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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:03 am 
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Hi folks,

For those of you thinking of buying a new DSLR and who have been wondering whether Live View should be on your feature list, there is an excellent article entitled Live view versus the cheating DSLR viewfinder on the new dPhotoexpert site.

As you will see, the article uses the new Canon EOS 40D to illustrate the uses of Live View but the points made have a much wider relevancy. Enjoy.

Bob.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:01 am 
Great article, and this man used to be a dedicated Minolta guy. Live View definitely has a purpose and it will be prioritized on my future camera, though it might be a bit too advanced or to niche for an amateur like me :)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:09 pm 
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Just a little spoiler from a critical tester:
Reviewing dof depends extremely on magnification. That is the final magnification of the image that you're judging :shock:
On a 3" monitor at 25cm viewing distance this is 7x smaller than on your 21"-monitor or a A3-print - and dof shrinks with the square of magnification!
When you look through the viewfinder of an APS-C cam you have a total magnification of around 0.9x which is near life-sized.
So I bet you can judge dof at least as good through the view-finder as on live-view...

Addendum: Just made a test, looking through my D80 with the 50mm/f1.4 mounted down the line of a ruler focussing on 0cm. 3cm was obviously blurry, 4cm was hard to read. Than I looked through my olde Olympus OM2n with an excellent and certainly not too transparent viefinder with the 50mm/f1.8 mounted. In this case the 4cm was more readable than with my Nikon combo - in line with expectation from the smaller aperture.

And testing the magnification by looking through both viewfinders simultaneously (!) I can confirm that both deliver the same magnification, the Oly having the wider fov (naturally). So I am really comparing apples to apples.

This confirms that the rant about DSLR-viewfinders beeing cheating on dof certainly does not apply to the Nikon viewfinder or has been all the same with the classical film-viewfinders (and the Oly OM2n had an excellent one).
All in all dof-preview on live-view is a bit overrated in my opinion.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:57 pm 
I think that when he was writing about DOF he was thinking of how much the background was in focus, I can imagine that this is a very usefull when shooting macros and portraits. Another great thing must be DOF preview on smaller apertures, through VF it gets darker the smaller the aperture you preview.

In your test, when you took the picture did the DOF match what you saw in the viewfinder, did it match f/1.4? I think that was what he meant by cheating.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:33 pm 
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Naturally I took a shot at 1.4 and the image resembled quite closely the look through the viewfinder. So at open apertures there is no benefit.
But you're right: with smaller apertures the picture gets too dark to check dof through the vf, but in this case I can have a look at the shot afterwards instead of loosing a life-time opportunity by controlling to much beforehand - and not getting the shot...

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Last edited by Thomas on Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:05 pm 
This sounds incredible, does it vary depending on what lens you use then? I would have guessed it resembled something like f/5.6 or f/6.3 without varying to avoid it to get too dark when attaching a lens at that speed, I think mine does f/6.3 regardles of what lens I use but it’s also an old camera :)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:33 am 
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Well Rune: With "smaller apertures" I mean smaller than f8 as you have a perfect view through the vf down to f8 as I can attest with my Tamron 500mm/f8 mirror-lens.
But judging dof through the viewfinder at f16/f22 (via dof-preview) is certainly a challenge esp. when the subject is not brightly lit.

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