The Sony Electronic Viewfinder for Cyber-shot RX1 ($449.99 direct) is an add-on viewfinder for Sony’s full-frame compact camera, the Cyber-shot DSC-RX1. It slides into the camera’s multi-accessory hot shoe and gives you an eye-level look at what would typically be fed to the RX1′s rear LCD.
The finder is identical in size and design to the similar FDAEV1S Electronic Viewfinder for select Sony NEX cameras. It shares the same 2.4-megapixel OLED design with that finder as well as the EVFs that are built into Sony’s top-end interchangeable lens cameras like the Alpha 99 and NEX-6. The EVF is hinged, so it can tilt straight up to 90 degrees, but it isn’t possible to lock it at any position.
Photographers who prefer to put their eyes up to the camera, and those who expect to use the RX1 on the brightest of days, will appreciate the clarity the EVF provides. It’s smaller and comprises more pixels than the camera’s rear LCD. This results in an image that is fantastically clear, which is especially helpful when focusing manually. You can set the camera to manually switch between the LCD and EVF via the Finder/LCD button on the left side of the eyepiece, or set the change occur automatically via an eye-sensor. Sony includes two eyepieces—one with a larger flexible rubber eyecup and one with a smaller ridged plastic eyecup.
The Electronic Viewfinder is one of two external finder options that Sony offers for the RX1. The other, a fixed optical finder, doesn’t show you what your focus or depth of field will be—it simply provides approximate framing. The optical finder is priced even higher, at $600, but you can get away with using any shoe-mount optical finder that matches the field of view of a 35mm lens. Many of these are available used for very little money, as they were a popular accessory with vintage rangefinder cameras.
The OLED EVF is a more modern take on this concept, offering completely accurate framing, real-time preview of your depth of field and exposure, and the automatic magnification as a focus aid when manual focus is enabled. It’s expensive, but so is the RX1—if you’re going to spend $2,800 on the camera, you should budget the extra $450 for the EVF as it greatly enhances the shooting experience. Being able to bring up the camera to your eye is a welcome feeling for experienced photographers, and if you’re shooting on a bright day it will eliminate the glare that sometimes makes using a rear LCD a difficult proposition. It would be nice if you were able to lock it in the 0, 45-, and 90-degree positions, and it would be nice if it was less expensive; but you can’t argue with the clarity that the high-resolution OLED display provides.
More Digital Camera Reviews:
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc