Is the built in viewfinder dead?

Started Jul 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Tom Caldwell
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Is the built in viewfinder dead?
Jul 23, 2012

Poke the camera manufacturers and they all seem to think the viewfinder, be it mirror based, straight through a tunnel or even evf is on it's last legs.

Even Canon with it's EF-M seems to agree with Ricoh and Pentax and Nikon has previously indicated that it also thinks that consumers want best price and small in preference to peering into their cameras.

Fuji seem to be swimming against the tide here in thinking that the weight of tradition will overcome the pressure of the mass market.

There is hope, Samsung, and the M43 crowd still make cameras with evf and as long as people will want and buy them Nikon and Canon will continue to make and sell cameras with viewfinders. Likewise Leica, the epitome of well worked out capable nostalgia.

The fact is that people seem to mainly require wide angle, for why I am not entirely sure. Maybe it is to get the feet in the frame of a group shot or wide has a bigger margin for error in framing, almost always in focus, etc? Anyway everyone is entitled to use what works best for them. Of course I have, use and love wide angle as well, but I do have other lenses, some of them quite large (grin), so I do have a vested interest in seeing viewfinders continue.

I like 85/135 effective focal lengths as the get more distant portraiture. Not everyone's need and longer lengths are more specialised but have their place and really need a proper viewfinder even if most can get by without one when using a wide lens.

So wide angle does not need a viewfinder nearly as much as a big long lens and the move to cameras that do not have any viewfinder at all clearly indicates that the industry agrees.

Pity those with longer lenses when the viewfinder disappears.

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Tom Caldwell

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