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-   -   what good is an optical viewfinder? (https://forums.steves-digicams.com/general-discussion-11/what-good-optical-viewfinder-92490/)

omGARY Jun 13, 2006 9:19 PM

i'm looking to buy a compact digicam, and i see that a lot of them don't have an optical viewfinder, and you just use the LCD provided. Yet I see some (such as the Sony dsc-w50) have both the LCD and an optical viewfinder. Is there an advantage to this?

rjseeney Jun 13, 2006 9:33 PM

Optical viefinders when used do provide more stability, as the camera is up against your face, thus reducing camera shake. It is also easier to manually focus with an optical viewfinder. However in smaller P&S digicams, the viewfinders suffer from pretty bad parralax error, that is what you see in the viewfinder, will not be what you see in the final image. They also tend to be very small. Nothing beats an optical viewfinder in a DSLR, but I tend to use the LCD for framing in my smaller digicams.

omGARY Jun 13, 2006 9:45 PM

so what you're saying is that the optical viewfinder in a very small digicam isn't necessary? i'm not looking for a DSLR.. too big for my taste. yet the smaller the camera gets, the poorer the quality.
if i get the sony dsc-w50, i wonder if i'll even use the optical viewfinder.. since it already has a huge 2.5" LCD, and using the finder would cause my nose to get all over the LCD.:(

Morag2 Jun 13, 2006 9:56 PM

Well my camera has a digital viewfinder, but it is shown through the little viewfinder in the camera so I need to press my eye too it. (Kodak P850). I find that a picture is MUCH more steady when you are pressed up against it like that, so I think it's important... to be honest I haven't seen a camera that only allowed you to use the screen though.

sail978 Jun 13, 2006 10:33 PM

I agree. You get a much steadier shot using the viewfinder. Think about it. Holding a camera up and away to look at an LCD screen - it's not a natural position. Secondly, that LCD screen is nice and clear when you're inside the store. When you get out into the sun, it's not alwaysquite as easy to see. I always use the viewfinder.

rey Jun 13, 2006 10:59 PM

I tend to use the optical viewfinder on the P&S, it does provide more stability. It also saves battery.

omGARY Jun 14, 2006 12:25 AM

Morag2 wrote:
Quote:

Well my camera has a digital viewfinder, but it is shown through the little viewfinder in the camera so I need to press my eye too it. (Kodak P850). I find that a picture is MUCH more steady when you are pressed up against it like that, so I think it's important... to be honest I haven't seen a camera that only allowed you to use the screen though.
check any ultra-compact digicam.. now i know most of them are without optical viewfinders.

slipe Jun 14, 2006 12:44 AM

A couple more factors are that the best current LCDs can be hard to see in bright sunlight and the poor ones are terrible. A few cameras had transreflective LCDs that were great in sunlight, but I don't think any are currently being made.

It is also much easier to acquire and track a moving target with an eyelevel viewfinder, especially when zoomed.


tmoreau Jun 14, 2006 8:08 AM

Way back when I had a P&s I sometimes (rarely though) used the optical viewfinder to save battery power. The lcd was a battery hog.

For the most part, you NEED to use the lcd for framing and checking settings.

E.T Jun 14, 2006 12:21 PM

rjseeney wrote:
Quote:

It is also easier to manually focus with an optical viewfinder.
Ability to see focusing applies only to optical TTL (through the lens) viewfinders, like those in SLRs, not to separate viewfinders of pocket cameras.


Morag2 wrote:
Quote:

Well my camera has a digital viewfinder, but it is shown through the little viewfinder in the camera so I need to press my eye too it. (Kodak P850). I find that a picture is MUCH more steady when you are pressed up against it like that, so I think it's important...
Now this one is electronic viewfinder (EVF) instead of optical viewfinder (OVF). It's small LCD and shows exactly same live preview from sensor and information as main LCD.
This has advantages of both OVF and LCD, image shows well in bright lightning and position doesn't magnifye shake, no parallax errors, live preview means what you see is what sensor really sees (unlike in dSLR) and coverage is 100%. (seems to be that OFVs of dSLRs don't give full frame coverage)
If cameras would sell basing to their features instead of most loudest PR BS current EVFs would very propably have big enough resolutions to replace TTL OVFs of "digital" SLRs completely. Nearly 2½ years old KM A2 has EVF whose resolution is 4x that of best other EVFs and LCDs and already that is quite good for manual focusing.


omGARY wrote:
Quote:

if i get the sony dsc-w50, i wonder if i'll even use the optical viewfinder.. since it already has a huge 2.5" LCD, and using the finder would cause my nose to get all over the LCD.:(
Did you thought designers are photographers? Most cameras are quite apparently designed by those who have never used cameras... or then by those whose rare braincells are dying to loneliness.


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