Tilting Screens: Do we need them?


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Aug 14, 2013
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Hi everyone

I have had a couple of cameras over the last year. The Sony A5000, A6000 and D7000. The older Nikon, no tilting screen but the Sonys, yes. I remember at the time reading how people think the tilting screens are a ''consumer feature''. Generally I hate labels for photographers. I mean, this camera is for pros and amateurs use another due to the features of each. Real market regulated.

I found the articulating screen good in different ways. The A5000's lcd screen turned in such a way as you could see yourself when recording videos. Very useful.

The A6000 could be articulated up and out at the top (so you can point the lens upwards to the sky and see exactly what is there without having to stoop under and look up) and also at the bottom (so can hold the camera high over your head and get a higher viewpoint such as being able to see over the heads of people)

I found the first of those two, the one where you can point the camera up and see the lcd screen, to be invaluable. Now I have to say, I do have back problems so that makes it worse but no doubt I have had to guess shots and failed using the Nikon. There is no doubt this could be used as a professional level tool. I don't see why not. Surely getting the shot matters even more at pro level. I mean, you are being paid to get the shot.
I found this also really useful for wide angle where you want to place the camera low and look down on the lcd screen.

Maybe this also relates to using the lcd screen to take pictures in general, regardless of tilt. That's another interesting question. Do many of you not use the viewfinder or your camera doesn't have one and you don't mind.

And what do you think?

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They are very convenient for many types of shooting. Do you need one, well people used camera without them for many years and it didn't kill them
A tiltscreen has it's uses. Personally I prefer a fully articulated screen. Let's you take pictures from diffrent angles.
Some like it others not.
My D750 has it but my D800 doesn't have it. I still shoot both cameras about the same way, tilt screen or not. :D
I have it on a couple of older cameras and still use them. For me it comes in handy if I want to shoot a low shot and I dont want to get down on the knees to get it. This has become convenient as I got older. I also found if I am sitting by the bird feeders and want to get a few handheld shots the birds will not fly away if I tilt the screen to compose a shot but may raising the camera to my eye to use the viewfinder. So for my uses, not required but handy.
I use the viewfinder, not the screen, although live-view with the articulated screen might be usefull in some conditions.
I don't have video, and wouldn't use it if I did.
I find that I use it a ton when I have the camera tripod-mounted. When I’m out shooting handheld I tend to use the EVF a whole lot more than the LCD, but when I need to shoot at an odd angle the tilting screen is very useful. I would have liked to have a fully articulated screen, like on the Olympus E-M5 II and some of the Panasonic cameras, as it’s more useful for shooting vertically on a tripod, which I do quite a lot.
Depends upon what I'm shooting.

When my d600 is attached to my telescope I could certainly use it. That was the one reason I nearly bought a d5100 camera instead of my d7000 years ago, though the advantages I had with the d7000 outweighed the only advantage of the d5100 of the tilting screen. And it's one reason I'm thinking of the d750 (and fps for sports).

When I'm shooting sports I use the viewfinder 100% as I need the accuracy. When you are in sunlight most of the time too you need the viewfinder.

I'm found when shooting from above, a tilt screen would be valuable.

If you are shooting yourself, or video then the moveable screen is really valuable.
I use it on my P7100 on occasion, but since none of my DSLRs offer it, I just pop in a wifi adapter and use the screen on my phone as an ad-hoc substitute.
When I had a Nikon D5200 I used it only few times. Mostly while taking moon pics on a tripod. Saved me from having to kneel down to check focus in LV. I haven't missed it on my 6D.
Like all things they suit certain conditions and not others. In general more features is better since the DSLR is an all-comers camera and not specifically designed for a specific type of photography. As such tilting screens will have some benefit for some and be useless to others.

I know many who like them because it lets them shoot at lower angles with the camera on a tripod without having to get down on the ground which is not always practical (esp for those who have reduced mobility or where the ground is unsuitable).

The only downside I can see is that its an increased complexity for weathersealing - other than that its just another way to use the LCD screen.

Personally I don't make as much use of such features as I'm often shooting with the viewfinder to my eye and the LCD would unbalance the setup significantly.
Cameras without are manufacturers being lazy, cheap, unthoughtful, and living in legacy.

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YES. They create versatility. I don't use it often, but I do use it...so that makes it necessary. Had one on the D5100 and now on the EM5ii.

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