Electronic Viewfinder - Drop Rear Screen?

Started Nov 3, 2012 | Discussions
cfgphoto
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Electronic Viewfinder - Drop Rear Screen?
Nov 3, 2012

I have just posted this thread at the Luminous Landscape forum but thought I'd put it here too, just see what the reaction was from a different group of users, if any.

After using my NEX-7 for nearly a year, I now find that I really don't use the rear screen at all. That's got me wondering about a change in design for cameras with electronic viewfinders. Everything needed can be seen in the viewfinder, so why not get rid of the rear screen? It would save space and reduce the complexity of the electronics and software.

After all, the rear LCD came about because there was no way to reviews setting or images when the camera had an optical viewfinder or no viewfinder. Now that the optical viewfinder is gone, why have two systems? OK, it's sometimes easier to read the menus on the rear LCD and maybe using live view on a tripod is easier that way, but I can't think of anything that it's essential for.

A camera like the RX100 with an optical viewfinder instead of the screen, manual zooming and maybe with a larger sensor looks like a great idea to me.

Geoff Bryant

www.cfgphoto.com

Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony RX100
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Deak
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Re: Electronic Viewfinder - Drop Rear Screen?
In reply to cfgphoto, Nov 3, 2012

I think it's an excellent idea.

I need an EVF for use with longer lenses, as subject tracking with the screen is almost impossible with small distant subjects (think aircraft). I only use the screen for reviewing after the fact, and I could give that up for a smaller lighter body, or better ergonomics (more mechanical controls) or perhaps an even better EVF!

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Shuter
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Re: Electronic Viewfinder - Drop Rear Screen?
In reply to cfgphoto, Nov 3, 2012

I believe I read somewhere (from Sony) sometime last year that the LCD has a limited lifespan. I think it was 10 years or 10,000 pictures. Whatever the time frame after it passes you may be happy for the rear screen. Or if there is a malfunction of one you still have the other.

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redsim74
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No, disagree...
In reply to cfgphoto, Nov 3, 2012

I would not forgo an articulated LCD screen.

I often shoot at waist level and there are numerous occasions where I require a floor level or a high  (camera held above my head) angle, something that just an EVF (or OVF) can't match.

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Elyharbour
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Re: No, disagree...
In reply to redsim74, Nov 3, 2012

Yup, me too...keep the rear screen.

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cfgphoto
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Re: No, disagree...
In reply to redsim74, Nov 3, 2012

Yes, that's the only situation that I could see where it's genuinely useful to have both systems. Back in ye olde film days we had accessory right angle finder attachments for low-level shots and for overheads pre-focusing was answer. I agree there's no need to go back to that if we don't have to, but I can't see why manufacturers couldn't offer very compact screen-less cameras as an alternative.

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Robert Morris
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Re: Electronic Viewfinder - Drop Rear Screen?
In reply to cfgphoto, Nov 4, 2012

I'm with you a small monochrome LCD just showing the settings that you currently have set would be fine with me. (ie. Like the ones on top of the larger Nikon DSLR cameras)

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cfgphoto
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Re: Electronic Viewfinder - Drop Rear Screen?
In reply to Robert Morris, Nov 4, 2012

I still want the functions of the screen - image replay, histogram, enlarged view for focus, peaking, artificial horizon etc. - but as an electronic viewfinder can now provide all those, and the settings menus, the rear LCD just seems a bit redundant. I'm not advocating having just the settings visible.

To me, being able to see all those functions in the viewfinder is great because once the buttons that control what is shown have been memorized there's no need to switch between looking at the viewfinder and the rear LCD.

Geoff Bryant

www.cfgphoto.com

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edwardaneal
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Re: No, disagree...
In reply to redsim74, Nov 4, 2012

redsim74 wrote:

I would not forgo an articulated LCD screen.

I often shoot at waist level and there are numerous occasions where I require a floor level or a high (camera held above my head) angle, something that just an EVF (or OVF) can't match.

I have to agree with this - I use both, viewfinder in bright light and when shooting in portrait orientation and the scrteen when shooting down low or over head. I actually find that the perspective from shooting low or high gets me pictures i like better that the normal eye levle shots that most people take

JMO

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flint-hill
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About a third of my shots ...
In reply to edwardaneal, Nov 4, 2012

are made close to the ground, judging from a quick count at my Flickr photostream.  I want an articulating screen for those.   I love the EVF for stabilizing my hold in tele shots -- where's it's almost essential -- but it's no substitute for an articulating LCD.

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sean lancaster
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Re: No, disagree...
In reply to redsim74, Nov 4, 2012

redsim74 wrote:

I would not forgo an articulated LCD screen.

I often shoot at waist level and there are numerous occasions where I require a floor level or a high (camera held above my head) angle, something that just an EVF (or OVF) can't match.

I used to use a viewfinder with my Nikon D70. Since I switched to the 5N I've come to prefer the articulating LCD much more than the VF. In fact, I'd prefer to not have to spend money on a VF for my future cameras. I love being able to shoot from the waist or holding the camera in various places without contorting my body all weird.

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iceccream
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Re: No, disagree...
In reply to sean lancaster, Nov 4, 2012

i don't think i will buy another camera without an articulated screen.  in fact, 99% of my shots are taken with with the screen popped out, and shooting usually from the hip.

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cfgphoto
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Re: No, disagree...
In reply to iceccream, Nov 4, 2012

iceccream wrote:

i don't think i will buy another camera without an articulated screen. in fact, 99% of my shots are taken with with the screen popped out, and shooting usually from the hip.

I take it that when you're shooting like that you're relying entirely on autofocus? Manually focusing on a precise area of the frame must be difficult when using the rear screen of a hand-held camera.

Probably why I much prefer the viewfinder is that almost all of my shots are manually focused. Most of the time I use autofocus only to bring to put the scene generally in focus and then I tweak the focus manually. The viewfinder with focus magnification seems the best way to do this. (Some like focus peaking but it doesn't work well for me.) Maybe my technique is wrong but it seems to me that it simply isn't possible to see enough detail on the rear LCD to manually focus precisely when holding the camera at waist level  or arms length.

Geoff Bryant

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sean lancaster
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Re: No, disagree...
In reply to cfgphoto, Nov 4, 2012

cfgphoto wrote:

iceccream wrote:

i don't think i will buy another camera without an articulated screen. in fact, 99% of my shots are taken with with the screen popped out, and shooting usually from the hip.

I take it that when you're shooting like that you're relying entirely on autofocus? Manually focusing on a precise area of the frame must be difficult when using the rear screen of a hand-held camera.

Absolutely not. When I use direct manual focus (DMF) then as soon as I touch a part of my screen or start manually focusing then the camera zooms in where I am focusing -- that zoom is perfect on the LCD fro me. With focus peaking, I can quickly see just how in focus the object is. AF gets me very close and then it's just a matter of a little tweak (e.g., to bring eyelashes into perfect focus). Like I noted I had a Nikon D70 for 7 years and I MUCH prefer the LCD for detailed focusing on the NEX.

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D Cox
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Re: No, disagree...
In reply to iceccream, Nov 4, 2012

iceccream wrote:

i don't think i will buy another camera without an articulated screen. in fact, 99% of my shots are taken with with the screen popped out, and shooting usually from the hip.

Same here. I have a 5N and haven't felt any need to buy the viewfinder.

I don't see how you could comfortably do macro or studio work without it, unless you connect to an external monitor. Of course, you can uncomfortably do anything if you have to.

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nzmacro
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Re: Electronic Viewfinder - Drop Rear Screen?
In reply to cfgphoto, Nov 4, 2012

cfgphoto wrote:

I have just posted this thread at the Luminous Landscape forum but thought I'd put it here too, just see what the reaction was from a different group of users, if any.

After using my NEX-7 for nearly a year, I now find that I really don't use the rear screen at all. That's got me wondering about a change in design for cameras with electronic viewfinders. Everything needed can be seen in the viewfinder, so why not get rid of the rear screen? It would save space and reduce the complexity of the electronics and software.

After all, the rear LCD came about because there was no way to reviews setting or images when the camera had an optical viewfinder or no viewfinder. Now that the optical viewfinder is gone, why have two systems? OK, it's sometimes easier to read the menus on the rear LCD and maybe using live view on a tripod is easier that way, but I can't think of anything that it's essential for.

A camera like the RX100 with an optical viewfinder instead of the screen, manual zooming and maybe with a larger sensor looks like a great idea to me.

Geoff Bryant

www.cfgphoto.com

I've said a few times in here that I never use the rear LCD, never. But there are so many that do and the shots are darn good. So its a personal thing. If the 7 didn't have a rear LCD, I still would have bought it, but many in here simply wouldn't and I understand that completely.

All the best and just a purely personal thing and how we shoot and use a camera. Thank goodness we are all different and they did put one on.

Danny.

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DuncanDovovan
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Re: Electronic Viewfinder - Drop Rear Screen?
In reply to cfgphoto, Nov 4, 2012

I use the rear display when checking the camera settings. Would hate to have to do that through the viewfinder.

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nevercat
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Re: Electronic Viewfinder - Drop Rear Screen?
In reply to cfgphoto, Nov 4, 2012

I own the Nex5 (so no EVF), my next camera willl have one, but I would want an large LCD on the back too. There are so many moments it is a nice to have like:

Shooting from strange angles(overhead, low to the ground)
Setting up your camera settings (not just change one or two items, but preparing it for a special shoot)
When the camera is set on a tripod
When you want to show the results
For candid shots
But when you don't do stuf like that it would be nice to have a modular camera where you can decide what options your camera has:

So you choose the:
sensor (how many pixels, PD focus points or not, size etc)
the EVF (does it have one or not)
The flash shoe (when you don't use (external) flash why pay for a flash shoe?)
The LCD screen (no screen at all, normal screen, HR screen, touch screen etc.)
WIFI (Yes or no)
JPG engine (Yes or no)
etc.

in this way you can reate your own camera with the feartures you want... and only psy for those features...

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FuzzyQball
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Re: Electronic Viewfinder - Drop Rear Screen?
In reply to cfgphoto, Nov 4, 2012

If you like macro work, the display is nice.

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Elyharbour
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Re: Electronic Viewfinder - Drop Rear Screen?
In reply to FuzzyQball, Nov 4, 2012

Well, the overall opinion here seems to be "keep the LCD". Even those like me that prefer a VF can appreciate the value a tilted LCD gives for low / high-level and discrete shooting in certain situations.

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