Wednesday 1 April 2009

Camera Features-Liveview

When live view first came out as a feature on a Dslr it was poo pooed by many thinking that it was just there for the point and shoot brigade, It isn't and there is more to it than just being able to see what in front of the lens
Firstly its a great benefit to macro shooters as you can frame the shot then zoom in up to 10 times to focus on the important part of the scene-like a bee's eye then you can finely tune the focusing and take the shot knowing its going to be sharp, Here you can see the focus point and compensation dial

If you want yo use the maximum amount of pixels that your camera has then you don't want to have to start cropping to get straight horizons etc so the Nikon D3 has 2 ways of doing this,Firstly you can show a grid and secondly you can see a virtual horizon like on an airoplane -simple and effective

The main benefit i find with the liveview system is to be able to see a live histogram,Its actually easier to use on the Canon and i have only just found out how to set the D3 up to use it, On the canon once its activated in the menu system just click the 'set' button and live view come on but with the Nikon you have to push a button and turn a dial and then press the 'OK' button and then the 'info' button to scroll through,Sounds time consuming but not too bad once you know how,With the histogram showing you can compensate and see the image either darken or lighten and the histogram will move either left or right in real time and you can then adjust the exposure without actually having to take test shots-great if you have easily spooked animals and birds in front of you, Its a function that i used every time with the Canon 1D3 and something that will be very handy to have on the Nikon, In this image you can see a perfect histogram without clipping at either end and that to get it i have dialled in +1 compensation
Another very handy feature of liveview is for Landscape photographers, If you set the liveview and place a ND Graduated filter in front of the lens you can instantly see the effect that the filter has on the image,If you have the histogram set as well you will see what the effect is on the exposure as well,If you still get blinkies in the sky use a stronger filter-simple,Not all landscape photographers use a filter holder and if you just need to use a ND Grad on its own then this is a good way of seeing the image before you take the shot

As you can see the live view system has evolved into a very effective tool for all kinds of photographers-Dont dismiss it


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