Which compact Canon - WITH VIEWFINDER!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by hingyfan, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. hingyfan macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    Sorry about the caps but i am bummed about a camera i just bought. It's a Panasonic Lumix Zs3. It's not really the camera, it's the lack of a viewfinder. Plus the Panny shots are just too washed out looking for me. I get into this in another thread.
    Here, i just want to ask which compact Canon, with a viewfinder, should i get (if i am able to return the Panny). The budget is fairly high for this type of thing. I think the G series is out because it's not really compact. Those things are small SLRs.
    I just need something pocketable, hopefully with some zoom but def. with a viewfinder. And Canon, unless somebody can persuade me i can get rich looking shots with another brand.
  2. joelypolly macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2003
    Melbourne & Shanghai
    No To Viewfinder

    Say no to viewfinders... that is all...
    Realistically the crappy viewfinders that are put on compacts are completely useless for any other than knowing you are pointing your camera in the right direction.

    Unless they bring out quality viewfinders (electronic or optical) into compacts just use the LCD.
  3. hingyfan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009

    I went to the US Open today with my new lumix z53. it's going back (hopefully). The LCD was useless and it was an overcast day. And when the sun came out, forget. Aim and hope. Ive taken a lot of shots at the Open in the past with my rebel, and got some great reaction shots. This time i was shooting into the crowd by mistake. I should have realized by using my iphone as a camera the LCD is no substitute for being able to see what youre doing.
  4. Patriks7 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2008
    In all seriousness, you'd be best of with an entry level DSLR or the G series Canon. Getting a GOOD viewfinder in a compact is just not possible.
  5. hingyfan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    I have a Powershot S5is. It gets no usage because it is not a compact and because the lens cap wont stay on. I plan to use it though when i go back to the Open on Saturday, if i can dump the Panasonic. But still need a compact. i had a Canon 400, tiny thing and the viewfiender was fine. i never used the screen. i wish it didn't have one because that's what it killed the camera.
  6. someoldguy macrumors 68000

    Aug 2, 2009
    There's nothing wrong with your pick , but you might want to look at one in the flesh before you buy it. Maybe Staples , Best Buy or similar consumer electronics place would have one you could check out . If the 400 you refer to was the Digital Elph , then you know about small viewfinders . They're basically point , look , and pray . Using them as a tool for serious composition is pretty much useless.
  7. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    I like to use the viewfinder more on DSLR's than any PnS because every PnS from recent years has a junk viewfinder. Viewfinders are better on some disposable cameras than every PnS I have seen from the recent years.
  8. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020


    Aug 16, 2007
    i use a PS SD1000 Elph model... seems to do the trick and has enough settings to get me by
  9. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    Get the G11 or a Rebel. Anything is just a toy.
  10. hingyfan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    I took the dog and cat pics on the "P&S shoot pic" thread with my Canon 400.
    Somewhere on this page:


    The viewfinder at least let me know i pointing in the general direction! They may not be terribly sharp but stood up to printing and framing (the crop on the cat one was better in final result).

    Anywa=ay, i like i said, i have an DSLR i'll try to get more use out of. but i need a travel camera.
  11. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    Your problem is going to be that with non-SLR cameras, by definition (SLR stands for SINGLE lens reflex) when you look through the viewfinder, you're not looking through the taking lens. You're looking through an entirely separate optical instrument that is completely independent from the taking lens and therefore is not an accurate representation of what the sensor will record.

    Back in the days of film, manufacturers spent a lot of money on the viewfinder to make it nice. Why? When you go to the store to try out a film camera, you pick it up and what's the first thing you do? Look through the viewfinder. However, these days, you won't see a single camera shopper look through the viewfinder. They look at the preview screen. There is no incentive for camera makers to make a nice viewfinder on a P&S because no one tests the viewfinder before they buy it (and once they have your money, who cares after that). On an SLR, on the other hand, the viewfinder IS the taking lens and it's what 99% of SLR owners use to compose the shot.

    Combine all of this with other P&S market forces like miniaturization, and it sounds like you could be SOL. It's just one of the many tradeoffs you get for having compact size and low price.
  12. hingyfan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    I never said "decent viewfinder," just viewfinder. Anything is better than looking at a piece of glass that contains a closeup reflection of my own face.
    I couldnt get a pic of Maria Sharapova because of that thing!
    Anyway, the Panasonic, this year's hot zoom, is safely back at the store (B&H in NYC) and they gave me a refund with a smile. :)
  13. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    For what you want, you're probably going to have to stick with Canon or Sony - I don't think anyone else is still offering pseudo-viewfinders in their pocketable digicams. Also, if you're doing video, you're really better off using the screen anyway, although once you get familiar with the wider setting on the lens, generally you can take the little camera (set for video recording) and move and point it without necessarily using the screen for reference, and be pretty aware of what the camera's pointing at. You can move the camera (if it's equipped with steady-shot feature) smoothly, and put it in all kinds of positions, from the ground to over your head to waist level etc. as you pan, and with a bit of practice you can really get some interesting angles - way more interesting than if the thing is stuck to your face for the usual head-high shots. Just experiment with some new approaches, and you might have some fun with it. But... you can get a model with a viewfinder to keep you on familiar territory if you stick with the above-mentioned brands.

    I was like you - wanted a viewfinder with my p/s, but now I use it for 50% video and never even think of the missing viewfinder. I just got into a different mindset, with different expectations. For the type of shots you want at the Open, take your dSLR for the still shots, get exactly what you're aiming at, and use the p/s for the video to capture the atmosphere of the event. Put it all together in a little edited movie, and you're set. :) Have fun, and say "hi" to Miss Sharapova for me. ;)
  14. hingyfan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2009
    Sony no longer seems to have a compact camera with viewfinder. I am probably going to go with the Canon SD1200. This will be my point and shoot for upcoming England trip. I have a Canon DSLR in reserve for more demanding stuff like the U.S. Open. That's the ironic thing about getting the Panasonic. I wanted one that could both and it couldn't, for me.
    I wasn't able to get Sharapova (she was practicing and too far away for me to frame with the Lumix) but I did get Maria Kirilenko, who I think of Sharapova lite. It was a little overcast but this shot has that Panasonic pale that I didnt go for. It might have been why i was eager to return it, although the combination of a seroius zoom and nothing to point it with was frustrating.

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