Friday, July 27, 2012

Viewfinders and Focus Points

The viewfinder is one of the most important tools that any camera posses, whether it be an optical or electronic one. I recently had an interesting discussion with some other photographers about viewfinders and framing shots. Here are some interesting points that came up in the discussion.

  • No auto focus point coverage for shots out of the rule of thirds (primarily on full frame cameras)
  • Trying to fill the frame and not crop 
  • Purposely framing with cropping in mind (for different aspect ratios)
  • Viewfinders should offer more than 100% coverage, so you can see outside of the frame
  • AF points should cover the entire frame, to eliminate the need to focus and recompose
Some of these issues cannot be overcome for technical reasons (at least not with optical viewfinders), such as the are of AF coverage in the viewfinder. Having larger than 100% coverage may not be practical, for size reasons. None the less these points show the diverse needs of photographers in different genres of photography, from wildlife, and landscape to street, wedding and portrait shooters. Some wait for the subject to come into the right spot in the frame, while other put the subject in the right spot. All these different ways of composing an image bring us back to the viewfinder. How you use the viewfinder will shape the way you make images.

If you could improve one thing about your cameras viewfinder what would it be?

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