Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-23-2012, 12:00 PM   #1
Veteran Member
FrancisK7's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Montreal
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 474
Viewfinder vs live view?

A friend of mine, who I hadn't seen in years, recently paid me a visit in Montreal, which he had never seen. So I took it upon myself to do some major sightseeing, and had my K5 handy with me while we did.

He asked me a very good question which I wasn't sure how to properly answer.

"Why do you keep using the [viewfinder] instead of the screen on the back?" (his exact words were the "hole for the eye thingy..." )

I shot with a K10D for years which never had LV, and now that the K5 does have LV, I wasn't sure about the benefits.

Short of extra battery use and the lack of DoF preview, why don't most semi-pro/pro photographers use LV?

My answer was "It just doesn't feel right otherwise" and "It would be harder to focus exactly right", though I find the latter argument to be quite tenuous.

Is there something I am missing?

04-23-2012, 12:03 PM   #2
Veteran Member
timh's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wales
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 445
To stabilise the camera so you don't mess up your composition when you adjust the controls and press the take-a-picture button?
So you can see what the scene actually looks like instead of looking at a tiny TV thing?
04-23-2012, 12:06 PM   #3
Veteran Member
FrancisK7's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Montreal
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 474
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by timh Quote
To stabilise the camera so you don't mess up your composition when you adjust the controls and press the take-a-picture button?
So you can see what the scene actually looks like instead of looking at a tiny TV thing?
Both of these points can be easily remedied in LV, imho.

1. Use the shutter delay function
2. You can compose just as well in LV than through the viewfinder

It probably comes down to taste and habit more than anything else.
04-23-2012, 12:11 PM   #4
Veteran Member
timh's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wales
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 445
1. Use the shutter delay function and... Miss the moment? I'd rather not.

2. Sure, sometimes you can. Many times you can't. Torrential rain, strong wind, on a moving vehicle, strong sunlight, too much contrast in the scene for the screen to successfully display, etc etc etc.

04-23-2012, 12:11 PM   #5
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 40,993
The OVF can't be beaten when it's really bright or really dark outside. It also doesn't suffer from latency, unlike the LCD, and allows your camera to use PDAF rather than the CDAF.

While I personally think that LV is the future of prosumer cameras, it's just not good enough yet to be a viable replacement for the SLR viewfinder.

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

04-23-2012, 12:15 PM   #6
Ole
Administrator
Ole's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,792
You cannot really see what's on the screen in strong light so your compositions become, well, not compositions. And it helps reduce camera shake to not to have to hold the camera out in front of you like a cheap phone with a built in so-called camera...
04-23-2012, 12:47 PM - 4 Likes   #7
Moderator
Site Supporter
Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,166
I always thought the optical viewfinder was live view. :laugh: I mean, anything on the EVF already happened. :Hysterical:


:sarcasm:
04-23-2012, 01:15 PM   #8
Veteran Member
Jodokast96's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Erial, NJ USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,133
If you're working on a tripod with a static subject, then no there is no difference trying to focus and compose with LV. As a non-fan of LV I'll go so far as to say that LV might even be advantageous in that situation. Anything else, all bets are off. Try using LV handheld with a 70-200 f/2.8, or better yet a Bigma. Hell, I can't even imagine trying that with anything other than the kit 18-55.

04-23-2012, 01:23 PM - 1 Like   #9
Pentaxian
mikeSF's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: East Bay Area, CA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,541
QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I always thought the optical viewfinder was live view. :laugh: I mean, anything on the EVF already happened. :Hysterical:


:sarcasm:
hahahaha!


i use both when shooting landscapes. rough framing with the eyepiece, especially when it is bright outside. my eyesight is not as good as it once was and the eyepiece allows me to actually see in focus whereas i have to move back quite far from the LCD screen to focus on liveview. anyhow, i switch to LV to line up the grid lines with my horizon and manually focus, then shoot.

I find composing elements around the perimeter of the frame to work much better with the viewfinder because LV has all sorts of icons and the live histogram obstructing the view.
04-23-2012, 01:40 PM - 1 Like   #10
Veteran Member
rparmar's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,783
One should decouple two different issues: Is the image optical or a video feed? Is the image presented on a screen or through a viewfinder?

Advantages of a viewfinder, whether optical or electronic, are that one can screen out stray light, avoid glare, support the camera more securely, and exclude distractions. Furthermore, there is no stray light to bother those around you in a dark venue. And with a diopter adjustment one can compensate for failing eyesight.

Advantages of a screen, whether optical (think glass on an MF camera) or electronic, include the ability to review images with other people and, sometimes, the advantages of a physically larger image. It is also possible to watch the screen while still being aware of one's surroundings, though this never approaches the convenience of a rangefinder for this purpose.

The advantage of an optical path include low latency, high resolution, and low noise. But an electronic screen permits data overlays, focus peaking, blinkies, crop lines, horizons, and other exposure and compositional aids.

An Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) combines all of the advantages of an electronic screen with those of a viewfinder. Being able to change menu settings etc. without lifting the eye from the EVF is very appealing and makes for a more efficient photographic workflow. Latency is already minimal on the best of today's EVF models; in another generation or two it will be hard to recommend an optical finder for a smaller sensor camera.

As for screens, their main use is only evident if the LCD can be articulated to permit camera positions that would otherwise be impossible to compose from. Fixed LCD screens are next to useless compared with a viewfinder, IMO. Especially as the viewfinders on my Olympus PEN cameras are 90 degree articulated themselves.

Unfortunately Pentax is a generation or two behind the curve. Try the hybrid viewfinder on the Fuji X100 or the Olympus VF-2 to experience the state of the (still changing) art.

Last edited by rparmar; 04-23-2012 at 01:48 PM.
04-23-2012, 02:29 PM - 1 Like   #11
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NE, USA
Posts: 1,302
Some like the LV, others use the viewfinder. I'm old school. Was trained with and use the viewfinder 99% fot the time. Sometimes I do like having LV option.
04-23-2012, 04:13 PM - 1 Like   #12
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
I'm older-school. I was raised with viewfinders, and waist-level ground-glass, and back-of-the-camera ground-glass, the kind where the camera is on a tripod and a black cloth covers camera and togger. That black cloth is still necessary with an LV LED screen in bright sunshine, like I get down here on the Arizona-Sonora border. In some especially glare-y situations, I can barely see through the at-my-eye viewfinder, even wearing a wide-brim hat. Those are times I use zone-focus and ritual sacrifices at unholy altars.

We've seen shots of K-01 users with cine-style LV hoods so the camera can be used at eye-level. That makes for a bigger package but MUCH better seeing (and shooting). All my digicams have LV screens, but I only use them when shooting IR, or the ambient light is appropriate. And it isn't, always. And LV screens suck batteries. I hate when that happens.
04-23-2012, 07:21 PM   #13
Veteran Member
magkelly's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,905
LV has it's uses but in general I don't find I can see, frame or focus my subject as well using one. Plus it's a total battery waster. The more you use LV and the flash the more juice taking pics eats up. I don't like changing out my batteries that often.
04-23-2012, 09:40 PM   #14
Veteran Member
riff's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,408
QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
We've seen shots of K-01 users with cine-style LV hoods so the camera can be used at eye-level.
I use one on a K5.

QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
LV has it's uses but in general I don't find I can see, frame or focus my subject as well using one.
I find just the opposite. LV is much better especially with fast MF glass I get a better hit rate on focus. YMMV
04-24-2012, 01:10 AM   #15
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SW Washington
Posts: 814
By far the most important thing for me is stability: 2 points of support (hands) vs. 3 points (hands + face) plus added stability from keeping your elbows tucked in rather than suspended out in the air. Think of balancing on a stationary bicycle: it's possible to wobble about and balance on two wheels alone, but that's just ridiculous when you can put your foot down for a much more stable configuration.

For short lenses LV is doable, but stick a long and/or heavy telephoto on the camera and LV is an absolute nightmare to use handheld. Not only is it extremely difficult to get the exact framing you want from the added shake (not to mention increased risk of motion blur), but the contrast detect AF system will be all over the place looking for something to lock on to. Believe me, I've tried, and even with a relatively light telephoto like the 55-300 it's a horrible ordeal. Even stationary landscapes (like distant mountains) can be quite tricky, and action is downright impossible. All unnecessary struggles when you can just use the viewfinder.

On the other hand, on a tripod LV is usually more useful than the viewfinder, unless you're doing fast action where CDAF can't keep up.

Last edited by Cannikin; 04-24-2012 at 01:56 AM.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
answer, camera, dslr, k5, lv, photography, viewfinder
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
different lens behavior in viewfinder and live view AF xxlover Pentax K-r 5 03-18-2012 08:32 AM
Any side effect for using live view for "too long"? (viewfinder hood) telly0050 Pentax K-5 12 01-23-2012 05:28 AM
Focus correct with Live view, but not through the viewfinder? JGB Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 28 11-19-2011 09:52 AM
K-r & manual focus lenses - Live view vs viewfinder figmental1978 Pentax K-r 32 04-10-2011 11:18 AM
K7 live view sdh87 Pentax DSLR Discussion 3 06-07-2010 10:22 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:50 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top