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Date: 06/06/2013 | By: Heather

Q&A: Do mirrorless cameras have viewfinders?


Q&A: Do mirrorless cameras have viewfinders?

Walking outside on a brilliant sunny day, how many times have you had to squint at your LCD screen to see the shot you’re about to take? And how many times did that shot end up looking completely different to what you’d expected because you (honestly) couldn’t see what you were shooting?

These are common dilemmas faced by anyone who owns a digital camera that relies solely on an LCD screen as a way of viewing a scene. It is also a common problem we encounter with our smartphones.

But what about mirrorless cameras: do they have viewfinders?

More models have built-in viewfinders now and their number is increasing every year as mirrorless cameras become more popular among enthusiasts and professionals. By and large, if a camera has been designed with amateurs in mind, it is unlikely to have a built-in viewfinder, though the option of attaching an external viewfinder to a hotshoe is present on many models including the Olympus PEN, Nikon 1, Leica T  and Panasonic Lumix series.

So, why are viewfinders desirable? First, cameras with viewfinders let you have a more natural approach when you take your photographs. Second, they allow you to take photos in any light conditions, including bright days where LCD screens are useless. The only proverbial ‘fly in the ointment’ is that, as with any camera designed for a pro audience, they cost a pretty penny.

Let’s have a look below to see the flagships for each brand:


The Olympus OM-D E-M1
  • 2.36 million dot
  • 120 fps refresh rate
  • 1.48x magnification
  • S-OVF (expands the live view dynamic range)

Other Olympus Mirrorless Cameras with Viewfinder

  • OM-D E-M1
  • OM-D E-M5 II
  • OM-D E-M5
  • OM-D E-M10 II
  • OM-D E-M10
  • Pen F


The Panasonic GX8
  • 2.36 million dots
  • 60fps refresh rate
  • 1.54x magnification
  • Tilting

Other Panasonic Mirrorless Cameras with Viewfinder


The Fujifilm X-Pro2
  • Hybrid Viewfinder (optical and electronic)
  • OVF
    • Reverse Galilean type with electronic bright frame display
    • Field coverage: 92%
    • Magnifications: x0.36 / x0.60
  • EVF
    • 2.36 million dots
    • 0.59x magnification
    • 85fps refresh rate

Other Fujifilm Mirrorless Cameras with Viewfinder

  • X100 (Hybrid)
  • X100s (Hybrid)
  • X100T (Hybrid)
  • X10 (optical)
  • X20 (optical)
  • X30
  • X-E1
  • X-E2
  • X-E2s
  • X-Pro1 (Hybrid)
  • X-T1
  • X-T10


The Sony A7r II
  • 2,359 million dots
  • 0.78x magnification

Other Sony Mirrorless Cameras with Viewfinder

  • NEX-6
  • NEX-7
  • a6000
  • a6300
  • A7
  • A7r
  • A7s
  • A7 II
  • A7s II
  • RX1r II
  • RX100 III
  • RX100 IV
  • RX10
  • RX10 II
  • RX10 III


The Nikon V2
  • 1,440 million dots

Other Nikon Mirrorless Cameras with Viewfinder

  • V1
  • DL 24-500


The Leica SL
  • 0.66” inch type
  • 4.4 million dots
  • 0.8x magnification
  • 60fps refresh rate

Other Leica Mirrorless Cameras with Viewfinder

Photo credit: Boqiang Liao on Flickr (CC by-sa 2.0)

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About the author: Heather Broster

Heather Broster was born in Canada, has lived in Japan and Italy but currently calls Wales home. She is a full-time gear tester at MirrorLessons. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter or Facebook!

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