I missed the viewfinder badly, especially in bright light - anyone........can say whether that's a big problem or not?
Since 2002 I've owned4 digicams of my own, and used two others heavily, and I have made much use of both
the LCD screen on the back and
the eye-level viewfinder on all of them. Only now, with my newest, a Kodak Z712is
unbelievably compact & light superzoom, am I feeling as comfortable as I did with my old OM10SLR and Rollei & Olympus XA pocketable 35mm cameras.
On many occasions I'd have been lost without the optical finders, and on some occasions I was lost even with them.
In conditions of strong backlighting, on every screen I've possessed, it's quite impossible to see the screen properly, and especially difficult to the read the setting information & the menus. This applies even to the nice bright screens on my Casio EX-Z750 and my current ZX712, even on 'bright' settings. What you see is a beautiful reflected image of your own brightly sun-illuminatedface, which is much brighter than the underlying LED emission.
On my 2003 Casio QV-5700, you can get around the problem byreading the additional body-top watch-styleblack LED display showing current settings, adjustable with a wheel.
On all the others you have to see the screen for any adjustments. Asan alternative to expensive LCD screen hoods, this is my solution....
...but it's inconvenient in bad weather. Or you can pretend to be a Victorian with a black cloth over your head. It's what everyone should be wearing with their swimsuits on the beach!
My local camera shop tell me people's holiday snaps from sunny places often have parts or the whole of the intended subject missing, because the photographer has pointed roughly in the direction and hoped for the best.
At last, at an affordable price (half that of my first Olympus C3020Z digicam), I have the Z712, with its LCD eye-level viewfinder, pioneered years ago (at a price) in the Minolta Dimage7. Now I can read the settings and menus and view the image clearly, magnified if necessary, in any lighting conditions, and save battery power at the same time.
BTW, when intending to take very dimly-lit subjects using flash, an optical viewfinder is a great boon.
Good luck! Alan T