When I first started to see mirrorless cameras I thought, “Who needs them?” I’m an originalist and I am all about my Canon 5D Mark IV but if I would have been into photography when film was the only media option, I think I would have thought the same about digital. Lots of people want the most updated new toy but at the same time don’t want to see what they know and love to die off. I started to see the appeal of using a digital viewfinder and once Canon drops a pro-level mirrorless camera, I think I will be one of the first to line up. Until then, when I need to see what my sensor sees, the Elvid OV50 OptiView 50 does the trick and does it well. It’s an LCD viewfinder that connects to your camera’s digital screen using magnets and enhances your ability to view what is being shown on your view screen. Not only am I seeing what the camera’s sensor is seeing but it’s also like I am seeing it in a larger screen since its right up against my eye.
The Elvid OptiView 50 is designed to work with a 3.2″ LCD Viewfinder. The viewfinder enlarges the LCD by 300%. It uses multi-coated optical glass for sharp imagery. It should work with most 3.0″ and 3.2″ screens in either 3:2 or 4:3 aspect ratios. The OptiView also blocks out light, which enables clear, contrasty viewing of your images. The viewfinder features a soft rubber eyecup that is usable on the left or right eye. Users have the flexibility of mounting it to your camera’s LCD screen with the included magnetic mounting frame or carrying it around on the lanyard (also included).
Magnification: 3x (300%)
Compatibility: 3.0″ or 3.2″ LCD screen with 4:3 or 3:2 aspect ratio
Lanyard: 19.5″ (49.5 cm)
Dimensions: 2.0 x 3.0 x 4.0″ (5.0 x 7.6 x 10.2 cm)
Weight: 3.5 oz (99.0 g)
USER EXPERIENCE – UNBOXING
The unboxing of the viewfinder is not very fulfilling. In fact, it’s just a simple black and gold color box with an outline drawing of the product on the front. If I was in a store I would probably walk right by it. There is nothing jumping out at me to get my attention. On the back, it does have a good description of what the product is and how it’s used.
When I started to use it I thought this would be perfect for super sunny days but what I am really finding myself using it the most for is macro shots. Because the viewfinder has a 3x zoom I have larger viewing experience to know for sure what I am getting in focus and what might be slightly off. This has been saving me time because instead of needing multiple shots that I need to dig through to see if I got the one I wanted just right, I can pretty much see on my first try. The fact that it also snaps off to be used as a sunshade so I can go back and view images with others in the bright sky is pretty handy.
Will an LCD viewfinder be necessary once I own a mirrorless camera? I am sure it will be. The fact that the Elvid OptiView 50 has a 3x-zoom for a larger viewing experience makes it useful just for that reason. When I saw its sticker price, I wasn’t sure if it was ‘worth it,’ but after using it for several types of shoots, I can definietely say it’s one of my go-to accessories now.
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