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Old Oct 4, 2007, 3:58 AM   #1
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Hi All,


Everyone is talking about DSLR cameras and all the advantage of using DSLR over Point and Shoot cameras. True they give you more control for taking pictures, better lenses (lots of them) and larger sensors all for capturing pictures in the highest of quality. Then why don't DSLR use the best of the new advances in their cameras? Does anyone remember why SLR film cameras were such a big hit over Point and Shoot (or range finder as they were called) or even the Twin Lens Reflex cameras? I do, when you looked though the view finder of an SLR, you saw what the film was going to see when you push down on the shutter release. No more having to worry that you would miss part of a shot because the view finder and lens didn't see exactly the same things. So why are DSLR using optical view finders that incorporate the old mirror system that doesn't allow for full live view of what the sensor is seeing as in the Point and Shoot cameras? Removing the optical view finder for a LCD view finder would still give you "what you see is what you get" view with the added bonus full live view and no camera shake from a mirror bouncing up and down. Or are the camera manufactures just marketing to us old time photographers'?
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 5:53 AM   #2
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Optical viewfinders still give you a "what you see is what you get" preview, and are the better choice when trying to evaluate critical focus. The resolution of LCD is not yet high enough for focus evaluation. Second, LCD's become unusable in very bright sunlight Plus when using one, the face becomes another point of steadying control helping reduce camera shake. Holding a large DSLR at arms length, is inviting camera shake to happen. Mirror shake only becomes a problem at slower shutter speeds. That being said, there are times when live preview is useful, and many newer DSLRS are incorporating this function into their feature set. The new Nikons will have it, as will the 40d.
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 6:47 AM   #3
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As the owner of a Minolta DiMage Z1 (EVF-LCD) and a Nikon D40 (DSLR), I have a direct comparison between the two types of viewfinder. It's nice to have a LCD with live preview if you're holding the camera over your head or down low, but the DSLR is a whole lot easier to focus manually than the EVF-equipped camera.
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 10:32 AM   #4
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On my Kodak Z712is, I have the choice of an LCD screen (seldom used), or exactly the same information in an eye-level EVF positioned just as it would be in a tiny SLR.

I am now used to adjusting the exposure by eye in difficult shots, using an EV correction thumbwheel, to give at least an idea of tonal range and shadow/highlight balance, and a judge a good place around which to bracket exposures. (My son also has this facility onhis very cheap Sanyo S4 point&shoot.) I can also have the histogram displayed if I wish.

Focus isn't as easy as on a nicesmooth SLR lens ring, but on manual focus the selected zone is enlarged as you adjust it, to help accuracy, so it's not too difficult.

So I don't miss the uncertainty of waiting until after the shot to see what I've done. Mind you, I get an instant 'quickview' of the taken shot as well, if I wish.
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 10:34 AM   #5
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Your eye is the best device you've got for looking at stuff. And the fewer things between your eye and whatever you want to look at, the better you'll see it.

When you look at something through the optical viewfinder of an SLR, you'll see it as well as the camera does.

When you look at something with, for instance, a 560x220 pixelLCD display on a digicam using, for instance, a 2560x1920 pixel image sensor, not only is the subject broken down into 4,915,200 discrete pieces, each containingan average of that small portion of the subject, but in order to present some likeness of what the image sensor is 'seeing' onto the LCD display, it has to average the information from an area 4.57 pixels wide by 8.73 pixels high so that it can display something on one of its pixels.

So when you look at something with an electronic viewfinder, you're seeing an average of an average of the subject, not the subject you would see through an optical viewfinder.

If that works ok for you, then have fun with it.

And optical viewfinders may indeed be behind the times, but until image sensors and LCD displays have resolutions approaching that of my eye (astigmatism and all), I'll stick with a dSLR, thank you.
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 10:49 AM   #6
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Calicajun wrote:
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Hi All,


Then why don't DSLR use the best of the new advances in their cameras? Does anyone remember why SLR film cameras were such a big hit over Point and Shoot (or range finder as they were called) or even the Twin Lens Reflex cameras? I do, when you looked though the view finder of an SLR, you saw what the film was going to see when you push down on the shutter release.?
Actually with film SLRs you didn't see what the film was going to see. True an SLR's veiwing system eliminated parallax but it only showed 90-95% of what the film saw. That is exactly the situation with DSLRs now.

By the way LCD and EVF finders typically show about 95% of the image.

As others have pointed out the best of the LCD/EVFs don'thave anywhere near the resolution of the human eye/mirror/pentaprism system and are mostly useless for focusing. My hopeful guess is that it will take another couple of generations of LCD/EVFs before they will be anywhere close to supplanting the SLR system.




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Old Oct 4, 2007, 11:02 AM   #7
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ac.smith wrote:
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an SLR's veiwing system ...only showed 90-95% of what the film saw. That is exactly the situation with DSLRs now.

By the way LCD and EVF finders typically show about 95% of the image.
Yes! It infuriated me on my OM-10, and all my other film cameras, and it infuriates me now on every camera I have. If the manufacturers credit me with the intelligence to use manual controls, they might have the grace to allow me to judge the framing. At least with the electronic version there's no question of peering round the corner of a little telescope!

I thought Nikons claimed to show exactly the full frame in the olden days, or did I dream it? What about Hasselblad? I shall ask my professional friend.
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 11:52 AM   #8
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Alan T wrote:
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Yes! It infuriated me on my OM-10, and all my other film cameras, and it infuriates me now on every camera I have. If the manufacturers credit me with the intelligence to use manual controls, they might have the grace to allow me to judge the framing. At least with the electronic version there's no question of peering round the corner of a little telescope!

I thought Nikons claimed to show exactly the full frame in the olden days, or did I dream it? What about Hasselblad? I shall ask my professional friend.
This argument springs up every now and again.

Have you ever disgarded a negative because it contained a LARGER angle of view than you wanted? That's what cropping is for, and unless you only use contact prints , it's a 'given'.

ac.smith wrote:
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Actually with film SLRs you didn't see what the film was going to see. True an SLR's veiwing system eliminated parallax but it only showed 90-95% of what the film saw. That is exactly the situation with DSLRs now.
The viewfinder frame coverage for all Nikon dSLRs is approximately 95%, at least, and approximately 100% for the D1, D2 and D3 Series dSLRs. Likewise, Canon's EOS-1D Series has approximately 100% coverage, while their other dSLRs have approximately 95% coverage.

There's not a "90%" in the bunch.

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Old Oct 4, 2007, 1:41 PM   #9
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An aspect of LCD displays on P&S cameras which I always found frustrating was the inability to seeany useful information when trying to take macro shots.

For example I have a Canon A610 which is an excellent little camera in many respects but trying to use manual focuswhile in macro mode is akin to threading a needle while looking in a mirror.

You simply can't beat an optical viewfinderto determine focus.




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Old Oct 4, 2007, 2:13 PM   #10
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TCav wrote:
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ac.smith wrote:
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Actually with film SLRs you didn't see what the film was going to see. True an SLR's veiwing system eliminated parallax but it only showed 90-95% of what the film saw. That is exactly the situation with DSLRs now.
There's not a "90%" in the bunch.
Since the original poster washolding upfilm SLRs of old that was my frame of reference. I think if we could pull Modern Photo/Pop Photo SLR test reports from the sixties we would see that not many hit 95%. As we look at currentDSLR it's apparent the not all improvements have been in sensors/electronics/processors but the mechanicals and non-image optics have been addressed as well.
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