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How important is the liveview feature on an entry level dslr


I currently own a basic canon point and shoot, and am upgrading to a dslr. I am on a budget, so I am looking at the entry level models, some of which have liveview like the canon xs etc., and some don?t like the Nikon d3000. I am trying to determine whether or not this feature should be a consideration in my purchasing decision, ie should I only look at cameras that have it, or pay more for a camera to get it. Most people I see using an slr seem to be using the viewfinder, and I?ve also heard that focusing can be slower with liveview, and it inhales battery life. I can see how liveview could come in handy in weird shooting angles, but I was wondering how often those of you who have liveview are actually using the feature, and if those of you who don?t have liveview are wishing you had bought a camera that did.

Thank you.

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Not important

Some people use live view for tripod and macro shots, but for regular use, the viewfinder is much better to use. Also, the ergonomics of a DSLR makes it look weird when someone is using liveview(just my opinion). There are times when I would like it, but that's for about less than 1% of the shots I take.

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Very important

In reply to: Not important


The guy hasn't touched a dSLR yet. He's been looking at an LCD his whole (photographic) life. To be left without one (all have an LCD - I mean for composing) is quite a transition.

Personally, since my camera has a usable EVF, I would not use Live View as the deciding factor, since I am somewhat used to viewfinders. But I would prefer it. As it is I'm saving up for the 7D.

To <u>icnmayhem</u>:

Go for a Rebel, or one that has Live View.

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Re: liveview feature

In reply to: How important is the liveview feature on an entry level dslr

>"some of which have liveview like the canon xs... I can see how liveview could come in handy in weird shooting angles"

Keep in mind that "live view" and a "vari-angle" LCD are two different things. As you noted, the Canon XS has the former, but it does not have the latter, which means that there will be essentially no difference when shooting "in weird shooting angles" with either the optical viewfinder or the Live View LCD on the XS. cf the LCD on the Sony Alpha 300-series that at least tilts, or the LCD on the Nikon D5000 or Oly E-620 that both tilts and swivels, either of which would indeed come in handy in weird shooting angles. As would the tilt-swivel LCDs on the Pany G1/GH1 or Canon G11, although these aren't DSLRs.

As for me, personally, yes, I use these features quite a bit. So much so that not having them is a dealbreaker for my relatively specialized requirements.

HTH - Mark

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Liveview can be helpful

In reply to: Re: liveview feature

I prefer the tradition eye viewfinder for composing most pictures, but there are quite a few times that the liveview is a better option. Here are some of my experiences and things to consider.

1. Shooting over the heads of people. At my kids sporting events or school activities where there are parents in front of me, it is very handy to raise my arm up high use the angle liveview and shoot the picture. If you have children or go to sporting events, then this might be a more common scenario than you realize.

2. Getting low angle shots without getting dirty or getting on the floor/ground. When taking pictures of children or pets, sometimes the best angle is down low at their level. I am shooting more low angle shots now that I have the liveview lcd that angles up where I can remain standing and just reach down low to take the picture. Before, I was reluctant to get down that low and often just took the bad overhead shot because it was easier. Now, I find myself taking the better angle because it is available to me.

3. Candid shots. I like taking candid pictures of my children. When they see me put the camera to my face, they sometimes stop what they are doing or start to act silly. I can use the liveview to compose and watch for just the right moment to take that candid shot, without raising the camera to alert my subject. If you like candid shots, then liveview might be something to consider.

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manual focus

In reply to: How important is the liveview feature on an entry level dslr

actually it is very useful when you are doing manual focusing, and you can zoom in the center view by 5x or 10x in the LCD, rather than check the focus inside that little viewfinder. So liveview is a must have feature for me.

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Live View is nice...

but 99% of the time I don't use it. Like the other posters said, there are times when it comes in quite handy.

For me, it's when shooting above my head, or close to the ground. Also, manual focusing since I use a bunch of manual focus lenses. The drawback on my camera, the 450D, is that it's useless when it's really bright, or really dark. In the bright sun, you just can't see the screen well enough, and when it's dark the screen is just black. The newer T1i however, has a much brighter LCD, so I believe some of these problems might be remedied, to a point.

When shopping for a camera if live view is important to you I'd say go for a camera that has a brighter LCD. The 450D has 230,000 dots LCD while the 500D has 920,000. I believe the 50D also comes with this brighter LCD.

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In reply to: Live View is nice...

I use live view on my 40D about 90% of the time when using a tripod for formal wedding pictures. I have it setup with the grid showing in the LCD and never have a tilted shot.
Other than the above I don't think I have ever used it for snap shots and normal pictures.
In my case it's a great feature, but I don't think it should be the deal breaker.

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