The great thing about electric viewfinders: you see augmented reality!
I’m currently shooting with a Lumix g9, in JPEG, with “Dynamic monochrome” film simulation preset. It actually looks really good!
What I’ve been enjoying about shooting with the Lumix G9 is the epic electronic viewfinder. I’ve always been skeptical about electronic viewfinders (thought it was inferior to optical viewfinder), but now — my opinion has changed. I probably prefer shooting with an EVF (electronic viewfinder) more than an optical viewfinder.
Why? The world looks much more interesting when shooting through an electronic viewfinder, especially when you’re shooting in monochrome JPEG preview. “What you see is what you get”— so you can better visualize what your photos are going to look like!
EVF and LCD
I like to switch between shooting with the EVF (when I want to frame things more carefully), and I prefer shooting with the back LCD when I’m on the go, and shooting while moving.
And to be clear — I don’t think there is a “best” type of viewfinder. EVF, LCD, optical viewfinder— it is all good to me.
I think it’s about figuring out under which circumstances an EVF is preferable, when an LCD is preferable, and when an OVF (optical viewfinder) is preferable.
There are so many ways of seeing the world
Even with optical viewfinders, you have different magnifications, different prism types, and types (SLR, single lens reflex viewfinder) vs (rangefinder window).
My suggestion is to just experiment with all of them — and figure out what works for you.
Problems with viewfinders on Leicas or rangefinders
Also you will never frame 100% accurately on a rangefinder, because the edges or corners of the frame aren’t precise. If you want to frame more accurately, best to use an electronic viewfinder, optical SLR finder, etc.
In praise of night vision mode
I’ve been shooting with the “night vision” mode on the Lumix G9, which turns the lcd screen totally red and black (requires new firmware update). It’s very interesting — I think it helps me better compose my photos, and see the world in black and white.
Thus, when I’m using the electronic viewfinder with that black and red preview, it further abstracts reality — which makes it fun to look at random stuff!
I’m just curious before taking a picture:
What would this look like in black and white, or black and red?
Shoot to see what the world looks like photographed – Garry Winogrand
Shoot photos to fulfill your curiosity of:
If I took a photo of this scene, what would the photos look like?
I don’t think the point of photography is to create a factually-accurate depiction of the world. Instead, the point of photography is to abstract reality, augment reality, and to make it more surreal!
So shoot more photos for fun — especially to visualize the world in monochrome. Even with color photography — I prefer to shoot and look at color photos with hyper-saturated colors, because it looks more interesting than reality!
Never stop shooting,