When we first asked whether you wanted viewfinders back on digital cameras, we didn’t expect such a resounding response. So we’ve built a ‘viewfinder campaign’ and taken your comments to the manufacturers.
When our camera expert Rich Parris wrote about his longing for the return of the good ‘old-fashioned’ viewfinder back in August, at best he presumed a trickling of support.
But instead of silent nods and quiet ambivalence, his Conversation received a flood of encouragement – we’ve had over 200 comments so far!
To this day Rich’s ‘bring back the viewfinder‘ Convo has provoked more public support than any other issue we’ve written about. And I don’t know of any other that has so many ‘thumbs up’ and not one ‘thumb down’.
Bring back the viewfinder
Manufactures have seemingly discarded the viewfinder in favour of outdoing each other with ever more compact digital cameras. It’s now so hard to track down a compact camera with a viewfinder, that you’re basically limited to buying a chunky and expensive SLR. And you quite decisively want them back:
‘I have never owned and will never buy any camera for personal use that does not have a viewfinder… period!’ asserts Sue Jenner. Peter Jones agrees, ‘I’ve been holding off buying a new compact camera for nearly two years because I can’t find a suitable one with a viewfinder’.
And Roger B rounds it off quite nicely, ‘The viewfinder is the first thing I try when buying a camera. No viewfinder, no sale.’
At the same time, Rich was surveying Which? members. Of the 1,667 asked 70% said they struggled to use an LCD camera screen in bright daylight, and of those who didn’t own a camera with a viewfinder, 60% said they’d find it much easier to take photos if they did.
Support our viewfinder campaign
So armed with these survey results and your hundreds of Which? Convo comments, we’ve taken this issue to the manufacturers. A gleaming pamphlet stuffed with some of your comments (pictured below) was created and sent to all the major camera manufactures – including Panasonic, Sony, Canon, Fuji, Olympus, Casio and Nikon.
We’re currently awaiting a response from each of the camera makers (and prodding along the way) so fingers crossed the humble viewfinder will make a significant return.
We’ll bring you their responses in the near future, but if you support our viewfinder campaign, sound off below and help us badger manufacturers to bring them back.
Update 29 March 2011: Five of the big camera manufacturers have now responded to our campaign to bring back viewfinders to compact digital cameras! You can hear from Canon and Olympus in this Conversation, with Sony, Panasonic and Fujifilm having their say here. Are you happy with their responses?