Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto
I haven't used the OM-D EM5, so I can't comment on how it compares to the much newer Pen-F and E-M1 mk II viewfinders.
I don't think the electronic viewfinders are as clear and sharp as a good optical finder like that in the OM-1. For autofocus, they're fine, but for manual focus they're a bit of a pain.
Because its is near-impossible to judge sharpness on them when manually focusing, the Olympuses and many other mirrorless cameras offer a magnified mode on the EVF where it magnifies part of the image to facilitate manual focusing. Even with that, manual focus works best if you activate focus peaking (it can be turned on and off).
It works, but feels like a kludge. Also in very dim light, MF is hard. That's true also of many optical SLR finders, too, though.
So, my verdict is that the EVF in the newer Olympus cameras is ok. It takes some getting used to and if you only do AF, it works well. Its the price you pay for having such tiny, lightweight cameras.
Thanks Chris, your real life experience with this emerging technology is worth more than all the advertising blurbs.
On the one hand, m4:3 appeals to me for the small size and short register distance. I'm of the "If I can mount it, I'll shoot it" school of fooling around with cameras. But it sounds like manual focus is problematic with electronic vf's, which sort of negates the advantage of being able to adapt any oddball lens I happen to come by. I'm sure
Olympus's modern m4:3 AF lenses are excellent but I'm a hobbyist and a cheapskate and don't want to pay the price of admission.