Live View

Several popular SLRs are now equipped with a live view facility. In simply terms, live view on a digital SLR allows you to preview the photo you're about to take using the large LCD on the back of the camera. It's fair to say, however, that this new technology is yet to take off with SLR users both on land and underwater. The main limitation is that the reflex mirror inside the camera needs to be raised in order to expose the image sensor. This effectively disables the auto focus system. As a result, LV (on my Nikon D300 for example) has a very slow shutter response since the mirror must be lowered in order for the lens to focus.

Live view function is popular topside for the photojournalist, holding their camera above a crowd in order to compose a shot. Photographers moving up from compact cameras are also very familiar as all compacts use live view. If you are looking to purchase for the first time or upgrade your SLR, there is every chance your chosen model will support LV. But take care that LV does not influence your decision.

Since the introduction and my upgrade to a Nikon D300 in 2007, I have yet to find any meaningful use of LV in an underwater situation. That being said, LV capabilities are not created equally. Olympus, for example, appear to be addressing this and have gone some way to correcting some common faults. With the increasing capability of video recording on SLRs, we may soon see more use of LV.

For further discussion on Wetpixel regarding the merits of live view LV go to: simpleresults&sid=751dd99f6cd45b351005cfceb3b84046& highlite=liveview+slr

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  • adamo
    Is live view needed for underwater photography?
    7 years ago

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