Canon EVF-DC1 & Canon EOS M3

Further to my earlier posts related to the Canon EOS M3, I have now added the Canon EVF-DC1 to my M3 kit.

The Canon EVF-DC1, is an optional accessory for the Canon EOS M3 (and a few other Canon compact cameras like the Powershot G1 X MkII, G3 X), which in the U.K has a recommended retail price (R.R.P) of @£250.00, although, you can get better prices from individual retailers, like Amazon here Canon EVF-DC1 – viewfinder

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Canon EVF-DC1

The Canon EVF-DC1 is a 2.36MP Electronic Viewfinder, which slots straight into the Hotshot on the EOS M3 (and others). It’s a well built unit, which comes boxed with a soft pouch for safe storage when not affixed to the camera body, and a protective slider cap to protect the electronic contacts when not in use. Other than that, there’s not a great deal else that comes with it.

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Canon EVF-DC1 Viewfinder

The Canon EVF-DC1 is a simple to use add on, which is as simple as it can possibly get. Once attached and the camera is powered on, when you put your eye to the EVF-DC1, the image transfers from the camera body LCD to the internal EVF display. There is a very slight delay when doing this, but anyone familiar with using EVF (Electronic View Finders) will know there’s always a slight delay when switching back and forward  between Camera LCD and EVF. It is noticeable, but for the type of shooting the Canon EOS M3 is intended for, it isn’t hindrance.

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Canon EVF-DC1 Viewfinder

The picture above shows the eye sensor clearly. It’s quite large to the left of the main view finder window. The Canon EVF-Dc1 offers a diopter adjustment of -3 to +1, a 0.48″ display with 2.36MP, offering a 100% view of your scene. On it’s own, it’s quite a compact unit, which has a typical Canon quality build. It feels solid. When fitted to the Canon EOS M3, it actually looks quite large.

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Canon EVF-DC 1 & EOS M3 Side

The Canon EVF-DC1 stands quite high when fitted to the EOS M3, which can make it look a little cumbersome, however, with the ability to quickly slide it on and off, this really isn’t a huge issue. In practice, the Canon EVF-DC1 is a great addition to the EOS M3 and I think makes the Canon EOS M3 a more complete shooting device.

Controls on the Canon EVF-DC1 are minimal as can be seen on the picture above, there’s basically two buttons, one for manually switching to EVF and the other more recessed ‘Unlock’ button for removing the EVF-DC1 from the camera body.

Canon do offer a kit bundle, which includes the Canon EOS M3 Body and the Canon EVF-Dc1. This kit can be found here Canon EOS M3 BODY EVF KIT ( 24.7 MP,3 -inch LCD )

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Canon EVF-DC1 &EOS M3 Rear Side

The Canon EVF-DC1 really does compliment the Canon EOS M3. When fitted to the M3, it looks like it was meant to be there. A side note, the higher viewing position actually helps reduce nose smudges on the EOS M3 rear LCD (for those who get bothered by smudges). The EVF-DC1 is an articulated viewfinder which lifts up through 90 degrees, to allow more comfortable shooting in less comfortable surroundings. If getting down on the ground in less favourable conditions is not your idea of fun, the Canon EVF-DC1 can adjust for most ways around it to keep you more comfortable and clean. The Canon EOS M3 as I stated in my Mini Review, has an adjustable LCD Touchscreen, so if the EVF-DC1 doesn’t quite meet the needs, a simple flip out of the EOS M3 LCD Touch Screen gets you through quite easily. Manual focus is easy with theEOS M3 focus peaking switched on and works flawlessly when using the Canon EVF-DC1.

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Canon EVF-DC1 Internal LCD

Being 2.36MP (mega pixel) in resolution, the image displayed in the Canon EVF-DC1 is sharp and crisp, with a reassuring brightness. Above is a quick snap looking into the viewfinder using my iPhone. The white writing wasn’t actually soft, that’s a halo effect on the iPhone sensor, which is softening the image. With the naked eye, the image is pin sharp and offers the same information that the EOS M3 rear LCD displays.

Now I have read some reviews which complained about the laggy feel looking through the EVF-DC1 and to a certain extent, I have to agree with their findings, however the performance of the EVF depends very much on the lighting conditions the EVF-DC1 is being used. In bright, well lit environments, the EVF-DC1 offers a good refresh rate with minimal lag, but, just like camera body LCDs, when the lighting starts to diminish, the refresh rate of the display is reduced to maximise picture quality.

Anyone familiar with MacBook (Air /Pro, iMac etc) 720p HD FaceTime iSight cameras will recognise what I’m talking about. The refresh rate is deliberately reduced to preserve detail, so for moving subjects, things get a bit blurred. Improving the environmental light levels, increases the refresh rate so moving subjects and detail become clearer. It’s the same principle with EVFs on cameras. Better light, better performance.

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Canon EVF-DC1 & EOS M3 Front

While some may complain about the Canon EVF-DC1, with comments like ‘not good enough’ or ‘I expect better in this day and age’, it has got to be asked, in low or poor lighting environments, if you want super fast auto focus, super clear EVF performance, what camera offers this and at what cost?

If it’s possible to improve the lighting conditions, improve them and the EVF-DC1 will respond in kind. Personally, I am not disappointed in the Canon EVF-DC1 performance. In the limited time I’ve had it and in a variety of lighting conditions the EVF-DC1 was great to use. Switching between the EOS M3 rear LCD and the EVF-DC1 was easy and at no point did I find it getting in the way. A quick press of the Unlock button on the side of the EVF-DC1 allows easy removal, so using the Hotshot for Flash etc should not be a problem.

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Canon EVF-DC1 & EOS M3 Vertical

As I said earlier, when fitted to the Canon EOS M3, the Canon EVF-DC1 does increase the overall size, but it offers a solution to a criticism of some Mirrorless cameras. While some Mirrorless cameras do offer built in viewfinders, like for example the Sony a6000 or Fujifilm X-T10, I am not a great fan of the positioning of their viewfinders. The a6000 opts for a more ‘rangefinder’ position on the far upper left hand of the rear of the camera but doesn’t tilt, while the X-T10 offers a more traditional centre position (again which doesn’t tilt) and this is where the X-T10 problem lies. The camera is too small for me at least, to use the EVF comfortably. I had the same problem with my Olympus OM-D E-M5 EVF, yet I’m not having the same problem with the EOS M3 and the EVF-DC1. It may look a bit ungainly, but personally I think in usability terms, the EOS M3 & EVF-DC1 combination offers a much more rewarding shooting experience and it tilts!

To get this flexibility of EVF, you’d have to go for something like a Panasonic GX8, but then you have the smaller sensor m4/3 issues to contend with (not as limiting in recent generations of sensor), however, you can buy the EOS M3, EVF-DC1 and the EF-M 18-55mm IS STM lens for less money than a Lumix GX8 body only.

Personally, the Canon EOS M3 and Canon EVF-DC1 suits my style of shooting better than the competition. It feels like an extension of my arm when I’m shooting with it and the images it provides are excellent. It may not be the fastest, smartest or sleekest, but, since getting the EOS M3, my photography has been revitalised. My kit is lighter, image quality excellent and I have a camera that begs to be used. I engage with it and it allows me to shoot the images I want to shoot.

The task I have set myself for 2016, is one camera and one lens for the year. Having completed the kit with the Canon EVF-DC1, I am confident that the year won’t be as hard as I thought it might be. I love shooting with the EOS M3 and with the EVF-DC1 it feels complete.

The Canon EVF-DC1 can be bought via Amazon.co.uk here Canon EVF-DC1 – viewfinder

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