Jan 162012

So, I’ve been the proud and fortunate owner of the Sony Alpha A77 for a few months now. Like many, one of my primary concerns with the camera was the EVF, or electronic view finder. Like so many, I was concerned about image quality, response speed, accuracy of colors and exposure, etc. etc. The list of fears went on and on.

8mm Shot of Brisbane Marina

8mm Shot of Brisbane Marina

My Vote: EVF preferred over OVF

My impressions of the EVF thus far is that it is superior to the A700 optical viewfinder, which already, was brighter and larger than most APS-C DSLR optical viewfinders, bested by the A900’s full frame optical viewfinder. When I say superior, I am referring to the following:

Accuracy of composition

  • With an EVF, you get 100% of the framed shot. With the A700, as great as it was, you would always end up with a mysterious border of a few pixels. Not enough to spoil most compositions, but leaves the door open to distracting elements getting in the shot, which you had thought were composed out.

Accuracy of exposure

  • The EVF does what the OVF can’t: give you a prediction of how your exposed shot will look. At 1/800th of a second, at 8 seconds, or at 18 seconds… darkness comes to life with an EVF. It isn’t perfect, no. But then again, neither is the OVF.

What most people complain about, however, are the following:

Refresh rate of the EVF

  • Yes, while the refresh rate is amazing, it isn’t so fast that you don’t notice pan lag or other factors. Physics is on OVF’s side here.

Blackout during shooting

  • True. Shoot sequential at slower speeds, and you will see screen blackout. If you do image review, you will get blackout and a flicker of the last image you shot. I turn off image review and shoot at 5fps, since 3fps will result in extended blackouts. However, blackouts were present with OVF(s), so this is really more an exchange than a new issue.

Noisey/Grainy/Color casts

  • You have simply replaced a view that was too dark to see anything in with one that is grainy and color casted because of gain amplification. I consider this to be an exchange of faults as well.

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