The big debate about Live View

…because reading about the newly announced Sony Alpha 700 has taken up my time.

SLR cameras traditionally need you to look through the optical viewfinder to compose. This is different from digital cameras, which let you see what you are shooting on the LCD screen. This feature is known as Live View.

However, as of late, major camera brands have introduced Live View on their digital SLRs.

What’s good about Live View?
– You could hold your dSLR way up high and shoot a crowd while aiming accurately …or go way below and shoot from the floor. (I do this when handed a digital camera and am asked to help take pictures at gigs.)
– You get 100% frame coverage. Some dSLR viewfinders show less, often 95%. After you shoot you’d find the picture has more stuff on the sides.
– You can zoom in on the image for more accurate manual focusing.
– You can shoot macro, much much easier.

What’s bad about Live View?
– Leaving the sensor on for extended periods of time will make the sensor hot (due to current running through it, and light coming in) and thus more noise will show.
– Opening the shutter to go into Live View, and then shooting, probably needs the shutter to return. Thus, every time you activate Live View, you take one shutter cycle away from your camera’s life. Some cameras are rated at 100

7 thoughts on “The big debate about Live View

  1. Canon Freak Post author

    haha…it’s always cooler to look through the optical viewfinder…people don’t know who you’re stalking! you don’t get that kind of privacy on a huge 3inch LCD in a crowded place 😉

  2. Nicholas.C Post author

    And then of course, there is the fact that an LCD is a very high drain device and having it on all the time will just eat batteries.

  3. Albert Ng Post author

    Canon Freak: Yeah, come to think of it…

    Nicholas C: There’s also the point that people might shoot suns with Live View. I am not sure to what extent the sensor will be damaged. I hope it does, bwahahaha. 😀

  4. Izuan Post author

    If I remember correctly, in the cameralabs video review of the E-510, it was mentioned that you can only activate the framing mode (aka continous) of IS for like 5 seconds, then it disables.

    Yea I second that, live view is really really helpful for macro. I shoot macro with an FZ-50, and being able to go up real close by just reaching out is easier than having to peek through a dim viewfinder upclose to a bug.

  5. Albert Ng Post author

    Eh? I did not know that. Quite a bummer about the E-510 then, if people suddenly feel that they cannot hold still after holding their camera after 5 seconds.

    Then again, I baffled the salesman with the random pause after pressing the shutter because it flipped the mirror down to focus.


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