Ann checking out the Optical Viewfinder on the Fuji X100.
Recent experiences with the X100 have convinced me more than ever that the viewfinder is an essential tool for me to successfully take pictures. We have been experiencing extraordinary sunny weather here in the UK and I've been shooting every day for many days. Trying to work with cameras without viewfinders has been difficult for me, and even those with a supposed better display are still difficult to see with the non-stop sunshine we've been having.
Obviously the Fuji X100 is something different and the best viewfinder I've ever used, so I don't expect every camera to have that. Certainly the EVF in the GH2 is excellent as is the add-on VF-2 for Olympus. However the add-on EVF's for the Panasonic GF1 and Samsung NX100 are both pretty dreadful. Neither have ever looked in focus to me.
Seeing what can be done with the X100 has made to decide that I'm not going to put up with it anymore. Basically if a camera doesn't have a decent viewfinder, then I'm not going to use it, despite the other virtues a camera might have. I've expressed the view before that I think its laziness and cost-cutting not to equip a camera with a decent viewfinder (and by decent I don't mean those add-on plain glass OVF's either) and despite manufacturers claims that people don't want it or don't need it, I shall beg to differ and only use cameras that give me a clear view of what I'm photographing. I don't see the point of guessing and hoping, and it seems to me thats just what using a washed-out screen forces you to do.