Top contron panel - what for?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Mr. Murmeli, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. Mr. Murmeli

    Mr. Murmeli TPF Noob!

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    Just popped into my head...

    Those "control panels" on top of cameras like Canon 40D or Nikon D90 and so on... what do you need it for? As far as i can tell they share the same information as the main lcd screen on the back of the camera.

    I've never used a camera which has the top panel so i've never really missed one but there's got to be a reason for it. The only reason for one that i can think of is if you want to keep some special menu open on the main screen and therefore wouldn't be able to see the basic info while shooting.

    So those who use it, please let me know what they are for :D.
     
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Uses less battery life, quick and easy display that is always on (when camera is on) instead of timing out after 'x' seconds.

    For what it's worth, not all cameras display that info on the big screen on the back, on the D90 it's an option, but I rarely use it.
     
  3. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    yeah like noyze said, just a quick way to get your shot info at a glance.
    wish i had it.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It's a bit of a legacy issue as well. Cameras have had that top LCD screen going back well into the days of film. Many of them are largely the same as they were back then, although there is more information displayed on them now. Not to mention that before they had LCD screens at all, the dials on most cameras were on top, so looking at the top of the camera to see your settings is something that photographers have been doing for several decades.

    It's really only the newest crop of DSLR cameras that show the settings on the rear screen or don't even have a top screen.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
  5. Samriel

    Samriel TPF Noob!

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    After using a camera with a top screen, I just can't use cameras without them - looking at the back LCD seems to take too much time, and it does suck a lot of battery life.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Battery life has been said but understated. The top LCD can be on for a month and drain your battery. The back LCD screen would probably kill it by the end of the day.

    Additionally I can read the top LCD. There is little information nicely placed on a comfortable STN panel which can be read quite easily whether the sun is shining on it or the backlight is running at night. The rear LCD gives information overload, with a backlight that is often just way too bright or way to dark unless I just happen to be taking photos at around sunset.
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The real question is, "Why isn't there a place for a histogram up there?".

    Having a histogram up top where you could just flick the camera to check rather than having to get involved in checking focus and everything else while looking at the LCD on the back would be insanely useful.

    I've just decided that every Digi-cam out there is not a "Pro" body unless the Histogram is on the top where it should be.

    There, I said it. You can go on with your day now.


    :lmao::lmao::lmao::lol::lol:
     
  8. Mr. Murmeli

    Mr. Murmeli TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all your answers. This came now clear to me and yes, i want one of those top panels now as well :D.
     
  9. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The top of a 35mm body has always been where you got your information. Us old dinosaurs who stated before electronics at all in a camera or only for a needle meter remember when all the controls except your aperture were on the top. ASA speed dial or ring, shutter speed ring, shot counter. Before the LCD of any kind came the Aperture mode and shutter speed mode. Again part of a dial on the top of the body.

    It's kinda like driving a car. Why do we drive on the right side of the road in the states? Cause we always have. Just one of those hold over kind of things.
     
  10. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Ah, legacy stuff. Personally my eye is usually buried in the viewfinder...I mean, it's there to be looked through, right? The info there is always enough for me to know what's going on with the camera whilst framing my shots. o_O

    Screw the histogram on the top of the body; I want a histogram in my viewfinder. :greenpbl:
     
  11. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Soon we will see threads asking what's the point of those...



    I love the little LCD on top.
    I don't use the back LCD. The little one is so much faster to see what I want to see.
     
  12. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    +1, can't really put it better myself. I rarely look at the rear screen anymore on my D80 - thankfully, a rear screen isn't even an option on my F100. It's one of those cases where a newer technology (LCD) isn't better. First time I really got any use out of my D80, on a summer trip abroad some time ago - I was absolutely slack-jawed amazed at the battery life. I could keep that thing around, shooting not too many pictures per day for almost a week without recharging. Pretty insane stuff.
     

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