Best "Live View" cameras

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Robert Davis, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Robert Davis

    Robert Davis Guest

    I do alot of shooting in low and difficult light situations, and have
    come to value the "live view" capability of my Canon compact over my
    older Nikon D70 DSLR.

    In the interests of pursuing this method further, can anyone suggest
    what are the best DSLR and compact cameras for "live view" type
    shooting? IOW being able to see the changes of settings on the LCD
    image as they are made and prior to each shot.

    For example, I heard the Sony 330 is quicker in "live view" mode than
    other DSLR's. Otherwise I would not consider buying one. Are there any
    similar functional differences in other DSLR's and compact digitals.

    Robert Davis
    Robert Davis, Sep 30, 2009
    #1
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  2. Robert Davis

    Ofnuts Guest

    Robert Davis wrote:
    > I do alot of shooting in low and difficult light situations, and have
    > come to value the "live view" capability of my Canon compact over my
    > older Nikon D70 DSLR.
    >
    > In the interests of pursuing this method further, can anyone suggest
    > what are the best DSLR and compact cameras for "live view" type
    > shooting? IOW being able to see the changes of settings on the LCD
    > image as they are made and prior to each shot.
    >
    > For example, I heard the Sony 330 is quicker in "live view" mode than
    > other DSLR's. Otherwise I would not consider buying one. Are there any
    > similar functional differences in other DSLR's and compact digitals.
    >


    You want a Panasonic G1 or GH1, you do.
    --
    Bertrand
    Ofnuts, Sep 30, 2009
    #2
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  3. "Robert Davis" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I do alot of shooting in low and difficult light situations, and have
    > come to value the "live view" capability of my Canon compact over my
    > older Nikon D70 DSLR.

    []
    > Robert Davis


    As you already have Nikon lenses, you might want to stay with the Nikon
    range. I now have the D5000 which has live view and a swivel finder, and
    have found those to be useful adjuncts over my earlier D40 and D60
    (particularly the swivel). It also does video, which I have found useful
    as well.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Sep 30, 2009
    #3
  4. Robert Davis

    Further Info Guest

    On Wed, 30 Sep 2009 09:59:16 +0200, Ofnuts <>
    wrote:

    >Robert Davis wrote:
    >> I do alot of shooting in low and difficult light situations, and have
    >> come to value the "live view" capability of my Canon compact over my
    >> older Nikon D70 DSLR.
    >>
    >> In the interests of pursuing this method further, can anyone suggest
    >> what are the best DSLR and compact cameras for "live view" type
    >> shooting? IOW being able to see the changes of settings on the LCD
    >> image as they are made and prior to each shot.
    >>
    >> For example, I heard the Sony 330 is quicker in "live view" mode than
    >> other DSLR's. Otherwise I would not consider buying one. Are there any
    >> similar functional differences in other DSLR's and compact digitals.
    >>

    >
    >You want a Panasonic G1 or GH1, you do.


    Yes, it has a superior resolution, but in order to also get shutter-speed
    preview you have to go into a special mode on that camera. All others (P&S
    cameras) show shutter-speed preview, as well as DOF preview, on-the-fly
    while changing settings or on a half-shutter-press. No need to engage any
    special mode to interrupt what you are doing, no missed shots.

    Now if you happen to get a CHDK-capable camera, then you also have
    (numerically) displayed, things like:

    Hyperfocal distance
    Near and far focus distance for DOF
    Distance between near and far focus DOF
    Distance to subject in millimeters, to ~64 meters.
    Real aperture (as opposed to 1/3 EV steps)
    Real ISO (as opposed to full steps)
    True EV measure
    Brightness values
    Scene luminance (in cd/m^2, just like a true light meter)

    Among many other important bits information that you can display; such as a
    hours/minutes/seconds time-counter (24/12 formats); battery, sensor, and
    optics temperatures (in F. or C.), a bar graph of storage-space remaining,
    live RGB histograms in 6-flavors, under/over-exposure area alerts (blown
    out areas are highlighted in the colors of your choice, called Zebra-mode
    in CHDK), user designed alignment and cropping grids, etc.

    CHDK cameras provide the most information-rich and user-adaptable live-view
    displays of any cameras on earth. Any one, some, all, or none of these
    information bites available as user-selectable options to be displayed, at
    whatever position on the screen that you want, and in whatever opaque or
    transparent colors that you need them displayed in. All completely user
    configurable from the CHDK menu options. After you have configured what
    information you want, in what colors and screen positions you want, then
    you can even turn them all on and off with a quick button-press, as needed.

    http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page


    If you have any questions about CHDK be sure to direct your questions to
    the SMS troll. He claims to have authored that whole Wiki for CHDK. Then
    after you ask him your questions don't be surprised when he doesn't answer
    you. Many people have asked him important CHDK questions and he
    conveniently pretends he never saw them, even when asked again afterward.
    We've already proved that he's never had one thing to do with helping on
    the CHDK project. Though he loudly and relentlessly claims otherwise. It's
    all quite amusing how far his delusions take him to try to get his
    desperate-for-attention needs met. The sad part is that he's trying to take
    credit away from all the wonderful people that actually did create CHDK and
    provide all the documentation for it all these years. Things like the
    disgusting SMS troll truly don't deserve to be alive.
    Further Info, Sep 30, 2009
    #4
  5. Robert Davis

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, Robert Davis
    <> wrote:

    > I do alot of shooting in low and difficult light situations, and have
    > come to value the "live view" capability of my Canon compact over my
    > older Nikon D70 DSLR.


    for low and difficult lighting, you don't really need live view, but
    rather a camera that can do well in those conditions, such as a nikon
    d700 or d300. however, live view is certainly useful in many situations
    and most dslrs have it.

    > In the interests of pursuing this method further, can anyone suggest
    > what are the best DSLR and compact cameras for "live view" type
    > shooting? IOW being able to see the changes of settings on the LCD
    > image as they are made and prior to each shot.


    canon does a better job with live view than nikon because of the
    rolling first curtain. the mirror is up for live view and drops only
    after the exposure is taken. nikon currently drops the mirror back
    down, then does the normal mirror up/down cycle for an exposure.

    however, if you already have nikon lenses, that difference (which isn't
    that big of a deal in practice) may not be enough to switch platforms.

    > For example, I heard the Sony 330 is quicker in "live view" mode than
    > other DSLR's. Otherwise I would not consider buying one. Are there any
    > similar functional differences in other DSLR's and compact digitals.


    sony does not have 'live view' in that you aren't looking at the actual
    sensor taking the image, you are looking at a secondary sensor. the
    advantage of that is you can still use the phase detect autofocus
    sensors because the mirror is still down, but the disadvantage of
    course, is that you are using an entirely different sensor.
    nospam, Sep 30, 2009
    #5
  6. Robert Davis <> wrote:
    > I do alot of shooting in low and difficult light situations, and have
    > come to value the "live view" capability of my Canon compact over my
    > older Nikon D70 DSLR.


    > In the interests of pursuing this method further, can anyone suggest
    > what are the best DSLR and compact cameras for "live view" type
    > shooting? IOW being able to see the changes of settings on the LCD
    > image as they are made and prior to each shot.


    > For example, I heard the Sony 330 is quicker in "live view" mode than
    > other DSLR's. Otherwise I would not consider buying one. Are there any
    > similar functional differences in other DSLR's and compact digitals.


    The Sony 300, 330, 350, and 380 have fast phase detection AF in live
    view, so are faster focussing than any other DSLRs in live view
    mode. They also have tiltable LCD screens. The 850 and 900 have a live
    view preshot preview mode which allows you to check the effect of
    changes in exposure, white balance etc. in high detail, histograms
    etc., before taking the shot. The 550 has two different live view
    modes, one with fast phase based AF, the other with high magnification
    for manual focussing.

    I hope I've got all the features and model numbers right in the above
    :)

    As to which is best, that depends on how you want to use it, your
    preferences, and other details I've omitted.

    --
    Chris Malcolm
    Chris Malcolm, Sep 30, 2009
    #6
  7. Robert Davis

    Paul Furman Guest

    Best live view-camera?

    I'd say Horseman, or Cambo <g>.
    Paul Furman, Oct 1, 2009
    #7
  8. "Neil Harrington" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    []
    > I'm interested to see you say that. I have a D40 and D60 also, and very
    > often prefer them over my larger Nikons (D70s, D80 and D200) because
    > while they don't have all the features of their big brothers I just love
    > the small size and light weight. So I've been thinking about a D5000. I
    > don't know if I'd ever use the video (I very rarely do on my Coolpixes)
    > and I'm a bit dubious about Live View in and of itself, but that
    > articulated LCD monitor is very appealing.


    Neil,

    I'm quite sensitive to camera weight and bulk - I'm not one of those
    muscular chaps who regularly hauls a 50-pound kit bag on a 10-mile hike -
    so I really want the smallest camera which provides the results and
    flexibility I want. Shooting at ISO 3200 with the D5000 indoors (at a
    poorly lit conference in a historic building) with the 16-85mm and
    70-300mm limited aperture zooms was still providing me with a reasonable
    shutter speed, and provided some excellent results.

    The video is handy to capture something of the atmosphere of an event,
    allow a quick 360 degree panorama, or capture something with inherent
    movement (water moving over objects, for example), but video is something
    which I don't use it a lot. The drawback with the live view and angle
    finder, of course, is that the ultra-fast auto-focus is replaced by the
    somewhat slower contrast-detect auto-focus, so you need to work with that
    in mind. But being of a somewhat shorter build, the ability to pop the
    camera above one's head does come in handy!

    Perhaps you can get a demo at your local photo store? It was that which
    convinced me.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Oct 1, 2009
    #8
  9. Robert Davis

    Paul Furman Guest

    Neil Harrington wrote:
    > "Paul Furman" <> wrote in message
    > news:ha16ip$vv$-september.org...
    >> Best live view-camera?
    >>
    >> I'd say Horseman, or Cambo <g>.

    >
    > Dang, a digital back must be expensive for one of those. :)


    $35,000 for the whole rig:
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/expensive-ps.shtml

    Actually they both make setups for 35mm SLRs with bellows, tilt & shift.
    The wide angle lens for that is gonna be crazy expensive.

    --
    Paul Furman
    www.edgehill.net
    www.baynatives.com

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Oct 2, 2009
    #9
  10. Robert Davis

    Troll Killer Guest

    On Fri, 2 Oct 2009 13:42:15 +1000, "Pete D" <> wrote:

    >
    >
    >Great feature set but sadly you would then have to put up with crap result
    >from a tiny weeny sensor that just can't walk the walk.... no matter how
    >much bullshit gets spread.
    >


    You mean like this P&S camera from the same line that is supported by CHDK
    that rivals the quality of images from a medium-format Hasselblad H2?
    Something that no DSLR can even do.

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml

    Like that?

    Go get a life and learn how to use ANY camera properly, you useless **** of
    a pretend-photographer DSLR TROLL.
    Troll Killer, Oct 2, 2009
    #10
  11. Robert Davis

    Eric Stevens Guest

    On Thu, 01 Oct 2009 23:38:01 -0500, Troll Killer <>
    wrote:

    >On Fri, 2 Oct 2009 13:42:15 +1000, "Pete D" <> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>
    >>Great feature set but sadly you would then have to put up with crap result
    >>from a tiny weeny sensor that just can't walk the walk.... no matter how
    >>much bullshit gets spread.
    >>

    >
    >You mean like this P&S camera from the same line that is supported by CHDK
    >that rivals the quality of images from a medium-format Hasselblad H2?
    >Something that no DSLR can even do.
    >
    >http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml
    >
    >Like that?
    >
    >Go get a life and learn how to use ANY camera properly, you useless **** of
    >a pretend-photographer DSLR TROLL.


    Although the processing of the various images all use ProPhoto as a
    color space, am I right in thinking that in saving them as JPG the
    color space is reduced to sRGB?



    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Oct 2, 2009
    #11
  12. "Neil Harrington" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    []
    > Alas, we no longer have a local photo store in my small city. Had quite
    > a nice one right on Main Street, but it folded. They did their own film
    > processing and printing and I'm afraid that may have been too big a part
    > of their business. There was a small photo store one town over but I
    > haven't been to it in years.
    >
    > Invariably I buy my cameras etc. online anyway, after researching them
    > also online and in Pop Photo magazine reviews. I have rarely been
    > disappointed. Now that I think about it, it must be at least 40 years
    > since I last bought a camera in a "brick and mortar" camera store or
    > department. Before the WWW came along I bought them by phone order from
    > magazine ads, usually after reading reviews in the same.


    Neil, I must admit that, for me, handling is a rather important aspect of
    a camera, and I would miss the chance to handle one somewhere. Although I
    am unlikely to swap system, I would like to see how well the
    high-resolution screen of the Panasonic G1 works - reading the reviews is
    not quite enough. Being in a capital city, I hope we will keep at least
    some brick-and-mortar stores.

    I should clarify that with the 360-degree video panorama I mentioned, I
    don't process it into stills, but would simply display it as a short
    movie. For normal panoramas I use a commercial version of Auto-Stitch
    (AutoPano Pro):

    http://www.autopano.net/en/

    which is not cheap but has (for me) been well worth the money. I
    sometimes even throw a couple of identical images at the program so that I
    can use its perspective correction feature, when it would be less obvious
    how to correct just using Paint Shop Pro 10.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Oct 2, 2009
    #12
  13. "Neil Harrington" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    []
    > Well, that is an advantage I'm sure. Panorama Maker doesn't have any
    > sort of perspective control (that I'm aware of) so the camera has to be
    > kept reasonably level.


    Converging verticals might be the best description, Neil. AutoPano Pro
    allows you to draw lines on such an image which you want to be vertical -
    so you draw on edges of buildings, drainpipes etc. It won't work on a
    single image (as it doesn't think there can be a panorama in a single
    image), so I just point it two files: image.jpg and copy-of-image.jpg.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Oct 3, 2009
    #13
  14. "Neil Harrington" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > "David J Taylor" <> wrote in message
    > news:OvDxm.101147$...

    []
    >> Converging verticals might be the best description, Neil. AutoPano Pro
    >> allows you to draw lines on such an image which you want to be
    >> vertical - so you draw on edges of buildings, drainpipes etc. It won't
    >> work on a single image (as it doesn't think there can be a panorama in
    >> a single image), so I just point it two files: image.jpg and
    >> copy-of-image.jpg.

    >
    > That's interesting. I just looked on the AutoPano Pro site, and it does
    > look like a great program. However, it's $139 U.S., which frankly
    > exceeds my interest in panoramas. I enjoy them a lot, but don't really
    > do that many of them. Those that I do, I keep the camera level which of
    > course prevents the converging verticals. Panorama Maker can handle very
    > small deviations from level all right.


    I recall downloading a free trial version of AutoPano Pro before I bought
    the program, but whether it had the "set these edges vertical" feature I
    can't recall. It should have - the demo version renders images with a
    watermark, can't save projects, and can't export fully to Panotools.
    Apart from that, it should all be there.

    Whilst the verticals feature can be used in panoramas, I actually find it
    very handy for correcting the single image of a building from a wide-angle
    lens - tilted upwards. I do sometimes make vertical panos in such
    situations as well.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Oct 3, 2009
    #14
  15. "Neil Harrington" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    []
    > That's interesting. I've never considered doing a vertical panorama. But
    > I can't really visualize how this would work. If for example you're
    > photographing a tall building, and at a distance close enough that you
    > have to do it in two or three sections moving progressively upward, I
    > should think it would be very difficult if not impossible to keep the
    > verticals parallel (with any sort of software) and still keep adequate
    > resolution at the top of the building. Am I missing something, or
    > misunderstanding something?


    Quite correct - the resolution at the top (when straightened) will be less
    than that at the base, but it may still be adequate (I tend to be talking
    churches rather than skyscrapers).

    You can even take a pano as a matrix of, say, nine pixtures - three
    vertical by three horizontal - three rows of three side-by-side. You
    might do this with a less wide-angle lens to get more resolution at the
    top. AutoPano Pro seems to sort those out quite nicely....

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Oct 4, 2009
    #15
  16. Robert Davis

    Paul Furman Guest

    Neil Harrington wrote:
    > "David J Taylor"
    > <-this-part.nor-this.co.uk.invalid> wrote in
    > message news:0oLxm.101324$...
    >> "Neil Harrington" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>> "David J Taylor" <> wrote in message
    >>> news:OvDxm.101147$...

    >> []
    >>>> Converging verticals might be the best description, Neil. AutoPano Pro
    >>>> allows you to draw lines on such an image which you want to be
    >>>> vertical - so you draw on edges of buildings, drainpipes etc. It won't
    >>>> work on a single image (as it doesn't think there can be a panorama in a
    >>>> single image), so I just point it two files: image.jpg and
    >>>> copy-of-image.jpg.
    >>> That's interesting. I just looked on the AutoPano Pro site, and it does
    >>> look like a great program. However, it's $139 U.S., which frankly exceeds
    >>> my interest in panoramas. I enjoy them a lot, but don't really do that
    >>> many of them. Those that I do, I keep the camera level which of course
    >>> prevents the converging verticals. Panorama Maker can handle very small
    >>> deviations from level all right.

    >> I recall downloading a free trial version of AutoPano Pro before I bought
    >> the program, but whether it had the "set these edges vertical" feature I
    >> can't recall. It should have - the demo version renders images with a
    >> watermark, can't save projects, and can't export fully to Panotools. Apart
    >> from that, it should all be there.
    >>
    >> Whilst the verticals feature can be used in panoramas, I actually find it
    >> very handy for correcting the single image of a building from a wide-angle
    >> lens - tilted upwards. I do sometimes make vertical panos in such
    >> situations as well.

    >
    > That's interesting. I've never considered doing a vertical panorama. But I
    > can't really visualize how this would work. If for example you're
    > photographing a tall building, and at a distance close enough that you have
    > to do it in two or three sections moving progressively upward, I should
    > think it would be very difficult if not impossible to keep the verticals
    > parallel (with any sort of software) and still keep adequate resolution at
    > the top of the building. Am I missing something, or misunderstanding
    > something?


    You could try zooming in as you pan up the skyscraper but that's still
    pushing it. Better to go to the middle floor of an adjacent skyscraper.
    Also see the recent thread about the National Geographic Largest Trees
    panorama for a very difficult method.

    --
    Paul Furman
    www.edgehill.net
    www.baynatives.com

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Oct 4, 2009
    #16
  17. Robert Davis

    John Turco Guest

    Further Info wrote:

    <heavily edited for brevity>

    > CHDK cameras provide the most information-rich and user-adaptable live-view
    > displays of any cameras on earth. Any one, some, all, or none of these
    > information bites available as user-selectable options to be displayed, at
    > whatever position on the screen that you want, and in whatever opaque or
    > transparent colors that you need them displayed in. All completely user
    > configurable from the CHDK menu options. After you have configured what
    > information you want, in what colors and screen positions you want, then
    > you can even turn them all on and off with a quick button-press, as needed.


    <edited>

    Could CHDK be copied to a digicam's internal memory, for convenience? Or,
    would that be somehow dangerous (e.g., risking corruption of the camera's
    own firmware)?

    --
    Cordially,
    John Turco <>

    Paintings Pain and Pun <http://laughatthepain.blogspot.com>
    John Turco, Oct 31, 2009
    #17
  18. Robert Davis

    John Turco Guest

    John Navas wrote:
    >
    > On Sat, 31 Oct 2009 00:31:04 -0500, John Turco <>
    > wrote in <>:


    <edited for brevity>

    > >Could CHDK be copied to a digicam's internal memory, for convenience? Or,
    > >would that be somehow dangerous (e.g., risking corruption of the camera's
    > >own firmware)?

    >
    > CHDK is stored on and loaded (manual or auto) from a memory card.
    > It is cleared from the camera by a power cycle.
    > <http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK_in_Brief>



    Yes, I was already aware of that fact; I'm merely wondering whether
    any harm could be done, by the approach I'd mentioned, above?

    (Just curious, even though I've never owned a Canon camera of any
    type.)

    --
    Cordially,
    John Turco <>

    Paintings Pain and Pun <http://laughatthepain.blogspot.com>
    John Turco, Nov 23, 2009
    #18
  19. sony does not have 'live view' in that you aren't looking at the
    actual
    sensor taking the image, you are looking at a secondary sensor. the
    advantage of that is you can still use the phase detect autofocus
    sensors because the mirror is still down, but the disadvantage of
    course, is that you are using an entirely different sensor.
    Teraposa Lunodas, Nov 24, 2009
    #19
  20. Teraposa Lunodas <> wrote:

    > sony does not have 'live view' in that you aren't looking at the
    > actual
    > sensor taking the image, you are looking at a secondary sensor. the
    > advantage of that is you can still use the phase detect autofocus
    > sensors because the mirror is still down, but the disadvantage of
    > course, is that you are using an entirely different sensor.


    Except for those models where you can switch between the sensors of
    course.

    --
    Chris Malcolm
    Chris Malcolm, Nov 26, 2009
    #20
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