Viewing LCD in bright light

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Arozz, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. Arozz

    Arozz Guest

    Previous threads and postings have bemoaned the problems of viewing an
    LCD in bright light which is particularly a problem when there is no
    viewfinder on the camera. Our current camera lacks a viewfinder. Does
    anyone know of any work-arounds? I have tried putting a dark cloth
    over my head and the camera. It looks like oldtime photography and
    gets strange stares but it works but it is a nuisance. For instance,
    does anyone market a viewfinder which could be attached to the top of
    the camera?
    Arozz, Dec 21, 2007
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  2. Arozz

    Ron Hunter Guest

    No, but there are some detachable 'hoods' that shade the display enough
    to make it usable.
    Ron Hunter, Dec 22, 2007
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  3. It is too late for you now, but never buy a camera without an optical
    viewfinder, which is becoming more and more difficult these days. It is mere
    expensive to produce camera with mechanically driven optical viewfinder than
    without it.

    Jan Nademlejnsky, Dec 22, 2007
  4. An optical finder is impractical for cameras which have a wide zoom range
    (e.g. the 10:1 and higher we see today), and is not accurate for macro
    work. No wonder EVF and LCD have taken over. For me, having an optical
    finder would excessively restrict my choice of compact camera.

    David J Taylor, Dec 22, 2007
  5. Arozz

    Ron Hunter Guest

    It does, indeed, but some of us just won't buy a camera without one....
    My wife, on the other hand, refused to use the optical viewfinder.
    Takes all types. BTW, guess who gets blurry pictures...
    Ron Hunter, Dec 22, 2007
  6. Ron Hunter wrote:
    You do!


    I'm used to TTL viewfinders now, and prefer even a lower resolution EVF to
    an optical finder (which I find have too small an image). Yes, a 230K or
    even 900K pixel EVF is better, and the view through a decent DSLR is great
    (although I've found some DSLRs rather dark).

    David J Taylor, Dec 22, 2007
  7. Ron Hunter wrote:
    I should also have added - my wife has just been away for a week's trip,
    and took my / our / now her? Panasonic TZ3, with just the LCD finder.
    She's normally used to an EVF (Panasonic FZ20) but spoke very highly of
    the TZ3 during the week. It will be interesting to see what the images
    are like when viewed on our normal 1600 x 1200 displays, and to hear how
    the LCD alone compared to the EVF/LCD combination of the FZ20 in
    operation. The TZ3 does have some features to enhance visibility in
    bright light, but in Central Sweden at this time of year the sun isn't
    that bright, but it /is/ quite low on the horizon which could cause other
    problems! From what she said, we may have to get a second TZ3 to have one

    David J Taylor, Dec 22, 2007
  8. Arozz

    Alfred Molon Guest

    You'll find out that in practice that LCD viewfinder is usable in bright
    daylight. Colours might not be well visible if the sun directly shines
    on the viewfinder, but you should be able to correctly frame.
    Alfred Molon, Dec 22, 2007
  9. Arozz

    Arozz Guest

    Thanks for the suggestion - I will pursue this. BTW I find that even
    with the brighter setting on the TZ1 it is very difficult to frame a
    picture on the beach on a sunny day. Perhaps I would be better to
    restrict my picture taking to central Sweden at this time of year
    (just kidding).
    Arozz, Dec 22, 2007
  10. Arozz

    Steve B Guest

    See if you can find one of those pyramid shape slide viewers that are used
    by holding up to the light. Placed over the LCD of any digital camera, held
    on by an elastic band, you'll get perfect vision in bright light.
    Steve B, Dec 22, 2007
  11. Arozz

    ray Guest

    B.S. - I currently own a Kodak P850 with Electronic ViewFinder and find it
    quite suitable for bright days. Was out shooting yesterday while
    showshoeing in bright sunlight. What you need is a viewfinder - but it
    need not be an optical one.
    ray, Dec 22, 2007
  12. Arozz

    Paul Allen Guest

    An optical viewfinder is surely more expensive, especially if the
    taking lens is a zoom. But why would you prefer such an impractical
    contraption over an EVF that shows exactly the same field of view the
    sensor sees with no mechanical complexities?

    It seems that what is needed is a *viewfinder*, of whatever type, that
    permits you to brace elbows against chest and camera against forehead.

    To the original poster, there are cameras that sense ambient light and
    adjust the LCD brightness. My FZ30 does that and is fairly useful in
    sunlight. But, I don't use the LCD for framing unless the camera is
    on a tripod.

    Paul Allen
    Paul Allen, Dec 22, 2007
  13. Now THAT has just got to be one of the most elegant and effective answers to
    a frequent problem that I have seen for a long time. I rooted around in some
    old drawers until I unearthed my old "up-to-the-eye" slide viewer, popped it
    onto my little Fuji 340 with a couple of bits of tape, and whammo! Perfect
    solution to something that has irritated me for years. Why on earth can't I
    be brilliant like that? Anyway, thanks for the suggestion - that idea ought
    to be on every photography notice board.
    Peter in New Zealand, Dec 23, 2007
  14. Arozz


    Polarized glasses/sunglasses.

    I bought my Canon sd800is cause of the optical VF, I have yet to use
    it after nearly a year.
    Most of its use is outdoors too, many times out fishing. I nearly always
    set-up the catch shot with the sun behind me. The polarization of my
    glasses takes the sun glare on the screen away. In my case, if I could I
    would trade the ovf for a larger screen.

    QUAKEnSHAKE, Dec 23, 2007
  15. Arozz

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Wrong. I don't get the blurry pictures. She does, because there is no
    IS on the camera, and holding it at arms length doesn't provide a stable
    platform for taking a picture, except in bright sunlight. Then there is
    the fact that she 'stabs' the shutter button like spearing an olive,
    rather than squeezing it.
    Ron Hunter, Dec 23, 2007
  16. Arozz

    Ron Hunter Guest

    I have never seen an EVF I thought was acceptable. Doesn't mean there
    aren't any out there, just that I don't even LOOK at a camera unless it
    has an optical viewfinder. To me, that is a minimum requirement.
    Ron Hunter, Dec 23, 2007
  17. Arozz

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Neither mine, or my wife's camera will display a usable image on the LCD
    if the sun shines directly on it. But then we are in Texas, and the sun
    is quite vicious in these latitudes.
    Ron Hunter, Dec 23, 2007
  18. Ron Hunter wrote:
    Well, at least you and I will not be competing to buy the same camera!

    I would certainly accept that to someone used to an optical finder,
    particularly that in and SLR, an EVF can come as a bit of a shock, but
    considered purely as a "framing aid" rather than a "viewfinder", to me the
    majority are acceptable. The Minolta A2, with its VGA resolution EVF, was
    much more than acceptable.

    David J Taylor, Dec 23, 2007
  19. Ron Hunter wrote:
    Well, I guess that would be the answer, but as you say, technique also
    matters and jabbing is not good.

    Like you, I find that you get a firmer base when the camera is pressed to
    the head, but if you think about the arm's length position, the majority
    of the jitter should be in the up-and-down position of the camera, rather
    than its pointing direction, so at least for distant shots that position
    may not be quite as bad as is made out.

    But different folk will have physical make-up and therefore different

    David J Taylor, Dec 23, 2007
  20. Arozz

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Here I have to contradict you. With the camera at arms length I get
    sharp images down to 1/13s - 1/20s, depending on the size of the camera
    (1/13s with a lightweight Olympus 5050, 1/20s with a heavier Sony R1).

    This is because on the one hand the arms work as a shock absorber and on
    the other hand it is easier to "freeze" a light object in mid-air than a
    heavier object, for which your muscles have to apply more force. Also,
    don't forget that P&S cameras don't have a swinging mirror which causes
    Alfred Molon, Dec 23, 2007
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