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02-25-2014, 09:22 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Tilt Screen or Not?

A feature commonly mentioned as 'needed' for Pentax DSLR's is the tilt/articulating LCD screen. Viewing overhead, sideways and low-down is handy, no doubt about it. It's practically standard on low-to-mid-priced DSLR bodies and compacts, Sony and Fujifilm seemed to have worked out the W/R feature and broken screens don't appear to be littering the landscape. All good.
Where is it, Pentax?
Same place it is (isn't?) on these cameras. Model, MP, Format, Price (USD, from B+H).
Canon 1D X- 18mp, FF, $ 6,800
Nikon D4S- 16mp, FF, $ 6,500
Nikon D800E- 36mp, FF, $3,300
Canon 5D Mk III- 22mp, FF, $ 3,300
Nikon Df- 16mp, FF, $ 2,700
Canon 6D- 20mp, FF, $ 2,000
Nikon 610- 24mp, FF, $ 2,000
Pentax K-3, 24mp, APS-C, $ 1,200
Nikon D7100- 24mp, APS-C, $ 1,100
All fixed screen.
Notice they're all flagship or high-end models? Most are recent (some very new), but the 6D, D800 and D7000, D5200 didn't have a tilt screen, either.
Under 'DSLR Cameras' on B+H, I found the following bodies featuring moveable screens, after 3+ pages of viewing;
Canon 70D- 20mp, APS-C, $ 1,200
Nikon D5300- 24mp, APS-C, $ 800
Sony Alpha SLT-A77- 24mp, APS-C, $ 800
Canon 60D- 18mp, APS-C, $ 700
No, this isn't a complete list, missing EVF, OLED, mirrorless, Micro four thirds and other new challengers to traditional DSLR viewing and format. But it shows the trend, apparently ongoing. Sony, Oly and Fuji (and to a certain extent, Ricoh/Pentax), Panny and Sigma can duke it out with catchy features or innovations the big dogs can't/won't be bothered with. Some, if proven successful by the scrubs, migrate to N + C, others don't.
So, C + N pop a tilt screen on a couple of middies for the masses and steer way clear for you-know-who. Pros, prosumers, advanced and most everyone else reading this. Maybe if it was as tank-like and proven to be as reliable as our K-3's, K-5's and older, I might try it myself.
1/250s flash sync for the K-3II? Sure, buddy! ISO 80 (or,.. ah..50?), Yeah, Baby! More rootie-tootie video tricks? OK, why not? Better A/F? Twist my arm.
Tilt screen?

Last edited by rbefly; 02-25-2014 at 09:29 AM.
02-25-2014, 09:36 AM   #2
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I've ordered a Flucard, which when coupled with my iPad mini will have functionality tilt screen users will only be able to drool over. Essentially the flu card removes the screen from the camera, and allows you to walk 7.5 meters from the camera, and still see what's in the viewfinder and act as a remote trigger. I'm not really clear on why with such technology, you'd even want a tilt screen. OK, maybe standing in a crowded concert, holding the camera up over your head and taking pictures of the stage or something like that. But much of the need for a tilt screen is filled by the flu card.
02-25-2014, 09:38 AM   #3
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I have a Sony NEX-5R MILC, and it is a great camera. The tilting lens is quite handy for low angle shots, but without a viewfinder, is a pain to use in bright light. I didn't want to spend almost $300 on the accessory viewfinder, so when I began researching a second camera option, a viewfinder, weather sealing, and good lens selection were important. That ruled out the Sony SLC choices, because I didn't want to have a lens system that was totally proprietary (I can use my K-mount lenses on the NEX without investing in a $400 adapter, unlike the Alpha lenses). The Sony A7 was a possibility, but all of my reading kept pointing me back to the K-30. I was able to get the K-30 and 55-300 WR for about $700 less than the A7 body alone. A tilt screen would have been nice, but I don't regret it a bit.
02-25-2014, 10:41 AM   #4
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The 645D 2014 will have your tilt screen

About WR: everybody and their cat seems to brand anything weather resistant those days. Until they are proved to be as good as I was accustomed to with Pentax, it is still empty boasts and silly stickers to me. I remember seeing Canon users with their L gear running to cover at the first water drop from the sky...

02-25-2014, 11:47 AM   #5

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I don't know if I would like a tilt screen but I can see where it comes in handy. I have shot a few concert photos with the camera above my head.
02-25-2014, 12:08 PM   #6
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I think Pentax needs to offer at least one K-mount camera with a tilt or swivel or articulated screen. At least on a mirrorless (K-01 successor), if not a mid tier (K-50 successor). I understand that the flagship might have other priorities and so on (flagships don't have popup flash and Auto mode, either).. but at least having the option is nice.
And yes, flucard and other screens are a workaround, but its not super handy

Last edited by Na Horuk; 02-25-2014 at 12:20 PM.
02-25-2014, 12:10 PM   #7
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I agree that a tilt screen would come in handy. Surprised they haven't adopted it yet.
02-25-2014, 12:17 PM   #8
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I still can't equate tilt-screen with rugged. I banged my K5 into a table (didn't realize it at the time, but upon reconstruction) hard enough to crack the hard screen protector. I fear that hit may well have sheared a tilt-screen off. Unless it's recessed into a good surrounding frame while not in use this will be a major risk. Perhaps if the assembly were easily replaced it could be feasible.

I understand the utility of such screens. My father bought a Sony Alpha because he likes that function. Pentax doesn't need to follow the leader, but maybe something in the K500 range would merit a tilt-screen display.

02-25-2014, 12:39 PM - 1 Like   #9
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+1 for the OP's post. Excellent point. So are many of the commenter's points. I'd love to have this on a Pentax DSLR but if it were to compromise the WR features - no thank you. A right angle viewfinder is a much better solution anyway.
02-25-2014, 01:22 PM   #10
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I had a tilt screen on one of my first digital cameras and really misses it on my K5, especially with an aging back full of metalwork. I think it can be made quite robust, but if I had to choose between WR and tilt screen, the WR would win. Maybe both?
02-25-2014, 01:34 PM   #11

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Before I bought an MX-1 I was in the 'Meh - stupid flimsy idea' camp.
Before I recieved the MX-1 I was like 'Tilt screen looks a bit chunky, doubt I'll use it anyway' camp.

Now I HAVE the MX-1 I'm in the 'Wow! Now I know why this makes so much sense! And it's not flimsy at all.. It makes the camera so much more versatile.

Moral of the story, use a camera with tilt/flip screen before you make your mind up - the MX-1 convinced me that the K-01 would be even better with a tilt screen.

Note: Looking at the construction I see no reason it would impair WR.
02-25-2014, 02:29 PM   #12
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I have a Canon 70D. The tilt screen works just fine and doesn't seem to be fragile or delicate. Its best feature is that it flips around backwards so the screen is protected when the camera is not in use.
How much of a WOW! factor is the tilt screen? I haven't taken the Canon 70D out of its bag since I got my K-3.
If I could transfer one feature from the 70D to the K-3, it would be the touch-screen, not the tilt feature.
02-25-2014, 03:17 PM   #13

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I'm in two minds about touch screens for dslr cameras. I really don't like the idea of purposely covering my screen with greasy finger marks. My 4 year old camcorder has a touch screen and really don't like it that much, but there's nothing I can do because it's the only way I can manually drive it.
So I don't like the thought that if touch-screens appear to be popular among new [ex-smartphone] users, dslr manufacturers might get it in their heads that a handy cost cutting measure is to start leaving manual controls off bodies in favor of the touch screen.

Last edited by Steve.Ledger; 03-01-2014 at 03:26 PM.
02-25-2014, 03:26 PM   #14
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I loved the tilt screen on the Olympus E-M5 when I owned it. I would love to have one on my K-5. I found it especially useful on the tripod.
02-25-2014, 07:13 PM   #15
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The tilt screen definitely makes it easier to "chimp" the shot when shooting at odd angles. Even on a tripod, it can make it easier.

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