General discussion

Looking for a camera that has a viewfinder

I have read posts here about the viewfinder cameras..I had a kodak cx model...had a 5x megapix and 3x zoom AND a viewfinder as well as lcd. lots of modes, but it broke while on a trip...i had it for about 5-6yrs came with printer dock that charged it, that i hated. it used AA batteries too which i liked, but had to put on dock to transfer pics....anyways, kodak reps said if i keep my easyshare software but buy a different brand camera, transferring and working with pics might not work right, so best to get another kodak...Not sure if i want another kodak though, although i have seen some that had viewfinders and decent mgpixels and a high zoom....ive looked online ebay amazon etc and none have like to keep price UNDER 200. i use the camera for holidays and trips , little things, not an everyday taker so dont want to spend a lot....But id like to have higher zoom then 3x that i had...dont need anymore then 8 megapixs....and like i read, I have to put on glasses to see up close.. so trying to take pics with just an LCD screen wont work unless i put the close up glasses on....but viewfinder, i can see and even when zooming in its good, but i did have to put them on when i zoomed in digitally with the LCD. Anyways, anyone have any suggestions of where to look for cameras under 200 that have viewfinders too??? I know the SLR have them but i like the way the camera closed its lens up and it fit in my hand and pocket. doesnt have to be thin or subcompact, my kodak wasnt.. thanks for any feedback

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Just about no choice

As far as I know, there is only one compact camera under $200 with a viewfinder: the Canon SD1200 IS.

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seems that way

this does have a viewfinder, BUT only 3x like a lot higher. I had a 3x and it didnt get as close as id like...

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Kodak Z981

A few places online sell it for about $200. Obviously, it won't fit in a (shirt or pants) pocket, and it does not have a built-in lens cap. There are also similar super zoom cameras from Fuljifilm and Olympus that can be had for around $200; again, the same form factor, so not pocketable.

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ill ck things out.

the link for that kodak camera, isnt really what im looking for. no viewfinder and not enough zoom...ill ck out others...

if i have to pay a bit more and the camera is worth it, well we shall see.. if its a little bigger then what mine was but its what im looking for, thats ok too.


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(NT) Check out the Nikon P500
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Fuji may fill your need.

I recently bought a Fuji FinePix S1800 from for approximately $165. It is a DSLR form factor but does not use an SLR replaceable lens. This camera is not for the professional photographer, but does not sell for a professional price either. It is, however a full featured mid-range camera with a 12 megapixel lens and is quite intuitive to operate and has a well written instruction manual. (This, however, is not a compact camera that you can slip in your shirt pocket) This camera, unlike many Fuji cameras, uses the more popular SDHC card. It does offer a switchable viewfinder or 3" LCD display.

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I'll Second that

I've had a Fuji S340 for many years, long in the tooth now and limited specification by today's standards but the characteristics have been carried forward into the current S series. Specification for the S1500:

The characteristics, to which I refer, are good resolution, wide zoom range, excellent low light capability and an electronic viewfinder, essentially a small digital image of what the sensor is "seeing" presented through a conventional, to the eye, viewfinder. Or you can switch to use the rear LCD screen, as needs dictate.

As John says, though, "compact" is a relative term! These cameras are certainly not for the shirt pocket but equally, they aren't heavy. Worth a look.

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I noted above, that i prefer optical over electronic viewfinder, other then that it is a nice camera you showed me. doesnt have to be compact to fit in my pocket. i can wear it around my neck for that matter

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thanks for the info

John, i was actually looking at the s1800 on amazon too...looks to be everything im looking for. doesnt matter if it cant go in my pocket...i can put it around my neck too...I prefer the optical viewfinder as opposed to the electronic viewfinder....the human eye is amazing and i liked being able to see what it is im taking pictures of with my own eyes...

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I just reread the specs on this camera, and its got an electronic VF, does this come with optical VF, do you know? id rather have that and trust my own eye, which can see the slightest changes ....

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camera with viewfinder

try the Nikon coolpix p90 , brilliant camera with your requirements,I paid ?199 a year ago , possibly
cheaper mine from Jessop's. Ken

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price is too high

This looks nice, but its too much money, id rather be below 200 if possible.. thanks though

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An optical viewfinder is no longer available on any digital camera under the price of $200.

The last optical viewfinder on a camera near that price range was the Canon A1100 and SD1200.
They were released in Feb of 2009.

Those cameras are still available at some Internet stores, but the price has jumped to about $300.


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Ive seen them online and in stores

They are still out there, albeit, not many.. seems they have electronic viewfinders now, which are ok because they are showing exactly what the lens sees , unlike regular optical vf that are above and to the right or left of lens... But our eyes see the suttle changes more so then an electronic VF..... like i said, i like the fujifilm fine pix, but it has an electronic Vf, and id like to NOT have electronic

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Change of view

There are optical viewfinders which can fit into the "shoe" that takes a flashgun. This method would need a camera which has the shoe, there are a few around - at what price? probably too much - but it is an option.

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which is better then?

since im not buying an SLR camera, should i just buy the camera i like and be happy with the electronic VF? i would like a VF, not just rely on 3 inch LCD screen.. So since most of the VF seem to be electronic, and im not spending a fortune on SLRs, should i just get the one i like with the electronic VF and be happy with it?

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Electronic vs Optical Viewfinder.

I also have a fuji Finepix 1400 ZOOM which, like Zouches S340, is several years old (more than 10 years) but still works as when new. The 1400 has a "straight through" optical viewfinder while the S1800 has an electronic viewfinder. The only difference I see between the two, in use, is that the S1800 shows you more precisely what the lens is going to take a picture of than the 1400 optical viewfinder does. The 1400 will always photograph a certain area beyond what the viewfinder shows, thus if you wish to photograph a shipping carton, for instance, and wish to have the shipping carton fill the photograph from side to side or top to bottom, you must step in (or zoom in) to the point that a slight bit of the object is clipped out of your view. The electronic view finder on the S1800 shows more closely EXACTLY what the lens is going to photograph. I do not understand why you are so adamant about an optical viewfinder since the two "feel" so similar in use. (I am quite the opposite from a professional photographer so there are MANY other camera needs and preferences that some have that I don't understand as well) Just make sure you are not "overlooking an Orchid while looking for a Rose" in your camera search.

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Optical vs Electronic viewfinders

(I tried to post this earlier and it seems to have gotten lost between my computer screen and yours)

I have an old (over 10 years) Fuji Finepix 1400 ZOOM camera with a "straight through" optical view finder and the new Fuji S1800 that I mentioned earlier with an electronic viewfinder. The only difference I notice between each of these viewfinders in use is that the electronic viewfinder of the S1800 shows more precisely EXACTLY what the lens is going to take a picture of. (What you see is more closely what you get with respect to photo borders)

Make sure you are not "overlooking an Orchid while searching for a Rose" in your search for a camera.

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thanks for the info john

Im not a pro either...Only reason why i like being able to look thru a VF, is because my other camera had one and the pics i took were kodak CX camera had an LCD screen AND the VF and i used the vf ALL THE TIME. I ONLY USED THE lcd WHEN I WOULD WANT TO ZOOM IN DIGITALLY, and i had to use the LCD to do that. Like ive read in other comments about wanting VFs, seeing up close is a pain unless i throw on reading glasses. So walking around holding a camera in the air in front of me to take a picture would mean id always have to have reading glasses on so i could see what the hek i was taking a pic of. The VF i just looked thru and saw what i liked and took the picture. Im not looking for professional photos, like i said, i take pretty good shots...Basically, i guess im just interested in knowing what the big difference , if any, there is with electronic and optical VFs..when i look thru the VF to take a picture, with an electronic VF, what i will see is supposed to be like a tiny LCD screen, right? and that screen will show me whatever it is i want to take a pic of...and its the same as what the lens sees? guess its all a matter of preference, right?

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Sample both

Is it practical for you to go to either a professional camera store or the camera department at a major super store and just sample a couple of cameras with an electronic viewfinder. Just look at an object a couple of feet away and one several feet away and compare what you see with what you would see with your Kodak that you are comfortable with. I am like you in that I much prefer a viewfinder that I look through with one eye rather than an LCD for most conditions. My own personal preference, after 400+ pictures with an electronic viewfinder, gives a slight preference to the electronic version because it does give a slightly more precise view of the object being photographed. Unlike with an optical viewfinder, you can also view pictures from the film card (or camera memory) through the viewfinder if desired.

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yes it is, thanks

John , i did just that today... best buy had different types and i see the difference. the REAL DSLRs/SLRs have a bigger optical VF and you see just what you see, like my kodak did, except my VF was smaller....and the electronic VF is a small LCD display, like im looking at my bigger lcd only this is smaller. and i see what they mean about the lagging... when you move camera around to see things it reminds me of a camcorder...our eyes are better i think...but im not buying a DSLR, they are exp., good and what id like, but exp. and as i said, im not a its up to me i guess to choose...the EVF has the menu right on it, id like to have that not be there while im composing the picture though

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Camera with a viewfinder

It is a bit more than your target price but for the money the Canon SX20IS was, when I purchased it, the best point and shoot camera out there without going to the Rebel or higher end cameras. It sports a 20X digital zoom and image stabilization (hence the name 20IS). At 12 megapixels it is capable of taking excellent fine detail shots for large prints if that is important to you. Check this camera out at You can also purchase a detailed user manual for this camera, and others, at I highly recommend them.

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its nice but exp...

thanks for the info. It is a nice camera but it is way more then i want to spend... I am a VERY casual picture taker.. sport events , holidays, scenery here and there and trips it would sit more then get used probably.. I LOVE the high zoom though....I was actually able to see and hold but not turn on, the fujifilm finepix 1800 at target. it was a nice feel wasnt able to see it though turned on . but it has decent ratings and reviews...18x zoom, wide angle.. its 159 on amazon. 199 at target on sale for 179

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Camera with viewfinder

After having reviewed your other posts I see the first reply recommended a Canon Powershot SD1200 IS. I forgot I had given one to my wife last Christmas. It is a decent camera, not very expensive and easy to put in your purse or pocket. Again, check Canon's website for detailed info. if you've not made you mind up on the Fuji. Check your usual sources for ratings.

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It is a nice camera, the canon, but only 3x zoom...i prefer higher ...

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