or not. Never have wished that the EVFs on my GM5 and ZS50, which are otherwise located in the same place on the bodies, tilted.

I also had a tilting EVF accessory for Pens, and never tilted it in use.

We're all different. And thus all such awards, "real" or casual are expressions of taste, not some form of absolute.

[What else? --Mike]

I notice that the GX80/85 is already being heavily discounted. At around £450, the £200 cashback deal makes it £250 in the U.K at the moment (until Jan 9th, I think). That'll learn 'em for not including a flippy EVF (or focus mode switch).

The GX8 is from 2015.

I did not try it yet, but the best innovation of 2016 seems to me the improvement of the stabilization on the OM-D E-M1 mark II. Five seconds handheld exposures! I have a VF-2 tilting viewfinder that I still use for table top and macro work now and then. On a tripod at my home studio.
A tilting LCD is much more useful outdoors for waist level and semi overhead shots. Almost as versatile as my old Rolleiflex.

IMHO, the best thing about flip-out ("flippy") rear screens is that they can be reversed against the camera body, to show no screen at all. I'm sure they're great for video or weird angles, but being able to just look through the viewfinder (EVF in most cases) is refreshing to me, even though I barely used film cameras at all. Perhaps because it comes without the discombobulating momentary brightness and distraction of a settings screen or live view as I bring the camera up to my eye.

(Knowing that, in the future, the phrase "bring the camera up to my eye" will disappear like the Dodo.)

I tried the GX-something-or-other (don't recall which but it might have been an 80) in a department store a week ago. I need a +diopter so I dialled to the max. I couldn't get a clear image and I said so to the assistant who said that GX models have a generic viewfinder and don't work as well as those on other makes tailored to the camera.

That sounded odd, (+2.5 is +2.5, no?) but the fact is that I couldn't get a clear image.

Anyone with a Panasonic who can comment on this?

Meanwhile I am still hunting for something I can put a normal or short tele lens on - that has super-fast AF, image stabilisation in the body, and face detection.

I am hovering around a D5500 body only, an X-e2 with 35 1.4 or an EM-5 with something or other.

I love the car steering analogy. I bought my last car (Infiniti G37S) mainly because of its sublime steering feel. I enjoy the power from its V6 engine and the luxury features but the real reason I love the car is because of the way steering feels and communicates. Incidentally, I also own the GX8. I put my GX7 up for sale once I peered through the viewfinder of the GX8. I'm able to resist the lure of new cars and new cameras now because I think what I have is truly special :-)

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