LCD screens on the backs of cameras have higher and higher resolutions these days, and since the size isn’t usually increasing, we’re seeing more pixel density. It appears that Canon has been thinking about creative uses of these high-res displays: a recently published patent shows a Canon digital camera with a loupe-style viewfinder that swings down onto the LCD to use a portion of the large display as the smaller electronic viewfinder.
Here are a couple illustrations in the patent that shows the viewfinder glass swinging down. When this is detected, the camera presumably switches modes and displays the entire screen’s content in the portion of the screen that’s under the loupe:
This type of poor-man’s EVF would be more and more usable as LCD screen resolutions increase. One problem that would need to be solved in a production camera is the question of where the “magnifying glass” viewfinder is kept when it’s not in use.