Art and Photography

how important is live view on a dslr?

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  • Oct 2nd, 2009 3:26 pm
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Newbie
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Aug 2, 2007
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how important is live view on a dslr?

Hi All

Hope you guys and gals can help me with this question.

How important is live view on a dslr?

I'm a newbie and trying to decide on D3000 vs D5000.
I've read different reviews and I'm not sure if I'll be able to take advantage or notice the difference in D5000 over D3000 except for live view.

The only reason I'm asking is because live view seems to be pretty useful on a point and shoot camera but how useful would it be for a newbie that just want to take pictures of family and maybe some landscape on a dslr?

Should I spend a the extra $300 on live view and video on the D5000?

Thanks

Andy
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Jan 25, 2006
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it might be useful when u want to take a pic at a weird angle, or like, when u want to focus on different parts of the frame (i think).

other than that, its not absolutely necessary, imo.

with that said, I would put live view as one of my requirements when buying my next dslr.
[OP]
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vincent-poon wrote:
Sep 28th, 2009 11:37 pm
it might be useful when u want to take a pic at a weird angle, or like, when u want to focus on different parts of the frame (i think).

other than that, its not absolutely necessary, imo.

with that said, I would put live view as one of my requirements when buying my next dslr.
appreciate your quick response, so I guess in my case you would spend the extra $300 or so for the D5000?

The only reason I'm so concerned is that I don't think I'll be getting a another camera for awhile so I would like to get it right the first time.
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May 20, 2008
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not a deal breaker; but comes in handy when I need to make sure **** is absolutely in perfect focus when I put it on a tripod and leave it to go somewhere else.
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Mar 17, 2004
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I never use it. It's not even useful for focusing really. You could do the same thing by taking a picture then reviewing it, zoom in really close, check the focus. It'd even work better that way too as you can zoom in.

Also if you think about it, if the picture you want to take is at a weird angle, chances are you won't be able to see the LCD at the same time to compose and have to take a blind shot anyway. No problem with that either because you can always retake the photo, its digital after all.

The only reason I would find it useful is if you're giving the camera to someone to take a pic of you and they for some reason don't know how to use a viewfinder. I would not pay $300 extra for the feature. I'd rather spend 300 towards a new lens.
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Feb 19, 2004
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Oni-kun wrote:
Sep 29th, 2009 12:36 am
I never use it. It's not even useful for focusing really. You could do the same thing by taking a picture then reviewing it, zoom in really close, check the focus. It'd even work better that way too as you can zoom in.

Also if you think about it, if the picture you want to take is at a weird angle, chances are you won't be able to see the LCD at the same time to compose and have to take a blind shot anyway. No problem with that either because you can always retake the photo, its digital after all.

The only reason I would find it useful is if you're giving the camera to someone to take a pic of you and they for some reason don't know how to use a viewfinder. I would not pay $300 extra for the feature. I'd rather spend 300 towards a new lens.
+1 just just about to post the same thing.
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Deal Expert
Mar 25, 2005
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Is the VF that hard to use? Look though it and shoot!

I find LV to be a pain in the ass. Focusing is slow and sucks, the image gets noisy quickly, and its not all that high resolution.
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May 25, 2009
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OP should also realize that the extra $300 for the D5000 over the D3000 is not just to get the live-view but also a swivel screen and video mode.

I wouldn't even bother with the D3000, it's effectively a D60 with more AF points. I'm biased though as I don't believe the D3000 even needs to exist... I would look into a D5000 at least or consider spending an extra $200 or less to get a D90.

I can't speak on how useful live-view is on a DSLR since mine doesn't have it but I can see it being handy for certain situations, I have no issues shooting from my D60's OVF 99% of the time, its just when you try to compose those shots where the camera is just off the ground/water or really high up where I can see it being more useful.
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Went to the zoo 2 weeks ago. Those glass fences are a pain. They're dirty and full of scratches. Turned on Live View, extended the LCD and raised the camera over the fence above my head and was able to get some great shots. Sure you can always look through the viewfinder but once you have used Live View, you will be able to find shots that you probably would have never tried to do before. It's easy to say you don't need it but if you've never tried it, I wouldn't tell everyone it's useless. There's a reason why everyone's going Live View.
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Mar 1, 2004
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I use live view for macros and landscape. You would use this feature mostly on a tripod or monopod. If you are shooting at a fast enough speed, you can do this handheld. It takes about 3 seconds to autofocus on my 7D using live view. I usually use manual focus with live view to get the exact spot I want in focus. Also cameras that use live view can use a computer to check focus (at least on my 40D and 7D anyway) which ensures ridiculous levels of sharpness. I have used it when holding the camera over my head, or I had my tripod so high, it was difficult to use the eyepiece.
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Jul 27, 2007
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Toronto
I've probably used the Live View on my Rebel XS maybe 4-5 times in the nearly one year since I bought it. I just haven't really run into that many situations where I've needed it. Maybe its because I'm tall and don't have as much need to hold the camera above my head to get a shot. And I don't give my DSLR to strangers to get group pictures anymore. I did that a couple of times before realizing that it was 10x easier to just carry a small point and shoot on trips where this could occur and I give that to people. And that way, if they run off with it, its not the end of the world.

If I were buying a camera now, and the only difference was live-view, I would probably save myself the money and put it towards a lens.
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Apr 30, 2007
450 posts
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I am a D3000 owner and I looked at the D5000. Live View implementations till now have been useless on a DSLRs, but the swivel screen on the D5000 will provide more practical uses of LV. One application of LV is remote shooting via attached PC...if you need that, I would suggest that you spend the extra cash on a D5000 or XSi.

I chose the D3000 over D5000:
- Cheaper but feature rich.
- Does not have the D5000 launch fiasco :)
- Uses same AF engine as D90/D5000.
- I do not care about video on DSLR. For video, I can use a dedicated HD camcorder.

I saved $300+ over the D5000...used that to buy the AF-S 35mm f1.8 lens....and still have some $$$ left over :)

BTW, I used to have an XSi before and used the Live View maybe 2-3 times...
[OP]
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Aug 2, 2007
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Hey Guys

Really appreciate your responses.

Sounds like Live View is only useful maybe 5% of the time.

I guess my choice will be D3000.

I understand D5000 have more functions but I don't think I'm be able to take advantage of it just yet as it will be my first dslr and don't really care about the video mode. Most likely I'll be getting a separate HD camcorder as the video mode in the dslr is not that good.

Thanks again!! :D

You guys have been really helpful with your opinions.

Andy
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Vaughan
I guess if you are upgrading from P&S to DSLR and got used to LV it might be a must feature...
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Feb 25, 2003
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Toronto
I find that i'm using it when my AF seems to be slightly off. Turn on live view, manual focus always dead on. That said, using it about 5% of the time sounds about right.
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