Do you need an optical viewfinder?

Discussion in 'Photography Board' started by tmonferdini, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. tmonferdini

    tmonferdini Mouseketeer

    Mar 19, 2007
    I think I found the P&S camera to get for my daughter, but it doesn't have an optical viewfinder? Is it necessary? Any advice? I'm looking at the Kodak Easyshare 753. Any feedback?
  2. ukcatfan

    ukcatfan DIS Veteran

    May 11, 2001
    It is very helpful in bright or low light conditions.

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  4. pisco

    pisco Mouseketeer

    Apr 2, 2006
    The only real benefit of an optical viewfinder on a P&S camera is that it is harder to hold a camera steady at arms length than it is when holding it up to your face. So you are more likely to had blurry pictures from camera shake when using the LCD to compose your shots.
  5. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

    Jul 18, 2004
    It also helps steady the shot when it rests against your forehead. I don't generally NOT use a viewfinder unless I'm shooting at an unusual angle.
  6. MICKEY88

    MICKEY88 <font color=purple>if you keep falling off of the

    May 15, 2003

    you also get longer battery life if you can turn the lcd off and only use it for viewing pics, rather than having it on all the time, for composing shots etc.
  7. boBQuincy

    boBQuincy <font color=green>I am not carrying three pods<br>

    Nov 26, 2002
    Do you need an optical viewfinder?

    I do!
    The LCD screen has some delay, making it difficult to time the shot (fireworks has to be tough with the LCD).
    I use a polarizer, even on my P&S, and the screen doesn't begin to show the nuances of the polarizer adjustment.
    The screen is annoying to others when used in dim lighting, and difficult to see in very bright lighting.

    I am not likely to buy a camera that does not have a viewfinder. Plenty of them are sold though, so someone must like them. But not me... ;)
  8. fitzperry

    fitzperry DIS Veteran

    Jul 9, 2005
    Personally I wouldn't have a camera w/o an optical viewfinder for the reasons mentioned above, but we do have two in our house (I just don't use them very often ;)). A little over a year ago we bought our then 7yo a Nikon Coolpix L4. I was a little reluctant to buy her a camera w/o an optical viewfinder, thinking that she should learn to take pictures properly, but I figured she'd use the lcd all the time regardless. Camera shake has been an issue though due to her impatience w/ shutter lag and long low light exposures. In hindsight, I wish we'd looked harder for something with an optical viewfinder that met our other criteria.

    Nevertheless I bought dh a camera w/o an optical viewfinder for his birthday a few months ago (Nikon S50, IIRC). I knew that he wanted something really small and slim that he could just carry in his pocket. Most of the cameras in that category do not have an optical viewfinder. In fact, IIRC, Canon seems to be about the only manufacturer still putting an optical viewfinder in its supercompact cameras. As with our dd, I figured he was unlikely to turn off the lcd anyway, and I found a great deal on this camera, and it's worked out fine.

    So I guess I'm not sure what advice to offer except to consider how your dd will use the camera and whether she can live with the issues that not having an optical viewfinder can create.
  9. mabas9395

    mabas9395 I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I

    Mar 5, 2006
    95% of P&S shooters will say you don't need one and 95% of the SLR shooters will say yes you do.

    That other 5% will tell you that its just personal preference.
  10. Nikel

    Nikel DIS Veteran

    Mar 3, 2006

    I need one. The 40D has a live view feature, and I just can't understand why I'd want that. I think I'm going to play with it now though.....I'm really intrigued at the thought of the focus points and live view and how in the heck can you see them unless there's dim lighting.
  11. Anewman

    Anewman <font color=green>Likes it topped with relish<br><

    May 13, 2005
    I was about to say...

    I don't need an optical viewfinder, but I prefer them.
  12. handicap18

    handicap18 <font color=blue>Husband, father of 3, and Disney

    Oct 18, 2005
    I came across an instance where you'd definately want to have a live view LCD on a dSLR. A buddy and I were out this weekend taking night shots of Boston. One spot we came across to take shots of a bridge we were shooting had a HUGE chain link fence in front of us. The fence was over 6' high and we had to extend our tripods above our heads. This made getting a good composition difficult as there was NO way possible to look through the view finder. So it was point the camera in the right direction, hope the focus point is on something it can focus on and shoot away. My buddy has a 30D and I said to him that this would be a great time for the 40D and its live view LCD.

    I also had another spot of the same bridge where I had to position the camera in portrait orientation up against a wall and let me tell you, there was not much room for me to look through the view finder without contorting my head back and arching my back, basically the move would have worked great in a game of Twister. Live view LCD certainly would have helped. My back and neck were already in enough pain from a viral infection I was getting over.

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