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Author Topic: It beats me why articulated LCD screens are not more common or wanted.  (Read 7458 times)
uaiomex
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« on: April 05, 2012, 12:52:00 PM »
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An articulated screen in the main advantage that film cameras never could, for framing. The reflex mirror was a major advancement for TTL framing. The pentaprism made it even better. The removable pentaprism and interchangeable viewfinder was the pinnacle of convenience and versatility in the film era.
An articulated screen turns any camera into sophisticated and very convenient mechanism for viewing and framing. It's as useful as a periscope inside a submarine. In medicine and dental, in the industry, in science, mirrors have been used for ages. Now digital probes are used.

Yesterday I was watching Kai at Digital Rev using a camera with a VA screen. The video shows him at one point taking a low-angle picture over totally wet sand and staying dry and clean. Of course, you can get on your knees or perhaps lay on the sand but why should you?
A VA screen allows for the camera to be tucked-in against your chest or belly like a MF film camera. I could spend a whole day thinking about real situations where an articulated screen would be an advantage if not a godsend.
Detractors say it compromises sturdiness, build and ruggedness. BS! It is "articulated", remember?. For moments where the integrity of the camera should be at risk, the screen can be safely put against the back of the camera. Even better, with the screen hidden away. That beats a fixed screen, doesn't it? Some others claim it might compromise weather-proofness. Perhaps a bit if manufactured carelessly. I'm sure technology is where we can expect to have a full pro-grade WP camera with a swivel screen.

Eduardo
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 01:01:54 PM by uaiomex » Logged
LKaven
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2012, 12:59:10 PM »
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It's not that I wouldn't like to have an articulated screen.  But I'm worried about the mechanical reliability of an articulated arm and the complex cabling that has to run through it.  What would it take to construct a mechanism that could withstand 200,000 full excursions and still move and pass signal reliably? 
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uaiomex
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2012, 01:05:44 PM »
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In my perception, 200K "excursions" would mean like 10 million shots or 5 shutters!
Eduardo


It's not that I wouldn't like to have an articulated screen.  But I'm worried about the mechanical reliability of an articulated arm and the complex cabling that has to run through it.  What would it take to construct a mechanism that could withstand 200,000 full excursions and still move and pass signal reliably? 
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Fips
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2012, 02:25:49 PM »
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I completely agree. Had a Sony NEX for a while and I loved the articulated screen, especially for shooting MF-style as you suggested. Reliability could indeed be an issue with a fully articulated screen. But with the ones the Sony NEX cameras have, or the new splash-proof Olympus OM-D for that matter, which only tilt up and down it shouldn't be a problem at all. Those flexible flat cables are very reliable.
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Petrus
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2012, 02:32:27 PM »
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I had a broken LCD cable in Canon FX305 video cam after 10 months of not very constant use. Actually less than 20 shooting hours. While an articulated screen would be nice, I rather not have one in cameras like Nikon D4, Canon EOS-1DX etc, which get banged around a bit, or more. Having a moveable screen, waterproof, wold mean more bulk, one thing likely get broken.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2012, 10:55:36 PM »
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I agree.  For the operator, the viewfinder is the camera.  However I wouldn't give up weather sealing and reliability for articulation.

For many new DSLRs, the HDMI output provides a signal to drive an outboard display panel.  It may not be optimally compact, but it offers redundancy and flexibility.  A small OLED panel similar to the one on my smartphone would be perfect.
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LKaven
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2012, 02:51:14 AM »
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In my perception, 200K "excursions" would mean like 10 million shots or 5 shutters!
Eduardo

It's an open question.  I'm surprised at the things that camera makers put in for battery and memory doors.  But surely those things are used less frequently. 

I could see exercising that thing quite a lot to get one good shot.  Or I could see leaving it retracted for days at a time.  But to truly be Nikon professional gear, it must pass the torture test.  Nothing will be spared!
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lfeagan
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2012, 05:41:59 PM »
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Hi Eduardo, I fully believe that it is possible to manufacture a durable, weather proof articulated screen...for a price. While there are situations where this would be quite handy (many macro situations), for me personally, I know that for 95-98% of exposures it would be left flat.

For a pro-level body, having an articulating screen that would meet or exceed my standards of functionality and durability would likely result in an end-user retail cost of around $300-$500. I freely admit that I have high standards. I would expect to be able to *accidentally* hold onto the screen and hold 10+ lbs of body + lens. I am not suggesting I would go around doing this all the time, but boy would it suck to be left holding a screen while $10k of glass fell straight down (not too worried about the body, I know that would survive). Even with my limited use, I would still be interested in an articulating screen, even at the cost described above. But, I suspect I am in the minority with this view. For reference on how people feel about $500 price differentials, look at discussions on 5dMkIII vs D800. While I don't view the price difference as significant, especially as both cameras are amazing in their capabilities compared to where we were just a decade ago, I once again seem to be in the minority with this view.

Honestly, I would prefer the HDMI monitor solution to an articulating screen, even at a higher cost, as I feel it adds greater versatility (although more cables, batteries, etc are always annoying and make for more things to break).

All that being said, I feel that we are very near the pinnacle of achievement for 2D, still, planar capture device's practical capabilities. As the old battles are drawing to a close, the major small format digital camera manufacturers are heavily investing in new areas, such as video. 3D may be another area of growth. A long forgotten area that requires little research is usability. Clearly your suggestion fits into the arena of usability. Some players may choose to focus more on this area. Clearly the EVIL cameras (electronic viewfinder, mirror-less inter-changable lens) are attacking this market. So, it seems that Canon and Nikon are focusing on video; Lytro is interested in multi-planar/light field; some companies have 3D interests, though quite lame implementations at the moment; and others such as Sony, Olympus, etc, are focusing on usability.

Each time a company begins developing a new camera, they generally choose one of the technology tracks to focus on. Canon and Nikon's bread and butter has been resolution for quite a while. In the previous iterations, Nikon has done ISO (D3), resolution (D3x), ISO (D3s), resolution (D800). Yes, the D4 is resolution+ISO, and breaks this pattern slightly, but you get the point. The D4 is lower resolution than the D3x (but is higher than the D3s), and isn't mind-bogglingly better ISO than the D3s. The D4 is also a huge leap forward in video technology for Nikon. As they develop the D5, Nikon will have to evaluate what will best position them in the market. It seems less likely that ISO or resolution will be a major area of technology research for this product. Video technology, while time consuming to develop and perfect, is largely software. Only time will tell, but I suspect usability will play a larger role. But advertising ergonomics and usability is quite a bit more difficult than being able to simply say "50% more pixels" "100% higher ISO" (lol, 1 stop, but it sounds so good).
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Lance

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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2012, 07:10:58 PM »
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I could be argued that with wifi streaming to an iphone, the d4 offers even more flexibility in terms of screen angle/placement.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
uaiomex
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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2012, 02:11:02 AM »
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Hi, hard to argue with your post with the exception of using an HDMI screen. Personally I wouldn't like that, since it adds complexity and cost. I'm talking about a swivel screen for macro, odd angles and easy event portraiture.
Have you seen the G1X video with Gary Night from Canon CPN? It depicts in many accurate ways, what a swivel screen is good for. I just ordered one. One month ago, I shot an entire wedding for a friend. I was not the official photographer, so I had the opportunity to test myself what could happen to use one zoom lens. I used my Canon 5D2 with an old 28-105II lens. It was very nice to realize how convenient is to be light and nimble. As usual, in a lot of situations a swivel screen was desired. If the G1X is not that slowdog that some people claim, it will always be with me from now on.
Eduardo

 
Hi Eduardo, I fully believe that it is possible to manufacture a durable, weather proof articulated screen...for a price. While there are situations where this would be quite handy (many macro situations), for me personally, I know that for 95-98% of exposures it would be left flat.

For a pro-level body, having an articulating screen that would meet or exceed my standards of functionality and durability would likely result in an end-user retail cost of around $300-$500. I freely admit that I have high standards. I would expect to be able to *accidentally* hold onto the screen and hold 10+ lbs of body + lens. I am not suggesting I would go around doing this all the time, but boy would it suck to be left holding a screen while $10k of glass fell straight down (not too worried about the body, I know that would survive). Even with my limited use, I would still be interested in an articulating screen, even at the cost described above. But, I suspect I am in the minority with this view. For reference on how people feel about $500 price differentials, look at discussions on 5dMkIII vs D800. While I don't view the price difference as significant, especially as both cameras are amazing in their capabilities compared to where we were just a decade ago, I once again seem to be in the minority with this view.

Honestly, I would prefer the HDMI monitor solution to an articulating screen, even at a higher cost, as I feel it adds greater versatility (although more cables, batteries, etc are always annoying and make for more things to break).

All that being said, I feel that we are very near the pinnacle of achievement for 2D, still, planar capture device's practical capabilities. As the old battles are drawing to a close, the major small format digital camera manufacturers are heavily investing in new areas, such as video. 3D may be another area of growth. A long forgotten area that requires little research is usability. Clearly your suggestion fits into the arena of usability. Some players may choose to focus more on this area. Clearly the EVIL cameras (electronic viewfinder, mirror-less inter-changable lens) are attacking this market. So, it seems that Canon and Nikon are focusing on video; Lytro is interested in multi-planar/light field; some companies have 3D interests, though quite lame implementations at the moment; and others such as Sony, Olympus, etc, are focusing on usability.

Each time a company begins developing a new camera, they generally choose one of the technology tracks to focus on. Canon and Nikon's bread and butter has been resolution for quite a while. In the previous iterations, Nikon has done ISO (D3), resolution (D3x), ISO (D3s), resolution (D800). Yes, the D4 is resolution+ISO, and breaks this pattern slightly, but you get the point. The D4 is lower resolution than the D3x (but is higher than the D3s), and isn't mind-bogglingly better ISO than the D3s. The D4 is also a huge leap forward in video technology for Nikon. As they develop the D5, Nikon will have to evaluate what will best position them in the market. It seems less likely that ISO or resolution will be a major area of technology research for this product. Video technology, while time consuming to develop and perfect, is largely software. Only time will tell, but I suspect usability will play a larger role. But advertising ergonomics and usability is quite a bit more difficult than being able to simply say "50% more pixels" "100% higher ISO" (lol, 1 stop, but it sounds so good).
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graeme
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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2012, 07:44:02 AM »
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I bought a Canon 60D largely because of it's fully articulated screen. I find the camera less pleasing for conventional hand held use than my 20D ( switch placement and fit in hand ) but it's great to use on a tripod. This is largely because of the articulated screen. I can set the camera above head height ( and I'm tall ) and frame shots very accurately by using live view and a geared tripod head ( Manfrotto 410 - the best piece of photographic equipment I've ever purchased ).

I don't use the camera in physically demanding situations so I'm not expecting to break it. If the screen does break or the camera self destructs in typical Canon fashion, I'll get it fixed. ( 3 year extended warranty / damage insurance purchased with the camera - about 100 from Jessops).

On the subject of screen durability a local firm that we work with are have been using a Canon G5 for 8 years as a general purpose camera - no articulated screen issues to report.

Graeme
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Keith Reeder
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« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2012, 02:46:46 PM »
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Until I can see exactly the same on the screen that I can see through the VF in real time (not in Liveview mode), I don't really see the point of an articulated screen on a DSLR.

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Keith Reeder
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2012, 10:43:42 PM »
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I bought a Canon T3i to fill in until I get a Nikon D800E.

I like the articulated screen on that $600 camera, mostly for video.

I don't think I would trust it on the D800E unless it was replacable? With a well sealed connection, just plug in a $100 screen? (can't cost much more than that, as I paid $600 for the camera!)

Either or for me. I could use it or not, not a huge difference. For video I will have an external monitor anyway. And next up is the EVF, so just a temporary solution.

I was quite happy with my 20D though, so don't ask me ...  Shocked   Although the 1DsII kicked the 20D's ass. That is still the best all around camera that I have ever owned (ahead of the Mamiya 7 II, which it replaced.)

Cheers! Michael
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uaiomex
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2012, 01:21:52 AM »
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A few funny photographs about photographers explain why the articulating screen must be mandatory.  Cheesy

http://fstoppers.com/humor-what-you-may-look-like-when-taking-pictures

Eduardo
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Paul2660
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« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2012, 05:54:02 PM »
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The Sony A77's articulated screen is a real dream.  I would love to have that on any DSLR,
Especially for macro.  It just makes it so easy to make that camera a waist held unit.  Hoping
when Sony brings out their new line of full frame DSLR's they have a similar screen.

Paul
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Paul Caldwell
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NancyP
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2012, 03:47:27 PM »
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Fine link  Cheesy
I like my 60D articulated screen, and in fact waited for the camera to be available rather than buy something else. No question, for tripod work and macro, it helps a lot. If I am not doing anything requiring live view manual focusing or other articulation use, the screen is folded inward to avoid the nose grease problem. There aren't a huge number of operations that can't be accomplished using buttons and prism screen view.
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tom b
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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2012, 04:31:42 PM »
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I have just retired as an illustrator. It involved a reasonable amount of photography. For me best practice was:

Using a Speedlight with my work's 5D II

Using strobes for portraits

Using a shooting table and strobes for product work

Using a tripod where necessary.

There would be only rare occasions where I desired an articulated screen. I prefer to look through a FF viewfinder. For me I just find them a nuisance. I bought a GH2 a a walkabout camera and I find that unfolding the screen out to look at the first image I have taken and then folding the screen back at the end of a shoot is a pain. Also the GH2 screen isn't a good match for the final image. I seem to see a high contrast EVF image, a flat LCD image and then a generally good final image. I don't know if that is part of being articulated or not. I do know that I prefer the Canon's non-articulated LCD.

Having said that, as I have pointed out in a previous post, there was close to a half billion smart phones sold last year. Like it or not, there is a whole new generation of people coming through who will believe that you look at a screen to take a photo.

So, the question will probably be not if we get articulated screens, but when?

Cheers,
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AJSJones
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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2012, 06:30:11 PM »
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Until I can see exactly the same on the screen that I can see through the VF in real time (not in Liveview mode), I don't really see the point of an articulated screen on a DSLR.
I can tell you don't use T/S lenses much Cheesy
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