View finder on an dSLR

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by gendarmee, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. gendarmee

    gendarmee TPF Noob!

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    Hi.
    I had my apprehensions about getting a slr. That was more because of the view finder, and how it will end up being my camera with no one else being able to use it...
    This was what i though, completely believed in until day before yesterday.
    It was holi, a festival, and I was at a get-together.
    During a break, when we took time out get our self a snack, I noticed this dSLR on a chair, unattended too from about 5 minutes, the time since i were eying it. A guy came and sat down beside it a little later, I couldn't help but request him to let me check out the view finder. A request which he accepted with a little hesitation.
    He turned out to be a Press photographer, and the camera was a Nikon D100.
    To gain his confidence, i turned it on without asking him to show me how to and changed the focus mode to Manual Focus on the lense, and when i looked through the view finder i was amazed, positively shocked. The sight was as good as real, plus the focus was so damn clear, i.e. to know whether something was or not in focus.
    It had a 17-85 lense on. I took a couple of snaps, with that i noticed the near negligible shutter lag. I feel low after handling that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  2. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    I've never looked through a D100 and don't know what the specs of the viewfinder are, but pretty much all DSLRs will have much bigger, clearer, and brighter viewfinders than any p&s out there. Just go check out a D40 or XTI or something. :mrgreen:
     
  3. gendarmee

    gendarmee TPF Noob!

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    My bad luck is, apart from a film ashahi-pentax slr, i have never got to lay my hands on any working slr, never a dSLR so i had my own apprehensions about the view finder, just coz it were Digital.
    The Nikon or Canon dealers here refuse a preview of the camera, unless I buy the camera.. I so wish it had happened a couple of months before.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Yes...that is one of the big differences between an SLR and a digi-cam. Too bad you had to find out so late.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No comment about the cameras mentioned but my general feeling is that higher end cameras had better viewfinders. This was one of the selling points of higher-end camera bodies in the manual focus days. A brighter viewfinder meant easier focusing in all sorts of lighting.

    Today, most consumer level DSLRs have viewfinders that pale in comparison... my guess is that it is expected that the photographer will rely on AF thus an opportunity to save cost. Higher end Canon DSRLs definitely have better viewfinders. Pentax also added value to their higher end K10D/K20D by implementing pentaprism viewfinders which are better than their pentaprism mirror viewfinders in the lower line K100D/K200D.

    Its too bad you can't see the camera prior to purchase... kinda sucks actually. I can't tell you how many times I demo'd cameras in a store prior to making a decision... a very good camera store will even order one to see in person with no commitment to purchase.

    Viewfinders in some older Medium format cameras are also amazing to behold.
     
  6. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I absolutely hate the viewfinder on my D70. It's so tiny and dark... although, I've read the D100, while older still has a better viewfinder. I think it's probably one of the reasons I use my film cameras more. The view in my FE is big and bright.
     
  7. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do some research on the D40 compared to upper level Nikons. I know the XT's viewfinder is significantly smaller than that of the 20D/30D/40D. In fact, I couldn't stand using MF on the XT, but on a 40D it's a breeze.

    I would figure the same goes for Nikon. So, if you get a D40, the viewfinder will be likely less impressive than the D100 you just saw.

    Have you looked into the prices of the D100? A photog I know loved his. I don't understand why this gets overlooked so often.
     
  8. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    Okay ... just have to jump in here.

    Clear up something for me - the G9 is a rangefinder +LED, right? It isn't - in other words - TTL, like the S3is.

    So Gendarmee has just discovered the beauty of TTL viewing. Great!

    I was curious enough about my own cameras after reading this string that I had to test my five year old D100 against my brand new D80.

    Same lens ... they're virtually indentical in brightness.

    Oh, and by the way: I can highly recommend the D100, although most people will tell you it's way out of date, blah, blah ... Originally $2000, you can probably pick one up these days for 3 or 4 hundred.

    The main problem I've encountered with it is that it is EXCRUCIATINGLY SLOW when shooting in RAW. (Since I seldom shoot in RAW, it hasn't been a real problem for me, but certainly would be for others.)

    But mine has been halfway around the world and to the top of volcanos with me. It got splashed pretty good on Waikiki, and has suffered the indignity of being dropped, banged into furniture and bounced around the deck of a speeding boat. It's going into semi-retirement now. But I can't imagine ever putting it away completely.

    Gendarmee, I can certainly recommend the D300. But the D80 is no slouch! And both are WAY better build quality that a D40 or XT (i, s, or whatever).
     
  9. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    i use the Nikon D40 and the viewfinder is GREAT.. my friend has the D80 and I actually find my viewfinder is a little better... TTL really is an amazing thing... focusing in manual (which is all i use) is SOOO easy to do with the clearness.... I love my D40, despite what other people say... I've had it for a year now, and it has taken a good beating... I work with teens.. I do extreme sports photos, it's been hit by skateboards and bmx bikes, it's come to new orleans with me while doing disaster relief, and it's been all across canada with me, in all types of weather, from blistering heat to snow storms where you cant even see your hand in front of for face and my D40 has not steered me wrong. I use a 55mm lens and a 300mm and they are both GREAT i also use a fisheye for the skateparks, and it is great too.

    i'm shocked that a camera store won't let you try it out even in the store... when i walked into the store and told the guy i was researching what camera to get, he unlocked the cases and said, here you go, check them all out, heres some different lens' you can try too.... all the shops here did the same thing (i went to about 4 different shops)
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow if you like the D100 viewfinder you must have been deprived. Clear bright and easy to focus is not something associated with any DSLR other than the Canon 5D 1D and Nikon D3.

    I HATE these tiny dark viewfinders so much I replaced the focusing screen in my camera to get some focusing aids.
     
  11. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Same here. How are you to purchase something (expensive) without trying it out?

    It was the same as when I was looking to buy a motorcycle. One shop said they don't have insurance to allow a potential customer to test ride. How do you choose a motorcycle if you can't test ride it?
     
  12. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    I don't really have any issues with my XT's viewfinder. Compared to my fiance's kodak easyshare though I can see the difference...Stupid green light right in your eye when looking through it. Who really looks through the viewfinder on a digital camera though?
     

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