None have a "tiltable" viewfinder. at DVinfo.net

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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
For VIXIA / LEGRIA Series (HF G, HF S, HF and HV) consumer camcorders.


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Old April 18th, 2007, 02:44 PM   #1
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None have a "tiltable" viewfinder.

I keep thinking about these new consumer cams and was finally able to see some of them at my local BB. Since I have read that the picture of the HV20 is somewhat superior to that of the Sony FX7, I took a look at that one first. And then I tried out the JVC HD7, the Sony HC5 (there wasn't an HC7 available) and then the new Pany SD1. What I immediately found with all of these cams is that the viewfinder is fixed, more or less. It cannot be tilted up. What a bummer! Many times with my present camcorder, I will shoot with the cam down below my eyeline, with me looking down into the eyepiece. I like the flexability of not always having to hold the cam up level to my eyes. Am I the only one?
Also, with the majority of these cams, the eyepiece is tiny. I had problems with my glasses on. The field of view was very small.
Can these viewfinders be focused? I mean, can they be adjusted for those of us who have to use glasses, without putting the rest of the cam out of focus? With my old cam, I can focus just the viewfinder so that I can use it without my glasses on.
Now I know I can use the flip out LCD screen rather than use the viewfinder. But that would not always be practable, and I would be using battery power much faster.
It seems that these companies cut out the cost it took to provide a "tiltable" viewfinder. That is a shame.
Picture quality may be great with these new cams, but the design (or lack thereof) of the viewfinder makes them less than comfortable for me.
So, with this in mind, I can say that I am disappointed in these units. Will I buy one? With the way I feel right now, probably not. I may just go ahead and get the much more expensive Sony FX7 this summer, or I'll wait and see what comes out next. Hopefully, someone will realize that comfort and flexability of use (handling) or positioning the cam, is just as important as the PQ.

Mike
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Old April 18th, 2007, 03:05 PM   #2
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Hey Mike -
There's a diopter adjustment on the viewfinder - I think it's a little slider on the HV20, just to the side of the finder so it's a bear to adjust while actually looking at the image... and the HC5/7 finder pulls out (but not up) a bit, and there is an adjuster on the side that is revealed. I'm sure JVC and Panasonic have adjustments.

These are great small cameras, but there's only so much that can be packed into such a small form factor... and at the price point. For what they are, they ain't bad! I find the viewfinder at least usable on my HC7, since it pulls out.

DB>)
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Old April 18th, 2007, 03:09 PM   #3
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Well... although I can't relate to your viewfinder problem (i very rarely use mine... prefer the lcd screen), I can say I am in 100% agreement with the idea that PQ isn't everything. I have the HV20, and although I am more than happy with the PQ.... I am MUCH LESS than happy with the overall build quality of the cam. It's troubling me so much so that I am considering trading it in for the HC7. Some people have called me a little silly for this but then I have never really paid much attention to that sort of thing.

The bottom line is that it's YOUR cam and YOU will be using it, not other people... so get the cam that YOU like.

But as far as the viewfinder goes... it LOOKS like the trend on consumer cams these days is more lcd screen and less viewer. This I would imagine to be true because 1) size is becoming an issue (the smaller, the better) 2) consumers just aren't using the viewfinder much anymore. So if a tiltable viewfinder is an option that you can't live without, then you may be forced into the prosumer line of cams.
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Old April 18th, 2007, 05:51 PM   #4
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Well, I agree that you can't put everything into these smaller camcorders, BUT. My 9 year old DV cam is small and when I purchased it, was state of the art at less than $1ooo. Somehow, despite the small size of that cam, and of all the wonderful things stuffed into it, they still managed to include a viewfinder that was able to tilt up. Seems like it would still not be that big of a deal to include. Perhaps it is like George said, the demand for this kind of a viewfinder is not a big thing, since more and more people use the LCD. To support this idea, I noticed that the new Pany didn't even have a viewfinder.
Too bad.
I hope that Sony or Canon, who whoever will come out with a "prosumer" cam that is somewhere between the HC7/HV20 and the FX7 in size and cost, with a tiltable viewfinder, and all the bells and whistles and excellent PQ.

Mike
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Old April 18th, 2007, 06:25 PM   #5
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Hi Mike -

I think the old HC1 was the last of that mindset... and it wasn't that great as it didn't pull out... but it DID tilt!

I seem to recall that the Panasonics eliminated the viewfinder entirely - can't see that myself (literallly!) - especially in bright sunlight...

Demand is a funny thing - the HC7 returned the much missed headphone and mic jacks (HC3), yet the HC5 left those off AND killed the control wheel... and neither one has the simple to all ring for focus/zoom/whatever... You never know what the geniuses in marketing/engineering/management will decide is the "way to go"... for THIS season...

Maybe the next round we'll get the "dream camera" <wink>!

DB>)
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Old April 19th, 2007, 06:34 AM   #6
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Yes, to wait some more. The more I wait the more I can save up, but the more I wait the more I am disappointed at having to wait some more.

Its not that I am waiting for something impossible, its just that I am waiting for something with more common sense built in.

So far, the FX7 seems to be my only real choice, if I can save up enough. Maybe there will be an FX9 coming soon, or an HV30 that will cost less than the current FX7.

Or maybe...

Mike
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