Reply from Roger Cicala - re: robustness of articulating screens


Feb 2, 2011
Sarasota, FL
Due to a (rumor) thread where it was guessed/hoped for/etc, that the 5D Mark IV would have an articulating screen, I decided to send Roger an email asking about information he may have regarding failure rates of articulating screens. In the email, I made mention of how some state that weatherproofing would be an issue, but then provided a counter example of Tony Northrup's where he had 4 cameras get soaked (2 of the GH4 and 2 of the 5D Mark III) and the cameras with articulating screens survived (GH4) whereas the 2 with the fixed LCD did not (5D Mark III).

Here's Roger's reply (reposted with his permission)

Hi Jonathan,

I'm afraid that's too big a topic to generalize on, except I will a bit. An articulating screen is another moving part that can break. But most of the time, that's going to occur with a lot less frequency than other things like LCD cracks, buttons dying, etc. Statistically, with less than 100 bodies that we have more most cameras with articulating screens there's no way we're going to see a difference compared to the frequency of all repairs.
In taking things apart it's obvious an articulating screen means a flex is entering the body. It may be well sealed, it may not. I would say from just taking things apart that I expect there would be a difference from whether the screen was in an upward or closed position.
But then I always am entertained by anecdotal evidence of water resistance. I do have the statistics on which camera bodies we carry have never died from water exposure: none. There's no body we haven't written off from water exposure. Some do seem better sealed than others. But I'll repeat what I always say: if the manufacturers believed in their water resistance claims, they wouldn't have a note in the warranty that says water voids the warranty.
That being said, I would (from my experience, not from any data) consider G4s and Pentax bodies to be relatively more resistant. Even though I've seen both water frazzled.

Best regards,

I responded saying that it was comforting that there weren't any glaring issues trending towards negative. I also mentioned that what he wrote would likely confirm for detractors and supporters, their positions for or against articulating screens. He replied with:

I think you've hit it on the head - people have very strong opinions, there aren't any facts to really alter anyone's opinion.

My dissection of what he said above. Keep in mind that I'm of the opinion that if you don't purposely try and break your articulating screen, it has a minuscule chance of happening. I also believe that for the most part, if an articulating screen were to be damaged, a camera with a fixed screen would also have been damaged. In other words, the utility of an articulating screen GREATLY outweighs the ridiculously small chance of something happening to a camera with an articulating screen that wouldn't have caused damage to a fixed screen camera. So if a persons argument for NOT purchasing a camera with an articulating screen hinges (pun most definitely intended) on it's robustness, it's a pretty weak argument (how's that for irony? hinge... weak... lol). Again... this entire paragraph and the commentary to come is ALL my opinion... so again, here's my takeaway from his email...

An articulating screen could break. But the chance of it happening is less than other things like LCD cracks, buttons dying, etc. Also, as many have pointed out numerous times, a camera owner could mitigate some risk from a cracked LCD by flipping the articulating screen around and hiding it.

Even though Lens Rentals has less than 100 bodies with articulating screens, their sample size is likely among the largest in the world (especially across multiple brands) and they haven't found a glaring problem. So the chance that someone who owns 1 body would find a statistically significant problem which applied across the board would be extremely unlikely.

An articulating screen can be as well sealed as a company wishes to make it.

Lens Rentals has had every type of camera body die from moisture of some sort.

My final takeaway is this... Roger's a REALLY cool guy to take time out of his day to answer my question for me.


Advancing Amateur
Aug 17, 2012
I'd still vote for it :) It's been very handy to have on my 60D and even better if it were a touch screen. I don't have a 70D, but I would think that the 70D would be a dream camera for live view macro shooting.


The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
Hi jebrady03!

Thanks for your effords and thanks to Roger for sharing his experience.

As for having an articulating screen or not I never was in the con camp because it could break.
You and the other pro people don't have to convince me here.

My main statement was that of course if the articulating screen was designed an built well, the chance of failure could be minimized. And i see all the advantages from it, too.

I have two con reasons that can be easily invalidated by design - but not cheap:
1. With a small 100D/SL1 but also with a big FF body I would take the minimal size
over an articulating screen at any time.
If it's possible to built it into a body without the typical additional 3 to 5 mm and bumps and dents, I'm in.
2. with a sealed FF body I expect the screen to be at the same level of sealing -
at any time or working condition. Roger said, this seems to be possible.
But also under consideration of reason 1? Don't know.

So it's up to the dev deparments to put me in the pro camp ;)


May 15, 2014
wsmith96 said:
I don't have a 70D, but I would think that the 70D would be a dream camera for live view macro shooting.

I do not do much macro. But when I do my 70D + EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro lens have been my go to and it works very well. The articulating screen is the most useful. The touchscreen + DPAF is solid as well but less useful. Often I use that to get the focus started. But then fine tune with manual afterwards as the AF is going to focus on the closest thing it can find. And that green square in liveview is not much of a focal point as a giant focus area.

To the OP, thanks for sharing your conversation with Roger.
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