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Black and White Viewfinders


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#1 Ashim

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 10:03 AM

Hi,

I've often heard people say that they prefer B&W viewfinders because they help them in judging the focus better. How does a B&W viewfinder help in making critical focus decisions easier????????
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#2 John Ealer

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 10:41 AM

Hi,

I've often heard people say that they prefer B&W viewfinders because they help them in judging the focus better. How does a B&W viewfinder help in making critical focus decisions easier????????



It's a matter of biology. In the retina there's a much higher density of rod receptors (which, roughly speaking, sense brightness) versus cone receptors, which sense color. In essence, we see brightness in more detail than color. Adding color to the viewfinder basically makes our perception a bit less sharp, hence harder to see focus.

This natural predisposition for the eye to see brightness in more detail than color is the principle which underlies pretty much every chroma-subsampling scheme ever developed. The whole reason for 4:2:2 and 4:1:1 style chroma subsampling (instead of using straight RGB) is to use the bandwidth available in the video system to deliver information that's tailored to the human eye's ability to see it. In other words, not wasting bandwidth recreating detail we couldn't perceive (or wouldn't notice if it's missing) anyway.

J
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