View Full Version : Live View or not?

07-02-10, 06:34 PM
Hello I am currently trying to decide on a DSLR. I am completely new to SLR cameras and currently use a Nikon Coolpix compact camera.

I wanted to know if you think Live View is important with a DSLR or do you not tend to take pictures in that way?

Obviously Live View is the way I use my compact camera.

I have been looking at buying a Nikon DSLR too.

07-02-10, 09:51 PM
Live view is much less important in DSLRs than compacts because all DSLRs have respectable viewfinders, it's just some viewfinders are O Kand others very good. Also most people think that it is easier to hold a camera steady against the face rather than at at arms length. Having said that there are a few cases where live view beats viewfinders by a large margin:

1. Tripod and awkward angle work - its really much easier to to use LV here especially if you have an articulated screen
2. Over the head crowd shooting - sometimes you can get a scoop that everybody else misses
3. Some people (my youngest daughter for example) find it impossible to use use a viewfinder and LV is much more comfortable
4 If you are shooting in very low light you may be able to get some sort of view using LV when a viewfinder would be completely dark
5. If you are doing a portrait session many people prefer to maintain facial contact with the subject(s) which is only possible in LV

Of course do not forget that LV becomes difficult to use in bright sunlight

To sum up I use the viewfinder 80-90% of the time but the other 10-20% would often be impossible with just a viewfinder.

Hope that helps


07-02-10, 10:23 PM
Thanks Roger

I have been looking at the Nikon D3000 and D5000. The one without Live view is in my price range, but the one with is a bit more than I was intending to pay. I was trying to decide whether to up my budget or not!

Armed with your info I think I need to head to a camera shop and have a feel/play with some cameras now.

Thank you very much for your reply

08-02-10, 10:15 AM
hi, also take into consideration that lv takes more battery power by a big margin, and with constant use it will shorten your battery use by half easy..just one to think about, i never use it on mine to be fair;)

the above comment has some good points

Mike Lowe
08-02-10, 02:13 PM
I'd say for tripod-mounted compositional work it's considerably useful.

Paul Nuttall
08-02-10, 07:18 PM
I'd probably say that if you're budget is fairly rigid, then I wouldn't bust it for the sake of live view.

As mentioned above, shooting with a DSLR is a different experience to a compact, and using the viewing is a good first base towards holding the camera correctly and getting sharp images

09-02-10, 11:39 PM
Many thanks for your help.

I will take all of your comments on board when I finally decide on what to buy!

It always takes me an age of internet research before I decide on anything these days LOL!