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Which is better OVF or EVF

Deciding between OVF and EVF, two types of viewfinders, can be tricky.

This article will give you an overview of each, their pros and cons. Plus, some tips to help you decide which one is right for you!

Definition of OVF and EVF

OVF (Optical Viewfinder) and EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) have different ways of working. Let’s understand each one.

OVF shows a reflection of the scene in front of you. It uses light guided by the lens, allowing quick adjustments without any delay.

EVF displays an electronic preview of the subject. It can show previews like histograms or depth of field which are not available through OVF.

Pros and Cons of OVF

As a photographer, I’m often debating: OVF or EVF? An OVF is the classic type of viewfinder used in cameras for decades. It can provide a great view of the image, but has some negatives.

In this post, I’m going to discuss the pros and cons of OVF. This can help you make an informed decision and figure out which viewfinder is best for you.

Advantages of OVF

The Optical Viewfinder (OVF) offers an accurate view of a scene – the “what you see, is what you get” approach. This makes it easier for photographers to frame their photos in a more natural way. OVFs are capable of reflecting up to 94% more light than Electronic Viewfinders (EVFs), giving users a truer representation even in dim lighting. Furthermore, OVFs don’t require energy, so they don’t drain camera batteries like EVFs do.

Another benefit of OVF is better eye relief. People who wear glasses don’t have to worry about strain on their eyes, since there’s no digital display involved. In contrast, EVFs often cause eyestrain due to the short distance between the eye and the display. This makes OVF a great choice for those who need glasses. Additionally, since no energy is needed to power an OVF, cameras with this technology can last for longer periods of time, allowing for more shooting throughout the day.

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Disadvantages of OVF

When considering the pros and cons of an optical viewfinder (OVF) and an electronic viewfinder (EVF), I have found that the OVF has fewer advantages. One issue is that it can be hard to see what you are looking at accurately, especially in low light. Your eye only gets a light-level version of the image. This can lead to overlooking details that could make a good shot great.

OVFs also cannot show camera settings, so you may not notice important details like battery power or focus points. This means that you must set manual controls for each shot, taking up more time.

Furthermore, it is hard to compare the image in your mind with the actual image captured on film or digital media, since you cannot see through the OVF what the camera sees. Lastly, the OLED screens in OVFs are usually much smaller than LCD screens on digital cameras. This means you might miss part of a scene while composing your shot – something that doesn’t happen with EVFs or LCD previews.

Pros and Cons of EVF

I, an experienced photographer, have considered the benefits and drawbacks of both Optical Viewfinder (OVF) and Electronic Viewfinder (EVF).

My own experiences reveal that EVF has its own pros and cons. Here, I will be discussing in detail the advantages and disadvantages of EVF.

Advantages of EVF

When shopping for a digital camera, people have two viewfinder options: Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) and Optical Viewfinder (OVF). Knowing the benefits of each can help you make the best choice.

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EVFs have several advantages. The lens often captures information from the image sensor in real-time, giving a live preview that reflects your settings. This is great for checking sharpness, exposure and other important factors during shooting.

Plus, many EVFs have focus aids like focus peaking or split screen magnification. These make focusing fast and accurate – even for new photographers. Additionally, EVFs often come with advanced features like zebra stripes or histograms. This allows more control over your final image, saving editing time later.

Disadvantages of EVF

EVFs have some advantages, but there are also a few drawbacks. Eye fatigue is common with EVFs because of their intense concentration. It’s harder to check focus with a small screen. Image lag is likely when shooting moving subjects at fast shutter speeds. EVFs also require more battery power.

Comparison between OVF and EVF

Photographers face a challenge when choosing between Optical Viewfinder (OVF) and Electronic Viewfinder (EVF). Each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Let us compare OVF and EVF to help you decide which is best for you.


When comparing prices, OVF is usually cheaper. But, some higher-priced OVF models exist. If you’re on a budget, an OVF could be best for you.

On the flip side, EVFs have become more affordable. Digital camera production has increased, and technology has advanced. This allows camera makers to lower prices. Though, EVFs are still usually more expensive than OVFs.

Viewfinder Resolution

When choosing between an OVF and an EVF, resolution is essential. OVFs use a series of lenses and prisms to let light in and show an optical viewfinder image. However, this type of viewfinder is lower fidelity than an EVF. Mirrorless cameras typically have higher-resolution EVFs. Some DSLRs also have adopted this system.

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EVFs provide sharper details when framing, which makes focusing easier, especially in difficult situations. It’s beneficial for large scenes like landscapes or group shots in changing light conditions.


AF tech has advanced to make cameras focus faster and more accurately. Though OVF is usually better in speed and accuracy, an EVF can offer more focus options, like eye AF and face priority AF. You can preview more depth-of-field with an OVF, yet the image on screen can affect how a subject appears and lead to focusing errors.

It takes practice to decide which is better for your shooting needs. An outdoor photographer may prefer the speed of an OVF, but another may prefer the scene info of an EVF. Ultimately, it depends on personal preference and experience.

Shooting Speed

Electronic viewfinders (EVFs) have faster shooting speed than optical viewfinders (OVFs). OVFs use a mirror system, which causes a blackout each time the shutter is activated. EVFs, however, don’t need any mirrors. They electronically “simulate” an image, using info from the camera’s imaging sensor. This means you can take multiple shots in rapid succession without any delay between them — great for sports and wildlife photography.


It all relies on your personal taste and what you need from a viewfinder. For a classic photography experience, an OVF is the way to go. However, if you want to see the image exactly how it will look when taken, and don’t mind a bit of extra tech, pick an EVF. Both can produce great images, so it’s ultimately up to you to choose the one that fits your needs best.

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