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by evan-pak

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I have a D3200. It offers a great feature: simulated preview of the three shutter parameters in Live-View (shutter speed, ISO, aperture). That means, when I change any of these parameters, Live-View reflects it. And, believe it or not, it matches the then taken picture perfectly.

After reading some online discussions, I got to know, that newer and more expensive Nikon DSLRs do not offer this feature. This includes cameras such as D5100, D7100 and even D600. But not somewhat older, such as D800.

  • Is it a new trend? Is it now to expect, that all future DSLRs from Nikon will not include this feature anymore?

  • Is there a comparison chart of Nikon DSLRs, which mentions this feature? I didn't find any.

Thank you.

(Please, don't answer by just stating, that Live View preview is for amateurs and professionals don't need it.)

share|improve this question

closed as primarily opinion-based by mattdm, Paul Cezanne, AJ Henderson, MikeW, Itai Aug 1 '13 at 23:19

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Your Please don't answer by just stating..." is close to the most likely reason. It isn't that Pros don't need it, it is that they don't list it as a desirable feature when Nikon surveys them for what they want the next Pro body to be able to do. – Michael Clark Jul 29 '13 at 22:28
What is the problem that you are trying to solve? Are you asking us to predict the future or know what future plans the Nikon company has for products? Are you looking for insider information? – dpollitt Jul 29 '13 at 23:12

All such answers MUST be guesses - but they can be informed ones. Best is an informed probability based answer. This ATTEMPTS to be one.

"Live view" has the option of showing the result of received light levels in the displayed image, or of maintaining a level that keeps the display at closer to constant brightness.

All of shutter speed, ISO and aperture affect how the image will appear wrt light level. There is no fundamental change in sensor technology or display technology that would REMOVE the ABILITY to show an image similar in exposure to the actual version - if there was it would impose the same (fatal) restriction on the actual image.

Nikon are not idiots. They may play a little with parameters but this feature is useful to many people, it costs about zilch to implement and will be possible in future. You can guess that long term it will be available on their new offerings.

Related: Sony make the sensors for the top-end Nikon SLRs of late. Sony DSLTs (aka DSLRs) do not have "Live View". They just have "View". EVF and LCD track. They offer "setting mode". When it is on the view tracks the light changes. When it is off they probably don't - but mine is always on as it is vastly useful. Sony appear to be following Nikon but it is (I suggest) illusory. The sensor makers establish the leading edge of what the camera can do technically. Sony are committed to pellicle mirrors and "View". I'b be surprised if Nikon wandered too too far away from what Sony innovates. To not offer "setting mode" when you can is to miss out on increasingly useful sensor or processing capabilities.

End of opinion :-).

share|improve this answer
Thank you for your answer. That's a good point! (Sony makes sensors for Nikon's professional DSLRs, while the simpler ones are made by some other company). That could really be the reason. By the way, I recently tried the D800 at a store. Pressing the OK button during live view switches the "exposure preview" feature on and off. Works as expected. I am considering to buy a D800 now :) – ManualPhoto_graphy Aug 1 '13 at 20:41

From the manual for the D7100

Metering in live view is adjusted to suit the live view display, producing photographs with exposure close to what is seen in the monitor. In P , S , A , M , and % modes, exposure can be adjusted by ±5 EV ( 0 86). Note that the effects of values over +3 EV or under –3 EV can not be previewed in the monitor

So it appears that it isn't that they stopped including the feature, but rather that they simply stopped providing a way to turn off the feature.

Update: Apparently the manual appears to be misleading in this case from information on the web, though I wonder if perhaps they intended this to take the place of it and just implemented it more poorly than the previous system.

share|improve this answer
Thank you for your answer. But I know for sure, that the D7100 does not provide the feature "exposure preview". At a professional store, the salesperson ensured that, and I tried it myself. What the manual means is: you can perform exposure compensation by adjusting the parameter "exposure compensation", which has nothing to do with realistically reflecting shutter-speed/ISO/aperture, as the live view of a D3200 or D800 does. – ManualPhoto_graphy Aug 1 '13 at 20:35
Sales people are known to be wrong... a lot... that's why they are sales people and not photographers. They also tend to want to sell you more expensive things. I'm not sure how else you can read "producing photographs with exposure close to what is seen in the monitor." This is a direct quote from the manual. If you apply a strong EC, then it stops doing the preview (which is why beyond +/- 3EV no longer will be similar). – AJ Henderson Aug 1 '13 at 20:38
@user21217 - hmm, an additional detail I found doing some more research. Apparently there are two live view modes on the D7100. The video mode and the liveview stills mode. In the video mode, it won't make adjustments, but in the photo mode it does. I don't have it personally to confirm, but that's what my reading around the web seemed to indicate. – AJ Henderson Aug 1 '13 at 20:43
It seems that the reference to "exposure compensation" in the manual is misleading. I had to search several forums to be confirmed, that it's not "exposure preview" of the D800. And I can empirically assure, that it's not the same thing as my D3200 does in live view either. – ManualPhoto_graphy Aug 1 '13 at 20:45
Indeed, for D7100 and D600 the movie live view does display the expected "realistic" view. But!!! When you take a picture shot in movie live view, the shot is taken using ISO/aperture/shutter-speed as entered before in the picture live view! So, no real practical use here. Have tried it myself. – ManualPhoto_graphy Aug 1 '13 at 20:47

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