Why I DON’T use a Viewfinder

Some photographers swear by using a viewfinder, claiming it helps them frame their shots with precision and capture the perfect image. However, I take a different approach to my photography and I don’t use a viewfinder. As a self-taught photographer, I have found that I can achieve better results by relying on my instincts and using the camera’s screen to compose my shots. I believe that by not using a viewfinder, I am able to experiment more freely and capture more spontaneous and candid moments. In this blog, I will share my reasons for choosing not to use a viewfinder and how it has impacted my photography style.


Why I Don’t Use a Viewfinder

Hey everyone, something I get asked a lot and I notice a few people commenting on is how I don’t use a viewfinder while taking photos. Sometimes people are just asking why, and sometimes the comments like to get a little more passionate and tell me that I’m wrong for shooting in this way. But shooting with the LCD has its benefits over shooting with a viewfinder sometimes, so today I’m going to be sharing some of those reasons, and I think some of them might surprise you.

The Three Main Types of Viewfinders

If you’ve been on my channel before and seen my behind the scene videos, you might have noticed that I use the LCD or the screen of my camera to shoot with the majority of the time, instead of using a viewfinder. I do this the most when I’m shooting on mirrorless cameras. Back when I used to use my Canon 5D Mark IV, which is a DSLR, I always used the viewfinder and very rarely used the LCD to shoot with. There are three main things that I’ll be referencing throughout today’s video:

  • EVF (Electronic Viewfinder): Found on mirrorless cameras, it allows you to see the exposure changing as you change your shutter speed.
  • OVF (Optical Viewfinder): Found on SLRs and DSLRs, it only allows you to see the framing and focus of the footage, not the exposure or white balance.
  • LCD (Screen): Found on both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, it allows you to view your images and settings.

Benefits of Using the Viewfinder

To start off, I’m not anti-viewfinder in any way. I do still use a viewfinder when using mirrorless cameras. One of the main reasons I’ll use a viewfinder to shoot with is when I’m out on location. Sometimes glare, overcast weather, or really bright sun can cause distracting reflections on the LCD that make it super hard to see, so I’ll switch over to the viewfinder.

When using long lenses or shooting in low light, the extra stability provided by the viewfinder can be beneficial. I prefer using the LCD because it allows me to have better situational awareness of my surroundings, especially when photographing on location or at events like weddings.

Main Reason for Using the LCD

The absolute main reason that I love shooting with the LCD is that it greatly impacts the quality of my work. This is especially true for wedding photography. Using the LCD makes it easier for me to communicate with my subjects and help them to relax. I noticed a huge difference in the confidence of my clients when I switched from DSLR and using a viewfinder 100% of the time versus mirrorless and using the LCD the majority of the time. They can see my face, and the photo shoot feels a lot more natural to them. It’s also easier for me to give direction while shooting at the same time, capturing genuine emotions and reactions.

So, while there are certainly benefits to using a viewfinder, for my style of photography, the flexibility and communication benefits of using the LCD make it the preferred method for me.

Sponsorship

If you do a lot of on-location work like me, maybe you do wedding photography or you like to take your camera with you while traveling, then I want to let you know more about the sponsor of today’s video, Capture One. Their desktop photo editing software is also available on the iPad, allowing you to edit on the go. You can use Capture One on iPad to plug your camera directly into your iPad to import images and give them a star or color rating. Learn more about Capture One on iPad if you want to check it out.

So, while there are certainly benefits to using a viewfinder, for my style of photography, the flexibility and communication benefits of using the LCD make it the preferred method for me.

Why I DON’T use a Viewfinder

Q: Why don’t you use a viewfinder when taking photos?

A: I prefer not to use a viewfinder because it allows me to have a better connection with my subject and to see the image in a larger frame. I find it offers more flexibility and creativity in my photography.

Q: Don’t you find it hard to capture the perfect shot without a viewfinder?

A: Not at all! With practice, I have learned to use alternative methods such as the camera’s screen or relying on my instincts to capture the perfect shot without a viewfinder. It has allowed me to develop a unique shooting style.

Q: Have you ever considered using a viewfinder?

A: While I have tried using a viewfinder in the past, I found that it didn’t suit my photography style. I prefer to work without one and continue to produce creative and captivating images without it.

I hope you find useful my article Why I DON’T use a Viewfinder, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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