Is it incorrect to take pictures looking at the LCD display and not the viewfinder?

Why do photographers always take pictures looking through the viewfinder?

I find it so much easier to look at the LCD display but yet I think is not professional because is not what i see photographers do.

6 Answers

  • qrk
    Lv 7
    6 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Use what is more comfortable for you.

    If you make a concerted effort to use the view finder, you will get used to it and will probably have a hard time going back to live view if you are an avid shootist.

    Live view has so many issues that people who want to be efficient will use the view finder, be it optical or EVF. For a professional, time is money and time (wasted) can cost you that critical shot. For me, when I use my point & shoot camera with live view, it's really hard to compose the image outdoors in bright light because the live view image is washed out. You'll miss the tree branch coming out of someone's ear in that situation.

    Another annoying thing about live view is when composing the image, holding a camera at arms length means the camera is far away from the rotation axis (your body). This means objects will move in relation to each other, akin to parallax.

    When shooting fast action, like sports or birds, it's hard to follow the moving action with live view (arms extended, hard to see in daylight, and screen blanking out between shots).

    For me, battery life is very important since I take extended trips (2 to 4 weeks) out in the bush with no chance to charge batteries. Live view eats batteries. I can get over 1000 shots on a single battery charge using the optical viewfinder.

    Put a big lens on your camera and see how long you last holding your arms out when shooting live view. My long lens weighs 5 pounds and I use it hand-held sometimes. When using this lens, I'm stalking critters which means I may be scoping around for an extended time waiting to get the right shot. If I was to use live view, my batteries would be dead before I got a shot off.

    That said, I do use live view when appropriate, which is product shooting. I'm indoors and live view allows me to do critical focusing since you can get 100% magnification on the back LCD screen. Very handy for macro shooting.

    There's also another plus to live view. If you have a lens with bad spherical aberration (focus shift), live view will focus at the aperture your camera is set to. Optical viewfinder always focuses with the aperture set to maximum (lowest f-number).

    • John P
      Lv 7
      6 months agoReport

      For long-lens work it is much easier to use the v/f. But indeed use whichever feels good for you. No teacher should insist that one way is better than the other in all circumstances. In the good old bad old days we had no choice - there was no "LCD screen" to look at.

  • 4 months ago

    Both are good. I prefer the finder, my wife has recently discovered the joys of the viewfinder too, bought a new camera and all her pictures are much sharper. Reason? Because the camera is supported better, Held out at half arms length even your pulse can shake the camera enough to blur the pictures.

    If you are using a DSLR with live view you will get a huge delay between pressing the button and taking the picture

  • 6 months ago

    I use liveview with an articulated screen when it gives me a better camera angle, and I use it when the camera's on a tripod - I can step back and look at the composition.

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    No it s not wrong. It s there, so why not use it?

    Photographers, some of them, still use the optical viewfinder because they re used to it. I admit that even when using a point-and-shoot or a phone, I still raise it to eye-level then suddenly lower realizing there s no peephole.

    The main feature of the SLR, digitals included, is that optical viewfinder that allows you to see the scene through the lens. From there, with some training, you can assess light and adjust the camera accordingly to how you want the picture to appear (somewhat). Since dSLRs today are so advanced they practically think of everything themselves, the user is reduced to just a pointer and a button pusher (with phones, you re just a pointer). There really is no advantage to using that peephole anymore (for most, that is). That s why mirrorless cameras are getting more popular nowadays. Still, the dSLR is the de facto standard so people yearn for it. Anywho, if you feel comfortable raising a half-pound block of plastic and metal at arms-length just to get a shot then so be it. No one should question your method.

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  • Anonymous
    6 months ago


  • hooray
    Lv 5
    6 months ago

    Use whichever works for you at the time. The majority of photos taken by advanced photographers use the viewfinder, but if circumstances make Live View more convenient or effective then that's the way to go. One is no more "professional" than the other.

    Optical viewfinders:

    Do not suffer from lag as the view is real-time

    Consume no power to generate the view itself.

    Require sufficient ambient light to be present for the human eye.

    Electronic viewfinders and Live View both:

    Provide a preview of the exposure.

    Can amplify ambient light so the scene may be clearly visible when too dark for the naked eye.

    Require power.

    Suffer from lag (in some cases very little, but never zero).

    Undermine night vision.

    Live View also:

    Can be hard to see clearly in bright light.

    Introduces more camera-shake when handheld.

    Viewfinders, both OVF and EVF also:

    Shield from extraneous light, making the scene easier to see.

    Steady the camera by being held close to the body.

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