Please comment briefly on your experience, if any, with LiveView, or give your opinion on its potential benefit in your work.

Editor's picture
The newest DSLRs coming to market seem to be split into two camps--those with LiveView and those without. Does LiveView functionality make that much of a difference that it might sway you to purchase one DSLR ove another similar model lacking that feature?
Please comment briefly on your experience, if any, with LiveView, or give your opinion on its potential benefit in your work.
Yes, I think LiveView is an important new feature that would help me choose one model over another.
69% (452 votes)
No, LiveView is not something that would sway my decision.
27% (176 votes)
I am not sure, as I have not seen it demonstrated and am not sure how it would aid my work.
4% (25 votes)
Total votes: 653
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Comments
Mel Wolpin's picture

I purchased a Nikon D300 a few months ago and have not once used LiveView. I have been using Nikon SLR's since the early 1960's and just love using the plain old view-finder.

Chris's picture

I have liLiveView on my DSLR and have never used it.

Joseph Carabott's picture

I have a Canon 40D and it is somewhat LiveView is somewhat cumbersome but I rather have it that way or nothing.

Dennis Ownby's picture

I use LiveView on my PS digital cameras. It is very helpful when shooting underwater while diving. For most things I would rank it well below other qualities when buying a DSLR.

Norbert Thullen's picture

LiveView is only good when one uses a tripod to take a picture. For normal hand held shots it is not good since there is a time lag between what one sees and the picture one takes. Case in point: most of the point-and-shoot cameras.

Fred Bilbo's picture

I don't see any need for LiveView. It just seems to be another gimic to sell the latest model camera. My Pentax K10D works fine, and I don't think I would use LiveView if I had it.

Joe Dlhopolsky's picture

I only see two uses for this: (1) getting above the crowd (2) macro shots close to the ground. I have LiveView in my Canon 40D. I don't use it. I don't care for the battery drain. For #1, I look for higher ground. For #2, I am not averse to hanging upside down to look in the viewfinder.

J.Ed Baker's picture

Outside of overhead or very low angle shots where the viewfinder is difficult or impossible to use, why pay for a feature that promotes the P&S mode of holding/framing?

William Frankhouser's picture

Unless it is studio work that you have the time to sit and watch the LiveView, I would rather keep my eye through the viewfinder.

Wayne Rowlett's picture

I shoot a lot of action sports pictures and I think it will probably be harder to track things on LiveView as opposed to the viewfinder.

Andy J.  Smith's picture

As a photographer that shoots many panoramic images (stitching multiple images into one), using a LiveView equipped camera is very useful indeed. Canon's 40D has the ability to add a grid pattern to the display enabling the photographer to easily prepare the individual sections of the final panoramic image! In addition, The Canon 40D’s live view uses the mirror lockup function adding additional sharpness to long exposure shots.

Dick Palin's picture

The weight of the vote would be cost vs battery life. The main reason for LiveView would be to take closeups that are at ground level, if the screen had the capability of swinging up, so you wouldn't have to get down in the mud! Another problem would be the brightness of the screen during daylight.

Garret Hobart's picture

For anyone doing underwater photography using a housing, LiveView is a necessity.

John Platel's picture

LiveView help with some photo's where you can't see the whole image in the view finder and the edges are important.

Michael A.  Cochran's picture

I have used LiveView many times to make what would otherwise be a difficult shot to frame, such as an overhead or low shot, a very easy shot.

Pierre Paul Benedetti's picture

LiveView may be interesting but limited to very special cases as shooting over the crowd or macro photography

John T.  Marsh's picture

I like LiveView on my Olympus E330 esp. the way it tilts. I have used this professionally for overhead shots and at other times for manual focus. I use it less on my Nikon D300 which offers better view finder view and a larger sharper LCD review.

Stephen D Smith, Ph.D.'s picture

I find it to be useful for closeup or architectural work, but when you need it, you need it, so it's a good idea.

Lola Leland's picture

My original DSLR camera was an Olympus Evolt 300. It came with 2 lenses. When Olympus came out with the Evolt 330 with LiveView I traded in my previous Olympus camera and bought the 330 because of the live view screen that is movable even though there was only 1 lense included in the kit. If I get another DSLR I would get the Olympus Evolt E-3 because of the movable screen.

David Shapiro's picture

I've spent 35 years shooting without LiveView until recently, when I upgraded to a Nikon D300. While it is nice to have lots of features on your camera to "brag about", the LiveView is a cumbersome feature to use. In certain applications (macro or portrait) might come in handy, The loss of sponteneity due to the set - up time required to use LiveView is usually more of a sacrifice than I'm willing to accept.

Richard B.  Brown's picture

My next DSLR will certainly have LiveView.

Gunter Altermann's picture

Yes, Liveview is important with my Wedding Shoots, but only with tiltable screens, to stand straight up to shoot small children, or above crowds, very practical feature.

E.  L.  Elfstrom's picture

I grew up shooting with ViewFinder & SLR cameras since 1950. I'm used to a peep thru viewfinder or "sports finder" on Speed Graphics. Direct view seems awkward to me. I can see where it could be very useful in some situations ie: closeup of the brides wedding rings. I would not buy a camera because it has direct view, but I would reject a camera that has ONLY direct view. I'm more comfortable with a viewfinder. My present digital camera is Canon 20d and a Kodak 6mp point & shoot that has both a viewfinder and direct view capability. I find I only use direct view for closeup ie: flowers, bugs & occasional dog paw. I would buy an SLR w/direct view only if it didn't interfer with operation otherwise, and would find some use for direct view.

Fred Stephan's picture

I am the happy owner of a Nikon D300 with LiveView. I find it very helpful with macro on a tripod but do not use it hand-held.

John's picture

I have a Canon 40D with LiveView but I haven't used it yet and am in no hurry to do so. It's not that big a deal to me.

George Cortes's picture

I have a Sony A300 and I love the ability to shoot from the ground without dropping to my knees...

Philippe Olivier's picture

Point and Shoot cameras had this from the start & most users frame images using the screen, not a viewfinder. The Canon S3 has a movable screen that is great but too small. It also puts the histogram on the screen BEFORE you take the shoot. Every new LiveView camera should have this feature!

Joe Eder's picture

LiveView would help my aging back and knees, and allow me to get shots I no longer attempt. But LiveView would not cause me to change brands. Too much investment in lenses!

Mark J.  Newton's picture

I think LiveView is useful in some macro situations where it is physically difficult to see through the view finder, but I have an angle adaptor for my Canon that works fine. In any case the need is rare even for that. The LiveView display screens are difficult to see in many situations like strong outdoor light so I would not depend on them anyway. I think the camera is steadier when held to your face; rather like a tripod effect whereas a two hand hold is not. This may become more significant when shooting weddings with my flash bracket and flash rig, which is pretty heavy; extending my arms out to see LiveView could be more unstable, tiring and unnecessary. If the LiveView chews up battery life significanty that is a big negative. Middle age had graced me with fuzzy reading vision and when I look through the view finder I do not have to worry about that; if I have to try and see the live view screen there is more strain on my eyes and neck, even with bifocals. The view finder has lots of camera setting information readily available for my peripheral vision; it is quick and instintive; is the live view that easy?

J.F.  Ariola's picture

LiveView is good to have. But not a deal breaker. That said there is 1 instance where it came in handy on my D300. Being only 5'5 I had to raise my camera way above my head to shoot a Pro Bowl block party. Live view was the only way to do it and the shots came out great at ISO 800.