Our campaign to bring back viewfinders to digital cameras prompted a huge reaction. Your comments didn’t fall on deaf ears – we’ve challenged manufacturers Canon and Olympus to respond to your concerns.
Here at Which? we’ve been campaigning to bring viewfinders back to compact digital cameras over the last few months.
This was based on both an overwhelming enthusiasm from our members and, of course, support here on Which? Conversation.
Today we’re bringing you Olympus and Canon’s comments and leaving you to judge on what they’ve said. Plus, you can check out statements from Sony, Fujifilm and Panasonic right here.
Olympus wants to take the scenic route
Olympus acknowledged that ‘LCD’s are not perfect but we are reaching a point where the better ones really do work even in bright light’ – something a lot of your comments appear to disagree with.
While warning that a traditional optical viewfinder could add ‘as much as 25%’ to the cost of a compact camera, Olympus also insisted that ‘the majority of happy-snappers are not that concerned’ about being without one.
On a more positive note, Olympus recognised the growing importance of electronic viewfinders, saying that ‘the big breakthrough will be in the cost of electronic finders coming down and the quality up so that they can become more widely available.’
Olympus pointed towards the availability of their VF2 external electronic viewfinder. But the downside to this is that it costs £200, and only works with a select few high-end cameras.
Insisting that they were doing their best to respond to the issue, Olympus concluded that ‘sometimes progress takes the scenic route but we will get there’.
Canon responds with new viewfinder launch
Canon was one of the manufacturers we were most interested to hear back from, given that we received numerous comments saying how people were deliberately seeking older Canon cameras with viewfinders, rather than plumping for the latest viewfinder-less models.
We are thrilled to see that Canon has taken on board these views by deciding to unveil its first new affordable compact model in nearly two years to feature an optical viewfinder.
The Canon PowerShot A1200 will be available to buy exclusively from Jessops on the high street from late March. As well as a viewfinder, it features a 4x zoom lens with a 28mm wide angle, 12 Megapixel resolution and the ability to record high-definition video.
Canon told us directly that this camera has been developed ‘to address the voice of the market requesting optical viewfinders’, and it’s great to see that a major manufacturer is listening to its customers in this fashion.
It seems the limited availability of the Canon A1200 is something of a market test, as Canon were lukewarm about the future of the small optical viewfinder beyond this model, saying ‘we cannot guarantee that viewfinders will always appear in new models – we are constantly assessing the market needs to determine the feature mix of future models.’
What do you think of these responses?
If you want to read more about what Canon and Olympus had to say about our viewfinder campaign, you can check out their full responses here. And make sure to have a look at these statements from Fujifilm, Sony and Panasonic before voting on whose is best.
So does the Canon A1200 have what it takes to get you reaching for your wallet? Would you like to see it kick-start a greater return of viewfinder-equipped models? And does Olympus need to speed up its own developments now that Canon has laid down a low-priced offering?
Our viewfinder campaign: which camera manufacturers' response was best?
Canon's (57%, 264 Votes)
Fujifilm's (20%, 93 Votes)
Panasonic's (11%, 52 Votes)
Sony's (7%, 33 Votes)
Olympus's (4%, 20 Votes)
Total Voters: 462