LCD vs Viewfinder: Couple things to consider

Nikon P7000

LCD Benefits

First of all the LCD on most modern digital cameras and even cell phones is pretty big.  Compare that screen to the little eye piece on the Nikon P7000 above and at a first glance you might prefer using it over the viewfinder.

For the most part you can display more information on the LCD than in the viewfinders.  Here you can see I have the camera set for Aperture Priority due to the big “A” in the left-hand corner.  You can also see the ISO of 100, 1/1 and ƒ/4. In addition to these settings you can see the histogram, the flash is turned off, vibration reduction is on and also infrared remote is turned on.

Also you can see the JPEG setting is on FINE JPEG. Next to it the size of the image is set to the highest for this camera, which is 10 Meg.

As you can see in this photo of me using the LCD, I must keep the camera a good distance from my face.

LCD Disadvantages

Holding the camera still this far out is difficult.  I guess you now know why almost all point and shoot cameras now have vibration reduction. It is trying to compensate for the above average camera shake as compared to the viewfinder.

Now using the viewfinder the camera now is right next to my eye.

I can now use my two hands and my head as a tripod. I push the camera next to my head and this will help steady the camera and when you do that your pictures are sharper because you are not as prone to shaking the camera.

My Nikon D4 also has a LCD like the Nikon P7000, but you will rarely see photographers using it to shoot still images.

When you are outside it is very difficult to see the LCD in bright sunlight.  I would prefer the viewfinder.

Viewfinder Advantages

  • Can use your body as a tripod since you can now steady the camera on your head
  • Can see in any situation
  • On most DSLR cameras all the information on the LCD is in the viewfinder
Viewfinder Disadvantages
If you want to take a photo above at a birds-eye l you cannot see what you are doing and the LCD will help you still see what the camera is seeing.  This is also true for low worm’s eye perspective.
Neither the viewfinder or LCD works for every situation.  I would always want both on any camera I buy for now on.