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Author Topic: Digital SLRs and live LCD preview  (Read 1955 times)
Peter McLennan
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« on: March 24, 2003, 10:41:39 PM »
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In good light (that is, when the LCD's usable), it can be life saver. Just ask anyone who's used a camcorder with a flip-out viewfinder. It completely changes how you shoot.

Your view of the image is abstracted - quite valuable sometimes

You can see things other than what's in the viewfinder - you're not lost in that little world. Sometimes it's safer!

You can be very discreet.

It vastly improves camera agility. Both low and high shots benefit.

It uses more battery power : (

Current LCD technology is nearly unusable in bright sunlight. : (

Do *any* of the current crop of DSLR's have live preview?

Peter
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BJL
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2003, 09:25:50 AM »
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This question keeps coming up: the focal plane shutter and moving mirror of an SLR both block the sensor except when the photo is being taken. To get live LCD preview one needs to solve both problems

a) the mirror problem: either retract it in advance for LCD use, or use a fixed partially reflecting mirror as in the Olympus E10/E20

AND

 the focal plane shutter problem: fixed lens digital cameras including the E10/E20 use a between the lens ("leaf") shutter instead, which has the downside of restricting maximum shutter speed and being expensive and not backward compatible with existing 35mm format SLR lenses; opening the FP shutter in advance and using "electronic shutter" operation by the sensor alone is a future possibility.


I hope for a niche market of high quality true rangefinder-like cameras with compact LCD viewfinders, building on designs like the Olympus E20 or Canon G3, for the virtues of that pivoting "digital successor of the ground glass viewfinder", plus fast, quiet operation (no mirror noise or lag) in a relatively small "candid camera" format.

Leica themselves are trying such a camera, with a big 2.5 inch LCD, but they have said that their existing M lenses are incompatable with digital (light strikes the sensor at a far more severe angle than in SLR's). Thus the Olympus E10/20 approach of an extensive supplementary lens line might be the best bet in the near future for getting a lens variety matching or exceeding what rangefinder cameras offer, and also for keeping dust of the sensor.
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mitch cohen
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2003, 05:38:56 PM »
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I'll soon be purchasing a 10D, my first digital SLR.  I have many years' experience with 35mm SLRs and about 6 with non-SLR digitals.  While playing with a 10D recently I came across an issue I can best describe as philosophical.  I'm curious to get a read from other users.

Consumer digital cameras, in addition to their tiny viewfinder, allow/expect you to use the LCD as a virtual viewfinder.  Optically it's near silly, but I've found it very convenient at times.  If I'm holding the camera above my head to get over people or an object, I can still see the LCD enough to point things in the right direction.  It can also be useful for some tripod shots.  Or candids, when I pretend I'm reviewing older photos while actually taking new ones (this is extra handy with the Nikon 4500's twisty body).

When discussing the 10D with a Canon rep, it seems the 10D doesn't offer a live LCD preview.  It's an SLR after all.  Normally I wouldn't miss it.  It's just that every now and then I think it could be handy.  I'm guessing most/all other DSLRs are the same way.

Do DSLR owners "miss" this "feature" at all?  Is it something that would be handy to have?  It isn't something I ever thought of pre-digital (although I once considered buying an angled eyepiece adapter for my Canon AE-1).

Going further, I could even imagine a live LCD preview with a live histogram.

Lack of a live LCD preview doesn't change my mind about buying a 10D.  It's minor.  Just a thought floating in my mind.
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Olympus E-10/20
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2003, 06:26:40 AM »
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Those Olympus SLRs are the only ones that currently offer that feature.
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mitch cohen
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2003, 09:57:34 AM »
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Quote
a) the mirror problem: either retract it in advance for LCD use, or use a fixed partially reflecting mirror as in the Olympus E10/E20

AND

 the focal plane shutter problem:
Ahha, I'm surprised I didn't think of the mirror being in the way.  Of COURSE the mirror is in the way.  Thank you.

I wouldn't mind a button to flip up the mirror.  I'd prefer keeping a fully reflective mirror to preserve all the light going to the viewfinder, and losing the viewfinder when the mirror was up for LCD previewing.

A purely electronic shutter makes sense; I'm surprised they don't do that already.  (Maybe it helps keep dust off the sensor?)
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