16 Feb 2008

Canon G9 optical viewfinder

I got a few minutes to get out and about with that new Canon G9 of mine yesterday. The first thing I wanted to do was put that optical viewfinder to the test after my initial misgivings. I found a very simply subject that was not moving, and tried to compose the same picture by using first the lcd screen and then the optical viewfinder. I readily admit that this was not a scientific test and it should have been done on a tripod - but my findings definitely confirmed my fears - that optical viewfinder is rubbish.
It does not point at the same framing as the screen by a very long way.

Quite apart from the fact that its coverage is only a fraction of the lcd, anyone using this optical viewfnder will almost certainly cut off a goodly section of the bottom of the picture. It is just simply dreadful and almost useless.

I was seriously impressed by the Image Stabalization function - that really does work very well. The pictures you see here were shot hand-held at 1/20sec and there is not a hint of camera shake even though I was zoomed in a fair bit.

The top photograh was composed with the rear lcd and the bottom one with the optical viewfinder. I did not cheat, but tried really hard to compose both pictures properly.


John Hamshaw said...

Hi Philip

Buy yourself a Nikon D300 - all your troubles will be over!

Best wishes John

Anonymous said...

You're kidding, right? The LCD is a representation of what the sensor is seeing through the camera lens. The optical viewfinder is in no way connected to the camera lens, nor is it even in the same optical alignment. If you expect it to be dead accurate, your going to be disappointed. I'd say in that picture, it's pretty close for a rangefinder. I do agree however that the IS did an excellent job at that shutter speed.

Philip Dunn said...

No, I'm not kidding in the least. This optical viewfinder on the Canon G9 is totally inadequate and inaccurate, and if you have ever used a decent rangefinder camera you will understand just how poor it is.

Anonymous said...

I've just purchased a G9 mostly for its size and portability, and I agree the viewfinder is very poor indeed. It's not horrible for follow-focusing an object running at you dead center in the frame - much easier than using the LCD. Any one try a Cosina Voigtlander 35mm finder? I'm almost ready to buy one.