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Old April 11th, 2011, 04:20 AM   #1
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Focusing with HDSLR. Do i really need LCDVF or external monitor for sunny day?

Hello,

there is one thing which bothers me all the time: focusing on HDSLR. I want to ask those of you who shoot weddings with hdslr cameras - do you use just camera own liveview screen or you are using LCDVF or external monitors?

I know some dont use any additional equipment for focusing , but i had similar camera for a few days outside on sunny day and it was really hard to focus with camera lcd screen as it very hard to see what is going on on screen.
Personally i dont like the idea of stivking my eyes 8 hr a day to external LCDVF - i know i will feel pain in eyes.
Can u please tell me of your expirience - how u manage to shoot without LCDVF.

thank you
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Old April 11th, 2011, 04:45 AM   #2
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Re: Focusing with HDSLR. Do i really need LCDVF or external monitor for sunny day?

Hey Andy

The LCDVF isn't used for 95% of my (UK) wedding-filming day - I literally just attach it for a few seconds when I'm in really bright sunshine, to get round the whole glare-on-screen problem.

I absolutely love it - it's like temporarily looking at a huge external monitor - and the fact you can attach it round your neck, means it's an accessible option without being an awkward contraption permanently stuck to the camera body.

hope that helps!

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Old April 11th, 2011, 06:21 AM   #3
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Re: Focusing with HDSLR. Do i really need LCDVF or external monitor for sunny day?

The only time I use my Z-Finder is outside in the sun as it is nearly impossible to even see the screen otherwise (for me). But its not a problem to see the screen outdoors if it is being shaded.So you could try to use an LCD hood instead of the LCDVF.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 06:36 AM   #4
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Re: Focusing with HDSLR. Do i really need LCDVF or external monitor for sunny day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Greene View Post
The only time I use my Z-Finder is outside in the sun as it is nearly impossible to even see the screen otherwise (for me). But its not a problem to see the screen outdoors if it is being shaded.So you could try to use an LCD hood instead of the LCDVF.
I agree. I only use my Z-Finder outside on a sunny day.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 07:29 AM   #5
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Re: Focusing with HDSLR. Do i really need LCDVF or external monitor for sunny day?

We get by just fine without them but will be buying some for the outside bits. Weve been going by so far without them but decided this year that on those bright (if not rare days here in the UK) that a LCDVF would be just dandy
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Old April 11th, 2011, 09:43 AM   #6
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Re: Focusing with HDSLR. Do i really need LCDVF or external monitor for sunny day?

There are pros & cons to using a loupe on the LCD of a Canon DSLR. On the plus side it does provide a further point of contact with your body so rather than holding the camera at arms length it's rather less shaky when braced up against your eye socket. On the downside don't expect anything too great in terms of the image. The loupe will just magnify the pixels on the screen so it's not going to be very high resolution.

The Panasonic GH2 which is not strictly a DSLR has a really good electronic viewfinder that can be used while shooting video (unlike the Canon optical viewfinder) there isn't a good eye cup for the EVF but it is much higher resolution than the Canon screen (approx 960x540 versus the 640x480 of the 5DII LCD).
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Old April 12th, 2011, 09:21 AM   #7
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Re: Focusing with HDSLR. Do i really need LCDVF or external monitor for sunny day?

Hi Nigel,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
The Panasonic GH2 which is not strictly a DSLR has a really good electronic viewfinder that can be used while shooting video (unlike the Canon optical viewfinder) there isn't a good eye cup for the EVF but it is much higher resolution than the Canon screen (approx 960x540 versus the 640x480 of the 5DII LCD).
I haven't done any side-by-side testing but it seems as though the Canon DSLR's use an LCD that has nearly twice as many pixels as the GH2. Maybe you or someone that has seen both can give their impressions of the apparent sharpness and the ability to focus with a loupe on both?
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Old April 12th, 2011, 09:58 AM   #8
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Re: Focusing with HDSLR. Do i really need LCDVF or external monitor for sunny day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Peregrine View Post
I haven't done any side-by-side testing but it seems as though the Canon DSLR's use an LCD that has nearly twice as many pixels as the GH2.
The 5DII LCD is 640x480 (921,600 dots) the newer model Canon DSLRs are a little higher resolution. The GH2 LCD is lower resolution at 480x320 (460,000 dots) but TBH until I looked up the specs I hadn't noticed the difference as it is still very usable although I would guess not so great with a loupe as that would just enlarge the smaller number of pixels. Where the GH2 shines is that the EVF is 852x600 & really sharp. I am not normally a big fan of EVFs but am happy with this one.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 10:08 AM   #9
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Re: Focusing with HDSLR. Do i really need LCDVF or external monitor for sunny day?

BTW In case anyone was wondering about the number of pixels not matching the number of dots. All the camera manufacturers rather sneakily quote LCD screens in terms of numbers of dots not mentioning that there are three dots for each pixel (Red, Green & Blue).

Last edited by Nigel Barker; April 12th, 2011 at 11:39 AM.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 10:10 AM   #10
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Re: Focusing with HDSLR. Do i really need LCDVF or external monitor for sunny day?

We also don't use it much because it actually causes camera movement with the way we shoot. For us, hand-holding the DSLR without support is way too shaky, so we shoot mostly on sticks, sometimes a monopod. The loupe with a monopod would help with stability, but it's a real hindrance when shooting on a tripod. It's also hard to stay aware of events happening around us when using a loupe.Other than bright sunlight, we don't have issues with accurate focusing when using just the LCD.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 11:51 AM   #11
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Re: Focusing with HDSLR. Do i really need LCDVF or external monitor for sunny day?

We tried them out but didn't like them. So we shoot everything with a bare screen. We did try out screen shades but they don't help out in the sun. The problem is not sunlight hitting the screen. The problem is that the anti-glare screen is highly reflective. So it's the sun hitting your face or the bright scene behind you that you'll see in the screen. Best way to remedy that is to shade your face with your hand and use your body to block out background reflections.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 12:52 PM   #12
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Re: Focusing with HDSLR. Do i really need LCDVF or external monitor for sunny day?

I only use my ZFinder on REALLY sunny days. Otherwise I prefer just the bare screen.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 01:33 PM   #13
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Re: Focusing with HDSLR. Do i really need LCDVF or external monitor for sunny day?

Used to use a towel over the cam on a sunny day. Went to a z-finder, liked it but found myself taking it off more than using it. Now I use a cinevate cyclops for sunny days. Prefer it much more than the z-finder as it's sharper, but it is definitely more bulky. R&G situations I wouldn't use it too much (preps), but I'd definitely use it for lock down cams.
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