The day I got hooked to live-view

Photo by Tiago Ribeiro

I clearly remember, not so long ago, I was “proud” to own a dSLR and not having a live-view. I couldn’t imagine taking picture with camera just looking a screen, I found that almost offending.

The day live-view hit the dSLR market I was really disappointed and was sure I was never going to use that feature.

However, just a few months after I got my Canon 40D (the first cam I ever owned with that feature) I am finding myself using live-view more and more and it is becoming a “must have” feature for me.

Here are 6 good reasons why I got hooked to live-view

100% coverage: None of the cameras I owned had a 100% coverage viewfinder, that means that the final picture will be, even if slightly, different than the one you actually see in the viewfinder. When you have time and you want to avoid cropping in the post processing, live-view will give you the exact view of your final picture.

Get it straight: The grid on the LCD is an easy way to align your shot and get a straight horizon right out of the camera (here are 6 others), this will also save you some post processing time.

It is good for my back: I suffer from an acute backache and live-view is particularly efficient when it gets too hard for me to reach the viewfinder. It would also be very practical when you set the camera too low or too high.

See the effect of changing your settings: Changing the white balance and/or picture style are directly shown on the screen thus saving you the trial/error approach specially when shooting JPG

Get the perfect exposure every time: Enabling live histogram and exposure simulation will help you get the exposure you want at every shot.

Critical Focus: This the reason why I use live-view the most, enable live-view zoom in and tweak the focus and you will get pixel sharp images guarantee.

All this being said, I use live view for less than 20% of my shots, however when you have the time to use it it is hard to beat.

Is there any reason why you use, or not use, live view of your camera?

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  • East Liverpool Senior Photography

    When I first got my 50D this was one of the coolest features it had I thought and I still use it for any shot I can to this very day. The only time I don’t use it is while in the studio and my strobes cause it to be inaccurate (unless there is a setting for knowing there will be a flash going off that i’ve missed)

    Live view is definitively great and everyone should get it!

  • Jacob Wighton

    I can’t stand it when someone gives me their P$S to take a photo and it doesn’t have an optical viewfinder, but I always use live view when I’m taking extreme macro photos with macro photos and things.

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  • Photonomikon

    I only have a 30D which doesn’t have Live View but I am aware how useful it is. When I first heart about it I thought it is just a gimmick but now, whenever I’m shooting from a tripod, I wish I had it. Clearly, I wouldn’t buy another camera without this feature.

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  • Daniel

    I’ve just used LV for the first time last week, and I was horribly dissapointed, basically for 2 things: it eats away the battery in comparison to the viewfinder, and it’s slower. I don’t know if it was just a matter of the particular camera I used (which was borrowed) or not, but it added a few m/s to the shutter lag, wich for me is a big no-no.

  • Jessica

    I actually just wrote a blog post about a new way to use Live View that I’ve discovered.

    I also use it to focus manually in low light, when the viewfinder is simply too dark for me to see if I have the proper focus. Just switch Live View on, zoom in, and I can achieve correct focus every time!

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  • Marius Muscalu

    because I need live view I have bought Panasonic G1… It’s the perfect camera for me. :)

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