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Old Nov 13, 2005, 1:26 PM   #1
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Someone recommended the Fuji F10 to me because I had mentioned I might take pictures in low light settings...like at parties or more likely, city night scenes.

W/that said..they said checkout the F10. I did, it has a huge screen 2.5" which is what I want...HOwever it didn't have a viewfinder...

I was wondering how useful people have found the viewfinder in a digital camera as opposed to not having one at all.

If the F10 had a viewfinder, I would definitely get it..but no viewfinder makes me reluctant.

I have never owned a digital cam or even used one that much either..Just film based SLRs
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Old Nov 13, 2005, 4:23 PM   #2
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I vote for the viewfinder.

Kodak P850 5mp and P880 8mphave the large 2.5 LCD witha diopter adjustableviewfinder.
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Old Nov 13, 2005, 11:44 PM   #3
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Old Nov 14, 2005, 2:36 AM   #4
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I'm rather ambivalent wrt to VF or LCD; currently use P&Ss and dSLR's that range from no VF to TTL, don't have a problem with either. The only quirks are those that suffer fromreally badparallax error ...
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Old Nov 14, 2005, 7:51 AM   #5
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A tunnel type optical viewfinder is not much usefull for framing (paralax error, small frame coverage), but is good if you want to conserve battery power by turning the LCD off and still frame distant subjects.
An EVF type camera cannot conserve so much power but that vf is very usefull. Only that you will not find EVF on a camera with just 3x optical zoom (except Nikon Coolpix 8400).
For small digicams the current trend is to drop the optical vf and use the space for a larger LCD (for nice live preview and playback. Maybe could make manual focus easier but trendy cameras generally don't have that option).
A better option is Fuji F11 which has a higher resolution LCD and some manual controls (but no manual focus) and I don't know if is available US side.
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Old Nov 14, 2005, 9:38 AM   #6
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I would want a veiwfinder, too. The thigs that it does better than an LCD are twofold. First, when you look through the viewfinder, you can steady the camera. It encourages you to use good technique, so there is less of a problem of motion at lower shutter speeds, for example. Second, in bright light, the viewfinder is always easier to use. There isn't a lot of reflected light to try to block out while you are framing your image.
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Old Nov 14, 2005, 9:41 AM   #7
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Sometimes the LCD can be useful, especially if you need to place the camera in a position that makes it difficult to get your face in behind it to easily see through an optical viewfinder. But only then!

Otherwise I definately vote for the optical viewfinder. By using the optical viewfinder you will hold the camera in a much more stable position (two hands, plus pressed against your forehead or nose), enabling steadier photos. You will also get increased battery life.

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Old Nov 14, 2005, 3:28 PM   #8
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An LCD allows you to frame a shot more efficiently so you don't have to crop as much. Most optical finders show only 80-85% of the image. And you can see enough detail in subdued lighting to take the picture when the shot is right.

But many LCDs are difficult to see in bright sunlight. That was one of the negatives in the dpreview review of the F10. Without an optical finder you often have to generally frame the image and then look directly at the target to get the shot you want. Since you have to allow some slop for not looking at the actual framing when you depress the shutter you are back to cropping – probably more than you would with an optical finder.

Even with only a 3X zoom it is hard to acquire a moving target with the LCD. Someone wrote a post on another board about taking his Casio Z750 to his son's Little League game. He said he hadn't understood why everyone was saying you needed an optical finder until he tried to take some shots at the baseball game. Until he started using the optical finder he couldn't pick up the action fast enough to get the shots on time.

The F10 is an excellent little camera. I prefer manual controls, but you can work around most things with spot metering, fill flash, EV shift etc. I might have bought an F10 if it had an optical finder or even a transreflective LCD. But I live in Florida where the sun is an almost constant problem. If you don't shoot toddlers or ball games you wouldn't have an acquisition problem and if you don't live in a sunny climate the LCD would be useable most of the time. Most people seem to do OK without an optical finder.

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Old Nov 14, 2005, 5:25 PM   #9
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Yep, the one with a moving target is a very good reason.
The LCD's position is moving in the field of view (and for the same angle made by the target you must move a lot more the LCD than the viewfinder). The eyes/brain will firstly follow the screen, then process to see what is on it. And if is a big amplitude movement, it may require to move also the head, which must be corelated with hands/camera movement.
About strong light, even with the most reflective screen, I never look directly at the target, instead I try to shade somehow the LCD: if the light is so strong, the exposure is short so the camera can be held one hand only, the other one shading the screen.
About the steadier position with the camera against the forhead/nose: an interesting thing is that if currently small cameras don't have a viewfinder anymore they start having optical stabilization, even at low focals.

P.S. I'm very nearsighted, so I keep the screen very close to my eyes, a small LCD is like a big EVF to me
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