I Miss my Viewfinder !

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Doug Bashford, May 14, 2011.

  1. Well I've put about 1,500 pics thru my
    new camera, and I still miss my viewfinder.
    A viewfinder was one of my must-have bells,
    along with AA bateries, 10X, and so forth.
    I got all my bells except the viewfinder.
    (I got the $200 Canon sx120is with three-inch
    screen and the CHDK supercharger freeware hack.)

    I rationalized, Well the new technology is
    probably much brighter. (After all, my old
    digicam was more than five years old, one young
    clerk never even heard of its SmartMedia card!)
    Technically, I'm sure it must be brighter.
    But perception-wise, (and what else matters?)
    no, it is not. It works well inside and
    is still a dog shooting wildflowers and such
    outside in direct sunlight. And it's still
    OK for shooting family and vacation snapshots
    and vistas outside. (And other general things
    that I'm VERY happy with...Good Camera!)

    Bottom line? I'd do it again facing the same
    choices, but I'd gladly pay $50 more for
    a viewfinder. It's kinda a biggy in my book.

    But the industry doesn't see it that way.
    And sadly I contributed to that....

    to photographyblog.com....

    Panasonic G3 Question and Answer
    Published: May 12, 2011

    ....a month prior to the May 12th release of the
    Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3,...

    JM: “The factory is saying that the CSC (Compact System
    Camera) market will be bigger than the SLR market by 2013.
    I think probably in Japan that will happen by 2012 – but
    obviously this is a global view. That means the SLR market
    will contract, something like a 30% reduction. But we do see
    that, while the compact system camera will be a substitute
    for SLR, because it will bring in so many more customers the
    overall market will expand. [For the purpose of tracking
    sales] we've split mirror-less CSC into two categories: with
    viewfinder and without viewfinder. In Asia what they're
    finding is a real explosion of the [Panasonic] GF product,
    the [Sony] NEX product, where the miniaturisation of the
    camera is what's important.
    The fact that there's no viewfinder isn't as important
    to start with, whereas in Europe and America – and
    especially the UK – people still love shooting with a
    Where they're saying globally the smallest category will be
    viewfinder product, actually in the UK – and we've seen it
    in sales of our G1, G10, G2 and GH range – people still love
    shooting with a viewfinder.”

    Question: At the moment you only have one CSC product
    without a viewfinder (the Lumix DMC-GF2). Does this mean
    that you will change that emphasis?

    JM: “As a business this is clearly where we see potential.

    Question: The original target market for CSC was people who
    wanted to upgrade from a compact to a DSLR. But there are
    now also a lot of people selling their DSLRs and buying a
    compact system camera instead?

    JM: “I think that's definitely right. Every time we do a
    promotion in the UK we can capture customer data – we did a
    survey after our Christmas 2010 sales promotion and, of the
    400 people that came back with a response, 50% of them
    classed themselves as a novice – as in they'd never had a
    SLR before – but the other 50% said I'm an enthusiast or pro
    and I'm either replacing or adding to my kit. So we've
    shaped our advertising in the UK around that too. With the
    G1 and the G2 we ....

    ....Question: Do you think CSC could help to kill off the
    DSLR at the entry level?


    ..... We do actually do very well with the 40+ age group,
    people don't want the big and bulky lenses that they didn't
    mind lugging around when they were 30-something. They don't
    want or need to be flashy with the big kit. My target issue
    with the marketing is to increase our sales in the 30 to 40
    bracket where that's a big opportunity. Those people have
    been shopping quite heavily based on trusted brands.
    Everyone will recommend a Canon or Nikon, just as with
    travel zoom everyone will recommend a Panasonic TZ because
    it's strongly established. It's recommendations that are
    driving the sales of DSLRs the same way they are with the
    TZ. The job is to get ourselves onto the shopping list with
    the G series and grow that awareness. We're having people
    say about the GF that it totally reinvigorated their street
    photography –
    Doug Bashford, May 14, 2011
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  2. Doug Bashford

    Savageduck Guest

    As much as that SX120is serves its purpose at that price point very
    well, knowing that you were more comfortable with a viewfinder, I would
    have sought out an option with one.

    An LCD can be totally useless in bright overhead Sun, or with the Sun
    directly behind you.
    I find the arms length shooting position for the current breed of
    compact cameras somewhat silly, and only occasionally useful.
    Consequently, the compact I own to supplement my D300s, is a Canon
    G11(now G12), and I had also considered a Nikon P7000.
    My G11 replaced a FijiFilm E900 which also had an OVF, performed well,
    but had a rather klunky UI which discouraged me from using it much.

    Both of those cost somewhat more than the additional $50 you were
    prepared to pay, but IMO the extra cost is well worth it.
    Savageduck, May 14, 2011
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  3. Doug Bashford

    MC Guest

    I have always believed that the camera is an extension of the eye. You
    compose with your eyes and having a viewfinder helps your eyes
    normalise the scene in which you are viewing. Having a mini tv screen
    hovering several inches in front of you when trying to compose an image
    is heavily distracting. Don't get me wrong, some flip-out LCD screens
    can be helpful in situations where getting your eye to a viewfinder can
    be awkward, i.e. groundlevel macro. However, these flip-out screens
    should be in addition to a viewfinder.

    MC, May 14, 2011
  4. Doug Bashford

    ray Guest

    I don't. Simply because that is the way I take pictures and I won't buy a
    camera without a viewfinder.
    ray, May 15, 2011
  5. Doug Bashford

    ASCII Guest

    Another feature of the much maligned P&S
    [Canon SX30-IS]
    Multi-axial flip out TFT screen
    plus an EVF to suit your needs.
    ASCII, May 15, 2011
  6. Doug Bashford

    Savageduck Guest

    Nice. However, I wouldn't label the SX30is a "P&S," and you are the
    first to even bring that label up in this thread.
    The OP, Doug Bashford, is complaining about the lack of viewfinder,
    OVF, or EVF, for his COMPACT SX120is, a "superzoom compact". So you
    are comparing apples with oranges. The SX30is is certainly not a
    compact. Though I suspect he was sold by the 10X zoom capability first.
    Hence my suggestion of a G11, G12, P7000. If need be, he could go to
    the Canon A1200is, but he would be sacrificing some of that zoom range
    for the viewfinder.

    If he was looking for something a little larger he could go to the
    SX30is you suggested.
    Savageduck, May 15, 2011
  7. Doug Bashford

    ASCII Guest

    I was using the term that gets applied to cameras with non-removable
    lens quite often, in addition to superzoom etc. I do realize that the SX30is
    is a top of the line 'ZLR' and sometimes gets referred to as a bridge camera.
    FWIW: from years of 35mm film photography,
    I'm habitually more used to the EVF style
    even as the Bronica, Zenit, and other TLRs viewed from above.
    Occasionally I use the flip out screen if trying to compose a hand held shot
    with arms extended upward over a crowd.
    Some years back I (just to pick a nit) explained that my then Canon S1-IS
    was Digital, had a Single Lens, and Reflexive (electronic) viewing,
    therefore was a true DSLR <g>
    ASCII, May 15, 2011
  8. Doug Bashford

    Bruce Guest

    Please don't suggest the P7000, even in the context of supporting
    Nikon, as it is too slooooow. G11 and G12 are much better. G11 - if
    you can find one - sells at about the same price as the P7000. G12 is
    just a few dollars more. Both are much faster to use than the P7000.

    Personally, I prefer my G9 to all three of them, but that's because I
    value the extra 2 MP (12 MP against 10 MP) and the longer reach of the
    zoom lens, 200mm against 140mm (35mm film equivalent FL). I just paid
    $200 to have it serviced and a new main board fitted - that should
    tell you how much I like it. ;-)
    Bruce, May 15, 2011
  9. I have the same lens+sensor package in my A650is, which is a non raw enabled
    (among some other things) G9.
    Great camera, great useability and its got a viewfinder!
    I wish it had 10megapixies instead of 12, because noise is there even at ISO
    NO WAY I'm going to sell it, but I'd really like a bit less noise.
    G Paleologopoulos, May 15, 2011
  10. Doug Bashford

    M-M Guest

    Agree. And I need an optical viewfinder, not an electronic one.

    Try shooting a moving object in continuous mode without an optical VF.
    Can't be done unless you get lucky.

    There may be some EVF's that don't black out between shots in
    continuous, but I'm not sure.
    M-M, May 15, 2011
  11. In most cases I agree with that. But the EVF in my G1 is terrific, and I
    wouldn't trade it for an optical one even if it were possible. But that's a
    1.4-megapixel EVF -- which makes all the difference.
    Actually I'm not sure about that in the case of the G1, either. I just don't
    have occasion to use continuous much, and haven't at all with this
    particular camera.
    Neil Harrington, May 15, 2011
  12. Doug Bashford

    Mxsmanic Guest

    A viewfinder is an advantage if it's an optical viewfinder, because it makes
    it easier to check focus. Otherwise it's a waste of hardware. Electronic
    viewfinders are a waste of time.
    Mxsmanic, May 15, 2011
  13. Not true. Optical viewfinders in most cases are relatively miserable for
    checking focus (an exception is in macro work, where the shallow DOF helps a
    lot), unless you've changed the screen to one with a focusing aid. The
    electronic viewfinder in a G1 or G2 makes it far easier to check focus, by
    offering 5x or 10x magnification. You won't get that in any optical
    viewfinder. It's even better than a split-image rangefinder, which very few
    DSLRs have anyway.

    For *most* EVFs you're right, insofar as they are even worse than optical
    VFs as far as use in focusing is concerned. That's only because of their
    horrible resolution, typically around 200K dots. But try any camera in the
    G1/G2 family and you'll see how beautifully easy focusing by viewfinder can
    really be.
    Neil Harrington, May 15, 2011
  14. Doug Bashford

    ray Guest

    If that were indeed something I needed to do, I would try it. Quite happy
    with the EVF on my Kodak P850.
    ray, May 15, 2011
  15. SNIP

    Can you not get a separate one as an optional extra? I think some video
    cameras have them, Leica do noddy ones that sit in the hot shoe (for ~$250)
    and Cineroid do a ~$600 electronic one for cameras with HDMI out (Sony,
    Pany, Canon etc.).
    R. Mark Clayton, May 15, 2011
  16. Doug Bashford

    ray Guest

    Many are; some are quite functional. No complaints here with my kodak
    P850 - but yes, I have seen many that are so damned 'blocky' I could
    never use them.
    ray, May 15, 2011
  17. Doug Bashford

    Eric Stevens Guest

    You obviously don't shoot in bright light.


    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, May 15, 2011
  18. Doug Bashford

    Savageduck Guest

    I still have my 42 year old Yashica Electro 35, which is a proper
    rangefinder. With the optional wide angle, it requires the hot-shoe VF
    to show the FOV markers.
    Unfortunately there is no focus coupling through that VF, so checking
    focus and FOV becomes a "head-dance." For the most part I just used the
    < http://homepage.mac.com/lco/filechute/Yash-Electro35-0360.jpg >
    Savageduck, May 15, 2011
  19. Doug Bashford

    Alfred Molon Guest

    The only problem is that optical viewfinders of non-SLRs suck horribly,
    and even many (most?) optical viewfinders of APS-C DSLRs are not
    particularly good.
    Alfred Molon, May 15, 2011
  20. Mega-subpixel (i.e. red, green and blue counted separately)?
    As in "a full-HD monitor (1920x1080) has about 6 mega-subpixel"?

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, May 16, 2011
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