Wednesday, September 12, 2012




Our temperatures have come up, there's humidity in the air & a lot of sunlight blasting into the back yard. I did get a bit of work done on my project in the morning but too hot for this afternoon.  Popped over to Mitchell in late morning to see Uncle Harry & he's doing fine. Had that old sparkle & smile back again.


GYPSY recently purchased a new camera, had problems with it, & took it back. One of the things she didn't like about the new camera was that it did not have a viewfinder. I couldn't agree with her more.


If you have any kind of serious or creative interest in photography you need a camera with a viewfinder. You need to get your eyeball into the photograph you are composing. I have 2 Nikon DSLR's & 2 Canon point & shoots. Three of those cameras have viewfinders & one does not, so this is a topic I have some 'hands on' experience with. First & foremost, for serious photography interests or folks just wanting to take their photos to the next level, you really do want to get yourself a DSLR. (Digital Single Lens Reflex)  All DSLR’s have viewfinders by the way.  My older Canon Powershot A730 point & shoot has both a viewfinder & a display screen. I use the viewfinder exclusively. My other Canon Powershot A710 does not have a viewfinder & I have kicked my assparagus ever since for buying a camera with an LCD display screen only. What was I thinking!!!!!!!!


Right off the bat, without a viewfinder, one of photography's most important aspects, 'composition' is seriously compromised in several ways. How many times have we seen people holding cameras at arm's length weaving & bobbing trying to line a subject up. That's if one can even see the subject in the small display screen because of bright sunlight. And, if your subject happens to be moving....good luck.  You need a viewfinder to quickly get that camera up to your eye, instantly compose & capture your subject. Not to mention the fact of keeping that camera rock steady tucked in close to your body & not 2 feet away from you swaying in the breeze. The only picture you want your brain to be concentrating on is the actual photo you are seeing & it is that composition that needs your undivided attention.  Cameras nowadays can do many amazing things but they cannot compose the photo for you.  You need to do that yourself, & you need a viewfinder to do it right.  One does not have to see the peripheral parking lot to the left or a bunch of buildings, trees or people jumping around to the right. And, you need to see your subject clearly. Why make it more difficult on yourself by trying to look at a tiny two or three inch difficult to see screen bobbing around on the end of your arm.  Keep your eye in the view finder & your attention on your subject and you will be well on the way to improving your photos. 
Now, I'm not knocking point & shoot cameras here at all. I'm just making a point of why I think it is important to have a camera with a viewfinder.  As with pretty much everything, there are pros & cons for both viewfinders & LCD display screens & I am just focusing on one of the point & shoot cons, composition.  Point & shoots are amazing for their technical abilities & getting better all the time. My Canon Powershot SX210IS travels in a belt pouch with me everywhere I go, & no it does not have a viewfinder.   Many times it's hard for me to tell the difference between one of my DSLR pics & one from either of my point & shoots if I'm just looking at them in my blog. But yes, don’t be fooled, when push comes to shove, there is a difference.  And, my point & shoot pics do require more work in my Picasa editing program than my DSLR pics.


‘Fortunately’ I am from the old school of photography in a day & age where we had no control over the finished product so it was important to try & get the photograph right in the first place. And, even if you did you were still at the mercy of some person in a photo lab somewhere printing your pics correctly. With photo editing programs at our disposal now it makes things much easier to fix our own, or the cameras mistakes in the editing process.  It was this digital control from start to finish that eventually brought me back into the new photography age years ago. 


I liken using a viewfinder as opposed to a display screen this way…….Kind of like shooting at a bull's eye target with a rifle or a shotgun. With a viewfinder, it's like using a rifle's gun sight to precisely hit the bulls eye. With an LCD display screen you are using the shotgun approach by holding your camera out there & shooting in the general direction of your subject. Yes, you are going to hit something alright & you can edit that shotgun photo later by cropping your photo but you are going to start loosing quality here. After the shoot, think of it as bringing your target home & then re-arranging the buckshot holes to look like a bull’s eye bullet hole.


Now, I am not the guy to talk to about technical stuff so I guess the bottom line coming out of me is the same as my top line...….If you have any kind of serious or creative interest in photography you need a camera with a viewfinder’.  And, that’s just for starters.  Don’t let some kid behind a camera counter overwhelm you with all the technical stuff like mega pixels, dippy flickles & zoom to the moon dazzle.  Just make sure your camera has a viewfinder, concentrate on your composition & you can think about all that techno stuff later.  And, of course, in closing, I had better add………IMHO:)) 

GROANER’S CORNER:((  When Jack London had his portrait made by the noted San Francisco photographer Arnold Genthe, London began the encounter with effusive praise for the photographic art of his friend and fellow bohemian, Genthe. "you must have a wonderful camera...It must be the best camera in the world...You must show me your camera." Genthe then used his standard studio camera to make what has since become a classic picture of Jack London. When the sitting was finished, Genthe could not contain himself: "I have read your books, Jack, and I think they are important works of art. You must have a wonderful typewriter."

- Tourists see the world, travelers  experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))

- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
(James Herriot)

- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward   

- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right  now...AL.

- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.



  1. As a bit of a retort on your thoughts about the viewfinder vs display on the back of the camera..... I have used a point and shoot camera with a broken display for the last 18 months... I could see the upper right corner of the shot in the display, but all else was left to the editor.

    So Picasa has been my friend... This is where the importance of 12.1 megapixels has come into play.. With a shot of that density, I was able to crop the photo and have the correct composition and retain adequate size density to use the photo or get it printed out...

    The newer camera has 14.1 mp so it will allow even smaller crops with adequate quality...

    But now the big push is to mirrorless removable lens cameras, so get used to it because its just a matter of time and the old SLR will be only a memory....

    Again, JMHO... Rod

  2. interesting 'honest opinion'..and so very true!..I need to learn to use the view finder more!!

  3. Very well said, Al. I'm going to keep looking until I find a camera with the optical view finder. I just wish I had the discipline years ago to learn how to use a more sophisticated and complex camera, and then I'd go to a DSLR today.

  4. Great photos on your blog today! I could not agree more, a viewfinder is necessary! I still have my old 8mm video camera too because it has a viewfinder. So many new video cams just don't have them. How in the heck do folks see through those screens??

  5. I'd be lost without a view finder

  6. I had a little canon with a viewfinder and screen, so I could use either, but managed to "lose" it in Rome last year. (I think someone pinched it, but whatever)
    I got cheap on its replacement, and no longer have the viewfinder. Dumb move. I miss it. So anything I take is like the shotgun shot at the bullseye. Getting tired of buying new cameras though...

  7. Couldn't agree more with you, Al. Always been wondering what the people can see when they "wave" their cameras 3ft. in front of their face.

  8. Glad to hear uncle Harry is doing well....I was a little worried about him.... I also had a uncle Harry, he was my Dads brother and one heck of a nice guy...I miss him.... But he has been gone a long time...
    You take superb photo's Al......

  9. When Rick did his post on mirrorless cameras a while back and mentioned the Canon one came with no viewfinder I said, "well guess I will keep the Canon cameras I have!" Just have never been able to get into holding the camera out at arms length and trying to take a decent photo.

  10. I have to totally agree with your post tonight, and with the groaner!

  11. I couldn't agree more with the viewfinder comments. But Rod has a point also. If you can't get a viewfinder get lots of pixels so that you have more to work with in your editing program. As for the DSLR's Gypsy you should go that route it doesn't take a genius to get a good shot with them. Other than the viewfinder most of them have the same auto features as the point and shoots also as well as those scary manual features that you may or may not choose to use.

  12. The difference between view finder and no view finder is the difference between a snapshot and a photograph.

    There are many fine photo editing programs out there now. The bad news is, you can no longer believe what you see in a photograph.


  13. I have picture envy, but your pics bring joy to me. If I ever take a good one, I will email it to you.
    Stay healthy and enjoy Fall.