June 01, 2020

Viewfinder vs LCD monitor, let battle commence...

In today's photography world, we rarely use the optical/electronic viewfinder on our cameras. Most people are content composing with the lcd monitor on the back of the camera, in a similar way to how we captures images with our mobile phones.In fact I have always struggled to take decent photos on my phone, I just don't find it very engaging and intuitive, but I guess thats just me...

I am a strong advocate of composing through a viewfinder rather than an lcd monitor. I believe one can get closer to the subject matter and there is something magical about seeing your subject through the viewfinder it's the window to the world, while the lcd monitor in my opinion doesn't give you the full engagement and connection with the subject capture.

The viewfinder has been part of my visual diet since I took up photography almost 25 years ago... In the good ole days you would have the option of taking 12. 24 or 36 shots so it was critical what I photographed and the optical viewfinder is where I would make this creative decision.

I have been through a number of digital compact cameras and generally struggled using the lcd monitor to compose. However I have met my match in the Ricoh GR Digital, the very first iteration of the cult GR series of cameras. The compact size and the ergonomics just felt right and I begun to understand how to use the lcd monitor. this in turn pretty much led to the evolution of my street photography and I started shooting in a raw 'free spirited' kind of way.

In todays market the design and technology within cameras has radically developed so much that the viewfinders particular with the Fujifilm mirrorless cameras in my opinion are particularly enticing and really connect the user with the camera and the shooting experience.

Apart form the Ricoh GR Digital camera I always shoot looking through the viewfinder. I love seeing the magic unfold and capturing the image that only you visualise through the viewfinder.

So in my opinion the viewfinder wins hands down, but the lcd monitor does have it's place, however it's taken me around half a dozen compact cameras to realise this...