how to use your camera better

Camera Tip #59: A point of View

Another common misconception often heard from safari participants is that using your camera's LCD display is a bad idea and it should never be done.

If you are using a DSLR, you should probably only use the LCD sparingly. DSLR cameras are not optimized for LCD shooting and you will notice that it takes a very long time for it to focus (although this technology is changing rapidly and improving every day). However, if you are in a tight position or if you need more height and need to hold your camera over your head, then shooting with the LCD makes a lot of sense. You need to know that it will take a few extra seconds while the camera is hunting for focus before it will fire. You should also be aware that taking photos from your LCD means more battery consumption; so carry extra batteries. Another key benefit of using your LCD is that it's a way to achieve mirror lock up. If you are doing long exposures and need to lock up your mirror you can go through your menus to achieve mirror lock up or simply turn on live view. (Please see post on mirror lock up.)

If, on the other hand, you have anything other than a DSLR, then you will suffer from little to no shutter lag problems and there should be no issues with using the LCD. Furthermore, if you have a view finder, it is often a small LCD screen. In other words it's the same as the larger LCD screen on the back of the camera. The only difference is size and because you have to put your eye very close to it, you can see it better when you are outside in the bright sunlight or if the sun is behind you. Again, by using the viewfinder, your battery consumption is also lower.

So whether or not you use the LCD depends on the situation. It is neither good nor bad.