Understanding Viewfinder in Photography: How it is used?


You must understand how light interacts with the environment you want to photograph in order to capture the scene accurately. In this sense, a viewfinder is a basic yet useful feature that comes with every camera. Consequently, this article explains the fundamentals of a viewfinder, its types, and how it can be used to know your camera.

What is the Viewfinder?

When you take a photograph, you look through the viewfinder. It displays your settings, the contents of your frame, and other useful data. Small Galilean telescopes that served as viewfinders were integrated into the bodies of vintage twin-lens reflex cameras. It was not related to the lens, but it provided you with a general idea of the scenario you were trying to imagine.

Since they utilized one “lens” to frame and another to take the photos, the pictures were never accurate. The accuracy level decreases with closeness to the issue. It’s referred to as the parallax mistake. Rangefinder refers to any camera with a viewfinder that does not constantly project the same image from the lens.

Every modern camera will have a rubber eyepiece that makes viewing through it simple. There are mirrorless cameras without viewfinders on the market. You can purchase an external one in this situation and fasten it to the camera. There are available optical and electronic viewfinders. You’ll notice that both optical systems have surprisingly identical autofocus areas and fields of view.

We expect the viewfinder to accurately depict the scene in front of us since we use it to create a picture. Despite a few things we should be cautious of, it is most certainly a fact. The magnification of the viewfinders must be changed. Because the viewfinder is 1x, the subject is exactly the size we see. While utilizing different cameras, only minor variations could happen. When peering through the lens, the image you see is precise.

Benefits of Viewfinder

General Camera Settings

When looking through the viewfinder, the three primary parts of the exposure triangle – the shutter speed, the aperture, and the ISO – are clearly visible. Shooting is made easier because you can do it while maintaining eye contact with the eyepiece.

EV Scale

On the bottom of the viewfinder, near the center, a bar representing the EV scale is visible. With “0” in the center, it will display a negative scale and a plus scale. When combined with the settings, this aids in obtaining the proper exposure. The “0” point on your exposure needle should be your target.

This scale will vary if your settings change. Only the exposure compensation setting can be used to change this when shooting in aperture or shutter priority.

Focus Points & Metering

Using the viewfinder, we direct our focus and metering values in addition to framing. The region of focus is shown by a blinking or flashing dot. This focus could be automatic. The user can change the focus zone and mode depending on the subject. There are many focus modes for both static and moving images.

Through the viewfinder, you can see the scene for which you are metering light. Different metering modes take into account various factors while determining the proper exposure.

Custom Settings

  • With picture style, you can modify pictures as you capture them. It is similar to simple in-camera photo editing. Sometimes it’s possible to alter the contrast, sharpness, saturation, and color tone. Custom styles can be created using these options.
  • The picture mode affects the format of the photo you take. You can choose between JPEG, RAW, or a combination.
  • White balance regulates the color temperature of the images. The camera features a variety of saved white balance settings with different Kelvin values. Additionally, you can manually change the temperature or use an automated white balance.

Types of Viewfinders

Optical Viewfinder

While setting up and taking the picture, you peer through the optical viewfinder of the camera. It is referred to as “optical” because you can see the image that the camera captures. Prior to passing through the pentaprism, light entering the camera is first reflected upward by the mirror. The same image that the camera records is displayed in the viewfinder sometimes referred to as the eyepiece (there isn’t any electrical machinery here).

It not only displays the scene but also thoroughly explains how the camera operates. It really doesn’t limit the dynamic range and doesn’t require batteries. Even when it is turned off, your camera is still usable.

You can see the scene thanks to your focal length’s magnification. Both optical and electronic viewfinders can be found on many modern digital cameras. In that case, the electronic viewfinder is the LCD screen’s Live View.

Electronic viewfinder

Electronic Viewfinders on mirrorless cameras are comparable to LCDs on DSLRs. You can take advantage of Live View mode’s features. To put it another way, it gives you a real-time glimpse of what is in your frame.

Electronic viewfinders have some advantages over optical viewfinders. They can be utilized for manual focus peaking to increase accuracy. Additionally offered is a variety of real-time information. Another method for leveling your images is through grids. Since they are digital, they perform poorly in dim lighting. They also have a lesser resolution than optical viewfinders and take up energy more quickly.

Summing Up

The viewfinder, which displays the image you’ll be taking, is a crucial component of the camera. It is utilized for exposure, metering, composition, and focusing. Despite the fact that different cameras could use different techniques, they all perform the same function. The two most popular types of viewfinders for cameras are optical and electronic. It would be best if you weighed the advantages and disadvantages of each before buying a camera. You won’t be choosing a camera only based on the type of viewfinder it has. It would help if you chose after taking into account additional factors. After that, you can familiarize yourself with its kind of viewfinder.

Sincerely hope that this post has helped you fully comprehend the viewfinder. We (Vadzo) can offer special camera solutions. Additionally, we provide a wide range of services, including scanners, CCTV, CCD/CMOS, medical imaging, surveillance systems, machine vision, and night vision systems. Moreover, we provide ISP optimization for many different sensors, Processor cores, and use cases.

Still confused? Our support team will be able to help you by Reaching Us