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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Lori M. Jaramillo
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/19/2005
 

Focusing Through the LCD Screen


I just bought a Nikon D70 and I browsed through my manual, but I find nothing in there about focusing or shooting pictures using the LCD monitor, instead of looking through the viewfinder. Can you not do this with the D70? I did it with my Fuji Finepix is why I'm wondering. Thanks! Lori

6/24/2005 5:54:21 PM

 
Deb Brown
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/20/2003
  Hi Lori:
You can't do it with the D70. You can only view the image after you've taken it. With my old Coolpixes, I could take the picture while looking through the monitor, and it was hard for me to do without when I purchased the D70. I must tell you, though, now that I am used to it, using a camera where I can look through the monitor seems weird. I think Nikon wanted to make this a true SLR.

6/24/2005 6:14:33 PM

 
Michael H. Cothran

member since: 10/21/2004
  To my knowledge, there are no SLRs or DSLRs that permit focusing on the LCD panel. It would simply be anti-productive, expensive to design in an SLR prism system, not to mention an excessive drain on your battery system.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net

6/24/2005 8:27:27 PM

 
Daniel Diaz
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/20/2005
  Lori, why would you want to do that? It is much more efficient using the viewfinder. You'll get used to it!!!

6/25/2005 5:14:30 AM

 
Jukka Viitala

member since: 6/22/2005
  There is a quite recently announced product to enable live lcd viewing.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0506/05060701zigview_lcd.asp

6/28/2005 6:07:28 AM

 
Richard Higgins

member since: 12/18/2004
  The point-and-shoot cameras that you are probably used to have CCDs that are continually on, thus you can see and focus from the LCD in the back of the camera. Even with the sudo-SLR cameras, like the Nikon 5700 or 8800, are only displaying what is on the LCD in the viewfinder. True DSLRs, like the Nikon D70, only activate their CCDs when the shutter is pressed and the reflective mirror is raised to expose the CCD. This is why you cannot see or focus on an image before shooting using the LCD.

6/28/2005 8:32:11 AM

 
Gerda Grice
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Gerda
Gerda's Gallery
gerdaspics.com

member since: 10/1/2001
  Lori, I'm with you. I'm now using my first DSLR--the Canon Digital Rebel XT--after going through a series of all-in-one digital cameras (many of these are not really just point and shoot, so I prefer the term all-in-one), and I, too, am having a very hard time adapting to using the viewfinder for composing. Yes, I know that what I'm seeing through the viewfinder is supposed to be TTL, but when I chimp and look at the images I've just shot, I very often find that I've captured a whole lot more negative space than I thought I was seeing in the viewfinder! I've found, too, that when I leave my glasses on when I use the viewfinder, they get so smeary and dirty that I can barely still see through them, yet taking them on and off for every shot is a darned nuisance! AND I find that I can't keep the camera nearly as stable when I'm holding the eyepiece to my eye as I could when I was holding the camera away from my face and a bit above waist level, although I know that the reverse is usually said to be the case. The product that Jukka mentions sounds like a real godsend to people like us who really miss the flexibility and precision of composing in a live monitor. I just wish the device were a bit less expensive. Ah, well. No doubt it soon will be. In the meantime, I'll keep trying to get used to my new camera!

6/28/2005 10:02:58 AM

 
Lori M. Jaramillo
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/19/2005
  Thank you for all your quick replies :) I've accepted now that I have to go back to a viewfinder, like my N/80, and I've been using my D70 for about week now and I'm already used to it! Thanks everyone!

6/28/2005 2:56:07 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Gerda, have you considered that maybe it isn't the camera's fault that you have much more negative space in your photos than you thought? Don't get me wrong, I'm not making any assumptions, but I do know that often when I get my prints back I realize that I just didn't take the time to take a quick look around the edges of the viewfinder to make sure I had the shot composed properly. Then again it really could be your camera.

Kyle

6/28/2005 7:49:34 PM

 
Gerda Grice
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Gerda
Gerda's Gallery
gerdaspics.com

member since: 10/1/2001
  Hi, Kyle, I don't really think that it's the camera that's at fault. But while I do check as carefully as I can to make sure that I have my shots compsoed as I want them, I still often find a lot of negative space (or a considerably less tight crop) than I was seeing in the viewfinder. The problem is much worse when I leave my glasses (invisible line bifocals) on than when I don't, but even when I leave them off and depend on the camera's diopter, I have trouble. I suspect that it's got something to do with my holding the camera either too close or too far or at the wrong angle to my eye. It bugs me, because I didn't have this kind of problem when I used the monitors of my previous cameras to compose my shots in. I guess I'll get used to using the viewfinder eventually. Lori did it in a week. I guess I'm just slow!

6/28/2005 8:11:50 PM

 
Deb Brown
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/20/2003
  Gerda, you've got some very fine images in your galery. I don't think I would worry too much about getting use to the viewfinder. Just keep repeating whatever it is that you are doing!!!

6/28/2005 8:15:01 PM

 
cameron 

member since: 2/18/2005
  hi all,
michael, fyi, the latest version of the canon 20D (20Da??) has been designed to allow use of the lcd for night shots, by making use of a semi-reflective reflex mirror. the idea behing this was astrography, or star photography.
lori,
the d70 is a digital slr, no question, and it is the nature of the beast, that you cannot use the lcd for framing (excluding the aformentioned model). but I assure you, you will not be dissapointed with your camera..... I spent every bit of my savings on one just over a year ago, shortly after they came out, and 15,000 frames later, i'm still very happy. it's fantasticly durable, fits your hand like a camera should (ulike the rebel xt, or the pentax *ist ds), and has not let me down in my travels acroos the country and all over.
play with it, it will grow on you.
i'll step off my soap box now :D cheers
cam

6/28/2005 9:31:43 PM

 
Ron  Hiner

member since: 6/27/2005
  Lori - I have a D70, and if I had a choice between using LCD or viewfinder, I'd pick viewfinder every single time. Here's why: I can hold the camera much steadier when it is against my face and my elbows tucked against my chest. Using a LCD to frame your shots puts the camera out on the end of wobbley arms -- and almost demands that you use flash to get a sharp picture. I don't care much for flash (but you might disagree if you took inventory of my vast SB-800 collection) -- I much prefer natural light photoghrapy. You just can't do good sharp photos at arms length at normal shutter speeds. (Maybe someone will invent a sensor that will work at 1/2000 of a second with a slow zoom lens in candlelight and produce no noise!)

6/29/2005 6:54:52 PM

 
Tamara Lynn
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/27/2005
  Lori
something I used to love with point and shoot was that you could look through the view finder snap the shot and for a split second view it through the viewfinder. Viewing the LCD screeen in the middle of the day can really throw you off
Sara

6/30/2005 9:32:08 AM

 

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