Live view in a digital SLR?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bousozoku, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Moderator emeritus

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    #1
    Since I saw information about the Olympus E-330, I've been wondering if people would actually view the LCD in order to get a photo.

    I've seen plenty of consumers holding their point and shoot cameras a bit away from their faces in order to get a shot. I've tried it a bit with my mobile phone to get the feel of it.

    Do any of you think that this will become popular with SLRs?
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

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    #2
    No.

    The SLR camera is designed to be used as a viewfinder camera. The resolution (ultimately infinite) is much higher than any LCD can display, especially if it's limited to the size of the camera's back. Also, adding this function (so i hear) impedes normal operation with the reflex mirror.

    I will always use the viewfinder of an SLR, even if the option of a live view LCD was there.
     
  3. macrumors 68030

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    #3
    pdpfilms is correct. As far as I know, dSLR cameras only allow the user to view through the viewfinder. There may a couple cameras that let you view via the LCD, but I'm not sure. I have a Canon Digital Rebel XT and love it. I find it much more comfortable to look through the viewfinder rather than staring at an LCD.
     
  4. macrumors regular

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    #4
    Even when I used a P&S I still used the viewfinder. You take completly different pictures when using a live feed.
     
  5. thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #5
    The E-300 was reasonably popular with underwater photography apparently, so it's been said that the Live view will help with that, which seems totally reasonable.

    Then again, the first camera I used was a roll film camera with a viewfinder displaying an upside down image. Perhaps, the people using medium format would find it more appealing.
     
  6. macrumors member

    Drizzt

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    #6
    I believe this will be quite useful for macro photography, especially when you can digitally zoom in 10x before taking the picture. No optical viewfinder can beat that for manual focus assist. Plus, even if you don't want to use the LiveView, you can always use the conventional OVF. Plus with the odd form factor, you can add a flash onto the hotshoe and still use the built-in flash as a fill.

    You don't have to listen to me, I'm just an OLY fanboy :D
     
  7. macrumors 68020

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    #7
    Yeah, it's pretty tough to design, since the view is through the lens, whereas on a point and shoot it's through a little viewer above the lens. The reason I use the LCD on a P&S is because the viewfinder is crap. On an SLR it's far better than the LCD.
     
  8. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #8

    Most SLRs are pretty heavy, especially with certain lenses on them. Holding the camera out at a distance in order to look at the LCD preview is pretty much going to guarantee some serious camera shake. Not to mention that in bright daylight, very often it is hard to get a really good view of the LCD, which can cause problems with proper composition. Most of the time someoone who is shooting with a DSLR is serious about whatever their subject is and they're aiming for more than just simple snapshots so are going to want to get the best image that they can.

    I prefer using a viewfinder, even with a small P&S camera, and even if I had a DSLR with an LCD "live" preview screen, I would still be viewing my subject(s) through the viewfinder.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

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    #9
    I would never shoot looking at the LCD, your pics would look like they were taken in an earthquake.
     
  10. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #10
    I agree with everyone else who would be less than thrilled with shooting through an LCD. But the real viewfinder still works on the Olympus, right? I guess this might add some things like the ability to take video. Who knows. I actually use that on my PowerShot every once in a while. But no way I'd trade the viewfinder in on my 300D. If anything, I'd like manual focusing aids. ;)
     
  11. macrumors member

    Drizzt

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    #11
    Yes, as I posted above, you can zoom in 10x using the LCD when you want help focusing manually and the optical viewfinder works just as with any other dSLR. Plus, unlike any other dSLR, the Olympus has the SuperSonic Wave Filter which cleans the CCD everytime you turn it on and change a lens.
     
  12. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #12
    Yeah, interesting. I guess it's sad that Olympus get's poo-poo'd by Canon and Nikon's names. Hardly anyone at FM seems to shoot on Olympus gear, although it seems like pretty good stuff.
     
  13. thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #13
    Of course, the optical viewfinder still works. They would not consider selling an SLR without one. After seeing certain expensive point-and-shoot cameras with electronic viewfinders, I would certainly choose anything but those. However, I have absolutely no luck with point-and-shoot cameras anyway, so it's not a bother.

    I've seen quite a few cameras bridging the gap lately. I can't see too much convergence happening, but seeing some quick scene modes makes me think that it could be really convenient when you just don't feel like messing with everything.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    snap58

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    #14
    I really don't like the 4/3 ratio they use (as the PS cameras do) in lieu of the 3/2 that all the other DSLR's use. Film shooters moving to digital will want 3/2, and with computer monitors going to wide screen, this seems like a dumb move?
     
  15. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #15
    Are you talking about sensor crop or picture aspect ratio? Do you mean that Olympus camera's don't take standard pictures with the same aspect ratio as 35mm?
     
  16. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #16

    Yes, that would work quite nicely, actually, now that you mention it: doing macro photography with the camera on a tripod and being able to view the image much more clearly (and comfortably!) with the LCD rather than trying to contort yourself into a position so that you can see through the viewfinder.

    I've still got a 35mm film Oly DLX IS-3 "bridge" camera which I loved dearly. It definitely gave me some good images and I used it many times rather than pulling out my Nikon N90 and lenses if I wanted an all-in-one "walkaround" camera. I always was very satisfied with that camera and the images it produced, but when someone looks into investing in a camera system with lots of lenses and such, the Olympus falls short of either Canon or Nikon in that regard.

    That Oly DLX IS-3 was a sort of forerunner of today's digital "bridge" cameras (or as they're sometimes called, "fixed-lens prosumer" cameras such as the Nikon Coolpix 8700, 8800 and 8400. The problem that I have found, though, is that while some of these lenses may have great zoom range (CP 8700 and 8800 come to mind here) they are also very slow lenses and on top of that, the cameras themselves are very slow when it comes to uploading the image to the memory card. It was my frustration with the CP 8800 which finally nudged me into going with a DSLR.
     
  17. thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #17
    There are 3 things going on here. The aspect ratio is 4:3, like conventional t.v. sets instead of the more widescreen 3:2, which is approximately what 35mm (36x24mm negatives) film uses.

    The four-thirds (4/3) system uses a 4/3" sensor. The E-1, E-300, and E-500 all use CCDs, but the E-330 is using a CMOS sensor.

    The crop factor (as many people call it) is 2.0, which makes it easy to figure the 35mm effective focal length.

    The IS series is very comfortable to me. I have an IS-20 DLX and I also had a digital version, the C-2500L, which was interesting.

    How many lenses do you feel are necessary? I have 3 lenses covering my whole range, though I would like to go a bit wider with a fish eye. Unless I sprout a couple more arms, I'm going to find it difficult to use much more. ;)
     
  18. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #18
    It's not always "how many lenses" that is the critical issue, it's more what those lenses will do for the user. In some cases there may be overlap in range, for instance, but certain lenses are purchased and used for special purposes even though they may be within the same range as another lens. Macro lenses would be a good example of this. Another example would be if someone wants a basic "walkaround" lens such as the new Nikon 18-200 VR, which is a really great little lens, but not super fast. The user then may choose to purchase additional lenses which are within that 18-200 range but which are prime or zoom lenses and in many instances much faster. The value of a fast lens is in situations where there is low light.
    Or someone might want a macro lens which again falls within that same range....

    Taking myself for instance, I've got the aforementioned 18-200 VR lens. I love it -- this is really a superlative lens. However, when I want to do some shooting in the 100-200 range when the light's not so good, I've got two choices: one, kick up the ISO and two, choose a faster lens. I pull out my 70-200 f/2.8 lens and away I go..... Then there's macro. The other day I decided to play around with the new Lowel Ego lighting setup that I recently purchased. It's for tabletop photography. Just for the heck of it I shot one or two images with the 18-200 VR, as it happened to be on the camera at the time, but then I quickly switched off to the lens that I use for macro, the 105 mm. (I've posted my latest desktop, one of those images, in the Community > Pictures thread) If I have the urge to shoot photos of my kitty under natural lighting I am more than likely going to reach for the 50 mm f/1.4 lens. In a few weeks I'll be going to an outdoor event which will be held from late afternoon into the evening. I'll be starting out using the 18-200 VR but as it begins to get darker, I'll be switching to a faster lens.

    The point here is that Nikon and Canon both have a lot of flexibility available in their lenses and this is what many photographers appreciate and need. I suspect that while Olympus has some good lenses that perhaps they just don't have quite the wide range and breadth of lens choices that are available through the other two manufacturers.
     
  19. thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #19
    I know that there is a lot more Nikon and Canon glass...some great, some not so great and to that you can add Tamron and Sigma, and :)D) Quantaray.

    In all my years with 35mm cameras, I've had one Vivitar lens and a Sigma lens and don't miss having inexpensive glass.

    Of course, the Olympus options are mostly moderately expensive, which is part of the reason I only have 3 and they're flexible enough to meet 95 % of my needs. I'd love to have an f1.4 lens but there isn't such a thing--f2.0 is as big as it gets. Spot metering has gotten better over the years, though, it's not as necessary as it once was. :)
     
  20. macrumors G4

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    #20
    Yes for technical photography. For most general photography like sports and family snapshots you want to look through the viefinder. But if the camera is connected to a telescope or a microscope or you are shooting some static stdio product shot then I would think the ability to judge the image on a computer monitor wuld be a huge advantage. People who shoot large format say they can get a veiw of the finished shot on the ground class screen and of cource what is betterthen focussing with a loupe that you can move around to look at different parts of the image?

    Canon sells a modified version of the 20D called a "20Da" that is specialized to astrophotography. It alows live readout of the sensor and a special moe where only a small central portion of the sensor is read out but very fast. This can be viewed on the LCD screen and has the effect of a zoom to full size (pixel to pixel) the data can also be viewed on a computer screen if the camera back LCD is to small.
    They have also removed the IR cutoff filter so the 20Da is much more senitive to IR light.

    People here are saying they don't want a live image but what if it filled you 30 inch ACD screen and you could zoom and pan? Just the think for shootng the night sky or microscope slides
     
  21. thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #21
    Way back before Canon had a decent camera it was almost all Nikon until Olympus brought out the OM-1 and then, faster, lighter, smaller cameras became more popular. Canon used to get the poo-poo treatment, even after the AE-1 was available because nothing was available for it.

    I find that the extra height works better for me with zoom lenses. I don't do landscapes, though. The times I shoot something to get a feel for the distance, I do it head on with a low depth of field.
     
  22. macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #22
    Those would be the same people who then complain that their shots seem blurry. It always astonishes me when I see people trying to take photos (in some tough situations) with one hand and the camera at arm's length.

    For less experienced photographers, the screen can be a boon in trying to compose a picture; particularly when viewfinders on small P&S can be so small that you can barely see things effectively.

    I find them useful when otherwise, I'd end up at an odd angle to try to get my eye to the viewfinder
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #23
    this seems like a very expensive work around to have live feed on an SLR.

    Uses for this camera?

    Reportage
    I can see it being useful shooting in a media scrum at an event <-- i remember it took me some time to learn how to shoot my SLR blindly and still being able to get a usable shot.

    Sports
    i don't think sports photographers are going to be jumping on this camera considering it's 3 fps. Usable, but hardly desirable. I've always liked having 5 fps, and now having a chance to work with 8 fps the 3 fps is far to slow. I recommend shooting with 3 fps when you are starting because it helps develop reflex, eye, and you learn more about the game. If you're a freelancer working for Press agency, however, those 8 frames will give you a lot more useable photos per opportunity.

    Underwater
    This camera will have a huge following in this market i think. It will take the guess work out of what you are shooting considering using a viewfinder is nearly impossible underwater.

    Tabletop
    This will be handy for low ball product shots. The 7.5 megapixels is nice and useable for newspaper and low stock ad use, but for magazine shots 12 - 15 is now becoming the minimum, at least here in the Toronto ad agencies.

    Macro
    This will be a nice addition to a macro photographers kit, take a little stress off the back and knees when getting low ... at least in theory. On the other hand i like framing with a viewfinder.

    The LCD live feed will be nice for those moments where framing using the viewfinder is to difficult or impossible. But i don't see this being useful ALL the time.

    Try hand holding you're SLR's with a 70-200 mm f2.8 at arms length, and see how long that's comfortable.
     
  24. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #24
    Well said revenuee.

    The other aspect of the E-330's introduction is that many consumers buying a DSLR after using a digital P&S are looking to that live view. Everyday at work I have a customer that will hold the DSLR away from them looking for that live view.

    The question will be, are consumers going to pay the price for this new feature?
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #25
    Thank you -- Chip NoVaMaac

    haha i see you share my fate ... LOL ... i work one shift a week at a camera store /lab (for the discounts on equipment and photofinishing)

    i get that from consumers all the time ..."how do i get the LCD to work" ... LOL

    the blank stares i get when explaining what SLR actually means is priceless
     

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