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Want a new digital camera with viewfinder, advice please


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Posted on 26 Nov 2011 11:35:15 GMT
Last edited by the author on 26 Nov 2011 11:35:32 GMT
G. E. Hearn says:
Well done Una!

I have the excellent little Canon IXUS95IS (I wrote the top review for it) and although it's only a little sub-100 compact I'm always impressed by the results it gives.
In fact, as I said in the review, I sometimes prefer the results from this to those from my Nikon D90 DSLR, especially for web posting where the original image doesn't need to be re-sized so harshly and so retains most of its quality.

Canon Digital IXUS 95 IS Digital Camera - Silver (10 MP, 3.0x Optical Zoom) 2.5 inch LCD

If your Canon takes AA batteries then I can heartily recommend Sanyo's excellent "Eneloop" models. I told Dr Austin about these when he was having battery life issues and he rates them very highly too. I use them in my Nikon flashgun and my film cameras. My Nikon F100 for instance takes 6 of them, so disposables are out!

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Nov 2011 11:54:06 GMT
Hi Graham and Una
I have the very similar Canon A1100 and echo your thoughts about the handy optical viewfinder.
As Graham said the eneloops are great. My camera kept telling me I was out of charge with ordinary rechargeables but the Eneloops saved the day.
You may avoid this problem by using Alkaline batteries? but I prefer rechargeables.

Posted on 28 Nov 2011 13:21:18 GMT
I have a Canon G9 - great camera with viewfinder, a Sony DSC-W120 which is tiny and manages to include a viewfinder too. If Sony can manage it on a camera that small, why can't other manufacturers do it on larger models? Clearly it's not a technical problem, but a marketing one.
Holding a camera out in front of you is hardly discreet and doesn't help against camera shake. Nothing looks so daft! Using a v/f is much less noticeable and braces the camera better against your head.
My next camera will be something like the Fuji X10 or its interchangeable lens successor - as long as it has a viewfinder.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2011 13:32:12 GMT
Hi David,
I agree. However, some years ago, when all digital cameras cameras still had optical viewfinders, I went to a family weekend party and virtually all of the fellow guests were using the screen and not the viewfinder even though the screens in those days were much smaller than they are today. Can anyone explain? I do know my mother was always cutting off heads and feet when she used a film camera - she just seem to look through it on the skew. This wouldn't have occurred using a screen. Could that be a clue?. Also, the optical viewfinder of the Canon G11, which I owned briefly, was so so inaccurate, giving a claimed 77% only. Ergo, there is a good reason to use the screen even when a viewfinder is fitted. Why can't a great company like Canon make a decent viewfinder for a 400 camera?

Posted on 28 Nov 2011 15:00:16 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Nov 2011 15:06:07 GMT
Dr Austin: I agree and don't understand why they and others like Nikon don't make a decent viewfinder. My wife checks the size of the picture with the screen and then takes the shot using the viewfinder with her Canon S70.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2011 15:03:53 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Nov 2011 15:06:45 GMT
David Roxburgh: You hit the nail on the head when you said "Holding a camera out in front of you is hardly discreet and doesn't help against camera shake. Nothing looks so daft! Using a v/f is much less noticeable and braces the camera better against your head".

Posted on 28 Nov 2011 16:59:01 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Nov 2011 17:00:39 GMT
X says:
David R/James F: As far as rational photography goes you are exactly correct. My Olympus XZ-1 and the EVF that sits in its hot shoe form a satisfying unit. Panasonic have also "seen the light" with their LX5. My Samsung EX1 gets away with having no VF accessory by having a great multi-position screen, but it's probably on its way out nevertheless for the reasons you gave. However, on my irrational side, surely there are few screen-only digital compacts as indiscreet as my Bronica ETRSi with its metered prism viewfinder, and finding an eye-level VF for my Agfa Synchro would take rather a long time. It would have the advantage of stunning my cynical friends to silence for a few rolls, I suppose... What about one of those streamlined plastic Kodak 127 film Brownies? I think the eye-level VF in those covered barely more than half the frame, (?).

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2011 18:06:39 GMT
Hi Ed,
Have you had any results from your bonkers box?

Posted on 28 Nov 2011 21:17:44 GMT
G. E. Hearn says:
Dr G:

Was your Mum using one of those little 110 pocket compacts? I think they were responsible for more unintentionally cropped pictures than just about anything in the history of photography!

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2011 21:35:40 GMT
Hi Graham,
I don't think she ever had a 110 - but something with an equally rubbish viewfinder.
I think an SLR would have helped because you are looking at an image on a screen, as opposed to a viewfinder where you have to have your eye somewhere near the middle.
I have never understood the problem.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2011 12:03:44 GMT
Una Campbell says:
RE James Fleming's post (check size with screen)
Thats a good idea, I am trying to use the new compact Canon A1200 bought on recommendation here and struggling with distance etc but as reviews say need to persist, will try combi-screen then viewfinder, Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2011 14:01:00 GMT
Hi Una,
If your A1200 is basically like my A1100 or the G11 I had briefly, then the viewfinder view is smaller than the actual coverage. Also you need to consider paralax when up close. My thought is that these cameras are no worse than cameras without an optical viewfinder and are the best available - unless you go the reflex route.
Unlike Henri Cartier Bresson I crop most of my pics though.

Posted on 29 Nov 2011 14:11:10 GMT
X says:
Hi Doc! I've run a film through the Agfa Box, because it is relatively easy for me to take out when I am not on "photography" only duty, and because it is totally un-threatening for people who may believe they could be in shot. The Bronica is the opposite: it's a lot for me to deal with and has no "stealth" capacity at all. I want to send the first roll from each camera together, (skinflintness: it saves on postage...).

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2011 16:16:12 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Nov 2011 21:17:59 GMT
Hi Ed,
Glad you like it - but there's irony in mentioning a camera with those horrid little mirror nasties on a thread devoted to viewfinders.
I develop my films in two's too. That way I can use a quarter of a pack of D76 and chuck it after.

Posted on 29 Nov 2011 17:57:08 GMT
X says:
Hi, Doc! It would be so good if Amazon would set up the autonomous Film Photography Forum I have asked for, three times and counting. When I see other forums with a scattering of posts across two or three threads lying dormant for years... It would probably help if we all had a dig at Amazon Customer Services. Such a forum would allow us to keep thoughts on different formats separate, sub-divided by brand, model of camera, accessories, maintenance, processing and others certainly forgotten. Maybe the "squeaky wheel gets grease" theory needs application on this one.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2011 16:55:48 GMT
Hi X
Good idea
Jim

Posted on 16 May 2012 20:03:07 BDT
I am only a holiday time photographer but I really enjoy taking photos and have won the odd comp at our local WI (so they cannot be all bad). I would dearly love to see the viewfinder come back on cameras as these screens are really difficult to see in bright sunshine and the picture sometimes completely disappears. COME BACK VIEWFINDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2012 15:24:58 BDT
Yes I agree
There are compacts on the market with viewfinders. Fujix10 is one
Nikon P7100 is another. Canon G1 X (expensive) but other G series cheaper

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2012 15:41:23 BDT
Hi Peter,
You are right - but only up to a point. The Canon G11/12 and the Nikon P7000 have viewfinders but they are grossly inaccurate so they see a very restricted angle of view. You have a 24mm lens but the optical viewfinder sees the view through a 28mm lens. That's rubbish. In fact useless.
The Fuji X10 has a better optical viewfinder. It isn't perfect though. However, there is the question of the white orbs (supposed to be fixed now) and the limitations that some of the low light features are unavailable in manual modes. The Fuji X100 is very expensive and has a prime lens (no bad thing but most people are used to zooms on compacts nowadays). The Canon G1 is also dear and I haven't seen a review yet.

Posted on 17 May 2012 22:12:29 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 May 2012 18:39:47 BDT
X says:
The G1 X is not down to me... o boy, it has received very mixed reviews. Do not pay the price of a new Canon G series. Paying that solely for such a paltry viewfinder would be a mistake. People buying into the whole G package get a fairer deal.

I would apply the following strategy: Buy a used Canon G-series from a top second hand seller like Ffordes or from a Canon specialist trusted by someone you trust. Enjoy. After a few years of pleasure you will find that electronic viewfinders as good as the one on the Olympus OM-D will be available on affordable compacts, at which point you move smoothly over to such a compact. The only problem with the OM-D EVF really is that it is a component on an expensive camera. As the French say, (but in French...): It is urgent to wait.

Here's what I mean:

http://www.ffordes.com/product/11090808510581

As new, great little lens, "they don't make them like that any more" build, easily enough pixels for holiday photography, no drowning in thousands of superfluous, for your needs, gadgets, and only 129. It's easy to "spend another person's money", but sincerely, if I was in the same hunt as you there would be no point in looking further.

Posted on 18 May 2012 19:07:41 BDT
X says:
Here's one I find strange: Good to high quality CompactFlash cards are not significantly more expensive than their SD equivalents. Why? Surely economy of scale must make SDHCs miles less expensive at the factory gate... Unless the manufacturers are being naughty, but the little cherubs wouldn't do that, would they?

Posted on 19 May 2012 19:32:57 BDT
You know reading this series of posts has prompted me to blow off the dust on my Nikon E8700 from way back. 97% viewfinder and 97% tiltable lcd screen. Both match accurately and though only 8 megapixels the quality is there to make enlargements. Ok it's a little grainy/noisy at 400 iso, but what the heck with its all metal body, excellent build quality close up ability, small size body but great zoom lens, and all the other advantages it offers, I've gone back to using it and posting the results on Flickr. Perhaps a bit embarrassing against all the newer cameras, but some of us including myself are using film!!

Posted on 19 May 2012 19:49:01 BDT
X says:
Ia: Welcome!

In reply to an earlier post on 19 May 2012 20:32:39 BDT
Thank you X for your welcome. Good to hear that high quality CF cards are available at a good price. With the exception of my Canon PS A1200 all my digital cameras use cf cards.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 May 2012 20:33:27 BDT
Thank you X for your welcome. Good to hear that high quality CF cards are available at a good price. With the exception of my Canon PS A1200 all my digital cameras use cf cards.
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