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Our viewfinder campaign: Sony, Panasonic and Fujifilm respond

Fujifilm Finepix X100

You answered in your hundreds when we asked whether you missed viewfinders. We took this avalanche of support directly to the big camera manufacturers – today Sony, Pansonic and Fujifilm respond.

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.

We’ve already heard from Olympus and Canon, with the latter deciding to launch a new compact camera with a viewfinder. Can Sony, Fujifilm and Panasonic match that?

Sony’s preparing to test the market

Sony showed great interest in our campaign and guaranteed to share this information with its product development team in Tokyo. However, it did warn us that it was too late to influence its latest lines which are set to release this year.

It told us, ‘we are continually developing our LCD technology with greater levels of anti-reflective coatings to combat the sunlight issues in our TruBlack screens.’

Sony also stated that it does have an optical viewfinder accessory available for its NEX camera system. Then again, this isn’t a cheap option – the cameras alone are upwards of £340 even before you add on the extra viewfinder.

Sony finished by saying that it was ‘preparing a global feasibility study to gauge the need for [a viewfinder camera] for a much wider audience,’ so hopefully there’s more to be seen from the Japanese giant.

Panasonic may develop new viewfinder models

Panasonic also said that it had shared our campaign with an appreciative research team in Japan. However, the current crop of Lumix cameras offer no cheap options if you’re after a camera with a viewfinder.

We were advised that the FZ100, FZ45 and G-series cameras featured built-in electronic viewfinders, and an optional electronic viewfinder accessory could be used with the LX5 and certain G-series models. Still, not only are these expensive options, they are complicated cameras that may not suit point-and-shoot users.

More encouragingly we were told that Panasonic ‘are concentrating on continuously developing the quality and functionality of our electronic viewfinders and LCDs,’ so hopefully we’ll start seeing these in cheaper, more user-friendly models in the future.

Panasonic also claimed that its automatic brightness adjustment screens can increase LCD brightness by up to 40% in strong sunlight conditions. However, this is still little help to those who need glasses to use the screens or find them an unnatural way to compose a shot.

Fujifilm sees place for viewfinders

We were eager to hear back from Fujifilm, as its recently-unveiled X100 model floored the camera press with a unique hybrid viewfinder, which acts as an optical or electronic viewfinder.

Fujifilm told us that it ‘believes that both electronic and optical viewfinders have their place in digital photography’, and our hope is that it will stand firm to this ethos, even with cheaper point-and-shoot models.

Encouragingly, we were advised that ‘Fujifilm will continue to research and develop both electronic and hybrid viewfinders in future, evaluating each application by cost, design practicality and consumer preferences’.

However, we still want to remind camera manufacturers, like Fujifilm, that there’s demand for compact cameras with viewfinders, at least as an option amongst all the LCD-only models.

What do you think of these responses?

If you want to read more about what Sony, Fujifilm and Panasonic had to say about our viewfinder campaign, you can check out their full responses here. And remember to mull over Canon and Olympus’s statements before you vote on which response is best.

Have any of these manufacturers managed to give a satisfactory response? Do you think that improving LCD screen technology is good enough or should they concentrate on bringing viewfinders back to compact digital cameras?

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
Guest
Don Walton says:
29 March 2011

It isn’t just cameras which need a viewfinder of this sort but also camcorders. It is very difficult to follow a moving target when using a digital screen even if you can see it. I have rejected many possible middle range upgrades for just this reason.

Profile photo of Rich Parris
Guest

Hi, I completely agree – camcorder-buyers are being left very short-changed indeed now that only the most expensive models feature built-in electronic viewfinders. And when you’re taking moving footage – a panning shot, for example, it’s so helpful to have one of these to hold to your eye.

I was recently impressed using the Sony SLT camera, the alpha 33, to record video. The electronic viewfinder on that is high quality, and the video quality is impressive, as is the autofocus. Price-wise, it compares favourably to a good HD camcorder –

http://www.which.co.uk/technology/photography/reviews/digital-slr/sony-alpha-a33/review/

Guest
Charles Miller says:
20 April 2011

Absolutely. Much easier to follow action (or subjects that will not stay still such as children and animals) without blurring by using a viewfinder. Holding a camera at arm’s length does not do the job. Yes, the newer micro SLRs have add-on viewfinders, but for those who just want a compact camera there should be some choice.

Guest
Alec says:
25 April 2011

I agree that the lack of viewfinder on a camcorder is a major problem. Using the screen on my current camcorder uses up the battery very much quicker. I am looking for a replacement and while the new models have all sorts of gizmos I am having difficulty finding camcorders with the basic essential of a viewfinder.

Guest
Aileen says:
8 May 2011

I agree completely – it never crossed my mind that viewfinders would disappear from cameras. I was thinking of replacing my camcorder with a hard disc model but I won’t buy one without a viewfinder as I’d need to wear my reading glasses to see the screen – and then I wouldn’t be able to see what was going on so I’d probably be taking pictures of the wrong thing! My compact digital camera only has the LCD screen and I so, so, wish I’d bought the one with a viewfinder (they were still an option 4 years ago when I bought it). So many of my pictures have bits missing, extra bits on them or are blurred because of having to hold the wretched thing at arm’s length to have any idea whay might end up in the picture.

Guest
Alec Millar says:
13 September 2011

Absolutely agree that camcorders should be fitted with viewfinders as well as still digitals. Just back from Turkey and viewfinder essential for both. Our non viewfinder camera completely useless. Also why should re addition of viewfinders be more expensive as originally camcorders and digital cameras were sold with integral viewfinders.

Profile photo of terfar
Guest

I just purchased a Panasonic LX5 with the ‘live’ electronic viewfinder option. The viewfinder was almost half the cost of the camera!

Although the screen on the LX5 is superb and I agree with Panasonic that it does adjust itself to the lighting conditions, a screen-only camera fails dismally on two points.

1. In tropical sunlight rt even on the rare British bright summer’s day, the screen is virtually useless.

2. There’s no dioptric adjustment for those of us who need to keep pulling out reading specs to focus on the screen.

The ‘Live’ viewfinder for the Panasonic LX5 provides dioptric correction, can save power because it turns off the larger screen and can be flipped to different angles (though only downwards). It isn’t as good as a real through-the-lens viewfinder but it does meet many of the problems using a screen. But at a big cost!

Profile photo of terfar
Guest

Another thought. If Panasonic dumped the feeble integral flash, there’s room for a live electronic viewfinder.

I am sure that most users would rather have the integral live viewfinder and have to carry a separate flash for the hot-shoe. Most separate hot shoe flash guns are infinitely batter than integral flashes.

If Panasonic need a camera designer…

Guest
harryp says:
29 March 2011

My Panasonic Lumix TZ7, despite having an excellent screen is absolutely useless in sunlight – and it does not have to be bright! I won’t be buying another camera without a viewfinder of some sort. The viewfinder doesn’t have to be perfect but it is essential in sunlight or to follow motion as has been mentioned. More power to your campaign!!!!

Profile photo of terfar
Guest

It was an older TZ3 that I replaced with the LX5: I agree completely that anything brighter than an overcast day makes the screen harder to see.

Guest
June says:
18 May 2011

Totally agree with all you say. Looking forward buying new camera with Viewfinder!

Profile photo of Rich Parris
Guest

Hi terfar – an interesting point – I wonder how others feel about this? Personally, I’m not a fan of flash photography (at least, not the limited amount you can do with a built-in flash), and I virtually never use the flashes on my own cameras. But I always use the viewfinders. I suppose if I had to pick just one feature, I know which I’d go for – but then, I could sense a new campaign starting up to “bring back the camera flash” 🙂

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Guest

I find it more convenient to take a quick photo rather than use my scanner when I simply want a record of information. I often take photos of notices, menus, etc when I’m out and about. The built-in flash is extremely useful, even if it has no place in serious photography.

Guest
Donald Mackinnon says:
2 April 2011

I insist on an optical viewfinder. Currently have a Canon IXUS 95 bought because it had this feature.

Profile photo of Rich Parris
Guest

Hi Donald – in case you get a chance to re-read your post, how do you find the viewfinder on the Ixus 95 in everyday use? Our suspicion is the viewfinder on the new Canon A1200 will be of a similar design, so it would be great to hear your thoughts on how you find working with it?

Guest
Avril D says:
8 April 2011

We were lucky enough to buy, almost by accident, a Nikon Coolpix 5600 with viewfinder. It wasn’t until we also got a Kodak Easyshare C140 without viewfinder that we realised how valuable the viewfinder is. Now everyone wants to use the Nikon!
Delighted to hear that viewfinders are making a comeback.

Guest
john milner says:
11 April 2011

I fully support this campaign. I recently bought a panasonic lumix g2 because its a great camera and also because it has an excellent built in electronic viewfinder. I’ve been really impresssed with both the LCD touch screen capabilities and the quality of the electronic viewfinder. Additionally, the viewfinder is essential in bright light when using the camera for either photos or video (HD quality). Who says you cant have your cake and eat it. I’ve even sold my excellent sony camcorder because I no longer need it, as the g2 is equally good for video. Other manufacturers should take note.

Guest
Arch Decon says:
11 April 2011

I am very impressed wtith the electonic viewfinder accessory of my Panasonic Lumix LX5 digital camera. I was keen to have an electonic view finder so I can see the results of using filters in front of the lens, particularly a polariser. It is almost as good as having a mini SLR.
My eyesight is far from perfect but am amazed at the brightness and clarity of the view finder image. I can easily read the digital information, which can be switched off for clearer picture composition.
It is far better than the viewfinder image on a Fuji bridge camera I looked at a couple of years ago.
It is also much better for my eyes than the squinty little optical view finder on a Canon G10.
IMPROVEMENTS TO LX5
1). I think the LX5 veiw finder image would be even better if it were 15 – 20% bigger. There is no need for more pixels.
2). I would prefer a slightly longer focal length range: i.e 28 – 105 rather than 24 – 90 mm.
3). The Lens cap filter ring should be 52 mm so the same lens cap can be used for the filter adaptor tube, rather than 46 mm as now. I suppose not too many people use filters these days.
Otherwise I have found it a superb little camera and much better than I had expected in almost every way.

Profile photo of terfar
Guest

I mostly agree with your comments on the LX5: a slightly larger live viewfinder and a standard 52 mm ring would be a bonus. They should also produce an auto-opening lens cap (though you can get a handy third party version on eBay for around £11).

But please don’t take away the 24mm wide angle lens. To me, the 24mm wide angle is far more important than 105 mm tele.

How would you feel about sacrificing the silly little flash to make way for an integrated viewfinder?

Guest
peter ramsay says:
3 May 2011

I have a Panasonic DMC-TZ10 which I bougth to replace an ageing Canon IXUS 11s (with viewfinder) so I could take better photos on a recent trip to New Zealand. Photos taken in bright sunlight have turned out to be badly taken eg off centre as I was unable to see the image on the screen and could only guess at the position. On one trip i overheard several people making the same complaint. Some had Panasonic’s but other makes were the same. How on earth could major manufacturers miss such a basic problem. I have e-mailed Panasonic several weeks ago and as expected have not had the courtesy of a reply.

Profile photo of Rich Parris
Guest

Hi Peter – thanks for your remarks. We’re soon to kick off the next wave of this campaign, challenging the manufacturers with the responses to their responses! Hopefully Panasonic and the other big manufacturers will clearly see just how strongly-felt this issue is with their customers, potential customers, or potentially-missed customers!

Guest
Nik says:
4 May 2011

I am so pleased you have addressed this issue with Camera manufacturers. Usually newer technology can be relied upon to improve on previous incarnations, but when LCD’s replaced optical viewfinders(OVF’s) it was for many a backward step. Those that wish to capture the moment or carefully frame a shot (yes, creativity with a humble compact) have been shortchanged by the LCD. Try tracking a fast moving subject with an LCD held at arm’s length or tight framing whilst shooting into low sun – it’s nigh impossible unless you like to shoot blind a la mobile phone style and spray the scene with umpteen shots in the faint hope one of ’em will be OK. OVF’s have laws of physics to contend with and I can’t help feeling EVF’s are the best hope for those missing an OVF. Good luck with your campaign.

Guest
Fishyfishyswim says:
9 May 2011

Having what would be considered as ageing eyesight, I find it absolutely impossible to use a camera without a viewfinder! My arms just aren’t long enough and by the time I’ve put my glasses on, the time has passed for the shot or I have a double glare problem.
We bought a Canon A720 IS and almost immediately saw the problem.
I ended up going back to SLR and bought a Canon EOS 350 D- which is a great camera but on the bulky/heavy side for ‘snaps’.
What I’d really like is a re-chargable, small, light camera, with a viewfinder….surely it’s not that hard!

Profile photo of terfar
Guest

That is the same with me: my arms are just too short these days!

As I said in an earlier post, I went for the Panasonic LX5 plus its optional live’ electronic viewfinder. It is still a remarkably small and lightweight combination and the viewfinder even has adjustable dioptric correction – great for those of us whose arms are now too short!

The drawback is the price: around £440 for both.

Guest
John Thurston says:
18 May 2011

A swivel screen and a viewfinder give the ideal result.
A camera without either cannot is hit and probabley miss.
Just buying another camera with both.

Guest
old ben knobi says:
23 May 2011

I still use 2 x Fuji FinePix compacts, chosen because the viewfinder is in the top left corner of the camera body. I use them particularly when sailing (and skiing) because (a) I have to keep one hand free to hold on to the boat (or ski stick) for safety, (b) I can press the camera against my nose and into the corner between nose and eye for steadyness and (c) I can then operate the camera with one hand.

Guest
George says:
26 May 2011

People like me with long sight problems have difficulties focusing the LCD not matter how big the screens they are, it is no fun putting the glasses on and off for taking pictures or movies. I have been looking to replace my old Canon S30 with a more modern compact camera with view finder, and find it very difficult. The nearest that I can find is the Canon G12 and it’s not really a compact!

Guest
Beebey says:
29 May 2011

On a recent trip to Australia, where there was very bright sunlight, I was unable to use my Panasonic camera due to the lack of a viewfinder.I could only point and guess at what I was shooting. The results were terrible and I have now given my camera away.
I have been trying to buy another one with a viewfinder and have been told they are no longer made.
A large London store told me about your campaign. I am delighted and wish you every success.When a good one is available I look forward to buying it.

Profile photo of Rich Parris
Guest

Hi Beebey – glad to hear that word of our campaign has spread to a large London store! We’re hoping that the manufacturers are going to collectively wake up and realise there’s a huge market they’re missing out on – people who want to be able to see the shots they’re taking! For now, Canon are standing alone with their new PowerShot A1200, which has a small optical viewfinder – I’m looking forward to seeing if the others step up their own efforts

Guest
Peter Resch says:
13 June 2011

It’s no contest. I used an older P&S FujiFilm camera a couple of years ago holding it out in sunlight trying to frame a shot, guessing where to point it. The camera didn’t have image stabilisation so the final result was useless (but well exposed).
I vowed then that I’d never own a camera without some sort of eye level viewfinder.
OK, as far as I know all current P&S cameras have some sort image stabilisation so that gets around most of the camera movement blur problem but it doesn’t solve the framing problem when trying to compose a picture at arms length in bright sunlight.

Guest
Mike Shearman says:
22 June 2011

I fully support your campaign. The screen on my Panasonic Lumix TZ5 only gives a very hard to see image out of doors – even in overcast conditions, and the point made about posture is absolutely correct. Trying to take telephoto shots with arms outstretched is a fool’s errand. It makes you wonder if the manufacturers ever test the products in real-life conditions.

Guest
Cath McDonald says:
26 June 2011

I go to Australia every two years. I have an old Kodak C360 with a viewfinder which is invaluable. My Australian family have compacts without viewfinders but find them impossible to use outdoors and therefore use SLRs or borrow my camera. I would love to upgrade to a newer camera but until I can get one with a view finder I will stick to old faithful.

Guest
bee says:
26 June 2011

My husband is still using our old Olympus C-40 which has a viewfinder. I have a new Panasonic TZ20 and find it a far more exciting and useful camera than the Olympus – but am frustrated that as soon as the sun comes out it’s guess and shoot! The benefit for stability in holding the camera to your face is very important too. On a cold but sunlit beach in NW Scotland recently, I found myself holding and operating the camera with one hand while using the other and the hood of my parka to try to shade the screen while squinting at it close up!
The Olympus only has a tiny screen, but we find hardly need to use it, and that saves on the camera battery of course. As others have already said, I reckon I would use a viewfinder all the time, and if I had to choose between an inbuilt flash and an inbuilt viewfinder, would always choose the latter.

Guest
Andrew Wilson says:
5 July 2011

I bought the Nikon Coolpix7000 because it and the Canon G12 were the only available new digital cameras with an optical viewfinder. Unfortunately the viewfinder is next to useless and adding no real benefit whatsover. There is significant paralex error and no indication of correct focus displayed.

I have reverted to using the screen. Overall the camera is not very good.

Guest
Hari Kodagoda says:
6 July 2011

LCD’s are prone to get dirty and grubby, and they are reflective. I have currently got a Sony DSC – HX5V which I carry with me most times. The camera is brilliant EXCEPT that on a bright sunny day I trust to God that my aim is OK as it is a guessing game as to what I am shooting – you can’t see your subject and surroundings.

WHAT IS THE POINT OF CARRYING A CAMERA WITH YOU IF YOU CAN’T TAKE A PICTURE AS YOU WANT TO WITH REGARD TO COMPOSITION BECAUSE OF REFLECTIONS ON THE SCREEN!

Profile photo of Rich Parris
Guest

Quite right Hari! And the HX5 is a tremendous little camera in most regards, but the moment that screen is at the mercy of the sunshine, you’re left helpless! Sony have told us they’re speaking to their Japanese product development team about the findings of our campaign – we’ll keep on chasing so that they’ll hopefully see light of day!

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Guest

Sony are being a bit disingenuous. Their eye-wateringly expensive optional viewfinder for their NEX series can only be used for their wide angle lens; more of an arrogantly dismissive nod towards the viewfinder campaign, I’d say…

Guest
Irina says:
24 August 2011

I have had 3 models of the Olympus SP series over the years because a) they have a manual function b) a zoom and c) an (electronic?) viewfinder which sems to be as good as any SLR prism for composing shots . I have now irreparably damaged my SP560uz and now cannot find a direct replacement. I wouldn’t be without the viewfinder – I rarely use the LCD screen except for shots from the ground/very high up! I think the manufacturers are making a grave mistake phasing them out. Using a viewfinder reduces camera shake and you see exactly what you are getting! I need to be able to compose a shot accurately….

The Olympus has other issues with its zoom mechanism… but that’s another story…..

Guest

Sooo glad you are working on this issue. I am not old, nor do I need glasses, but I travel a lot, and even in England sometimes it is virtually impossible to see anything on the screen…until the ‘moment’ has passed. After many years (any maaaany problems) my Sony DSC W80 has died, but I am now going to wait until next year’s models…hopefully with viewfinders…come out to choose. I would like something perfect for travelling please, manufacturers: small, not too expensive (likely to get stolen, especially if it looks expensive), robust (waterproof to 2 metres?), viewfinder, and a ‘light flash’ option, I don’t want to look like a ghost, but sometimes it’s just too dark (in a tent!) not to use anything.

Profile photo of Patrick Steen
Guest

Good news! Sony’s latest compact camera isn’t only slim, it includes a viewfinder. It’s pricey, but as Rich Parris explains in his latest Conversation, it’s a game changer – this electronic OLED viewfinder could help manufacturers bring viewfinder tech to today’s slim compact cameras:

https://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/digital-camera-viewfinder-sony-nex7-oled/

Let’s hope it happens soon, and is more affordable!

Guest
Alberto G. says:
1 September 2011

Well, I am glad something is moving ! Not only the compact cameras, but also some bridge cameras do not have any viewfinder (e.g., the recent Nikon L120). I add another point in favor of electronic or optical viewfinder: if you are long-sighted – and everyone beyond a certain age becomes long-sighted –
you have additional problems in seeing the LCD image, whereas the viewfinder can be easily adapted to one’s sight ability !
I would like to know what NIKON is saying…
From my point of view NO VIEWFINDER NO BUY, as others have stated already

Guest
Hedley Saunders says:
20 November 2011

I mourn the loss of viewfinders, even a poor quality viewfinder is better than none at all. I take pictures at sea and on the ski slopes, a screen is often useless in these circumstances. I would go so far as to say that I would prefer a camera with a viewfinder alone than one with a screen only.

Guest
Nancy says:
1 December 2011

I’m thrilled that you are airing this issue AND taking it to those who most need to understand: the R&D folks at the manufacturers.
You seem to refer, and they do also, to the difficulty of seeing the screen in bright sun, which is a major concern, however I believe there are two other equally important issues.

Holding a camera steady is Photo 101. Pulling in your arms steadies the camera as you peer through the viewfinder. If you wear reading glasses in order to see detail clearly, (yup, most folks who are over forty) you may not always have them handy. When you extend your arm to get the screen at a distance where it will be easy to view, your arm is likely to shake and blur the shot. This has ruined more than one promising shot for me.

Today’s viewing screens are the equivalent of a postage stamp version of the image. By contrast, looking through the camera, one sees the image full-size and more detail is available. I’ve always been an excellent photographer. Now I feel like I’m reduced to little more than “framing” the shot so everyone is in. I can’t notice details until I download to the computer and discover the stray hair, garments that are askew etc. It is very frustrating.

So, there’s a negative impact on getting a steady shot, and on being able to even compose and shoot a quality picture.
For those who would counsel me to just go get my glasses, I say this: The best photography is accomplished by seizing the moment. Having the camera handy is defeated by also having to have glasses at the ready.

If the manufacturers think there’s no audience for a return to small, affordable cameras with viewfinders, they ought to ask grandparents. Many have become resigned to being onlookers. I was the family historian for 25 years. Now I am so frustrated I just defer to the kids. If what matters is the cost and the market, I say there IS a market and I have been looking for several years.

Profile photo of john callisto
Guest

Some of the comments are muddying the water – confusing the issue. An EVF is NOT the same as an optical viewfinder. I got rid of an otherwise splendid KonicaMinolta A2 bridge camera because I could NOT get on with its EVF – reckoned to be the best of its kind at the time. EVFs show all sorts of artifacts with moving subjects, respond badly to rapid changes of light levels, and have poor resolution because there’s never enough pixels to match the analog resolution of an optical viewfinder. And they eat up batteries. If you like to hold your camera to the eye a lot of the time, not just when you are certain to want to take a picture, an optical viewfinder is a must. Why do DSLRs have optical viewfinders? They cater for users that need them, but also, it’s intrinsic in the SLR design that they can easily be provided. It’s the whole purpose of the design.

There is an inherent technical problem with compacts. Any optical viewfinder in a NON-slr configuration is a compromise: a parallel optical circuit that does its best. More than 3x or 4x zoom provides a great technical design problem in producing an optical viewfinder. With the fashion for and demand for 15x or even 30x zooms in high end compacts and bridge cameras, an optical viewfinder is a technical impossibility, which is why manufacturers palm us off with EVFs.

The distinction between an optical finder and an EVF is like chalk and cheese: don’t be fooled because with both you put your eye to a little window. If you want an optical finder, you have to settle for a low zoom range OR an expensive add-on that deals poorly with parallax in close-up work, or get an SLR.

So, it’s DSLRs for me – I have and use both Canon and KonicaMinolta systems. I’d like a small take-anywhere camera and I’m tempted by the new Canon compact and am quite happy to settle for a low zoom range to get an optical viewfinder, but I’m waiting for a slightly upmarket version with the addition of manual setting options.

Profile photo of Rich Parris
Guest

Hi John – I’m a big fan of “true” (i.e. DSLR) viewfinders, and myself I greatly prefer using them to electronic viewfinders (EVFs), but I would say EVF technology has moved on a great deal in the last decade since the Konica Minolta A2 camera.

Modern EVFs can offer superb image clarity and high resolution – the OLED EVFs which we’re beginning to see now from Sony (and I suspect soon from Samsung) are exceptionally sharp.

I think manual focusing will be the true make-or-break test for EVFs – how well can they show the detail some users will need when they’re controlling the focus themselves. But for autofocus and point-and-shoot purposes, I reckon modern EVF displays have a lot going for them myself

Guest
Mike Greenwood says:
12 May 2012

I am still on the look out for a camera with a viewfinder, the Canon PowerShot A1200 is not an option, it uses silly AA batteries. The AA batteries run out very quickly what a stupid idea.

How hard can it be to make a real decent camera? Camera makers have had many many years to get it right. Make a camera with a viewfinder with a proper dedicated battery. While they are at it, give the camera A, S, P and Manual modes. Oh and at a sensible price! Not £1000 not £799 not £399. But something sensible, like about £90 or maybe £120 at most. They are too overpriced at the moment!

Guest
tizzy says:
17 June 2012

just come back from namibia and everyone we met cursed the ‘point and pray’ digital cameras without viewfinders. fed up trying to take a photograph when all i can see is a reflection of my nose. do the people who design these cameras ever use them in bright sunlight?

Guest

I am extremely disappointed with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8. I didn’t realize how much I would miss the viewfinder until I couldn’t take a picture because all I could see through the viewing screen was my own reflection. When I asked Panasonic about this they said to hold the camera over my head. I can’t tell you how many photos I’ve missed because of that. I mean who can get an accurate photo when you can’t see the object. When I approached them a second time they said they would do nothing about the problem. So my advice is – don’t buy Panasonic because customer support and satisfaction is the last of its priorities. I’ve NEVER had the same problem with Canon.

Guest
Sceptical Bastard says:
5 October 2012

Manufacturers have lost the plot. I’m having difficulty finding a cheap camera to carry in my pocket.
I wouldn’t buy any camera that doesn’t have a eye level viewfinder so my choice is limited.

I have an old Minolta DImage 7 that has an electronic viewfinder. Curiously, when the shutter is released the image disappears for 1/2 a second or so like in an SLR (only longer). With an EVF there’s no need to do this.
I don’t know why the designers did this but it wasn’t a good idea.

Guest

I wrote to Canon and did not get a reply about making their next compact camera with i.e 18x zoom and a larger Optical Viewfinder.I already have a A1200 model, which is very good value for the money. The A1300 is a measerly 1x more magnification. You would think after the A1200 model there would have been a noticeably larger Optical Viewfinder and Zoom

I am sure that everyone would be prepared to pay proportionly more for this improvement.

The manufactures have nothing to fear for their untouchable SLR’s

Rod

Profile photo of john callisto
Guest

It would be nice, but there are SEVERE technical problems with making a long wide ranging optical viewfinder. 3x or 4x zooms can be fitted with optical viewfinders – dealing with parallax and macro is a bit of a botch – ok for short zooms but unsatisfactory with long zooms. Manufacturers don’t like to point this out as it looks like a cop-out, but there’s no shame in it: the problems are pretty fundamental. The only solution is either an EVF (which many people hate) or – you’ve guessed it – an SLR! Why no manufacturer has come up with an SLR with a fixed zoom, now that modern zooms – with their moulded aspheric elements – make a good stab at being an all purpose lens, I do not know. They would have many design options with a non-removable lens, not needing a mount interface, and the sensor being free of dust problems, to name just two. Also, with a non-removable lens, the in-camera firmware could be programmed to deal with pin-cushion, barrel, and vignetting lens distortions, again giving more freedom and opportunities, and fewer constaints, on the lens design.

Guest
Hedley Saunders says:
5 January 2013

I was terribly disappointed with the response from Olympus, I have been a faithful Olympus owner for decades and have nearly always carried one in my pocket. I tried their “unbreakable” compact but unfortunately the USB port seal leaked and the camera drowned. Before that happened I had had trouble taking pictures in bright light because of the lack of a viewfinder.
I still use my oldest 4mP Olympus in an underwater housing and would love to buy an updated version but not without a viewfinder. For use ashore I have resorted to a second hand Canon Ixus 900.
Delighted to hear that Canon may be going to produce a new compact with a viewfinder, the price is almost immaterial to me, I need a small pocket camera that I can use in the snow and at sea.
I will certainly try the new Canon camera but really want another waterproof Olympus WITH A VIEWFINDER, cost not important.

Guest
Claudine says:
29 December 2013

2 years after you started your campaign, and still waiting for compact cameras with viewfinders, especially the waterproof ones! You buy a camera to go to the beach and – well, you have no idea what you’re shooting because of the sun shining on the screen.
Please keep fighting…