What Is A Viewfinder?

If you’re new to the world of photography, you might not have heard people talk about viewfinders. Viewfinders are often overlooked, but they are one of the most important things on your camera and something that you SHOULD be using.

Let’s have a look at exactly what a viewfinder is and why you should be using your camera’s viewfinder.

What Is A Viewfinder?

A viewfinder is an optical device on your camera that is used to help photographers compose their photographs before taking a photo. You get two types of viewfinders namely, optical viewfinders and electronic viewfinders. Optical viewfinders are located near the top at the back of your camera, and electronic viewfinders are found on newer DSLR cameras at the back of the camera.

What Is An Electronic Viewfinder?

An electronic viewfinder (EVF) is a device that shows the user what their photograph will look like before it is taken. It displays this information on an LCD screen located at the back of newer DSLR cameras. Its popularity only started to grow in recent years due to advancements in technology.

What Is An Optical Viewfinder?

An optical viewfinder is the original style of viewing system that is still used in many cameras. It uses a series of mirrors and prisms to redirect light from the lens through a hole in the camera body and into your eye so you can see what your photo will look like before taking it.

This type of viewfinder has been around since 1839 when Joseph Nicéphore Niépce invented it but its popularity declined as electronic ones became more popular due to their ability to display information on an LCD screen.

Pentaprism Viewfinders

A pentaprism viewfinder is a type of optical viewfinder that uses mirrors and prisms to redirect light from the lens through an opening in the camera body so you can see what your image will look like before taking it.

It was invented by Henri Chrétien in 1902 but did not become popular until later when manufacturers began adding them to their cameras. The first Pentaprism Viewfinder, designed by Henri Chrétien

Pentamirror Viewfinders

The pentamirror viewfinder is a type of optical viewfinder that uses mirrors and prisms to redirect light from the lens through an opening in the camera body so you can see what your image will look like before taking it.

This device has been around since 1966 when Olympus first introduced it but its popularity only started to grow in recent years due to advancements in technology which made these more affordable for other manufacturers.

What Is A Diopter?

A diopter is a small lens in your camera’s viewfinder and it is used to measure the optical power of the lens.

Diopter is a term used to refer to the amount of magnification in an optical viewfinder. A diopter value of 0 means that there is no magnification at all and you will be able to see exactly what your image will look like before taking it.

If it is not properly adjusted then the viewfinder might appear to be blurry.

Is A Viewfinder Important On A Camera?

Yes, a viewfinder on a camera is very important because it allows you to look through the lens to compose and frame a scene. Newer SLR cameras have an LCD screen at the back that allows you to compose and frame a scene as well. While this is a great feature, it drains your camera’s battery quickly.

If you need to preserve your camera’s battery life, I suggest that you use the optical viewfinder instead. It is therefore important to always keep your viewfinder clean and the diopter properly adjusted so that you can see through it properly.

If you’re wearing glasses though, then using a viewfinder will prove to be less convenient. With that said, a human eye can resolve more detail than a camera’s LCD screen, and you will get a sharper view of the scene through the viewfinder.

Conclusion

Hopefully, now you have a better idea of what a viewfinder is and why you should be using it.

Electronic viewfinders have certainly become very popular in recent years, however, many professional photographers still use optical viewfinders because they can give you a more accurate representation of how the photo will look like.

In addition to this, electronic viewfinders use more battery power and as such will drain your camera’s battery quicker.

Regardless of your preference, a viewfinder is something that you should be using. It gives you a great opportunity to compare your photo before you take it.