Home Cameras/Lenses Canon Viewfinder Design: The good, the bad and the ugly

Viewfinder Design: The good, the bad and the ugly

445
3
  Someone has tried to inject some interest into the new Canon viewfinder for the EOS M6. It may not be the best design in the world, but it is way ahead of Leica
Someone has tried to inject some interest into the new Canon viewfinder for the EOS M6. It may not be the best design in the world, but it is way ahead of Leica’s efforts with the Visoflex. Such a design would actually improve the looks of the M10 or the TL
  Now just who designed this Visoflex finder for Leica? It is technically superb but does nothing to enhance the looks of the M10
Now just who designed this Visoflex finder for Leica? It is technically superb but does nothing to enhance the looks of the M10

Few would suggest that the Leica Visoflex electronic viewfinder for the M10 and TL is a masterpiece of design. Jonny Ive it is not. It works well and is a big improvement over the old VF-2 of the M240. But is is undeniably ugly.

This morning I was looking at my old Leica X1 with the silver Voigtländer 35mm optical finder mounted atop. Now there’s a pretty finder and no mistake. It is a perfect piece of design as far as I am concerned — and I have had many compliments from strangers on the attractiveness of this little photographic ensemble. Somehow, wherever I take it, there is a positive comment to be had. The Visoflex draws no similar oos and ahs. That bland, somber monolith is totally unattractive.

Electronics

Admittedly, it’s easier to have an economical and pretty design when there are no electronics to clutter up the chassis. But it isn’t impossible to cook up a functional and yet pretty electronic viewfinder. Take the new finder for the Canon EOS M6. It is pretty in much the same vein as the Voigtländer. If only this were an accessory for the M10 I’d be proud to leave it mounted most of the time. As it is, I can’t wait to dismount the unexciting Visoflex. It does nothing to enhance the sleek ultra-modern lines of the TL, still less for the traditional image of the new M10.

  The new Canon EOS M6 is based on the DSLR-style EOS M5 but has attractive rangefinder looks which are complemented by that viewfinder. I
The new Canon EOS M6 is based on the DSLR-style EOS M5 but has attractive rangefinder looks which are complemented by that viewfinder. I’m not generally in favour of external viewfinders but this one, at least, isn’t ugly

Canon has done a good job with the viewfinder for the M6. The camera too is a welcome addition to the APS-C mirrorless world. I owned the original EOS M for a time and enjoyed it immensely. It lacked the option of an electronic viewfinder and for a time I used the Voigtländer 35mm finder. Unfortunately, possibly because of this lack of an EVF, but also because of a dearth of native lenses, the EOS couldn’t compete and it was soon discounted and discontinued.

  The perfectly formed Voigtländer 35mm optical finder on the original Canon EOS M, above. It actually improves the looks of the camera. If you must have an external finder, this is the one to choose. The Voigtländer also sits pretty on my old Leica X1 — and works a treat incidentally — to help create a very attractive ensemble. Incidentally, the photo below was taken using the iPhone 7 Plus
The perfectly formed Voigtländer 35mm optical finder on the original Canon EOS M, above. It actually improves the looks of the camera. If you must have an external finder, this is the one to choose. The Voigtländer also sits pretty on my old Leica X1 — and works a treat incidentally — to help create a very attractive ensemble. Incidentally, the photo below was taken using the iPhone 7 Plus “portrait mode” which creates an artificially narrow depth of field. As a software construct, it copes well with separating the image. Note the very precise treatment around the milled rear ring of the viewfinder. There is just one small blemish, on the left at the bottom of the screen image, but we can forgive that. The overall impression is positive

The M6, with its smart new viewfinder, deserves more success. Up to now, though, neither of the big-two DSLR manufacturers has distinguished itself in the mirrorless world. Canon is hoping for better things with the EOS M5 and M6 but it’s a tough task to take on Fuji and Sony at their own game. I hope it does succeed, we need some new entrants in the mirrorless field. 

_______________

3 COMMENTS

  1. On my X1I have voigtlander on my X2 I have Leica. X2 has jjc lens opening had it on X1 but went back to lens cap because w/o little hump like X2 the blades on open jjc felt like looking between tail fins of jet fighter.

  2. The thing about an EVF is that it is universal for all of the lenses that fit a given camera… wysiwyg. It follows that excepting one pretty unique situation, that an EVF should be built into the camera body.

    As such Canon have what appear to be two same spec "mirrorless" APS-C camera bodies, the M5 and the M6… The latter has an EVF built in.

    The exception of course is the Leica M, which has made an icon of its OVF/Rangefinder. Yes they could have done better than emulate bauhaus, which seems to be what they have done.

  3. Someone once told me beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I like, no sorry love the Leica T’s functional shape Visoflex and think the Canon effort quite naff. Ah well I suppose it takes all sorts. Don

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.