Mirrorless electronic viewfinders in dark?

1 month 1 week ago #651843 by Miss Polly
My friend is trying to convince me to move to mirrorless and she let me use her Nikon Z6.  But what I have noticed is that in low light, it's tough to see things.  And if you want to photograph stars, you can't see anything on the display.  Is that just a mirrorless thing or is there a setting that needs to be adjusted in order to see in low light?


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1 month 1 week ago #651851 by Shadowfixer1
I'm not sure about the Z6 but my Olympus has a "Live View Boost" mode for these situations. It's especially useful when shooting strobes/flash in a studio. I assume most mirrorless cameras have a similar setting. Download the manual and read through it.  

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1 month 1 week ago #651963 by Duncan K
What is your screen brightness set too? 


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1 month 1 week ago #651973 by fmw
Does it work better for you to use the eye level finder?


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1 month 1 week ago #651999 by icepics
I use the viewscreen instead to see better. With mine I'm able to see stars on the viewscreen but never tried it with the electronic viewfinder (because I don't do star photography particularly, just have done an occasional moon/nighttime sky shot).

I don't if it's any better or worse in low light compared to other film cameras I have with optical viewfinders. Seems to depend on how low the light is how well you can see, whatever you use.

Sharon
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1 month 1 week ago - 1 month 1 week ago #652001 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day Miss Polly

Okay - as someone who has used EVF cameras for many years maybe I can help 'confuse' you some more :)

In low-light level circumstances, the EVF outshines the optical viewfinder every time - as the EVF "auto-brighten / darken" arrangement takes over and in this case, boosts whatever the camera sees. However, in doing so, it also introduces noise as it struggles to boost what's not there - if you follow what I mean! The photo when taken is identical to any other dSLR / mirrorless / superzoom-bridge camera

When there is NO light ... ie: stars & the Milky Way, then there is little-to-nothing there for the EVF to boost, so you get an almost-black viewfinder full of noise, and need to do as every dSLR user does at similar times, "point it generally in the right direction and take a test shot".

There have been heaps of times for me when I have had a 'black' sky and seen nothing, set ISO-800 & "M" & 60-seconds and discovered heaps of stars 'up there' when the camera returns to me and displays what it has seen and photographed

to comment on other posts ..... for this type of stuff I use the fold-out LCD screen rather than the EVF simply for convenience as the tripod legs get nudged when I get in real-close to view via the eyepiece

Hope this helps
Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/


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1 month 1 week ago #652007 by icepics
That's a good description Ozzie, that's exactly what it does - gets noisier in lower light so it's harder to see. It's basically a mini me version of what's on a viewscreen! lol

I've done OK with a viewscreen with Christmas lights but haven't tried the viewfinder with those either. Thought maybe it was me and I couldn't see them that well on the smaller screen, it just is too small for me for tricky lighting conditions.

Sharon
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1 month 6 days ago #652133 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day Sharon

Yes - electrical 'noise' is with us everyday with every electrical device we use. Normally the signal comes in 'loud and clear' and we never hear or see the noise, but as with the car radio 'crackling' when we're away from town, or the TV signal 'blips' on the screen as the signal drops away and noise takes over when we're some distance away from the transmitter antenna [or during thinderstorms].

Over the years when doing after-dark pics of varying sorts I have been pleasantly surprised on many occasions at the low-light 'brightness' of the EVF and the visual detail within the screen. The 'but' is with star trails, where there is damn-all to see via the F2,8 lens and one just has to "point and shoot". It only takes a minute or two to do the check-pics and align the tripod accordingly - and away you go :)

Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/


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1 month 5 days ago #652195 by Little Kate
Can't you just manually focus on brightest dot and leave at that for night time stuff?  


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1 month 5 days ago #652225 by Ozzie_Traveller

Little Kate wrote: Can't you just manually focus on brightest dot and leave at that for night time stuff?  

G'day Kate

Yeah - often you can do that fairly easily, though sometimes the brightest dot is still pretty dim.
However around town with plenty of street lighting, there's no problems  :)

Phil


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1 month 1 day ago #652623 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day all

Last night I decided to try a Milky Way shot directly overhead, using the Panny FZ-200 with its electronic viewfinder as per the new mirrorless SLRs

Camera on tripod, centre column raised slightly so that I couly swivel the ball-head into a vertical / above me, opened and swivelled the LCD screen so that I could see the overhead sky without craning my neck into the eyepiece

Set camera to MF mode, "M" for 15-seconds exposure + ISO-1600, 1x zoom equals 24mm in film camera mode, and then gently moved the camera/ ball head slightly until I saw a nice bright star towards the centre of the image.

Pressed the panny MF-focus button and 'hey-presto' the camera pulled the star into focus very nicely.  A bit more gentle sideways adjustments and the pic was taken

Bottom line ... if a 6-yr old superzoom / bridge camera can do it nicely, todays newer mirrorless cameras will be even better  :)

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As always, feedback welcome
Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/


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