Future Canon Camera Viewfinders: Rangefinder or Centered (DSLR) style?

Future Canon Camera Viewfinders: Rangefinder or Centered (DSLR) style ?

  • Rangefinder Style Viewfinder

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I just use the back of the camera

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    17
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cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,356
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I've been noticing a trend looking at other brand cameras coming out lately, in that since going mirrorless, many are coming out with the more rangefinder style view finders on the side of the camera, and eliminating the "hump" in the middle of the camera....and reducing the footprint of the camera body that way.

I got to thinking that well, without a mirror, the traditional centered viewfinder up top really isn't necessary....but then again, I'm used to it.

I've not tried one of the new rangefinder cameras yet, although I have.played with some true rangefinder film cameras (I have a Fuji GSW690 III) and aside from the difference of actually having a different focusing paradigm, it is interesting to shoot with it, having my right eye on the viewfinder and my left eye outside the camera body, giving me a field of view to better see what might be coming into the frame, etc.

What are your thoughts on this trend? Would you be interested in a Canon line of cameras, maybe even with RF mount that came out in rangefinder?

If the M camera is going away (I thought I saw that rumor)...what about that line of camera replacements, to keep things smaller, go rangefinder style?

Can you think of advantages or disadvantages of both styles....other than just what many/most of us are used to ?

cayenne
 

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,356
344
Well, for those folks who insist that their nose can activate the touch screen this might be a good option. From a more fact-based perspective, it might make it easier to use the back screen for selecting a focus point.
Hmm...hadn't thought about the "nose" aspect.....that might hold merit!!

C
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,284
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I am one from the rangefinder days of cameras and a huge cheer went up when they went away. I never had a camera with a rangefinder I liked, and I don't think anyone is going back to them. Some of the Mirrorless cameras had the tunnel viewfinders, rangefinders require a mechanical linkage to the focus ring of the lens. It was almost impossible to frame a close up subject with any accuracy.
 

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
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Germany
When I think back to the days my father let me get my hands on his gear I can remember that the rangefinder always felt odd to me.
From the start I felt much, much more comfortable with the SLR center position.
And I was far from beeing a teenager.
So I still stay with that native, intuitive feeling from back then...
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
1,622
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I am one from the rangefinder days of cameras and a huge cheer went up when they went away. I never had a camera with a rangefinder I liked, and I don't think anyone is going back to them. Some of the Mirrorless cameras had the tunnel viewfinders, rangefinders require a mechanical linkage to the focus ring of the lens. It was almost impossible to frame a close up subject with any accuracy.
He doesn't seem to be talking about an actual rangefinder, just the position they were in.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
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He doesn't seem to be talking about an actual rangefinder, just the position they were in.
I expect that he was, but a rangefinder style viewfinder has little to do with the position to me. They could be in various locations, my first serious rangefinder was a Argus C3, the viewfinder was slightly offset and not pleasant to use. I considered a Canon model 7 but chose a FT QL as my first true SLR. (I made the mistake of getting a off brand one that did not have interchangeable lenses first). The Model 7 had a viewfinder towards the left edge. Since I use my right eye, it would have worked.

I have a large assortment of old cameras and likely have some rangefinders, they are packed away, I need to sell them. None are valuable.
 

SteveC

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Sep 3, 2019
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I expect that he was, but a rangefinder style viewfinder has little to do with the position to me. They could be in various locations, my first serious rangefinder was a Argus C3, the viewfinder was slightly offset and not pleasant to use. I considered a Canon model 7 but chose a FT QL as my first true SLR. (I made the mistake of getting a off brand one that did not have interchangeable lenses first). The Model 7 had a viewfinder towards the left edge. Since I use my right eye, it would have worked.

I have a large assortment of old cameras and likely have some rangefinders, they are packed away, I need to sell them. None are valuable.
To be honest I am new enough to this I have only the vaguest imagining of what a real rangefinder was like. I gather there's simply no way in which it hasn't been superseded--there's not even a niche for it other than pure Photographer's Society for Creative Anachronism types of things (if there is such a group). And i probably couldn't use it anyway with my crappy eyes.

In any case I suspect cayenne ought to reword his/her survey to not use the "rangefinder" word since it seems to give people the wrong idea as to what he's asking.
 

Bdbtoys

EOS 90D
CR Pro
Jul 16, 2020
130
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To be honest I am new enough to this I have only the vaguest imagining of what a real rangefinder was like. I gather there's simply no way in which it hasn't been superseded--there's not even a niche for it other than pure Photographer's Society for Creative Anachronism types of things (if there is such a group). And i probably couldn't use it anyway with my crappy eyes.

In any case I suspect cayenne ought to reword his/her survey to not use the "rangefinder" word since it seems to give people the wrong idea as to what he's asking.
Similar boat... holding vote till I know if he's after position or type.

Edit: Took it as placement... voted for center.
 
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Rocky

EOS R
Jul 30, 2010
956
56
Advantage of Range finder Style: 1. View finder on the left eye position (traditionally). Nose will not touch the screen setting.
2. no hump at the middle, camera can be made shorter
Advantage of SLR style: 1. Most people are used to this style. people will feel right at home.
2. Easier to hold the body with both hands, the nose will not be in the way.

Disadvantage of Range finder Style: 1. if you can only close your right eye, it will be really awkward
2. Need to change the way of most people holder the camera. Left hand needs to cradle the camera.
Diadvantage of SLR style: 1. the nose has more chance to change the setting
2. the camera needed to be taller for the hump.
 

Rocky

EOS R
Jul 30, 2010
956
56
In any case I suspect cayenne ought to reword his/her survey to not use the "rangefinder" word since it seems to give people the wrong idea as to what he's asking.
He is using the right word " Rangefinder STYLE". not range finder.
As far as I know there is only one group of digital real range finder camera. It is the Leica M 10, Leica M mono etc.
 

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
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He is using the right word " Rangefinder STYLE". not range finder.
As far as I know there is only one group of digital real range finder camera. It is the Leica M 10, Leica M mono etc.
Yup...I was talking about the locational placement or style of view finder.

My assumption was that with mirrorless, there is no need for a true optical component....so, the viewfinder can be placed pretty much anywhere on the camera.

The rangefinder style/location seems to give the advantage of getting rid of the "hump" in the middle of the camera body which others have pointed out, that was my main thought that it has an advantage.

I've only had VERY limited experience with an actual, manual focus real rangefinder system, as I'd mentioned with a medium format film camera I own, the Fuji GSW690 III.

It is interesting, but those old true rangefinders are a bit hard to get focused, especially with the eyes getting a big worse these days with age.

But back to I, I was speaking purely about view finder placement....with rangefinder style being to the side of the camera body, no hump...vs the DSLR style in the center with a hump.....but both are for digital viewfinders, not optical.

I for one think I'd enjoy both frankly.

I'd use the DSLR style, like the R5 which is on my shopping list....for shooting action, concerts, etc.
But the smaller rangefinder style I'd like to have for my travel camera.

I don't mind having multiple cameras to fit different needs. Hell, I"m lugging around a 6x17 Shen Hao medium format view camera some these days, with bellows, ground glass, film backs, etc...the whole schmear.....definitely NOT portable, but suits a special purpose that other cameras really can't do.

So, that's basically the thoughts behind the poll.

Thanks for the replies and the spirited conversation!!

C
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
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I actually had the semi crazy thought of a hot-shoe extension cord that's set up to also a detachable EVF. You could have the camera in one place and the viewfinder in another. Might be good for combat zones--stick your camera around the corner and take shots, risking only your hand and the camera, rather than also your head. However, I don't imagine any of us do photography in combat zones! But I'm sure other uses could be found.
 

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,356
344
I actually had the semi crazy thought of a hot-shoe extension cord that's set up to also a detachable EVF. You could have the camera in one place and the viewfinder in another. Might be good for combat zones--stick your camera around the corner and take shots, risking only your hand and the camera, rather than also your head. However, I don't imagine any of us do photography in combat zones! But I'm sure other uses could be found.
I dunno....some of these riot zones in our cities going on here in the US are starting to resemble combat zones.
:(
 
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H. Jones

Photojournalist
Aug 1, 2014
412
503
I think rangefinders can be fun, but I don't see them overtaking the typical set-up of a mirrorless camera. Having both the viewfinder and the flip-out screen on the left side of the camera makes almost all of the controls have to be on the right side of the camera. There's not many buttons, if any, within easy reach of the left side of the camera on a lot of these rangefinder styled cameras. I just saw someone bashing the awful placement of the Menu button on the A7C, and they're totally right.

The viewfinder being in line with the lens mount provides a good amount of left-side space for left-hand buttons, raises the on-axis flash slightly off the lens to give more clearance over big lenses, and makes it easier for hand-eye coordination since your eye is in line with the view of the lens. Those are all great reasons to keep the viewfinder hump.

I will say though, on cameras intending to be super small, I get the rangefinder style. I wouldn't mind a small full frame fixed 35mm lens rangefinder-style camera from Canon, like a digital Canonet, to have as a everyday carry camera.
 

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,356
344
I think rangefinders can be fun, but I don't see them overtaking the typical set-up of a mirrorless camera. Having both the viewfinder and the flip-out screen on the left side of the camera makes almost all of the controls have to be on the right side of the camera. There's not many buttons, if any, within easy reach of the left side of the camera on a lot of these rangefinder styled cameras. I just saw someone bashing the awful placement of the Menu button on the A7C, and they're totally right.

The viewfinder being in line with the lens mount provides a good amount of left-side space for left-hand buttons, raises the on-axis flash slightly off the lens to give more clearance over big lenses, and makes it easier for hand-eye coordination since your eye is in line with the view of the lens. Those are all great reasons to keep the viewfinder hump.

I will say though, on cameras intending to be super small, I get the rangefinder style. I wouldn't mind a small full frame fixed 35mm lens rangefinder-style camera from Canon, like a digital Canonet, to have as a everyday carry camera.

Hmm...all very good points. And I too think I'd go for a rangefinder style for a small travel camera. I had actually been looking at the Fuji Xpro3...although it is a crop sensor camera, it did look interesting and I like both Canon and Fuji color and lenses.

Is there a compelling reason why there HAS to be a hump on a mirrorless camera with a centrally located viewfinder?
Is there a reason they couldn't place it mentally and it be on the body and not have a hump?

Is it that hard to squeeze in there with the sensor too in that area?

C
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
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Hmm...all very good points. And I too think I'd go for a rangefinder style for a small travel camera. I had actually been looking at the Fuji Xpro3...although it is a crop sensor camera, it did look interesting and I like both Canon and Fuji color and lenses.

Is there a compelling reason why there HAS to be a hump on a mirrorless camera with a centrally located viewfinder?
Is there a reason they couldn't place it mentally and it be on the body and not have a hump?

Is it that hard to squeeze in there with the sensor too in that area?

C
There's the sensor AND the back screen. Of course you COULD make the back screen smaller, but since they like to brag about the back screen's size and resolution I doubt they'd want to do that. They'd probably rather just make the whole camera as tall as the hump is now!
 

Rocky

EOS R
Jul 30, 2010
956
56
Sony Alpha 7C is a good example of how to make a FF compact "range finder style" camera with a flipping large back screen.The eye level electronic view finder window is at the upper left corner, just like a classic film range finder camera.
 
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