EVFs first showed up on mirrorless cameras because without a mirror there's no way to have an optical viewfinder. The early EVFs were really terrible, but in just a few short years, they have progressed quickly and now some of them have beautiful image quality and high resolution.
Electronic viewfinders also allow for "heads-up"-style data displayed over the image, perfect for things like real-time histograms and horizon-level display.
That means that the Canon EOS 70D isn't just an SLR that's designed to provide excellent video and Live View use; it's a camera designed to move photography to a new place, a world where cameras with full-frame sensors and high-end lenses are free of mirrors. Expect to see full-frame sensors in professional cameras with optical viewfinders hitting the market very soon.
Double VisionThe stunning thing about digital photography is that the seemingly simple addition of phase-detection sensors to an imaging sensor isn't just changing what we know about autofocus technology; it's changing what we know about cameras.
The competing needs to develop contrast-detection and phase-detection systems forward is bringing huge benefits to the consumer. Micro Four Thirds cameras provide some of the fastest focusing times ever seen, and they do so with a contrast-detection system.
Meanwhile, phase-detection systems have moved on-chip with the imaging sensor and stand ready to revolutionize the shape of professional-grade gear.
The takeaway, then, is this: Phase- and contrast-detection systems are both incredibly capable and incredibly powerful, when done right. If Canon's EOS 70D is an indicator, in a few short years we may even see contrast-detection systems largely abandoned.
The changes in AF technology are moving two different types of cameras toward one destination: a high-speed, mirrorless world. Compact mirrorless cameras are marching steadily toward full-frame performance and features while full-frame cameras are moving toward a mirrorless design.
Just like the waveforms used in phase-detection systems, at some point, these cameras are going to overlap perfectly and the future of photography will snap into focus.
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