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Author Topic: Do that many people use Live View for pics primarily over normal Viewfinder?  (Read 10608 times)


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I've been reading some posts here, and a thought occured to me...seems a lot of people, more than I'd have thought...are mentioning regularly using Live View for stills.

Now, I use it  when doing video, it is kinda forced on you...but for stills, I've rarely used it...in fact, I really don't know how to get most of the settings I want on it yet, planning to sit with manual over the holidays and read up on that.

But I primarily use the regular old view finder, to see focus, use metering there, etc.

When shooting stills, I only really take the camera down from eye level to look at the back to maybe play back an image or two when I'm not sure of the exposure...

Anyway, just curious how many use the Live View primarily when shooting stills, and if so...why? What's the advantages?
It seems a little awkward for me...to hold the camera out in front of me, and at that angle to me, not as easy to spin the shutter speed wheel, or dial the aperture on the back...etc.

Why do you like it if you use it?

Thanks in advance,


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For primary shooting? No, not me. But when I'm doing something on sticks (macro, landscape, etc), or with support and I want to fine-tune manual focusing, then I often will. Or I'm having to hold it up over my head to try and get a shot.
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I use live view mostly for landscapes and maybe previewing some shots I'd like to make.  There are some cases where it is very difficult to meter.  You would have to go for spot metering and then averaging it manually through your head.  An easier way to do this is to go for live view.  It may not be as accurate but at least you have the general idea of how your shot would turn out.  But saying this, I'd do it mostly for still objects.  For moving objects, I'd rely on my viewfinder more and EV adjustments to get the metering right.  This is just from my experience with 500D.  I don't know if it will be easier when using higher end bodies since I know they have better metering capability than 500D.

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Live view is at its best for studio portraits where it is used while the camera is tethered to a computer.  I use it extensively that way.
It is also useful for manual focus lenses, since you can magnify 5 or 10X and get more accurate focus.
I'd guess that only 1 or 2% of users use it that way.


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I use live view to focus. At 10x it's great to manually focus to the part you want in focus.
Everything from Macro, to Landscape, to portrait , to shooting the moon benefit from Live view.
If's it clear at 10X on Liveview it's very in focus.
I'd recommend using it.


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Yup, concur with others. Manual focus for landscapes etc. I chose the hyperfocal distance and focus there at 10x magnification. Avoids AF hunt, avoids changing the lens / body position to focus. Allows simple composition - rules of thirds, and finally allows me to tune exposure in real time before I shoot (visually / using the RGB overlay)

For any "static" subjects, I'm not sure why I would *not* use LV :)
If life is all about what you do in the time that you have, then photography is about the pictures you take not the kit that took it. Still it's fun to talk about the kit, present or future :)


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With the TS-E and MP-E 65, I use almost exclusively live view. In particular with the TS-E lens, it's the best way to get the metering correct.
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Edwin Herdman

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I use LV for any TS-E lens or macro-style shots.

Even for some wildlife photography it is useful if you have a moment to settle down and check focus, even with a big zoom lens.

Really it comes down to knowing what the situation calls for.  The viewfinder's main reason for being is speed and ergonomic use, at the cost of precision (at least since the Live View revolution; but before this, arguably I think you could say that viewfinders were a departure from the ground glass method of image composition).  I would have no complaints if I could use the viewfinder for everything, but I end up using Live View a significant portion of the time, at least half, outside of wildlife photography.


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Ok, thanks.

What ya'll have indicated, are the few times I used LV....on tripod, getting zoom in for focus on things at times manually...etc.

I was just getting from some things I read, that many seemed to be saying they were using it for hand held...and using it primarily over the viewfinder...



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I use Live view for photo's regularly with Magic Lantern peaking.  I particularly find it useful when doing any sort of closeup or macro work.  I've found it quite difficult to find the inside edge of a lenses range when up close through the view finder.  For some reason it will take pics completely out of focus when you are inside the close focus point of a lens.

If you have older manual lenses, the ML focus peaking feature in live view is the only way to go.



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I was just getting from some things I read, that many seemed to be saying they were using it for hand held...and using it primarily over the viewfinder...

For a while I shot a lot of real estate (4-6 houses a day).  For that exposure simulation was a god send, since normal metering breaks down indoors, and you are stuck balancing indoor light, window light, and flash - so auto anything isn't an option.  I would use live view to set my base exposure, use the AF-ON button to take one focus reading, then shoot a few frames handheld with different flash settings and angles.

So for that work, I was actually using live view over the viewfinder.  For almost everything else, aside from the already mentioned landscape and macro and manual focus lenses, I use the viewfinder.   However there are some applications where using handheld live view can come in very handy.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 01:54:53 AM by Area256 »
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Live view is essential for me using manual focus at fast apertures. The focus screen in my 7D doesn't allow me to accurately focus at anything wider than f/4.
To see what I mean, focus on something in the foreground and take shots at f/1.4 & f/4, then compare the background rendition in those images to what you actually see through the viewfinder.
Not an issue with interchangeable focus screens, but I'd rather not put an aftermarket screen in my camera.


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Also comes in handy for candid street photography, where you don't want to make it too obvious who your subject(s) are.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 02:53:45 AM by Pyrenees »

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I use LiveView most of the time, when the cam is on a tripod.
I use LV never, when my cam is not on a tripod.

Especially in low light ... think cityscapes at night etc... - you can see much more on LV than in the optical viewfinder. Plus, for focussing STATIC scenes, the magnifier on LV is the single most precise method I now of.


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Why do you like it if you use it?

Thanks in advance,


Hello Cayenne!

Good question you rised here!

* Mostly when photographing in the darkness of night-time and when the exposure simulation is particularly handy,
when camera is on tripod with different lenses after sunset in night-time-photographing.
* When using 10x magnification to set manual focus when camera is on tripod for example when using my telelens with extenders, and to
have the benefit of mirror-locking at the same time during exposure.
* When using my TS-E 17L/24LII/90mm to set the critical focus when using tilt in closeup/landscape/cityscapes

(One observation - when I am using recently the live-view with my 5DM3,  I was a bit surprised (un-scientifically noted!), that the 5DMK3 consumes battery,
 a bit faster compared with my 5MK2? I wonder if you have noted this "down-side" with live-view - but I always have at least three battery-packs with me!)
Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun!

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