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A viewfinder is what the photographer looks through to compose, and in many cases to focus, the picture. Most viewfinders are separate, and suffer parallax, while the single-lens reflex camera lets the viewfinder use the main optical system.

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47
votes
4answers
3k views

Why aren't all viewfinders 100%?

We often see that a manufacturer's high-end (D)SLR models offer a "100% viewfinder," which shows the entire exposed frame, and allows precise composition with regard to objects near the edge of the ...
34
votes
2answers
15k views

What is the difference between a pentaprism and a pentamirror?

Higher-end SLR cameras include a pentaprism to transmit the image from the lens to the viewfinder, whereas lower-end SLR cameras use a pentamirror to accomplish the same task. What are the ...
32
votes
7answers
6k views

How can I get sharp manual focus despite poor eyesight?

I suffer from astigmatism. It's only mild, though I feel it's affecting what I'm seeing when looking through the viewfinder. Frequently, after shooting a photo with my Canon EOS 7D, I'll load it into ...
24
votes
1answer
1k views

Why can't I see bokeh in the viewfinder?

I took this shot a few months ago, and something has been bugging me ever since. I was a bit surprised when I saw the image and saw the conspicuous "bokeh orbs". The thing is, I hadn't noticed ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

Disadvantages of split-prism focusing screens?

I'm considering getting a microprism focusing screen for my Nikon d3000 (specifically, the KatzEye). Hopefully this will help tremendously with manual focusing, but I suspect there must be some ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I calibrate the diopter correction on my DSLR's viewfinder?

The viewfinder on my camera has diopter correction, but is there a "correct" way to set it up? In the past I've just allowed the camera to auto-focus on a distant point, and then make sure that is as ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I clean the inside of my viewfinder?

My viewfinder (not LCD) has spots of dust on it. What is the best way to clean the inside? I have cleaned the outside with a QTip.
15
votes
7answers
2k views

My viewfinder is too small — what can I do about it?

I own a 450D, and I am very satisfied with the image quality, features, and so on. The only thing that disturbs me is the viewfinder. I can barely see the whole image when looking through it (black ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the difference between a rangefinder and SLR?

I've seen rangefinder cameras around and idly wondered what the difference was between them and SLR cameras. Are there any advantages rangefinders offer that cannot be reproduced using an SLR?
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How are the red focus point indicators displayed on a dSLR's focusing screen?

The question Why do the focus points leds appear shadowed? raises another question for me. How are these indicator lights implemented in typical dSLRs? Are they actually small LEDs etched into the ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

How important is the viewfinder coverage percentage? (Figures like 95%; 100% for Canon 7D?)

I would like to know if the 100% viewfinder number mentioned in many cases to praise the Canon 7D and other similarly-priced SLRs is a really meaningful figure. How does it actually affect the ...
14
votes
1answer
670 views

Should I use the rubber viewfinder cover?

A rubber viewfinder cover is connected to my camera strap. What's it for, and when do I use it? What happens to a photo if I don't use it?
13
votes
1answer
739 views

What does the pentaprism/pentamirror do?

In an SLR, the light bouncing off the mirror goes through a pentamirror or pentaprism before being reflected to the viewfinder. However, it seems to me that it would be possible to project an image to ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the small +- wheel next to my view port for?

I had a scare last night when everything in my view port looked blurry on my brand new Canon 60D, even the digital display a red focus boxes. The images photos came out clear, the live view was ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is sharpness lost in my DSLR viewfinder?

I have a fairly new Nikon D7000 (I've taken about 2000 pictures). Something happened during my last trip, where thew viewfinder never gets sharp anymore. It always looks out of focus, regardless if ...
12
votes
1answer
913 views

Disadvantages of electronic viewfinders?

What are the disadvantages of electronic viewfinders? such as the ones used in Sony SLT cameras? What is the reason that major camera manufacturers are still using the classic viewfinders while using ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is my Nikon D90 viewfinder shaking?

My Nikon D90 started having an issue where the image in the viewfinder shakes, or taps whenever I turn it on or focus. Has anyone ever seen this issue? I'm assuming that it's the mirror. I turned ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “viewfinder magnification” mean?

Viewfinders (both optical and electronic) typically come with two stats: magnification and coverage. The latter measuring how much of the actual exposed area (film or sensor) one sees. But what is ...
8
votes
5answers
394 views

Why does viewfinder spec state 3 times more dots than there are pixels?

My DMC-G2 has a viewfinder spec of 1,440,000 dots, but I read a review that says it is really 480,000 pixels: The electronic viewfinder has an extremely high resolution of 1,440,000 dots (480,000 ...
8
votes
2answers
281 views

Why dont I see a difference in the brightness through my viewfinder when I change the aperture?

If I change the aperture for a particular photo, why don't I see a change in the brightness of the image in the viewfinder?
8
votes
3answers
635 views

How can my eye focus on the viewfinder image?

I noticed that when looking at small items in close distance, minimum focusing distance for eye seems to be about 15cm (6") - closer than that, vision promptly gets blurrier instead of seeing more ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the technical differences between using a DSLR viewfinder and live view?

The earlier question What are the advantages of using the optical viewfinder over live preview to take photos on a DSLR? asks for practical advantages of optical viewfinders. But what's the technical ...
8
votes
1answer
219 views

What will I miss with non-100% viewfinders?

In the answer to this question, it says: Anything less than 100% means that there are elements that will be captured in the scene that you cannot see at the time you look through the viewfinder. ...
7
votes
2answers
551 views

Why there is more shutter lag when using live-preview as compared to viewfinder?

I like to use live preview mostly but when I use the viewfinder, the shutter clicks considerably faster. I think is has something to do with the SLR technology, not just settings. Why slow performance ...
7
votes
4answers
558 views

Is there an interchangeable-lens compact with an optical viewfinder?

Is there such a thing as an interchangeable lens compact (aka EVIL, MILC, SLD, micro) with an optical viewfinder? I'm tempted by having a high quality camera I can stick in my pocket (with a pancake ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How should I clean my focusing screen?

While on holidays I managed to get hair and dust onto the focusing screen of my 550D. How should I clean this off. I have already tried a normal lens cloth, but that only made it worse.
7
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I find a point-and-shoot camera with an optical viewfinder?

These days it seems that all point-and-shoot cameras do not have optical viewfinders. Do any exist in the lower end of the price range? With so many cameras on the market, how can I identify the ones ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it normal to have tiny black dust spots in the viewfinder of a DSLR?

After shooting for about a month with my new D7100 I discovered some dust in the viewfinder / focusing screen or the prism area. The dust is not visible in the images and it does not have any effect ...
7
votes
2answers
313 views

How to learn to shoot with the “other” eye?

I have always used the left eye to look at the viewfinder of my dslr. I am right-handed, and wear glasses (even when using the camera, I am rather stronly myopic and relatively mildy astigmatic). I am ...
7
votes
1answer
481 views

Are there any alternate eyepieces for people with glasses?

Any recommendations for an alternate DK20 eyepiece for a Nikon D3200 or D5100 that gives a better visual for wearers of glasses? Amazon has many but the reviews are all over the place. My glasses keep ...
6
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I better see my LCD to check a picture in bright sunlight?

Maybe a stupid question for some, but here we go. I just recently return from sea side holidays. One of the problems that I had was checking photos "on spot" when most of the time it was sunny, with ...
6
votes
4answers
884 views

Should the depth of field in the viewfinder be the same as the final images with the aperture set to wide open?

When I take pictures of flowers, I often try to get the classic soft background around the in focus flower. I have a canon t3i, and a lens that goes to f/2.8. I set that to wide open, take my ...
6
votes
4answers
471 views

How does one track action with a fast telephoto prime lens?

With my normal-range prime lenses, I tend to shoot with both eyes open — what I see in the viewfinder has a high correspondence to what I see with my other eye. With my 70mm (105mm in 35mm-equivalent ...
6
votes
3answers
483 views

Must I allow for crop factor in the viewfinder when shooting with a Nikon DX format camera?

Will a Nikon D5100 (dx format) viewfinder show me what the captured image will be, or do I need to allow for "crop" factor? Will that depend on/alter with using a DX lens or an FX lens? I don't have ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Why isn't the focus indicator light showing when focused on my Canon 5D Mark III?

I've been working with two different Canon EOS 5D mark III cameras, and had the same problem with both. When auto-focusing I have two kind of indicators when the image is focused on a certain point. ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there advantages to using a viewfinder for focusing instead of using a camera's rear LCD screen?

Are there any particular advantages to using the viewfinder for focusing instead of the LCD?
5
votes
4answers
290 views

Why the need for SLR in digital cameras?

Excuse my ignorance but as far as I know, SLR was invented in order to get the photographer to see (through the viewfinder) exactly what image will fall on to the film. In digital cameras the image ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

What's that sign with a dot and a number in the view-finder?

I have a Canon 550D and when I look through my view-finder to take photographs, it displays all the current settings inside the view-finder itself like aperture value, shutter speed, ISO etc. ...
5
votes
1answer
269 views

Is it possible to get an eye infection using a camera's viewfinder?

Is there any chance of eye infection from using a viewfinder? If so how can we get rid of that? How can we clean a viewfinder?
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Why are objects far away inverted through a lens but not through the viewfinder?

When I look through a lens the image of objects far away are inverted but when looking the the viewfinder on my camera they are not. Why is this? I am having a hard time understanding why objects far ...
5
votes
2answers
133 views

Should I buy an electronic viewfinder?

... as opposed to using the LCD? This is with reference to a NEX-5R. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Does the EVF help me hold the camera steadier? Does it help me compose better ...
5
votes
4answers
442 views

How can I solve the problem of viewfinder lag when shooting video with a DSLR?

I use my DSLR camera to shoot videos of moving subjects (such as a car), and sometimes I pan the camera to track the subjects as they move. The problem I have is that to track the subject, I have to ...
5
votes
2answers
579 views

How To Measure Viewfinder Magnification?

What is the easiest way to measure the magnification of a viewfinder? Must be able to do it for both electronic (EVF) and optical viewfinders. Also, I only have access to one focal-length.
4
votes
3answers
481 views

Does a viewfinder cover really make a difference?

Does a viewfinder cover really make a difference? I've heard opinions from people that they are essential for scenarios such as shooting long exposure pictures. I'm just wondering if it is only a ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the pros and cons of an articulated display?

In my opinion an articulated display (one that rotates to allow viewing at different angles) is a big advantage for a modern camera. But I see that most professional and/or more expensive cameras do ...
4
votes
4answers
347 views

ViewFinder(LCD) brightness

The photos I take on my Nikon P100 look very good on the viewfinder, but when I transfer them to my PC, they look really bad/dull in terms on colour and contrast. Am I supposed to do some ...
4
votes
3answers
105 views

How does an electronic viewfinder work?

I am interested in how an electronic viewfinder works. In contrast with the optical (instant) viewfinder, which work due to the light reflected from the mirror to the prism, how does an electronic ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

What limits the magnification of the viewfinder?

I know there are similar questions to this one already asked here, but I think none of them really answers this question. There are a lot of advantages of having a large viewfinder and the general ...
4
votes
4answers
320 views

How to record the viewfinder while shooting?

I'd like to make an instructional video clip of how I shoot weddings. I want to be able to record what I see in the viewfinder while shooting, so that I can use that footage in the instructional ...
4
votes
2answers
260 views

What's the proper name for the eye viewfinder?

I can use the screen as a viewfinder or the smaller, eye viewfinder on most cameras. Is there a proper name for the eye viewfinder?