study on viewfinder overlays

Conceptual ideas about EVF/LCD self-defined overlays, Eupen, Belgium, October 2019

The Idea

The basic idea is to have an overlay composed of lines and gray shades of equal or different densities allowing to see different image crops while looking though the EVF or on the LCD. The final output would still be a regular full frame image.


Of course this idea considers that you do not need 100% of your sensor size and that the pixels covered by the crop does fulfill your business needs. If not I recommend the Fujifilm GFX 100 series for that.

Eva in Studio, Fujifilm XT3, XF 50mm f2.0
  1. Square Format Small: Could be used for Instagram or similar feeds. Could also be used as a standard square format but seeing “more” than the final picture in the viewfinder. It would allow to frame for a final instagram poste while having a story or a igtv in mind.
  2. Vertical Portrait: If you like the portrait mode with the additional advantage to be able to use it landscape while keeping the full original portrait. When you turn the camera you loose this capability.
  3. Square Format Large: You can think in the small and the big square, or you can consider the portrait and the big square.
  4. Cinematic Mode: An approximative 9:16 cinema looking mode. It is overlaying all other formats and guarantees the crop on 9:16 screens or while filming.
  5. Full Sensor Size: No comment.

Image Overlay

While Fujifilm could deliver some fine tuned overlays the idea could be easily extended in a way that the photographer can define a JPG of the size of the sensor defining different gray scales. White would be 100% transparent while black is opaque.

Of course other formats like PNG with defined transparency could be used. I would rather keep it simple.

Creativity & Professional Formatting

Theoretically the provided image can be “any” image composed of different grayscales. This would allow creative photographers to setup any shapes and ajust them to their personal needs.

In addition photographers could exchange such presets, setup communities, discuss pros and cons.

This might not only be for creative photographers, but for photographers who have real needs. They could for example introduce special guidelines with defined proportions, or guidelines with scales, or overlays with grayed out text areas for further publications, etc.

Overlay for:

  • a magasin double pages with the gutter visible and some cropping buffer
  • a book page format, a website format, any defined media proportion format
  • a real estate agency with all houses displayed on a same horizontal line
  • a golden square grid, a banner grid, etc.

Fujifilm App

The quality of the PNG, or JPG with gray scales could be analized via the Fujifilm App. If this is still too tricky it could be proposed to Fujifilm who – once accepted – will deliver it to the App where the photographer can choose which one to import.

Handling while Shooting

During shooting two things should be accessible. If we consider that for example 3 overlays are stored in the camera a menu point (that can be attributed to the “my menu”) allowes to select what overlay to use. Second one function (that can be attributed to the “my menu” or to a button” should allow to switch between two profiles. On of them could be “no overlay” so that it can be quickly turned on/off.


Menu Page “Display” >> “Overlay”

Load Overlay > Bay #1 … #3 > [load an image from the card into the slected bay]

Active Overlay > [select between 1-3]

Reset Overlays [restore overlays 1-3 to initial Fujifilm setup]


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