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Our viewfinder campaign: Canon & Olympus respond

Digital camera with viewfinder circled

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.

Armed with the results of our survey and your best comments, we took this issue straight to the big camera manufacturers and encouraged them to respond to their customers’ complaints.

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

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Comments
Member

Oh Canon Oh Canon what have you done,
You’ve got a new camera that must be fun,
Interchangeable lens and video too,
So light so sleek so easy to use,
So colourful so practical, answers to EOS M
How can I but not want one of them,
But, wait just a moment,
An EOS with no viewfinder!
Oh Canon Oh Canon what have you done.

Member

The Canon A1200 does not have A/S/ priority or manual modes, it also takes silly AA batteries. So this camera is not really an option!!!

Member

The silly AA batteries take about 500 photos,if you buy decent AAs.For the average holiday maker this is an really good buy especially if you shop around. .My wife has just photographed Malta and produced excellent photos even in that bright sunlight,what more could you want.

Member

I just can’t do without a viewfinder, but I would buy something like an Ixus 950 with a slightly longer zoon
What I can’t understand is why the passion for movie mode. If I want to take video I’ll use a camcorder. Just cannot see why I need to go to Canon G15 to get a decent zoom with a viewfinder.
Like many others I’ve ended up sticking with what I’ve got which, basically, continues to do the job

Member

With Photoshop would it not be possible to crop those nasty remains left by using an optical viewfinder?

I am willing to admit that I have only a few occasions where I need something optical. Only outdoor photos do me in with my Canon G12. But next month I will be going to New Zealand. It is my understanding that outdoors is the best place to be.

My G12 will be able to take its usual great pictures, but my movie camera will struggle (even if I am a decent photographer). I may have outsmarted Sony, though. I bought a leather sunshade for its. Less than perfect LCD screen. I will find out under real shooting conditions.

Light a candle for me.

Member
Rob Ghosh says:
6 April 2016

Having used Nikon DSLR’s professionally for the last seven years I have grown tired of carring around my cameras socially. Basically I was looking for the best of bost worlds I wanted a small camera which I could point and shoot to take images in quick sucession, an optical viewfinder and something which wasn’t going to cost a fortune. After lots of research I have finally found one to fit the bill and have just order myself a Fujifilm X00T. Just shy of £800 it ticks all the boxes (Beware the standard battery only last for 30 minutes so you will need to purchase either the 2hr or 4 hour one