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03-25-2016, 11:27 AM   #1
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Use of Live View

I read somewhere that Live View may be used under some situations where the most accurate focussing is desired. With any camera that I've used, I always use the viewfinder instead of Live View. In fact I've always associated Live View with the cheaper point-and-shoot cameras. My experience is that I can focus most effectively using the viewfinder because I see more clearly, especially in bright daylight. I also find that I can hold the camera more steadily using the viewfinder. Can anyone tell me when Live View is superior?

03-25-2016, 11:45 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by psoo Quote
I read somewhere that Live View may be used under some situations where the most accurate focussing is desired. With any camera that I've used, I always use the viewfinder instead of Live View. In fact I've always associated Live View with the cheaper point-and-shoot cameras. My experience is that I can focus most effectively using the viewfinder because I see more clearly, especially in bright daylight. I also find that I can hold the camera more steadily using the viewfinder. Can anyone tell me when Live View is superior?
The viewfinder looks through the lens but this doesn't mean the same image will be captured by the sensor. If there is any kind of misalignment, your focus could be off. However, liveview is literally what the sensor sees, so if you get the focus right, there won't be any error. Its more useful for landscape, still life, or studio portraits where you have the camera on a tripod. Obviously, if you are running around shooting sports, weddings or street, its not going to be that useful.
03-25-2016, 12:22 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by psoo Quote
I read somewhere that Live View may be used under some situations where the most accurate focussing is desired. With any camera that I've used, I always use the viewfinder instead of Live View. In fact I've always associated Live View with the cheaper point-and-shoot cameras. My experience is that I can focus most effectively using the viewfinder because I see more clearly, especially in bright daylight. I also find that I can hold the camera more steadily using the viewfinder. Can anyone tell me when Live View is superior?
What camera are you shooting with? Live view has been getting better and better over time, and on the latest generation of Pentax bodies, the live view AF is just as fast in typical daylight conditions.

As for accuracy, live view will always be better (when used correctly) because it does not calculate the correct focus, but rather discovers it through trial-and-error.

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03-25-2016, 12:25 PM   #4
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Live view is typically more accurate but slower for autofocus. For manual focus it has the advantage of being able to magnify the image for precise focus. I have found this to be very useful on the tripod, but not usable handheld for me. YMMV

03-25-2016, 01:56 PM - 1 Like   #5
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It is just another way of shooting, there is no better. For Makro it can be very helpful when you look for 1/10mm. With a tilt screen it enhances access greatly. And with kids sometimes when you have your camera in between your eyes and their eyes you may disturb the scene, that's when you may be glad for another shooting option.
03-25-2016, 02:18 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
What camera are you shooting with? Live view has been getting better and better over time, and on the latest generation of Pentax bodies, the live view AF is just as fast in typical daylight conditions.

As for accuracy, live view will always be better (when used correctly) because it does not calculate the correct focus, but rather discovers it through trial-and-error.
Hi Adam. I use a K50, but also own a kx. I like using the viewfinder because it allows me to frame my shots faster than with Live View. Also, on sunny days, it is often difficult to see the image on Live View, let alone focus accurately. However, some of the respondents feel that there are situations where Live View has advantages. I'll just have to give it a try instead of dismissing it so casually.
03-25-2016, 02:27 PM   #7
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Also, with live view you can make it brighter, so you can see better, especially if it's a little bit dark. You can't do that with the viewfinder. Personally the combo of being able to magnify a portion and being able to make it brighter helps me.
03-25-2016, 02:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Live view is typically more accurate but slower for autofocus. For manual focus it has the advantage of being able to magnify the image for precise focus. I have found this to be very useful on the tripod, but not usable handheld for me. YMMV
Thanks Jatrax. Your observation that Live View will give slower auto focus is interesting. I would have intuitively thought that it would have been the same as for focusing through the viewfinder. Live and learn.

03-25-2016, 03:00 PM   #9
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If you are shooting on the move handheld, the viewfinder is the tool to use. If you have time to tripod and shoot, for example with an ND filter doing landscape, where long exposure is necessary, or shooting stars at night, then live view is essential. Doing regular daytime landscape using a tripod, the viewfinder or live view are useable, depending on your preference.
03-25-2016, 04:33 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by psoo Quote
However, some of the respondents feel that there are situations where Live View has advantages. I'll just have to give it a try instead of dismissing it so casually.
It has its place, Psoo.

You might like the Magnification and Focus Peaking features.
03-26-2016, 01:59 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by C_Jones Quote
If you are shooting on the move handheld, the viewfinder is the tool to use. If you have time to tripod and shoot, for example with an ND filter doing landscape, where long exposure is necessary, or shooting stars at night, then live view is essential. Doing regular daytime landscape using a tripod, the viewfinder or live view are useable, depending on your preference.
Thanks C-Jones. I agree that, for landscapes, Live View and the viewfinder should be equally effective in giving a sharp focus. This is because for long distances focusing is less critical because of the large depth of field.
03-26-2016, 02:23 PM - 1 Like   #12
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I took this photo today using LV. With VF I could take it only laying down on the road.

03-26-2016, 03:31 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
I took this photo today using LV. With VF I could take it only laying down on the road.
Now that is a real example of when Live View would be absolutely invaluable for most photographers. However, I have short legs so I could still use my viewfinder.
03-26-2016, 06:33 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by psoo Quote
However, I have short legs so I could still use my viewfinder.
I don't think so The camera was literally on the ground in my hands.
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