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Old Apr 25, 2007, 8:34 AM   #1
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I've read lots now about entry level DSLRs. My town only has a "box" store, where I can feel the grip but not expreience the viewfinders so much...Can anyone provide an objective ranking of the relative brightness of the viewfinders on the most popular entry level DSLRs?

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Old Apr 25, 2007, 10:12 AM   #2
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"Objective opinion needed"

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Old Apr 25, 2007, 10:23 AM   #3
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okay. How about even a subjective opinion? john
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Old Apr 25, 2007, 10:24 AM   #4
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In my casual experience with a few different models belonging to friends, I've noticed that the smaller the image sensor, the brighter the viewfinder.

That is, I've noticed that the viewfinder on my KM 5D (1.5 crop factor) is about as bright as the viewfinders in Nikon's 1.5 crop factor dSLRs, all of which are brighter than the viewfinders in the Nikon and Canon full frame dSLRs I've handled.

I can't say that Fuji, Olympus and Pentax follow this trend, however.

I can't really say why this correlation might exist, it's just something I've noticed.
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Old Apr 25, 2007, 10:31 AM   #5
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My concern is that many reviews call the D50 and D70s "tunnel visioned".....and say the E500s have "very small" viewfinders.Are the competition, K100, K10, rebelxt, D40, D80, E510 or similar much better or worse?
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Old Apr 25, 2007, 10:33 AM   #6
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The only person around here who has actually owned just about all of them is mtclimber/sarah.

I think she said that she finds the Pentax the best, Nikon in the middle and Canon the worst. And it's at least possible that not everyone would agree.

Having said all that, I'm not sure that there could really be all that much in it, and how much the differencesmatter in the real world. Not that it's not nice to have a good viewfinder, just I'm not sure what the absolute ranking might be.

e.g. As a benchmark set the Canon 1D and Nikon D2X at 10/10 and the Canon 5D and Nikon D200 at 9/10 and the Canon 30D & Nikon D80 at 8/10.

Then supposingthe Pentax K100D is 7/10, the Nikon D40 6.5/10 and the Canon XTi 6/10 how much would that influence your choice?

What about if the rankings were 6.5, 6.25, 6.0?

I don't think there is any way of saying what's best for you without YOU actually looking through the viewfinder. You need to find another store.
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Old Apr 25, 2007, 10:38 AM   #7
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BTW, dSLR viewfinders don't get brighter when you turn on the camera. So even in a "big box" store, if you can handle the camera, you should get a pretty good idea how bright the viewfinder is (unless the store did something really dumb like place a security sticker on the objective lens.)

(That is, unless they don't put lenses on the floor models. Is that it?)
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Old Apr 25, 2007, 11:10 AM   #8
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I was able to look through the D40 with a lens. It was fine. The rebel xt also had a lens. It was difficult to read the stats on the bottom. I had to shift to do it. They did not have any pentax. The e500 had no lens. I think I held the D80 but all I could see was the price. I havent bought yet because I have not been able to handle all of them. Really what Im asking is,are there veiwfinders bad enough to be deal breakers??
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Old Apr 25, 2007, 11:18 AM   #9
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jpmann66 wrote:
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My concern is that many reviews call the D50 and D70s "tunnel visioned".....and say the E500s have "very small" viewfinders.
This backs up what I said about the size and brightness of the image in the viewfinder being proportional to the size of the sensor. The D50 & D70 have 1.5 crop factor sensors, while the E500 is a 4/3rds dSLR with the smallest image sensor in the bunch.

The size of the image in the viewfinder seems to be proportional to the size of the image sensor.

I remember thinking that the viewfinder in my Minolta srT-202 was brighter than others I'd seen, so there will be some inherent variability between brands. But the image in its viewfinder was so big that I kept missing the shutter speed and aperature indicators. So I like the smaller size of the image in the viewfinder of my KM5D, and in the D70s I've used. I think the images in the Nikon and Canon full frame dSLRs I've handled, are too big, and correspondingly, dimmer.
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Old Apr 25, 2007, 11:48 AM   #10
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I am by no means an expert nor have I owned and used all of the cameras out there but when I was camera shopping the viewfinder issue was a big concern for me. I had been given a Canon Rebel 300d. I found the viewfinder to be such a problem with my eyesight that I went on a viewfinder quest.

Although these cameras are not all entry level they were all the cameras I could find locally to try out. In MY order of preference here is what I felt.

1. Pentax k10d (The clearest, brightest whatever you want to call it)

2. Nikon d80 (Almost as good and the grid lines were really nice)

3. Pentax k100d (best of the entry level in my opinion)

4. Nikon d40

5. Sony A100

6. Canon 30d and Canon xti (These two were both so bad I couldn't even see well enough to tell which one was worse)

The problem with the Canon 300d was that as my eyes hunted within the viewfinder to see what was going on I was developing camera shake in the extra few seconds it was taking ME to focus on what was being shown in the viewfinder.

I ended up with the k100d because of the entry level models I felt it had the best viewfinder AND it offered IS which I felt would help with any shake on my part. I am very happy with the camera and am glad I made the choice I did. I felt that all the wonderful lenses that are offered by Canon weren't going to make any difference to me if I couldn't see what the heck I was doing with them. LOL

Hope this helps.

Robin


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