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Customer Review

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best EVF on the market. Effective, but somewhat contradictory to what the NEX-5N is all about., January 9, 2012
This review is from: Sony FDA-EV1S Electronic Viewfinder for NEX-5N Digital Camera (Camera)
The FDA-EV1S is another quality accessory from Sony that does exactly what you expect from a viewfinder. The resolution outclasses just about any other EVF currently available for other cameras of this type in terms of resolution (by a long shot) and it can rival the effectiveness of a DSLR's optical viewfinder when trying to manually focus and compose your shots. If you use adapters to attach legacy lenses (Leica, CV, etc) to your NEX-5N, your ability to accurately nail the manual focus will be greatly increased even with the focus peaking turned off. In fact, when using my Leica 50mm summilux on the NEX-5N, I found it easier to focus in dim light with a shallow DOF (at f/1.4) with the NEX-5N using the EVF than with the same lens on my M9 with its rangefinder focus coupling. What helped the most here is that like the rear LCD display, the EVF will show you the actual exposure as it's "brightened up" by the NEX-5N sensor's superior high ISO performance. No doubt, the EVF brings out the most out of the camera. With the EVF, I have turned off the focus peaking feature on the NEX-5N simply because the EVF is able to resolve any particular area that I'm trying to focus on in my compositions, and there's no longer a need for focus peaking. In certain instances, the focus peaking actually becomes a problem because it would obscure the specific areas I would try to focus on that is already easily visible with the EVF.

So why did I give it only 4 stars and not 5? Simple. As great of an addition the FDA-EV1S is, it's a big ugly wart sitting atop an otherwise clean, svelte, and ultra-compact camera body. It doesn't seem like it belongs and makes me long even more for the NEX-7 with its built-in and more integrated EVF that I have on order. When I have to throw my NEX-5N in the camera bag, I feel its necessary to remove the EVF because I'm afraid I will accidentally break it off and damage it and/or the mount on the camera. It's held on by a flimsy thumb screw and I know that one of these days, it's likely it will snag on the camera bag when I try to pull the camera out for a quick shot and something will break. It's also very easy to catch, snag, and hit things when carrying the camera across your shoulder with the prominent wart of an EVF sticking out. While you can say the same about some of the big E-mount lenses, at least those are securely locked on the mount and look the part. This EVF's rather bulky implementation is not good in my book, but I guess it still beats not having an EVF at all. Not sure if it was possible for Sony to design it to be even smaller and low-profile, but looking at how well the NEX-7's EVF is integrated into the small body, I don't see why not. If you think this will be a problem for you, by all means get one. It truly completes the NEX-5N as a photography enthusiast's tool, albeit a fragile one.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 21, 2013 12:11:15 PM PST
DWPC says:
The EFV corrects a deficiency of the LCD-only NEX camera models. They should lose a star; not the EVF.
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