Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Colesberg, South Africa
    Posts
    7
    Real Name
    Roben

    Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    First a question - are we talking about Compact Digital Cameras.

    If so the description of how the viewfinders work in the page on Compact vs Digital cameras is wrong. In most compact digital cameras the viewfinder is a LCD, and it shows what the cameras sensor is seeing. In this it is like the old film SLR cameras - the viewfinder shows what the main lens is seeing, so there is no question of parallax creeping in.

    The main problem with this approach is that in strong light the image in the LCD is "washed out" - in extreme cases to the point where you cant see the image at all. This problem did not exist in SLRs because you looked at the optical image through an eyepiece.

    The DSLRs use the same approach as the old SLRs, but many of them also have LCDs.

    There is another approach which is to have an electronic (digital) image which is viewed through an eyepiece.

    I have a Fujifilm camera which I bought in preference to a similarly priced Nikon, mainly because it had the option of looking at the image on an LCD at the back, or by looking at the same image via an eyepiece. I was tired of battling with trying to compose photographs on a "washed out" LCD.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South Devon, UK
    Posts
    11,634

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    I totally agree with you and have never understood why some people insist on using an LCD screen for composing/focusing a DSLR camera.

    Even when reviewing my shots, to ditch the rejects, I have to find a dark area otherwise I can't properly see the image details.

    I know that some people like to use the screen when shooting in very confined spaces where it would be difficult to look through the eyepiece. Although there are right angled eyepiece adapters. for some DSLR cameras.

    And probably, it may be easier to take videos when holding the camera away from your eye. So that you can see the screen and also watch what is happening around you.

    From my very limited experience of video, I found that it was difficult to predict what was going to occur when my vision was severely restricted by solely the eyepiece view.

    As you say, with some cameras it can be an advantage to use a screen in some limited circumstances. My first digital camera was like that and I had to use the screen for close work. But I never liked it and often just looked through the eyepiece but left a bit of space to allow for the distorted view.

    And one extra problem for me is that I need glasses on to see the screen but have to remove them to see the actual scene in front of me. It is so much easier to just look through the eyepiece

  3. #3
    rob marshall

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Even when reviewing my shots, to ditch the rejects, I have to find a dark area otherwise I can't properly see the image details.
    You need to get a Panasonic G1/2/3. The images in the EVF (Electronic View Finder) are excellent, for both composing and reviewing shots. You can either use the LCD backscreen for reviewing or the viewfinder. And it automatically knows you have the camera to your face so it switches from one to the other.

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    13,013
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    I personally dislike using live-view and the LCD when shooting outdoors and absolutely hate using it to follow action. Additionally, I don't think that a photographer using a two point grip (each hand) can hold a camera as steady at arms length (when viewing with the LCD screen) than holding it with a three point grip (each hand and supported against the face) as we do when using eye level viewing...

    When I am forced to use live-view, as in shooting video with my 7D DSLR, I choose to incorporate a hoodman Loupe which effectively makes it an eye level viewfinder with the advantages of such...

    However, I am aware that there are picture snappers who cannot get into the mindset to view a 3-D image seen through an eye-level viewfinder as a 2-dimensional image and feel more confident viewing a 2-D image on their LCD. To these folks, I suggest some training might be in order...

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Colesberg, South Africa
    Posts
    7
    Real Name
    Roben

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    This is a really live forum. I am glad I joined.

    As regards right angle viewfinders, the old Hasselblad film cameras and the digital Hasselblad V series have a right angle viewfinder. These cameras weres/are mainly used at waist level looking down into the viewfinder - but note in order to minimise "wash out" they have folding screens to minimise the ambient light falling on the viewing screen.

    The picture of a Hasselblad V series is from their website (www.hasselbad.se) and used to illustrate my point. I have no connection with Hasselblad.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    I totally agree with you and have never understood why some people insist on using an LCD screen for composing/focusing a DSLR camera.
    Because sometimes the camera is tripod mounted 6 inches above large wet boulders with salt water rushing in and out You're welcome to use the viewfinder, on this occasion I'll pass though

    Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

  7. #7
    Black Pearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Whitburn, Sunderland
    Posts
    2,293
    Real Name
    Robin

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    Quite right to.

    Another time Live View is handy is when the camera is on a tripod and you're waiting for a certain thing to happen. The ability to stand back (comfortably) with a cable release in your hand and just watch the scene while waiting for the right moment is far better than staring madly through the viewfinder often while bent over.

    Stood here for fifteen mins or so watching the light and sea change, the above technique worked perfectly.

    Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

  8. #8

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    Live view does have its uses when the camera is tripod mounted. I find it very useful when using a manual focus lens for close ups. The ability to zoom in on the LCD image to get accurate focus is very handy. Both Colin and Robin have shown stunning examples of its usefulness. I do not think I could use live view in the way point and shoot cameras are often used though. It has its place in the arsenal of photography aids.

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Colesberg, South Africa
    Posts
    7
    Real Name
    Roben

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    How often does this happen? I hope you have a seriously waterproof camera. Salt water or even salt water spray is bad news for a normal camera.

    In any case I agree - no solution is perfect for every case, which is why I have bought a camera which gives me the chioce.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by jrvz View Post
    First a question - are we talking about Compact Digital Cameras.

    If so the description of how the viewfinders work in the page on Compact vs Digital cameras is wrong. In most compact digital cameras the viewfinder is a LCD, and it shows what the cameras sensor is seeing. In this it is like the old film SLR cameras - the viewfinder shows what the main lens is seeing, so there is no question of parallax creeping in.
    Hi Roben,

    I here what you're saying, but if you take a closer look at the article, you'll find ...

    "With a compact camera, the viewfinder mechanism instead just tries to estimate what light will reach the sensor, so it's potentially less accurate. Compact cameras may also use what's called an electronic viewfinder (EVF), which attempts to re-create what an SLR viewfinder would see — but by instead using the electronic image from the sensor."

    So not "wrong", just debateable as to which is the norm. Many cameras use an EVF, but also, many don't - especially the high-end ones (EVF is chiep and convenient for some, but has some serious disadvantages too).

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by jrvz View Post
    How often does this happen? I hope you have a seriously waterproof camera. Salt water or even salt water spray is bad news for a normal camera.
    Yes, fully weather-sealed Canon 1Ds3 & weather-sealed L-Series lenses. Obviously one doesn't want to put the camera at too much of a risk, so common sense also prevails. The shot above was originally 5x 60 second exposures, but in the end only 3x 60 second exposures could be used from the set because of salt-water splashes on the GND filter.

  12. #12
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Colesberg, South Africa
    Posts
    7
    Real Name
    Roben

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Roben,

    I here what you're saying, but if you take a closer look at the article, you'll find ...

    "With a compact camera, the viewfinder mechanism instead just tries to estimate what light will reach the sensor, so it's potentially less accurate. Compact cameras may also use what's called an electronic viewfinder (EVF), which attempts to re-create what an SLR viewfinder would see but by instead using the electronic image from the sensor."

    So not "wrong", just debateable as to which is the norm. Many cameras use an EVF, but also, many don't - especially the high-end ones (EVF is chiep and convenient for some, but has some serious disadvantages too).
    Digital vs compact is actually a misnomer. The compact cameras we are discussing are in fact digital cameras. Probably we should be talking about DSLR vs Compact.

    I was referring to the illustration in the article which depicts the compact camera as having a seperate optical viewfinder like many old film cameras including very good cameras such as the Leica. These viewfinders were subject to problems such as parallax, especially for relatively close up shots. They also (usually?) do not make any attempt to show the effect of aperture or shutter speed etc.

    The old SLRs such as my Pentax normally viewed the scene through the lens with the aperture wide open, so that you did not see the effect of the aperture setting unless you pressed a button. The aperture was momentarily returned to its setting when you took the shot. You could not see the effect of the shutter speed or film speed when setting up the shot.

    I have not had much experience of DSLRs (my present Fuji has EVF viewable either through an eyepiece or on an LCD), but it seems to me from what I have seen, and the illustration in the article, that the DSLRs are very similar to the old SLRs in that they view the scene through the lens using a mirror etc in an optical arrangement. This being the case I imagine that showing the picture as it would appear in the optical viewfinder having regard to shutter speed etc. would require a very sophisticated optical arrangement.

    In fact it seems to me that it would be easier to show the picture as it would appear when shot using EVF, although it would require sophisticated programming, and EVF resolution could become a factor.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by jrvz View Post
    Digital vs compact is actually a misnomer. The compact cameras we are discussing are in fact digital cameras. Probably we should be talking about DSLR vs Compact.
    Not sure if I referred to it as Digital or not (I probably did), but the article you're referring to is "Compact -v- Digital SLR"

    I was referring to the illustration in the article which depicts the compact camera as having a seperate optical viewfinder like many old film cameras including very good cameras such as the Leica. These viewfinders were subject to problems such as parallax, especially for relatively close up shots. They also (usually?) do not make any attempt to show the effect of aperture or shutter speed etc.
    Yes. Many serious compact cameras use this arrangement, eg Canon G10/G11 series.

    The old SLRs such as my Pentax normally viewed the scene through the lens with the aperture wide open, so that you did not see the effect of the aperture setting unless you pressed a button. The aperture was momentarily returned to its setting when you took the shot. You could not see the effect of the shutter speed or film speed when setting up the shot.
    DSLR camera keep the aperture wide open so that AF can function, and the image can be viewed at maximum brightness (imagine trying to view a night scene at F32) - most have what's called a DoF preview button which momentarily stops down the lens to give an indication of DoF (in theory); personally I find that the scene as viewed through the viewfinder is too small to get meaningful DoF feedback - so I just use the DoF tables "burned into my brain". No mechanism can simulate the effect of shutterspeed, that I'm aware of.

    I have not had much experience of DSLRs (my present Fuji has EVF viewable either through an eyepiece or on an LCD), but it seems to me from what I have seen, and the illustration in the article, that the DSLRs are very similar to the old SLRs in that they view the scene through the lens using a mirror etc in an optical arrangement.
    Yes - the design is essentially the same.

    This being the case I imagine that showing the picture as it would appear in the optical viewfinder having regard to shutter speed etc. would require a very sophisticated optical arrangement.
    I don't see a way it could be done; then again, I can't see a need for it anyway.

    In fact it seems to me that it would be easier to show the picture as it would appear when shot using EVF, although it would require sophisticated programming, and EVF resolution could become a factor.
    Not sure how useful it would be to be honest - in most cases we've either more concerned with aperture (for DoF control) than shutterspeed, or shutterspeed merely needing to pass a certain threshold (eg past 1/640 to freeze sports motion).

  14. #14
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Colesberg, South Africa
    Posts
    7
    Real Name
    Roben

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Not sure if I referred to it as Digital or not (I probably did), but the article you're referring to is "Compact -v- Digital SLR"



    Yes. Many serious compact cameras use this arrangement, eg Canon G10/G11 series.



    DSLR camera keep the aperture wide open so that AF can function, and the image can be viewed at maximum brightness (imagine trying to view a night scene at F32) - most have what's called a DoF preview button which momentarily stops down the lens to give an indication of DoF (in theory); personally I find that the scene as viewed through the viewfinder is too small to get meaningful DoF feedback - so I just use the DoF tables "burned into my brain". No mechanism can simulate the effect of shutterspeed, that I'm aware of.



    Yes - the design is essentially the same.



    I don't see a way it could be done; then again, I can't see a need for it anyway.



    Not sure how useful it would be to be honest - in most cases we've either more concerned with aperture (for DoF control) than shutterspeed, or shutterspeed merely needing to pass a certain threshold (eg past 1/640 to freeze sports motion).
    Hello Colin - we seem to operating on different wavelengths here - sorry about that.

    What I get out of this that both approaches, LCD screen and a view through an eyepiece, have their merits and uses, so what I prefer is to have a choice. The only question is about optical or electronic eyepiece view, and I think this depends on a large number of factors including technical factors, but also budget and availabilty of what you want in the stores where you can get cameras.

    All of the Compact Digital cameras I have seen here have only LCD screen view finders. The Fuji I bought is a sort of hybrid - it has a fixed lens with 18x zoom, but it does have the option of EVF through an eyepiece. I chose it in preference to a similarly specced Nikon which only had an LCD screen - no EVF through an eyepiece. It is also relatively small and easy to handle compared with the SLRs and DSLRs which are bulky especially with a long lens, and even, more so with a bag full of lenses etc.

    There are lots of DSLRs in the shops here - Canon, Nikon Sony etc with interchangeable lens, & all the goodies but I can't afford them, and they are large & bulky to carry around.

    If this makes me an amateur & not a serious photographer, so be it.

  15. #15
    rob marshall

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by jrvz View Post
    There are lots of DSLRs in the shops here - Canon, Nikon Sony etc with interchangeable lens, & all the goodies but I can't afford them, and they are large & bulky to carry around.

    If this makes me an amateur & not a serious photographer, so be it.
    Something wrong there! You refer to amateur and serious as if they are two known categories of photographer. If there are categories it's probably amateur and professional - the latter being someone who makes money from photography. But I can assure you that there are plenty of 'serious' amateurs around. Like me!

    For the record, I own a big fat-ish DSLR (Canon 5DMk2), but I also have a small 'compact' DSLR (Pansonic G1). When I use the G1 I don't feel any less serious than when I use the 5D. It's the photographer, not the camera, that counts to a large extent. There's even a case to be made that someone making good shots with a small, inexpensive camera such as a G1 is actually a better photographer than someone producing the same quality shots with a big beast DSLR as they have to exercise their skills a bit more.

    But, of course, I could be wrong.

    Just enjoy taking pictures.

  16. #16

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by black pearl View Post
    quite right to.

    Another time live view is handy is when the camera is on a tripod and you're waiting for a certain thing to happen. The ability to stand back (comfortably) with a cable release in your hand and just watch the scene while waiting for the right moment is far better than staring madly through the viewfinder often while bent over.

    Stood here for fifteen mins or so watching the light and sea change, the above technique worked perfectly.

    Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras
    beautiful!!!

  17. #17
    MrB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hertfordshire, England
    Posts
    1,069
    Real Name
    Philip

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Not sure if I referred to it as Digital or not (I probably did), but the article you're referring to is "Compact -v- Digital SLR"
    Apologies if this is a daft question, but this thread appears to me to have started out of the blue - where is this "article" that is being commented upon?

    Philip

    IGNORE. It was a daft question - article found in the Photography Tutorials.
    Last edited by MrB; 23rd May 2011 at 10:22 PM.

  18. #18

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    However, I am aware that there are picture snappers who cannot get into the mindset to view a 3-D image seen through an eye-level viewfinder as a 2-dimensional image and feel more confident viewing a 2-D image on their LCD. To these folks, I suggest some training might be in order...
    Just a side note. I am so appreciative of my old (RIP) Kodak point and shoot because of that live screen that compressed the 3D into 2D for me. It's from the year of blogging and observing the view flattened that I started to be able to hook into photography! It was a good stepping stone for me. From there, I've been observing my ability to frame the view into 2D grow, since I got my 450D, this past June. It's been occasionally disconcerting, irritating and scary, when I can't "turn it off" and just enjoy the live experience without my camera but it's exciting to finally be a little bit more proficient at letting my eye take in everthing that I see throught the eyepiece and to compose my shot. To put it simply, it's so fun! and it's all because of the original LCD screen.

  19. #19
    Len Martin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Nimbin NSW Australia
    Posts
    26
    Real Name
    Dr Len Martin

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    Sorry that these comments are a bit late but..... the reason I went for the Panasonic DMC FZ series was because they had/have a through-the-lens LCD viewfinder, thereby avoiding the awful problem of not being able to see the flaming LCD back screen in bright sunlight.

    Agree that it is not perfect for estimating depth of focus, but I also carry a rough set of tables in this aging brain to compensate.

    My very first digital camera a 3.2MP Pentax Optio had an optical viewfinder which was great but a bugger for macro because of parallax.

    Latest Pentax Optios have no optical viewfinder - threw my last small Optio backup-for- Panasonic away in the bush because I couldn't see to focus on a spider in bright sunlight.

    As a result my business manager refuses to allow me to purchase another camera (ie a Panasonic DMC FZ 100 with X24 optical zoom) until my current FZ35 karks it.

    Ideal combination for a compact digital is an LCD view-finder plus a swinging back screen, thus allowing even a hand held camera to be positioned just above those surf enspattered wet rocks for the ultimate shot.

    My second digital camera, also a Pentax had such a screen, but a parallax confounded optical viewfinder.

    Cheers

  20. #20
    Black Pearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Whitburn, Sunderland
    Posts
    2,293
    Real Name
    Robin

    Re: Comment on Digital vs Compact Cameras

    I've been using a Fuji X100 for a week and one thing struck me - I prefer the Electronic Viewfinder to the Optical one.

    The optical one is awesome as the camera projects a digital head-up display onto it but the EVF does one thing an OVF can never do and thats show the actual exposure including any compensation you dial in .I was out with mates shooting with it the other night from eight when it was nice and bright through dusk with a very low sun and hard shadows to after eleven and darkness so had to cope with all sorts of light conditions. What I found fantastic was seeing the shot as it would turn out, being able to add some compensation and see the results live without having to first waste an exposure. I'm hooked, my Nikon has Live View on the back screen but doesn't do this, a stupid mistake I feel in the firmware.

    No the EVF isn't as fine in detail as a OVF and no you can't focus as easily but I can't remember the last time I had to manual focus a shot but I'm missing the live exposure already.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •