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Thread: Your view of LCD Live View?

  1. #1
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    Your view of LCD Live View?

    I must admit I was skeptical. Having only used point and shoot digitals alongside my EOS1V film camera, I was not that taken with the screen, and positively hated it on a Leica Digilux II I bought my partner as a present a few years ago. In fact it was this camera that put me off switching to DSLR at the time.

    However, I tried some portrait shooting on the 40D yesterday, with tripod and manual focussing to get really crisp focus. I somewhat skeptically used live view for the first time in a proper shooting situation and I was extremely impressed with how useful it is. The magnification function permits 5x and 10x magnification, so one can be very precise indeed - much more so than through the viewfinder.

    It will autofocus in live view as well - though it is a bit tortuous to get there.

    I wonder if the DSLR manufacturers will soon come up with live view that works seamlessly with autofocus as it does on P&S cameras? I realise that there are light path issues to deal with.

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    Re: Your view of LCD Live View?

    For me, one of the biggest hesitations when I initially moved to a digital SLR camera (from a Canon PowerShot) was that I would no longer see the image "live" on the rear LCD screen. This was such a great feature for learning photography on a compact digital camera because it did not just show me the camera's angle of view or depth of field (as with a regular viewfinder), but also showed me the scene as the camera would capture it. Sometimes it can be quite difficult to assess the influence of contrast and dynamic range because our eyes are always auto-adjusting-- even through a viewfinder. I think Live View is great for this, and only wish it came sooner. It's also very useful when doing macro photography or using tilt/shift lenses to reposition depth of field. As you have noticed, any time you need to precisely focus it can make things so much easier.

    My personal hesitation with Live View is that it might make me become lazy about pre-visualizing how my camera will render a scene. You cannot always aim your camera at the subject before you want to take the photo (such as in some action shots), or walk around pointing your camera at all combinations of potential compositions. Another drawback is that Live View uses substantially more power and thus shortens the camera's battery life. One can always choose not to turn Live View on though, so certainly I do not see this as a reason not to have it. Live View can also heat up the LCD substantially, which will increase noise, but I have yet to see any detailed analysis of this.

    Now they just need a tilt/swivel rear LCD like with the old Canon PowerShot G-series cameras...

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    Re: Your view of LCD Live View?

    Quote Originally Posted by McQ View Post
    Live View can also heat up the LCD substantially, which will increase noise, but I have yet to see any detailed analysis of this.
    No. Canon state that it heats up the internals which is generally read that it's the CCD. That would make sense as in non live view the sensor is only going through one read operation per shot. In live view it must be close to 15 to 30 reads per second. After working on CCD's in another application I can tell you reading uses by far the most power, so heat....

    ...As for is it useful? Well I use it a fair bit. I shoot with very small Dof's at F1.0 quite a lot, and letting the AF pick the exact point to focus on can be a bit hit and miss. Using live view and zooming in to 10x, you can get things spot on.

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    Re: Your view of LCD Live View?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatPhilBrettGuy
    No. Canon state that it heats up the internals which is generally read that it's the CCD. That would make sense as in non live view the sensor is only going through one read operation per shot. In live view it must be close to 15 to 30 reads per second. After working on CCD's in another application I can tell you reading uses by far the most power, so heat....
    Welcome to the forums! This is true, but the other reason the sensor can heat up is because it is being exposed so many times in rapid succession. For many situations this is negligible, but for others it could potentially be a factor. For example, if you were to use mirror lock-up (MLU) on a sunny day with a lens that has an f/1.4 maximum aperture, Canon has said that one should be careful because this can really heat up the sensor. A rapid succession of exposures each second could have a similar effect, although not as pronounced. When also taking into account heating of adjacent electronics, as you had mentioned, these factors all contribute to a higher than normal temperature within the camera. However, whether or not this is actually visible in the image is debatable.

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    Re: Your view of LCD Live View?

    Quote Originally Posted by McQ View Post
    This is true, but the other reason the sensor can heat up is because it is being exposed so many times in rapid succession. For many situations this is negligible, but for others it could potentially be a factor. For example, if you were to use mirror lock-up (MLU) on a sunny day with a lens that has an f/1.4 maximum aperture, Canon has said that one should be careful because this can really heat up the sensor. A rapid succession of exposures each second could have a similar effect, although not as pronounced. When also taking into account heating of adjacent electronics, as you had mentioned, these factors all contribute to a higher than normal temperature within the camera. However, whether or not this is actually visible in the image is debatable.
    I'd imagine that it's not the sensor they're concerned about, more the shutter. Sunny day with the shutter open for a long time on a low F lens just isn't going to happen, unless you like completely white frames The shutter's going to get a hammering though....

    Cheers for the welcome. Looks like somewhere nice a quiet to hang out.

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    Re: Your view of LCD Live View?

    I've been wanting to prove live view 'safety' for myself (when it comes to image noise). As it is, I might turn it on for a second or two in rare circumstances, but I never feel right when I do. Perhaps a dulcet voice to announce "your image is degrading, Live View will terminate in 1.7 seconds..."

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    Re: Your view of LCD Live View?

    Check out this new post on how to reliably measure digital camera noise in photoshop.

    Since you are measuring noise *for the same camera*, then the concern brought up in that thread does not apply and that method would work just fine. You could then do a comparison with and without Live View to assess the impact of that feature. I suspect you will have to explore very specific situations in order to notice a difference, if any.

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