We’ve looked at a few EVIL cameras in the past: the Sony NEX-5N, the Panasonic GF3. They weren’t called out as EVIL in the past, because that’s not a designation that Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, NIkon or others would like to use. It stands for Electronic Viewfinder with Interchangeable Lenses–you might have seen them called “mirrorless” cameras or “system” cameras in the past, but EVIL’s how you might look at them in the future… especially if you love your DSLRs.
The main difference between a DSLR and an EVIL camera is the Reflex system; it’s the mirror and pentaprism inside that bounces light up to your eye through the viewfinder so you can see exactly what’s going on through the lens. It was a crucial piece of equipment back when film was the only way to capture an image; offset viewfinders couldn’t give the photographer an accurate view of what the lens was seeing, and ran into serious issues of parallax up close.
But with the rise of powerful sensors the mirror component has become less necessary. Why add the weight and complexity of a reflex system if you don’t need it? An EVIL camera does away with these pieces, by having the sensor relay the image directly to the LCD on the back of the camera, or in some cases, to a small viewfinder monitor in a digital eye-piece. It seems like an ideal solution.
The EVIL future isn’t quite here yet though; while these cameras are smaller, lighter, and generally less intimidating, they do come with some drawbacks. The smaller size means that control layout space is at a premium. That means that controls are often removed, in favour of using touch controls and digital menu options.
EVIL cameras also don’t currently offer the same auto-focus speed in tracking, and generally have fewer auto-focus points available when compared to higher end options.
Sony’s Alpha DSLR line is particularly interesting; by using a translucent mirror, it means that the camera can continue to use the Reflex system, while offering fast autofocus that ALSO functions during video. It’s a hybrid that may be the best of both worlds.
Are you a DSLR junkie? Does Micro 4/3s rock your photo world? Tell us in the comments below.
The Panasonic LUMIX GF5 interchangeable lens camera comes complete with a 12.1 megapixel Live MOS Sensor and re-engineered Venus Engine, ensuring true-to-life images with exceptional resolution and colour reproduction - in even difficult shooting conditions. Other great features include 12800 ISO, Full HD video shooting, and many more.
Small but significant, the Sony Alpha NEX-5N delivers interchangeable-lens creative freedom and SLR class image quality in a stylish, ultra compact package you can carry anywhere. It comes fully equipped with a range of shooting features to accommodate any skill level and shooting style. And with the ability to capture HD video, the NEX-5N is as powerful as it is versatile. Includes an E-mount 18-55mm lens.
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