I started out with the Sony NEX-5 and had no real problem with the fact that there was no EVF. Later I purchased a Sony A7R and loved using the EVF and never used the screen for photography. Eventually I decided that I would never get a camera that did not have a top class EVF. As soon as it became available I purchased a Sony FX30 and until it arrived I did not realise that it did not have an EVF. After using it for more than a year I have formed the view that Using an EVF and depending only on a back screen/back-panel encourages two different styles, equally valid, of photography.

Here's a breakdown of how EVFs (Electronic Viewfinders) and back screens can influence different photographic approaches:

EVF Photography: The Immersive and Deliberate Approach

Isolation and Focus: Using an EVF blocks out ambient light and distractions. This allows for heightened focus on the composition within the viewfinder.

Pre-visualisation: EVFs show real-time exposure adjustments, effects, and focus peaking. This gives photographers a precise pre-shot view, facilitating meticulous adjustments before capturing the image.

Stability: Bringing the camera to your eye creates a more stable shooting platform, especially helpful in low light or when using longer lenses. This reduces camera shake and potential blur.

Manual Control Affinity: EVFs often pair well with cameras that emphasize manual controls (dials, etc.). This encourages a slower, more deliberate shooting pace focused on intentional adjustments.

Back Screen Photography: Flexibility and Spontaneity

Adaptable Angles: Back screens, especially fully articulating ones, allow for shooting from perspectives that would be difficult with an EVF. This includes high-angle, low-angle, and candid shots.

Street Photography: Screens can be less conspicuous than raising a camera to your eye, ideal for street photography where you want to blend into the surroundings.

Videography: For video work, back screens are often superior for framing and tracking moving subjects.

Touchscreen Functionality: Many cameras offer touchscreen controls like focus point selection or menu navigation, enhancing ease of use for those accustomed to smartphones.

It's Not Just About The Tool: Photographer's Intent

It's crucial to remember that the presence or absence of an EVF doesn't automatically dictate a photographer's style. Here's why:

Experienced EVF users can be spontaneous as well: A photographer familiar with their EVF camera can develop quick reflexes and anticipate interesting moments.

Back screen users can be deliberate: A back-screen photographer can employ techniques like a tripod for stability. They might also rely more heavily on elements like depth-of-field visualisation to compensate for the lack of a real-time exposure preview.

The Takeaway

EVFs and back screens cater to different preferences and offer advantages in specific situations. Understanding these strengths makes a photographer more versatile. Rather than being mutually exclusive, sometimes the best approach is having a camera that offers both options!

My main camera is the Sony A7RIV but soon after getting I had a serious fall and managed to damage the camera and the attached lens but the camera was, to some extent, usable. When the A7RV was launched I was tempted to get it but decided to wait until the next update became available. Not long afterwards as I was developing an interest in Video I decided the get a Sony FX30. I soon discovered that I liked using the FX30 because of its size and weight and then I decided to get some second hand APS-C lenses and the Samyang was the first and I got it at a greatly reduced price.

Let's discuss the Samyang 12mm F/2.0 AF Sony E (APS-C) and its suitability for the Sony FX30:

The Samyang 12mm F/2.0 AF Sony E (APS-C)

Ultra-Wide Lens: Designed specifically for APS-C Sony cameras, it offers an ultra-wide view (equivalent to 18mm on a full-frame camera).
Fast Aperture: The f/2.0 aperture excels in low-light and enables creative use of shallow depth of field.
Autofocus: Features a quiet and smooth autofocus motor, beneficial for video work.
Compact & Lightweight: A relatively small and portable lens, making it a good travel companion.
Affordable: Samyang often delivers compelling value for the price.

Why it Might Suit the Sony FX30

Vlogging: The ultra-wide field of view is ideal for vlogging where you need to capture yourself and your surroundings, particularly in tight spaces.
Landscape & Architecture: Great for expansive landscape shots or exaggerating perspective in architectural photography.
Astrophotography: The fast aperture aids in capturing starscapes and the Milky Way.
Low-light Situations: The f/2.0 aperture allows for handheld shooting in lower light conditions.
Price: A more budget-friendly option compared to some native Sony lenses.
Important Considerations

Crop Factor: Designed for APS-C, so on the full-frame FX30 there'll be a crop factor (image will be less wide).
Distortion: Ultra-wide lenses have some inherent distortion, which you may need to correct in post-processing.
Manual Focus Override: While it has autofocus, having the option to fine-tune focus manually is sometimes desirable.
Overall Suitability

The Samyang 12mm F/2.0 AF can be a great addition to an FX30 kit if:

You specifically want that ultra-wide perspective for vlogging, landscapes, or creative videography, even with the crop factor considered.
You need a fast lens for low-light shooting and don't mind some potential distortion.
You're on a budget and find the value proposition appealing.

Things to Keep in Mind

If you want a wider native full-frame lens without the crop factor, or if pin-sharp corner-to-corner sharpness is your utmost priority, you might need to explore other, potentially more expensive options.

The model that I had was the IXUSi and I obtained it early in 2004 as soon as it became available and I was delighted with the results and I then made the mistake of buying a Sigma SD9 DSLR which proved to be a disaster. I no longer have the Ixus as I gave it to a friend who still uses it.

The Canon PowerShot SD10, released in September 2003, was part of Canon's beloved Digital ELPH series (known as IXUS in Europe). It was a compact, stylish, and capable point-and-shoot camera that struck a great balance for many users.

Reasons for Popularity

Sleek Design: The SD10 boasted a distinctive, minimalist look with an aluminum-magnesium alloy body that lent a sense of both durability and sophistication. It came in several attractive colours.
Pocket-Friendly: As with many ELPH models, the SD10 was easily pocketable, making it convenient for travel or everyday carry.
Image Quality: Its 4-megapixel CCD sensor provided good image quality for its time, suitable for prints and online sharing.
Feature Set: The SD10 offered useful features that appealed to casual photographers:
Quick Shot Mode: Minimized shutter lag for capturing fast-moving subjects.
Macro Mode: Allowed for close-up shots down to 3cm.
Movie Recording: Supported short video clips with sound.
Ease of Use: Canon’s intuitive controls, automatic scene modes, and straightforward interface made it accessible to beginners.
Strong Brand Reputation: The PowerShot/IXUS series was well-established with a reputation for reliable image quality at its price point.
European Model Numbers

The Canon PowerShot SD10 was known as the Canon IXUSi in Europe.

Important Context

Like most cameras of its era, the SD10's specs don't seem remarkable by today's standards. However, in 2004 it represented a great balance of size, features, and affordability for snapshot photography.


The Canon PowerShot SD10 continued the ELPH/IXUS legacy of offering style and capability in a compact package. These qualities made it a highly popular choice for casual photographers at the time.

This was my first DSLR and it was overall the worst camera that I ever had and it is the only one that I do not use.

Here's a discussion of the Sigma SD9, its unique aspects, and the factors that contributed to its general disappointment:

The Sigma SD9: A Unique Concept

Foveon X3 Sensor: The SD9 was highly unusual because of its Foveon X3 direct image sensor. Unlike traditional Bayer sensors that use colour filters over individual pixels, the Foveon captured full red, green, and blue colour information at every pixel site.

Theoretical Advantages: This promised several benefits:
True colour capture without interpolation artefacts (like false colours or moiré)
Theoretically higher resolution compared to similarly sized Bayer sensors
Exceptional colour accuracy and potential for greater dynamic range

Reasons for Disappointment

Unfortunately, the Sigma SD9 failed to fully realise the promise of its technology, leading to a mostly disappointing experience:

Slow Processing: The Foveon sensor generated massive amounts of data. The SD9's processor was underpowered, resulting in excruciatingly slow write times, limited burst shooting, and a sluggish user experience overall.

High Noise Levels: The sensor was very noise-prone, especially at higher ISOs. This heavily limited its low-light capabilities and dynamic range.

Software Issues: Early versions of Sigma's RAW processing software (Sigma Photo Pro) were unstable, slow, and difficult to use. This compounded the camera's problems and frustrated users.

Niche Appeal: The SD9's high price, image processing challenges, and unconventional output made it appealing only to a very specific niche of photographers willing to work with its limitations.

Limited Lens Compatibility: Sigma's lens range at the time was not as comprehensive as those of Canon or Nikon, which restricted the camera's flexibility.
Why it was Important Despite the Flaws

Technological Innovation: The SD9 was a bold experiment and pushed the boundaries of digital image sensor technology. Despite its shortcomings, it forced the industry to consider alternative solutions.

Color Excellence: When shots were well-exposed and processed properly, the image quality was often stunning, particularly in terms of colour rendition.

Cult Following: The SD9 garnered a small but dedicated following of photographers who appreciated its unique qualities and were willing to work around its limitations.

The Sigma SD9 is a fascinating camera that, while commercially unsuccessful, represents an important chapter in digital photography history. Its unique sensor offered glimpses of a different approach to image capture but was ultimately held back by technological limitations of the era.

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