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Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Digital Cameras and Accessories : Digital Cameras

Photography Question 
Valerie A. Niblack
 

What is an Optical Viewfinder?


This might be a dumb question, but what is the difference between a viewfinder and an optical viewfinder if any? If a camera does not have an optical viewfinder does that mean it has no viewfinder, only the lcd screen.


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5/15/2005 4:58:27 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Valerie,
Only in the new world of digital would there be a question like this ;-)
An "optical" viewfinder is the type found on all film cameras ... it uses optical train (glass or plastic lenses) to a "viewing" lens on the front of the camera. In an SLR, the "viewing" lens is also the picture-"taking" lens. In rangefinder and TLRs, they're two different lenses.

Nearly all digital cameras have an LCD panel on the back. Most have an "optical" viewfinder in addition to the LCD panel. Some have what appears to be a viewfinder, but instead of a pure optical train to a "viewing" lens on the front (in an SLR it's the "taking" lens) it's a small LCD panel with a lens or two in front of it so your eye can focus properly on it (because it's an inch or less from your eye).


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5/15/2005 5:32:30 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Valerie,
Only in the new world of digital would there be a question like this ;-)

An "optical" viewfinder is the type found on all film cameras . . . it uses optical train (glass or plastic lenses) to a "viewing" lens on the front of the camera. In a SLR, the "viewing" lens is also the "taking" lens. In rangefinder and TLR's they're two different lenses.

Nearly all digital cameras have an LCD panel on the back. Most have an "optical" viewfinder in addition to the LCD panel. Some have what appears to be a viewfinder, but instead of a pure optical train to a "viewing" lens on the front (in an SLR it's the "taking" lens) it's a small LCD panel with a lens or two in front of it so your eye can focus properly on it (because it's an inch or less from your eye).

-- John Lind


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5/15/2005 5:32:59 PM

 
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