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Is it easier to focus manual lenses on the NEX 5N with the EVF? I have been thinking about buying the EVF or buying a NEX 7 for the EVF. I want to buy some manual lenses but I'm not sure if it's easy to focus the manual lenses with the EVF.
It's extremely easy to focus manual lenses with the EVF, definitely easier than with the rear LCD as you have a higher-resolution display (0.8MP vs 0.3MP actual resolution, the dot resolution counts all three sub-pixels to give more impressive numbers) and a clearer view of it. You have two different types of focus assist: peaking, which takes practice to judge and can be inaccurate with low-contrast scenes or very shallow DoF, and magnification, which is 100% accurate but can be a pain with longer lenses hand-held.I use a mix of both with the NEX-7, as I did with the 5N before I upgraded. Frankly, I find the Sony EVF to be superior to any OVF (TTL or RF) for accurate focusing.
There are other issues with EVF's though, most notably lag in tracking fast-moving objects, a greater susceptibility to problems from light leakage (amplified by the lousy Eyecup on the NEX EVF's) and the fact you need to pick between a high-contrast display with blocked shadows for good peaking performance or a lower contrast display without blocked shadows. Note these settings are achieved by using different JPEG settings, for many reasons I don't really recommend shooting JPEG on Sony cameras for serious shooters, RAW is required to get anywhere near the maximum IQ the camera is capable of, JPEG settings should be used to control the EVF/LCD display. Some users also find the low frame rate of the LV feed in really low light to be disconcerting or problematical.