The Pros and Cons of Using an LCD Viewfinder for Photography

LCD viewfinders are popular tool among DSLR filmmakers for shooting in sunlight and ensuring tack-sharp focusing, but have you considered using one for still photography?

In this video, Portland-based photographer Jimmy Hickey explains some of the strengths and weaknesses of using one for photography. The main pros: you see exactly how the resulting images will look as you’re shooting them, and magnification makes focusing easier. The cons: battery drain and added bulkiness.

  • Joshua Kehn

    One of the reasons why I bought an A77 was the EVF.

  • justingaskin

    I’ve been using an LCD viewfinder for quite awhile for my digital cameras. Although this method has been used for decades in traditiona fashion photography. When I used to have a hasselblad, a similar viewfinder imperative, so naturally this leant to how I use a dslr. Great tips on the video! (Video guy might want to use scopes when shooting though :D

  • nit-picky guy

    What is tack-shark? is that anything like Tiger shark. JK, I know it is supposed to ay tack-sharp.

  • Michael Zhang

    Thanks for being nit-picky, nit-picky guy! Fixed

  • Jimmy Hickey

    hahaha he was! he is just new to filming and not too steady! Next time he will improve!

  • Robby Cornish

    what kind of viewfinder is that? that just snaps on and off?
    do they all do that? I thought they were “stickered” on.

  • junyo

    This isn’t so much the pros/cons of using and LCD viewfinder, as much as how to work around not having an EVF.

  • Checkmate

    Only watched because the girl was cute….

  • checkmate

    What is ay? I’m sure you meant “say”….not to be nit-picky or anything.

  • donniefitz2

    I’m pretty sure Sony already fixed this with the high quality EVF (a77).

  • Steve

    I bought a cheap on that has magnets. You put a metal strip around the camera LCD and it snaps in to place. But the magnets have come off, so I need to fix it. You get a much bigger image than with any EVF I’ve used. It’s good but I found it a bit awkward to use for stills and just use it for video.

  • nit-picky guy


  • gabe sturdevant

    What about the delay from having the live view on? That adds seconds to your shooting time, and you can miss the shot, even in a portrait setting

  • checkmate

    I believe you mean: touché

  • Andy Hodapp

    He forgot one of my favorite upsides to using the LCD viewfinder, if you have a cheaper camera, Canon rebel camera for example, you get 100% accuracy instead of the 95% with the viewfinder, this can be extremely helpful for composing shots of landscape as not to cut something off. Also you get less mirror shake when using a tripod which is helpful for long exposures.

  • madmax

    just buy a camera with a good amoled fully articulated screen and you are done

  • Daf

    I think with some you can stick on a metal frame designed for the camera model – and then the viewfinder magnifier edge is magnetised and just snaps on. Sorry don’t know which brands.

  • Jimmy Hickey

    Yeah that delay is a bummer at times:/ Also being left eye dominant

  • Eli Bishop

    Mine has magnets and a metal strip.