A few of my recent posts have been a bit philosophical, so to balance things out I’ll be focusing more on the X-T2 itself in this post. Specifically, I’d like to sing the praises of the new viewfinder. I’ll get all the technicals and comparisons out of the way up front, and then I’ll talk a bit about what impact the new viewfinder has had on my shooting.
- 2.36 million dot OLED display (same as X-T1)
- 0.77x magnification (same as X-T1)
- Display lag of 0.005 seconds (same as X-T1)
- Refresh rate of 60 frames per second (100 fps in Boost mode), compared to 54 fps for the X-T1
- Brightness of 500 nits, compared to 250 for the X-T1
DPReview also mentions the following when comparing the viewfinders of the X-Pro2 and the X-T2:
…the X-T2’s electronic viewfinder is the better of the two, for a couple of important reasons. … And second is the complex optical assembly that focuses the viewfinder’s image into your eye.
I don’t know exactly what that means, but it sounds good.
/ nerdy technicals
The Real World
Ok, so what’s the impact in the real world when you’re out there shooting? The X-T1 apparently had a pretty competitive viewfinder, but I definitely noticed the refresh rate lagging at times. Out of thousands of images, I can only think of a couple times in which it caused me to miss a shot. I could definitely live with that ratio, but the number of times in which the refresh rate annoyed me was much greater. The same went for the brightness of the screen.
When I look through that viewfinder, I want to be inspired by what I’m seeing! I want to get excited by seeing the world seamlessly rendered in my Acros + Red Filter film simulation! The last thing I want is lag or dullness.
And after a couple weeks of shooting in a variety of lighting situations (including nighttime), I haven’t had any situations where I’ve experienced an annoying amount of lag or dullness. If I’m looking through the viewfinder and rapidly changing the direction I’m pointing the camera, I notice some lag. Outside of that contrived situation, though, I haven’t noticed any problems (I always use Boost mode, which helps).
This reduced lag is much appreciated, but the increased brightness has probably been a more significant improvement from my perspective. The doubling of the brightness was extremely obvious. I knew there were updates to the viewfinder when I bought the X-T2, but when I actually received my X-T2 I either hadn’t heard about the specifics or I had forgotten that the brightness had increased. Yet when I held the camera to my eye for the first time, I immediately recognized the difference. Everything looked so much crisper!
This may seem like a minor detail, but it has very profound real-world consequences. If holding the camera up to your eye is followed by a feeling of disappointment caused by lag or dullness, your mind will begin to unconsciously connect the two. It will think, “Camera to eye -> disappointment.” Needless to say, that’s not the kind of relationship we’re trying to ingrain into our subconscious as photographers… 😉
In my limited time with the X-T2, the opposite has been the case. Sometimes when I’m out on walks I’ll just bring the camera to my eye to see what the world looks like in black and white or with a Classic Chrome rendering without even intending to take a picture. It’s astonishingly close to being seamless, and this has created a very positive feedback loop for me. It’s just fun to look through that viewfinder!