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Thread: Using Live view when taking photos

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    mikejduk's Avatar
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    Using Live view when taking photos

    I recall reading in the manual for the Canon 550D I used to have, when using the LCD screen 'Live view' whilst shooting that the small square cap provided should be attached to the eye viewer. The same cap is also provided with my Canon 60D and is attached to the strap.

    However, I rarely see any reference to this in any of the tutorials for this camera. So, is it really necessary to switch 'Live view' off, once you've set up and focused your shot, or is it only ok to leave the 'Live view' on after placing the cap over the eye viewer?

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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    I don't own a Canon so I may be completely off base here. On a Nikon, the purpose of the viewfinder cap is to prevent stray light from entering the camera through the viewfinder and affecting the meter reading. Might be the same for a Canon.

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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    Quote Originally Posted by benm View Post
    I don't own a Canon so I may be completely off base here. On a Nikon, the purpose of the viewfinder cap is to prevent stray light from entering the camera through the viewfinder and affecting the meter reading. Might be the same for a Canon.
    I have a Canon, and you're right.

    Mike- what I have seen in some tutorials if they mention it, is some people cover the viewfinder with their hand, hat, black cloth, etc if they are not using the cap. Its one of those tiny, little details that most people forget to mention to do. Usually when your eye is on the viewfinder, it blocks enough light.

    One of my pet peeves when I am learning something related to the camera or post programs is when the presenter ASSUMES we know what he is talking about and does not mention some of those little things. I know when someone becomes so experienced and some little thing becomes second nature to them, they just don't think about it and easily forget to mention it.
    Last edited by Harpo; 12th April 2013 at 04:50 PM.

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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    I went from a P&S digital camera to a DSLR mainly because the shutter lag on the P&S was far longer than with the DSLR. I enjoyed the almost immediate response between pressing the shutter button and acquiring the image. Too long of a shutter lag caused me to miss many images of puppies and dogs that I was shooting. I simply got tired of getting images of puppy tails as the pups left the frame in the time between pressing the shutter and acauiring the image!

    I am not sure if you realize this but, the use of the eye-level viewfinder on a DSLR is far more efficient regarding shutter lag than when you shoot using live view and auto focus...

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/T2I/T2IA6.HTM

    You will note that the shutter lag when using autofocus and the eye-level viewfinder is between .208 and .252 seconds.

    However when using live view, the shutter lag is .991 seconds with "Quick Mode phase detect selected and a lengthy 1.720 seconds using Live mode contrast detect AF.

    That length of time is an eternity when you are shooting!

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    Now, I am sure that many people will come on and tell you that I am completely and utterly wrong, but ...............!

    I shoot using LiveView all the time. I never yet covered up the eyepiece. I've never been aware of a light intrusion problem. Is this another one of those, 'In the real world ........?'

    Discuss!

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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    Sorry Richard but you must have been using rather old P&S camera becuase the current lot* are almost as fast as a DSLR and if you think 'shutter delay' is causing you to miss shots ... surely puppies tail is a gross exageration ... there is always the technique of composing with one eye and timing the shot with the other around the side/top of the camera.
    Personally I am convinced that 'missing a shot' comes from my reaction time rather than any problem in camera design. That came after a session of trying to capture the spray of waves breaking over rocks which eventually I got 'right', apart from not knowing when the 'seventh' wave was coming. As in many aspects of photography it is the photographer not the gear which is the key.
    I guess that looking around the side of the camera is duplicating what you see thriough an optical finder, if it is not too dark, and the delay caused by lifting the mirror ... all sorts of confusing aspects to discus in this matter of split seconds. Then there is the 'half trigger' technique and as to if you are shooting at f/1.4 or f/5.6 Inherantly the P&S camera has it all over the DSLR as I read yesterday at dpreview where MFT was compared to Full Frame when it comes to required depth of field in low light levels.


    *I am classing my bridge camera, as in my avatar, now a seven year old design, as a P&S. Time flies
    edit ... and my Nikon5700 is an eleven year old design.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 12th April 2013 at 08:53 PM.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    "Sorry Richard but you must have been using rather old P&S camera becuase the current lot* are almost as fast as a DSLR and if you think 'shutter delay' is causing you to miss shots ... surely puppies tail is a gross exageration ... there is always the technique of composing with one eye and timing the shot with the other around the side/top of the camera."

    You are correct that it was an older P&S, in fact an Olympus 5050Z. But, missing puppies totally is not a gross exageration, even with the camera prefocused, the time between the final press of the shutter button was long enough for the pup to move enough that when the puppy filed the frame, it was no longer in the frame for the image acquisition.

    I cannot consider how that a shutter lag time of between .208-.252 seconds vs. a shutter lag of .991-1.72 seconds would not make a difference in image aquisition...

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    Harpo's Avatar
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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Now, I am sure that many people will come on and tell you that I am completely and utterly wrong, but ...............!

    I shoot using LiveView all the time. I never yet covered up the eyepiece. I've never been aware of a light intrusion problem. Is this another one of those, 'In the real world ........?'

    Discuss!
    I can see it being possible that the technically inclined folks bring that issue up, when in real life it does not make a visible difference. I usually use live view when doing landscapes on a tripod and more often than not, don't even think about covering the viewfinder. When I think of it, I usually would cover it with my hand. Don't know if it makes a difference except the "experts" say so!

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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    I own the 60D myself, and had owned a 1000D, and like you it said in one and not the other. As for using live view, i use it for mostly to set up the shot and check the sharpness(mainly on objects that dosnt move). If i intend to use off camera flash i will turn live view off as i found it wont fire, and the considerable diffrence in shutter time.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I shoot using LiveView all the time. I never yet covered up the eyepiece. I've never been aware of a light intrusion problem. Is this another one of those, 'In the real world ........?'
    Discuss!
    The eye piece cover has been supplied with cameras for many years and it has two main purposes:

    • to ensure no metering anomalies caused by bright light entering the eyepiece which is normally covered by the user’s head
    • to ensure no (strong) stray light enters via the eyepiece, during exposure and fouls the image – this is especially so, for a Long Exposure.


    The first mentioned purpose is the major reason for the eyepiece cover’s use.

    If the camera is in “Liveview” Mode, then the Mirror is UP.

    When the mirror is “Up” we expect the Pentaprism to be light-tight sealed and thus no light to stray from the viewfinder’s eyepiece into the camera’s lens chamber and thus to the sensor (or film). However, in “Real World Shooting” it is possible to have light leaks – as mentioned usually noticeable only on long exposures and possibly as the camera ages and/or (the mirror) is used with great frequency causing damage to the light seal.

    IF the user manual suggests the use of the Eye Piece cover for “Liveview mode”, then I expect that the suggestion is a “Belts and Braces” measure in the case that the Mirror mechanism not be firm or the mirror seal, not be tight.

    The other way of looking at the suggestion is - that it is “Best Practice Procedure”.

    Just as some Photographers, will, on occasions purposely set up with the lens hood backwards to ensure that the Focus Turret is not disturbed – perhaps not needed 9,999 times out of 10,000: but “Best Practice” nonetheless.

    WW

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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Now, I am sure that many people will come on and tell you that I am completely and utterly wrong, but ...............!

    I shoot using LiveView all the time. I never yet covered up the eyepiece. I've never been aware of a light intrusion problem. Is this another one of those, 'In the real world ........?'

    Discuss!
    Don,
    Real world user here - only with Nikon gear. I too shoot daily using LiveView, and the camera is on a copy stand while shooting macros. I usually have a light tent rigged-up around the subject to diffuse the light source coming in from slightly above and to the sides of the subject, while the camera 'viewfinder' is subjected to stray florecent lighting from the overhead lights. This stray light can and will cause exposure issues at times. While this was a very minor issue with my D300, it was slightly more of a problem with the D7000, and is a constant issue with the D800. (Probably why the D800 has a small toggle on the side of the viewfinder that closes it). That said - I have never had stray light make its way to the senor - yet:}

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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    If you take off the lens and put a blanking plate in it's place (so no light gets in) - set the camera for Av mode - you'll see a change in the metering depending on whether or not your eye is close to the camera -- that's the effect stray light is having.

    Normally it's not significant, but with long exposures - especially when there might be a street light behind you - then it's good insurance to blank it off. Some of my exposures are 20 to 40 minutes - and in that time I'll wander around or go sit in the car -- and you can bet I have the eye piece blanked off for those kinds of shots (luckily the 1D series have a built in shutter, so all I need to do is flick the lever).

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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    Don't some cameras have proximity devices which close it off as the eye moves away?

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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    Don't some cameras have proximity devices which close it off as the eye moves away?
    DSLR usually don't have this. I don't know of any DSLR that has it. However electronic viewfinder cameras mostly have that device, so that two panels will not draw current from the battery simultaneously.

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    John Morton's Avatar
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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    My very first 35mm camera - a Minolta XG7, which I purchased around 1977 - came with a little plastic eyepiece cap that slid over the viewfinder, and threaded onto the camera strap so as not to be misplaced. It was used during long exposures, to keep stray light from entering the camera through the viewfinder; or when the camera was set up on a tripod with the sun directly behind it, potentially shining in through the viewfinder.

  16. #16
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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    "Sorry Richard but you must have been using rather old P&S camera becuase the current lot* are almost as fast as a DSLR and if you think 'shutter delay' is causing you to miss shots ... surely puppies tail is a gross exageration ... there is always the technique of composing with one eye and timing the shot with the other around the side/top of the camera."

    You are correct that it was an older P&S, in fact an Olympus 5050Z. But, missing puppies totally is not a gross exageration, even with the camera prefocused, the time between the final press of the shutter button was long enough for the pup to move enough that when the puppy filed the frame, it was no longer in the frame for the image acquisition.

    I cannot consider how that a shutter lag time of between .208-.252 seconds vs. a shutter lag of .991-1.72 seconds would not make a difference in image aquisition...
    Shutter lag is the reason I gave the P&S to my wife (who never uses it), and went to a DSLR.

    My two grand-daughters were standing on the opposite side of a double bed from me - I quickly framed, focused and shot.

    The image has only one of the girls - the other had time to drop down quickly behind the bed. Much can happen in 1/2 of a second. With puppies that amount of time is significant.

    The P&S in question was a Canon A95 - reviewed in 2004 by DPR.

    Addressing the OP question - I've never used one, and never noticed any issues, but have never used exposure times as long as Colin mentions. In that case, I'd use something (even a piece of cloth is easier that attaching the little rubber thing).

    Glenn

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    mikejduk's Avatar
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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    Don't some cameras have proximity devices which close it off as the eye moves away?
    Yes, you're quite right as I recall with the Nikon D3000 I used to have. When using the eye viewer the live view goes blank.

  18. #18
    mikejduk's Avatar
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    Re: Using Live view when taking photos

    Hey guys, thanks to all of you for your helpful replies. I feel sure now the eye piece cover should be used when taking long exposures but for short ones I don't think it makes much difference to the finished image

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