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Old Aug 27, 2008, 1:27 PM   #11
JimC's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378

Again, try them out in a store and you'll get a better feel for how they work.

The major malfunction seems to be that the imaging sensors in most dSLR models were just not optimized for this purpose (live view using Contrast Detect AF). For closeups where AF speed isn't a concern, Live View has it's benefits (since you can see a magnified image on screen to help out with focus accuracy).

As time passes, Live View should improve significantly for models equipped with it, and you can enjoy more benefits (like face recognition and more) to help out with AF accuracy. I suspect that the Panasonic sensors in the Olympus models will lend themselves more to this type of use. But, I wouldn't expect the other manufacturers to be sitting still. We'll have to wait and see how the newer camera models being announced with Live View will perform. But, for currently shipping models with Live View, the Sonys (A300, A350) have the best implementation I've seen, by far (if you want to use Live View). The older (discontinued) Olympus E330 isn't too bad either (it uses a similar design to the Sony models with Live view, and tends to be sought after on the used market by Olympus users).

Unless you really have a specific need for Live View (and don't mind slow and/or "clunky" Autofocus), I'd stick to the optical viewfinders in most of the current dSLR models.

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