The electronic viewfinder on the Sony a99 camera has changed my approach to photographing.
I have been using a Sony a99 for about 6 months now for my portrait photography and on this site the images from Thatchers Funeral. I have finally decided that I need to write about this a bit as I am a Sony Advocate Photographer and I have not written about the camera yet. I have given talks describing what it does and how I use the Sony a99 but not actually written about it.
Sony a99 using the electronic viewfinder has changed how I make images using a DSLR camera and it frees me to concentrate on the moment and composition within my images, because I am am not worrying about my exposure, while I am making images. I have realised that the electronic finder has changed how I approach making images on location, with a live histogram in the viewfinder and focus peaking on the camera, I can do things with this camera that is not possible with just about any other full frame camera. The only other exception I can think of is Sony’s own RX1 and that is with the optional electronic finder attached.
When I have the camera to my eye making images, I am seeing in the viewfinder a histogram that is constantly changing, depending on where I point the camera. This is great, as it lets me ‘see’ the highlights (via the histogram) to see if I am blowing my highlights while making the image and not afterwards is a great step forward as it is going me information as I am shooting not afterwards. In normal operation on a regular DSLR, I would need to review the image via the screen on the back of the camera after making the image. This means that I have increased confidence, as I am getting the exposure correct, while using the camera. Because of this, I am not chimping when working, as I just ‘know’ that I have the exposure correct. When I use my Leica, I make the image and often especially if the light is changing frequently, I find myself having to review the image for the exposure, before I can take another, this then can be distracting and gets in the way of making more images. I find that with the Sony a99, I am working with more confidence that my exposure is where I want it to be and this is liberating. I do not have image review turned on in the viewfinder as this is to disconcerting as you can see in your camera viewfinder what you have just shot and that takes you away from the moment that you are working in and being in the zone while shooting images is really important.
My only problem with the camera is its size, but then all DSLR’s that are of similar capabilities are this size or larger. I can’t wait for the widely rumoured Full Frame Nex A7 (etc) as I highly suspect that this camera will give me a small highly capable camera, with all the things I love on the a99 without the size.