Enjoying the Benefits of Live View

From the Best of Mark Toal

One thing that people forget about is what you can do with a live view camera that you can’t do with a digital SLR. After using Micro Four-thirds cameras for five years, I take it for granted but recently had to use my Nikon SLR for a portrait shoot and was reminded of all the things I’ve become used to with MFT.


I’m a big believer in using the histogram to judge my exposure. On my Micro Four-thirds camera I can see the histogram live in the electronic viewfinder or on the LCD, adjust the exposure and take the photo. On a digital SLR I have to take the photo then play the image back to see the histogram and then adjust the exposure. If it’s an extreme lighting situation I may have to repeat the process.


My favorite feature is the touch screens that both Panasonic and Olympus incorporate into their Micro Four-thirds cameras. A touch screen makes it easy to focus on subjects, play back images, and adjust settings such as exposure and white balance without taking your eye away from the screen or viewfinder. With a touch screen camera you can touch anywhere on the screen to focus precisely on that spot or you can set the camera to focus and shoot when you touch the screen. This sure beats having to move the SLR to set the focus and then hold the shutter down or to move the focus point using buttons or a dial. In this portrait of the little girl I just touched the screen on her eye to set the focus and hit the shutter.

Once you get used to live view and touch screens you’ll never want to go back.