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Old Mar 3, 2008, 3:24 PM   #1
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So I'm in the market for something in the lower end price compact size range. (Sub $200)


Whats the deal with virtually no new cameras (at least in big box stores) having optical view finders? Canon seems to be one of the few brands that still sport them.


Are the LCD's on these newer models better then what I'm accostumed to? We take a good bit of outdoor pictures, and I can't stand having the sun behind me not being able to clearly see the screen.




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Old Mar 3, 2008, 5:19 PM   #2
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Yes LCD's have improved.

But the reason for the disappearance of the optical viewfinder has to do more to the consumer's preferences.
For whatever reason most snapshooters prefer to use the LCD to compose their images than to look through a small optical viewfinder.
Why then should camera makers include them? Without them they can make the cameras sleeker and less expensive.
I personally don't like this either. I would want an optical viewfinder. But I am not the target customer of P&S camera's
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Old Mar 4, 2008, 12:22 PM   #3
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The invention of the LCD panel viewfinder has released us all from the tyranny of the inaccurate peephole viewfinder.

With the LCD you can see exactly what you are going to get without having to switch to an SLR camera.

Usually you can shade the LCD with your body as you compose and take the shot.

The problem for me is that I need my head to help steady the camera.

Digital camera hints: http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/digicam.htm


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Old Mar 5, 2008, 12:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies!

ajaynejr,
Your link seems to be broken. I get a AOL page not found page.

For this paticular camera, I think I'm down to the Canon A570 IS. I wanted something decent enough, but small and cheap enough to carry around for every day use.

It's got the viewfinder, and despite the recycle time I like that it runs on AA batteries. If I'm out in the middle of nowhere and the battery is dead, I can pick up fresh ones at just about any store.
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Old Mar 5, 2008, 5:30 PM   #5
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I can't cope with those!
When I was at the Statue Of Liberty a few months ago my SLR seemed to make me a magnet for people saying "Can you take a shot of us with my camera please?".
By instinct I held each one up to my eye to try and frame the shot, but it turned out almost none had a viewfinder, so I was left pulling my head away from it in confusion! :-)
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Old Mar 5, 2008, 8:56 PM   #6
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Consumer's are the big reason for only an LCD screen and the manufactures are happy about it too as it cost less to make a camera without a VF. BTW, other than DSLR's the VF on all (99.9%) P&S camera is a small LCD screen inside the VF, no optical VF's any more.
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Old Mar 6, 2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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Calicajun wrote:
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BTW, other than DSLR's the VF on all (99.9%) P&S camera is a small LCD screen inside the VF, no optical VF's any more.
I haven't counted models with different viewfinder types, but that does not sound right for viewfinder eqipped models (and we are seeing fewer models with viewfinders lately).

If you look at an ultra zoom type camera, you're going to find an EVF (Electronic Viewfinder). It's just too difficult to manufacturer a good zoom coupled optical viewfinder without a Through the Lens view with large ranges from wide to long. So, you'll see Electronic Viewfinders on Ultra Zoom type cameras and models with a larger zoom range from wide to long.

But, viewfinder equipped cameras with a less ambitious focal range (i.e., your typical 3x and 4x zoom models with 35mm equivalent focal ranges of around 35-105mm or 28-128mm), usually have a zoom coupled optical viewfinder (not an Electronic Viewfinder).

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Old Mar 6, 2008, 10:34 PM   #8
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MrPogo wrote:
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I can't cope with those!
When I was at the Statue Of Liberty a few months ago my SLR seemed to make me a magnet for people saying "Can you take a shot of us with my camera please?".
By instinct I held each one up to my eye to try and frame the shot, but it turned out almost none had a viewfinder, so I was left pulling my head away from it in confusion! :-)
LOL

When Autofocus first hit the scene I was looking at a camera in the store. I instinctively held on the focusing ring and the motor began to whine as it tried to turn. The salesman about had a heart attack.

I like the idea of using the LCD for some shots, especially is it a flexible one. I wish I had the option on my DSLR. But for most things it just feels too unsteady.


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Old Mar 7, 2008, 5:33 AM   #9
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Calicajun wrote:
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...no optical VF's any more.
If this is true, everyone needs my $1 LCD viewer, which I publicise on every possible occasion, because everyone without an EVF needs one in some lighting conditions. You wedge it between your face & the LCD screen, and it's a cheap alternative to expensive Velcro-attached LCD hoods...
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Old Mar 8, 2008, 7:03 PM   #10
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The good old view finder had only two technical reasons for existance:

1)View finderwas real-time as LCD has a lag that is troublesome in sports shots. This problem is becoming less significant withnewer LCDs

2) use of view finder helped to stabilize the camera (via head's weight). This problem is also becoming less significant with the popularity of image stabilizers.

You see there isfewer technical reasons for keeping the view finder.

By the way, I think with more advances in LCD, we may some day see the DSLR disappear too.

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