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Thread: Exposure simulation through viewfinder??

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    Exposure simulation through viewfinder??

    Hey all,

    I'm wodering if any Canon DSLR's have exposure simulation through the viewfinder, or whether this feature is only in Live View mode as per my 60D? What I mean by exposure simulation is that the viewfider gets darker / lighter depending on aperture / shutter speed adjustments.

    I think this would be an extremely useful feature to take the guesswork out of ensuring correct exposure (I hate shooting Live View unless absolutely necassary).

    Thanks!

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Which Canon? Features vary between models.
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    There is a Depth of View preview button for the Canon bodies. Most of them is a small one near the lens (not be mistaken by the lens release button) Press and hold on that and you should be able to see the exposure simulation you described thru the view finder.

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    Im confused really, you only see through the viewfinder what you see with the naked eye dont you ?

    The meter is there to help you with the exposure. Im not sure Id personally want an alternative electronically generated view and would prefer to use the LCD playback for that
    Last edited by kiwi; 06-07-2011 at 1:42pm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Which Canon? Features vary between models.
    I have a 60D, which doesn't have the feature I'm asking about. Does any Canon DSLR (or any brand for that matter)?

    Quote Originally Posted by andylo View Post
    There is a Depth of View preview button for the Canon bodies. Most of them is a small one near the lens (not be mistaken by the lens release button) Press and hold on that and you should be able to see the exposure simulation you described thru the view finder.
    Yes, but my understanding is that the DOF preview button only simulates the selected aperture & doesnlt take shutter speed into account, so this isn't what I'm talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Im confused really, you only see through the viewfinder what you see with the naked eye dont you ?
    Yes, this is the case on my 60D. My question is is a simulated view available on other models??
    Last edited by nico; 06-07-2011 at 1:50pm.

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    NO, Not that I know of, I just have the DOF preview that Andy talked about, The 60D is the lastest offering so
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    Hmmm. I swear my old Sony a330 had this feature...
    Last edited by nico; 06-07-2011 at 2:12pm.

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    Im pretty certain its not a Nikon feature in any model either

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    It is not sensibly possible to do this with a viewfinder. You can do it with a screen - this is how you can see it with live view, or through a point and shoot camera with an EVF instead of a real viewfinder. Just take the shot and chimp if you need to.
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    7D only via screen (exp simulator)
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    Quote Originally Posted by nico View Post
    ...my understanding is that the DOF preview button only simulates the selected aperture & doesnlt take shutter speed into account, so this isn't what I'm talking about.
    I can't see how shutter speed could possibly be simulated other than by giving you a 'frozen' view, which is not going to happen with an optical viewfinder. Surely it would be easiest to just make a test exposure if you need to?

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    What Tony says is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.. so help him.... <insert diety of choice here>

    With an optical viewfinder, it's impossible to simulate every concievable exposure combination.... That is, from pure white to pure black.

    I don't know of any Nikon cameras that do an exposure simulator mode via the review screen, but if you set a Canon camera(with this feature) to manual and set it up with certain parameters, does it give you a visual cue of the actual scene with the expected exposure?

    That is, imagine a dimly lit scene at night that requires ISO100, 15s and f/2.8, for a good exposure, and you set the camera up with ISO1600 30s and f/1.4(which will be almost pure white by comparison).. does the image review screen display a pure white nothingness, or does it simply display the scene as best as it can, BUT with a massively over blown histogram indicator ?

    The optical path through to an optical viewfinder is completely independent to the sensor/film plane, but I suppose could be made to indicate a possible exposure scenario. That would require a filtering and lighting system in the viewfinder to simulate how an exposure would turn out, which in turn would be based on what the metering system is reading. Too much complexity for no real gain tho.
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    Quote Originally Posted by soulman View Post
    I can't see how shutter speed could possibly be simulated other than by giving you a 'frozen' view, which is not going to happen with an optical viewfinder. Surely it would be easiest to just make a test exposure if you need to?
    I didn't expect anyone could explain the science of how this could work, that's for the egg-heads at the big manufacturers to work out!

    Imagine if you COULD look through the viewfinder, depress 1/2 way & see exactly how your shot will expose with the current shutter / aperture setting & you could adjust until you were happy. I reckon that would be sweet.

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    Member James T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nico View Post
    I didn't expect anyone could explain the science of how this could work, that's for the egg-heads at the big manufacturers to work out!

    Imagine if you COULD look through the viewfinder, depress 1/2 way & see exactly how your shot will expose with the current shutter / aperture setting & you could adjust until you were happy. I reckon that would be sweet.
    You may as well use liveview if you've got that much time.

    Anyway, as said, not going to happen with an optical viewfinder.

    To me it would be a nasty feature anyway, lots of time and effort goes into making viewfinders as bright as possible. They're for seeing through, making it darker means it's harder to focus, frame, interact with your subject.

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nico View Post
    I didn't expect anyone could explain the science of how this could work, that's for the egg-heads at the big manufacturers to work out!
    It already does work.

    Perfectly, or pretty close to it. There is even a name for the thing you look though that does this: it's called an Electronic View Finder, or an EVF for short. Most photographers don't like them, but some cameras have them and they are becoming quite common these days, so it's easy enough to find one if that's what floats your boat.

    You even have the ability to do this and still keep an actual viewfinder, via the magic of live view. At least on Canon cameras (not sure about other brands) you can set live view to show you exactly what you are getting. (There is a switch for it, I forget where.)

    But if you want that in the viewfinder then it isn't a viewfinder anymore. Wishing for a viewfinder that does what you want is like wishing for a fish with a beak, wattles and feathers that can fly, lay eggs, and wake you up before sunrise. You can have one anytime you want, but most people will probably call it a chicken.

    (Hint: if you want it to lay eggs and call before daybreak, you will probably need two of them.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by James T View Post
    They're for seeing through, making it darker means it's harder to focus, frame, interact with your subject.
    It could also be brighter, depending on where you set your exposure. It would only be darker if you chose to under expose the shot considerably & you'd rarely chose to do that...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    You even have the ability to do this and still keep an actual viewfinder, via the magic of live view. At least on Canon But if you want that in the viewfinder then it isn't a viewfinder anymore. Wishing for a viewfinder that does what you want is like wishing for a fish with a beak, wattles and feathers that can fly, lay eggs, and wake you up before sunrise. You can have one anytime you want, but most people will probably call it a chicken.

    (Hint: if you want it to lay eggs and call before daybreak, you will probably need two of them.)
    So you're saying that it's impossible for modern science? I find that hard to believe I button similar to DOF preview where you could quickly check expoure before taking a shot surely wouldn't be too hard to implement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nico View Post
    It could also be brighter, depending on where you set your exposure. It would only be darker if you chose to under expose the shot considerably & you'd rarely chose to do that...



    So you're saying that it's impossible for modern science? I find that hard to believe I button similar to DOF preview where you could quickly check expoure before taking a shot surely wouldn't be too hard to implement.
    You can do that, as had been said, via an electronic viewfinder.

    Theoretically maybe you could implement some system of variable ND filter somewhere in the pentaprism.. but that's a whole heap more calculations for the camera to do. And then if you dialled in a bright exposure, how do you expect that to be shown through an optical viewfinder? By amplifying the light coming through the lens? Oh, wait, that's an electronic viewfinder...

    It would have to show either as your eyes see it, or darker as with the DOF preview button stopping down the aperture.
    Last edited by James T; 06-07-2011 at 5:02pm.

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    No. It has already been done and there is a name for it. It is called an EVF. most people don't like them, but if you want an EVF, go ahead and buy one. You can still call it a fish viewfinder if you want to.

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    The Sony SLR's with the semi-transparent mirror have this feature, but the viewfinder is just a small, LCD screen.
    Some point and shoot cameras like the new Fuji X-100 also have a projected image over the optical view, but I haven't heard of this in any SLR's.
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    If you want a screen then look at the screen; why would you want to put a screen in the viewfinder when you have a screen at the back?

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