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As an adjunct to the Tangents blog, the intention with this forum is to answer any questions, and allow a diverse discussion of topics related photography. With that, see it as an open invitation to just climb in and start threads and to respond to any threads.

Articulating Screen

edited September 2013 in general photography
Wanted to get everyone's take on articulated rear Lcd screens. Nikon or Canon, no matter. The cameras from both makers only put those on their entry to mid level DSLRs. Sony puts them on theirs, the A77 and FF A99, and was wondering why Nikon and Canon haven't gone that route. Please, don't say it's not suitable for Pro level DSLRs. That's not acceptable. It would make laying on the ground or even kneeling, for that matter, to get a shot from lower angles a thing of the past. My Sony NEX 7 24MP APSC camera has it and its a blessing. But if you think laying on the ground makes us look more professional, I disagree. I think those days should be over by now. Even my older Minolta Dimage 7i 5mp camera has an eyepiece that rotates 90 degrees so as to use the camera in waist finder position. Flame me if you wish, but I personally think Nikon and Canon are remiss in not incorporating this feature into their higher end DSLRs. Is there a particular reason they haven't gone this route? The ONLY things that comes to mind is that in certain situations, holding the camera away from your face may introduce camera shake and add a little bulk or weight. That's all I can think of. I know many of you here, though afraid to admit it, would love an articulating screen. Thoughts?

p.s. Neil, in your recent Tangent post below, you would not have to be laying on the ground to get that shot if the more professional grade DSLR's from Canon and Nikon had articulating screens. Just an observation, not a critique. Just my 2c's worth.



  • Hi Penndragon2001

    As I have 15 years selling camera equipment , I can chime in on this this. Im saying it " articulating LCD are not suitable for Pro SLR Bodies "

    Nikon and Canon are not being remiss they are being practical. There several reasons why pro Body don't have articulating LCD.

    1. Structural - Every time you add a hinge with wires going though it becomes a weak point in the cameras construction.
    Also the way most Pros use there camera an articulating LCD wouldn't last more then a couple of months. I cant tell you how many time I had people come in with broken screens almost twisted off hanging by a thread because they left it open and rammed into something.( BTW not covered by the manufactures warranty )

    Most pros rather have a more robust body.

    2. Power drain - LCDs drain a lot of power especially if they are on all the time, it can drain a battery by 15-20% faster.
    Id rather have that extra battery power for taking more images

    3. Focusing- LCD will never be as sharp or accurate as a optical viewfinder..... ( until they catch up with Star Trek of course )
    I can fix exposure, but I cant fix focus.I need to know my images are in focus before I take the image.

    And FYI , Sony cameras are really Minolta's in disguise.

    Theres my Two cents.

    Lou Recine
    Owner Matrix Photography

  • edited September 2013

    Great reply sir.
    1. People not taking care of their equipment is their own fault, not the fault of the camera. I know many people in the business who have had their equipment for years and have never abused their equipment, but that depends on their shooting style and environment to some extent. gonna get abused and damaged Very quickly, agreed. Many of the newer cameras with rear articulating LCD screens fold into a recess in the rear of the camera body. Quite strong. Hey, It's a nice option to have, you can use it or not, as with many options on many different cameras, it is there if you need it. If you have a Devil May Care attitude with your equipment, and treat your 3-8000 dollar cameras like over the counter Kodak 110's. Then go right ahead Abuse it. Or perhaps you have so much fun money you don't give a crap.

    2. Power train, We ALL bring extra power packs or batters with associated chargers and whatnot...Non issue

    3. Focusing LCD..Well My Sony NEX 7 Rear LCD is extremely clear. Not sure about that argument of yours there at all.
    If my 2 Nikon's had this screen, boy I'd be even more happy.

    Your last comment also doesn't wash, not sure why it's even mentioned. Yes, I'm well aware Sony took over Minolta...They ARE NOT the same camera, maybe the A700 and A800 and A900 Series, agreed, that's it. Matrix, no offense sir. especially the newer Translucent ones like the A77 and A99, not to mention a few others are all relatively new technology. And yes the lenses are interchangeable, Minolta and Sony

    Matrix, please don't take these comments as an assault or disrespect sir, not my intent. Me personally, I treat my gear with the respect it deserves so that it will last me for a long time. Don't have the funds to buy thousands of dollars worth of gear every few months because I treat it like garbage. I'm fairly certain many here would agree, but don't wish to get bashed for agreeing with me. My 2 cents worth...again. I do appreciate your comments and take into account your many years of experience in the business. Peace sir.
  • Penndragonn:

    Several months ago I upgrade from the Sony A900 that has a very good OVF, to the Sony A99 that has an EVF and a LCD. After getting use to the EVF and the additional information it provides I prefer it to the OVF. 95% of the time I’m using the EVF but the 5% of the time that I use the LCD I’m glad I have it.

    The A99 goes through batteries faster than the A900, but if you have the vertical grip that isn’t an issue as you have a total of three batteries, two in the grip and one in the camera. The LCD has no effect on the sharpness of the image. When in AF the camera is focusing off the sensor. In manual focus the camera has focus peaking which highlights what is in focus, it is very useful.

    I think we’ll be seeing more EVF and articulating LCD on professional camera in the near future.

  • qrickman,
    I have a Sony NEX 7 and by the way it's an amazing piece of hardware and thinking about purchasing the A77 or the FF A99. Several friends have the A77 and I tried it out and was completely taken back by it. Different feel then my Nikon's, but in a good way. I agree 100% with your assessment. Not quite sure I really need the FF body of the A99. The feature set of these cameras is startling to say the least, as with my other comments, its there if you need it. Thank you for your honest reply sir, as with Lou (Matrix).

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I think Lou summed it up very well there.

    Anyway, I'd still by laying down on the ground for that shot .. it's comfy. :)
  • I have no doubt Neil!

    I see in a few short years EVF being the Dominant, along with Articulating rear LCD Screens. You don't have to use it, but it's there if you do need it.

  • Well, I took the plunge and got a Sony A77. It will back up my Nikon D7000, and Sony NEX 7. Should be arriving at my house this afternoon, along with the 16-50mm F2.8 Sony SSM Lens. Love the Articulating screen. Have used it with my NEX 7 and really enjoyed it. The NEX 7's screen simply tilted up and down, The A77's tilts up/down, and flips/spins. You can flip the LCD panel towards the camera, so the LCD is protected at all times, or leave it in it's normal position, LCD facing out. Came in handy in many different situations. Love using it in the waist finder position mostly. I tried a few A77's from several friends and fell in love with this camera. It's quite the piece of hardware. Say what you will, but until you've tried one of these SLT cameras, preferably A77 or A99, you don't know what you're missing. The EVF is simply superb.
  • Personally I don't really care for it but it would not bother me if it came with the next camera. I would just keep it in the recessed part. I shoot using the viewfinder 99% of the time. I must admit getting up off the ground is not as easy as it was when I was 25. If it were there I might use it for that situation.
  • edited September 2013

    As I, and you have stated, it's a great feature to have...use it when you need it...fold it up and away when not needed, that simple. Know what would be great? If you could order a new camera with all the specs/hardware you wanted piecemeal. Imagine that? WOW ? Like ordering a brand new car with all the options you want. Price point would probably be exorbitant. Just a thought. We can dream right?
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