What's an Electronic Viewfinder?

In the stats of a digital camera I’m looking at, the copy reads:

“Choose from either the large, 2.5-inch 230k pixel LCD Display, or the .24-inch 230k pixel Electronic Viewfinder. Both offer a 60/fps refresh rate, and a brilliantly bright and detailed view of your image in either shooting or playback mode.”

(My bolding, above.)

What’s an Electronic Viewfinder? What can you see or deduce from it when it measures just “.24” inches?

An electronic viewfinder is meant to be held directly up against your eye, like a TTL viewfinder or old-style camcorder viewfinder. Because it’s close to your eye and it has a hood to block out surrounding light, it doesn’t need to be very big.

Its a teeny-weenie little LCD display that replaces looking through an optical viewfinder. You put your directly up to it just like an olden-days viewfinder.

IMHO, EVF’s suck, but I use a DSLR. YMMV.

It’s a tiny LCD screen which you look at like the viewfinder on an SLR so you don’t get glare like you can using the big screen on the back in bright conditions. There will be a magnifying lens so you can see it at a reasonable size. I have only ever used one camera with such a viewfinder and it was rather poor - like sitting 12 inches from a TV set. I don’t know if this is normal or just a very poor spec’d model.

How generous of the mfr to provide the teeny weeny viewer!!

Thank you all.

Then with such cameras, what can I do to block out the sun, while looking through the 2.5" LCD display - a hood that draped over my head and the camera?

Not exactly, but close…

One of the reasons that the new point-and-shoots are a bad idea, from the standpoint of good photography practices. First of all, you are holding the camera at arms length, so it’s going to be shaking, and then in many conditions, the light is bright enough to make seeing the image on the LCD difficult.

I would avoid any camera without a viewfinder, electronic or not.

EVFs are pretty much required for cameras with big zoom lenses. With smaller zoom cameras you can build a real optical viewfinder because they don’t take up much space. With a camera with a 10x-18x lens you have to build another 10x-18x zoom lens for the viewfinder. That would be too big on relatively small cameras. Instead, they can take a feed off the LCD and don’t need to build a second big zoom lens into the camera.

Some cameras do away with the EVF completely and you must use the LCD to compose pictures. The EVF is not as good as an OVF, but it’s better then nothing. But for smaller cameras you can still find models with Optical Viewfinders. I won’t buy a camera without one.