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on Jun 7, 2019 in Moose's Camera Bag

OVF from EVF

Philadelphia Vireo
captured by Z6 / 800mm

Jon sent me an email with a common question, “I’m used to shooting with my D850“. “With my new Z7, going to the viewfinder and always having it black when I’m used to just seeing is driving me nut. Got a solution?” I know exactly what Jon is asking and experiencing because I was too. I’m happy to report, I do have a solution that at least works for my photography. Many photographers like myself are used to just being able to put our eye to the viewfinder and seeing through the lens without doing anything. That’s because we’re used to an Optical Viewfinder or OVF like in our D5. In the Z7 / Z6 we have an Electronic Viewfinder or EVF (the difference being a Mirror camera and a Mirrorless camera). To see through the Z7 / Z6, the system has to be active, the electricity flowing to power the EVF. No power, no see, that simple. Well, we can fix that!

The very, very, very first thing you have to do to get OVF from your Z7 / Z6 EVF is installing the new firmware upgrade! With that, you simply go to the Power Delay Setting (Custom Setting C3) and set Standby Timer to No Limit. With that, the EVF stays on all the time. The first question most ask is about battery drain. I found when shooting at Magee Marsh where shooting is hot and heavy, I could go 4-5 hours on a freshly charge EN-EL 15b before I would need to swap out battery. Is this how I use the Z7 / Z6 all the time?

When photographing birds, I often use my camera/lens as a spotting scope. Like right now I’m working a couple of nesting birds, I want to be able to just look through the viewfinder, or look at the LCD and see what the camera is seeing. At these times, I use the technique above to get that OVF from the EVF. When I’m shooting a project, landscapes, static aviation, etc., the camera Power Delay Timer is set to 20s. But I use this feature so much, as you can see above it is part of My Menu so I can quickly activate and deactivate it. The combination of the new firmware and the Power Delay have given me OVF from EVF.

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