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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    91

    How valuable are optical viewfinders?

    Hi all,
    I've never owned a digital camera, and am considering the Fuji Finepix F10. Obviously it doesn't have an optical viewfinder. This doesn't stand out as a major issue, but was wondering if experienced users have different opinions? I don't have any major night photography in mind, other than parties etc. Any issues I might be overlooking?

    Thanks,
    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,364
    as long as the EVF is bright, then it doesn't matter.
    My p150 has an optical viefinder, it doesn't matter though.
    Actually, EVFs that turn to high contrast black and white are actually better in low light than optical viewfinders.
    US Navy--Hooyah!

    Nikon D700/D300|17-35 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8, Sigmalux, 80-200 f/2.8, 16 f/2.8 fisheye,

    Lots of flashes and Honl gear.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,175
    Optical viewfinders help a lot if your camera's LCD washes out outdoors or fails to "gain up" in low light. The F10 experiences neither of these problems, so you're good to go.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    Posts
    161
    Every time I try to take a daylight picture using the LCD on my Olympus C-5500, I get frustrated because it's impossible to see the image. That's when an optical viewfinder comes in handy, even if it's not exactly the image the CCD sees.
    A manual-focus slide shooter lost in the world of digicams.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4,146

    No Viewfinders

    Chucko-

    I actually prefer an optical viewfinder. However, take note of the fact that we are seeing many consumer point and shoot digital camera now arriving in the marketplace without an optical viewfinders, it is not just the Fuji F-10.

    I have taken over 1,600 photos with my F-10 in all kinds of conditions and have always been able frame the photo I was taking. The bottom line was this: to get the so called plus features of the F-10, I was willing to accept a few negative features, one of which is the lack of an optical viewfinder.

    I travel all over the world and naturally I always pay close attention to the folks who are taking photos and the cameras that they are using. Believe it or not, MOST or the MAJORITY of digital camera users all over the world us the LCD. So there is the market force that is making optical viewfinders, at least on consumer point and shoot digital cameras disappear.

    Sarah Joyce

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    274
    I find this trend of releasing newer cameras without optical viewfinders disturbing. It's as if the camera companies have marketing research that indicates it's not a feature people value, so they're releasing cameras without them. And by releasing otherwise excellent cameras without them, they're selling loads of those, further reinforcing their thinking that nobody cares about them.

    Well, I care. My Canon A520's LCD is pretty visible in low light and even bright sunlight, but I take 90% of my shots using the optical viewfinder anyway. Maybe it's a holdover from my not-too-distant film camera past; maybe it's because I find I can hold the camera steadier framing a shot that way. Or maybe it's just because the picture seems clearer when I can view it with my eyes rather than on a screen. But I wouldn't buy a camera without an optical viewfinder and I know loads of other people who wouldn't either. Camera companies, if you're reading this, take note!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4,146

    Optical Viewfinders.

    Jessie-

    I too favor having an optical viewfinder. However, outside of the USA, I very, very rarely see anyone using a digital camera, who uses the optical viewfinder, even if it available on the digital camera. They all use the LCD resolutely. It is a strange phenomena to my way of thinking, but that is what is happening and the camera companies know it.

    Sarah Joyce

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    74
    I think about the only time where you'd really want an optical view finder is when tracking a very fast moving object (baseball? racecar?) and if you are taking a lot of those types of photos I'd imagine a dslr might be a better choice, other than that for me I've always found it easier to frame my pictures with the lcd even when the lcd's been hard to see. Although I have read complaints about the f10 in bright sunlight I didn't have any problems seeing the lcd at all (whereas I do have issues with my casio z750 in bright sunlight with glare) -I don't know if it's just not an issue for me because I've been shooting pics that way for 10 years so I compensate or because I'm always wearing sunglasses but I found it to be a nonissue for me with the f10 -but even so, even though after the first few months of using a digital camera ten years ago I've never used my view finder I agree with jessie25 and find the trend disturbing, I just like having it there just in case...

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