Using the LCD vs Viewfinder

Hi all,

I’m just curious if anyone ever shoots using just the viewfinder instead of the rear lcd? Especially in light that almost everyone shoots raw.

1 Like

Hi George
I only us the viewfinder and that is grounded from the good old days when SLRs didn’t have rear ICLs.

I always use the viewfinder as well. I imagine some of the articulating LCDs these days are useful for low-angle photography, but I’ve also finally reached the age where I’d need to break out a loupe or reading glasses, so in general it seems like a big hassle to go off the back of the camera.

btw- It feels about ten years too early to be asking this question. I didn’t think I was that old fashioned! :wink:


Edit: Harley’s post below reminded me that I have used the LCD to fine-tune AF with a stationary subject in the past. So I’m not 100% old school, I guess.

I always use the viewfinder and sometimes use the LCD to fine tune the focus and occasionally review the composition. The viewfinder gets used on every image regardless.

I rarely use live view 98 percent of the time I use the view finder.

1 Like

Viewfinder the vast majority of the time. The only times I don’t use the viewfinder are when I need to take advantage of the articulating screen, and I tend to use the read LCD for night shooting. This is all on my mirrorless system. On my DSLR, I can’t remember the last time I used the rear lcd to do shoot with.

1 Like

Very similar to the others. I use the viewfinder almost all the time. Every once in a while I’ll use the LCD to fine tune focus when doing close-ups or Macro and then invariably I’m using a magnified view.

1 Like

I only use the viewfinder. The few times I’ve used LCD was when I needed to get an angle that would hurt my neck.


I’ll be the outlier here :laughing: since switching to Fujifilm some years back I’ve almost stopped using the viewfinder and really favor the LCD now. Maybe it’s because I don’t shoot at eye level all that often so it would hurt my back to be constantly bent over. Or maybe I just like to be more immersed in the landscape and not have my head buried in the camera :man_shrugging:t2: When my tripod is down low it’s like working with a TLR, and when up high it’s more like a 4x5. I’m actually surprised so many people still use their viewfinder, or maybe I’m just crazy :crazy_face: (highly likely)

I’m not familiar with Fuji and my Sony a6500 isn’t the newest and greatest in that line, but if the other mirrorless cameras are similar, I do not find the electronic viewfinder to be as good as a straight optical one. I suspect that many of the mirrorless shooters, especially those who got in early, started using the back LCD partly for that reason. I’ve never been able to aim decently using the back LCD, which is why I still use the viewfinder on the Sony and hope the AF is locked on where I want it. For manual focus, the focus peaking function takes care of that issue.

1 Like

The LCD viewfinders on newer mirrorless cameras are incredibly good, they have come a long ways. I would argue that they are better than the optical viewfinder in many ways. When I look through an optical viewfinder now it feels antiquated and I can’t imagine going back, but I’m sure I’m in the minority here. This subject is all very much personal preference so I’m just offering a different point of view so when someone comes across this thread they don’t think there is only one way and they are wrong if they do it another way.

1 Like

I use the view finder 99.9% of the time due to aging eyes. My camera has a diopter adjustment that allows me to shoot without wearing glasses.

Also, having shot 35mm film, medium format film, and 4x5 all with optical viewing, using the view finder is ingrained, and I find it easier.

1 Like

Hi All,

Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I am astounded by the number of responses. Like David Kingman, I am surprised that so many still use the viewfinder.

I am a viewfinder user myself which is why I asked the question. I wondered if there was something I was missing. I will use the LCD but only when I need to be able to see what’s around me for safety purposes or if I am in a position that using the LCD is the only way I can get the shot and still see the subject. Since I take lots of wildlife pictures using the viewfinder for me makes it easier to find my subject and track birds.

Thanks everyone for participating.


No offense but isn’t everything pretty much personal preference?

I’m with @David_Kingham here. I would use the rear screen 100 % of the time if it was viewable in bright light.

1 Like

Agree with @GEGJr that viewfinde is best for wildlife probably, but all I shoot is landscapes.


You could always go back to a dark cloth! I have a friend that still uses one with digital :grin:

1 Like

Nah too much trouble. One more thing to carry around and get lost. :grin:

1 Like

I use the viewfinder most of the time, particularly handheld. I will use the lcd when things get awkward (and the light allows) so that it’s easier to use than the viewfinder.


Not yet having made the change to mirrorless, I cannot preview what the image will look like through the viewfinder, but I can on the rear LCD screen. So I use the rear screen when I want to preview the effect of my settings. I have a Hoodman loupe to be able to view the LCD screen in bright light.