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Digital camera without a view finder

HI there, for all of you taking pictures on the camino. I have narrowed my pick to 2 cameras Cannon and Nikon. Cannon A520 or A530, or the Nikon L4 or L3. The only disadvantage is the Nikon only has an LCD screen (no viewfinder) how\ important is this when i am going to be walking in the beautiful sunshine in spain.
thanks so much for your valuable help.
No viewfinder isn't necessarily a problem. Since the viewfinders on point and shoot digicams are usually quite poor I've always used the LCD for framing. The downsides to this are the extra drain on batteries and some LCDs are harder to see in bright sunlight conditions.

I'm a Canon shooter personally, and am still contemplating my own purchase of a new point and shoot for the Camino specifically. Currently looking at the S3 (which may not be out in time), the A700, and the SD700 (which unfortunately can't use AA batteries).

http://www.dpreview.com/ is an excellent review site and an excellent reference for any digital camera purchase.
digital cameras viewfinders


personally I would not touch a camera that did not have a viewfinder. They are difficult to use, the natural way to hold a camera is to your eye, the lcd screens drain the batteries and some cannot be seen in direct light.

Sorry if this sounds a bit biased, but a friend bought a Fuji F10, I think it was, with a huge lcd and no view finder. it is great for reviewing the pictures, but he always complains that it is difficult to take pictures as you have to hold the camera at arms length.

Hope this helps, and good luck in your search.

I think the bottom line to your question Dawn is it can't hurt to have both options... unless you really prefer the Nikon, in which case here are a few more points in favor of the viewfinder-less option...

Viewfinders on point and shoot digitals don't show you the full coverage area so they are useless for true edge-to-edge shot composition. This may not be an issue for you if you are more of a snapshot photographer.

Viewfinders on most point and shoot digitals are relatively small and dark, and not so clear. They don't see through the lens so they aren't nearly as nice to use as traditional 35mm SLR viewfinders.

If you use the viewfinder you are sure to get oily nose prints on your LCD unless it's a flip out design.

Viewfinder-less camera are not difficult to use, but yes they are different and take some getting used to. Holding a camera to your eye is not "natural" but yes it is the traditional way that many of us are used to, and not everyone wants change. LCD screens do not need to be held at arm's length to be used, they can be held anywhere from arm's length to a few inches away. Holding them at arm's length can actually be a huge benefit, especially if you want to compose a shot from a couple feet above your head and actually see what you're going to get on the LCD (can be very helpful shooting indoors over crowds of people), or for more creative angles. Good LCDs can make from-the-hip shooting an effective possibility and you can get some really cool shots this way.

One point in favor of viewfinders: LCD quality out there varies widely. Some LCDs don't stand up well to viewing from an angle (Once you get to 10-15+ degrees off center you can't see the picture anymore, like on those cheezy airplane televisions built into the seatback in front of you). Other LCDs are not bright enough to be very useful in bright sunlight. Since this is a primary concern for you I'd recommend checking out the cameras you are looking at in person at a local camera shop.

All this said, and although I use the LCD almost exclusively, I still prefer my point and shoot digitals to have a viewfinder. Use any camera long enough and every situation is likely to present itself, including ones you couldn't have possibly foreseen. Best to be prepared.

Good luck.
Hi Brad and Hanleyman,

Thank you for your input. It is so confusing, one person says something, another something else. I think it is a matter of getting use to the lcd screen.
Brad i checked out the cannon A700 & AD700 was it. Seems like those are higher end.
Well i was going to pack it in, and bring my aim and shoot film camera.
A new camera is just out, not yet arrived in victoria (coming this friday) is the Cannon A430. 4mg 4X zoom and dbl. a batteries. $239. it comes with a viewfinder and is small. i am convinced but will look at it this week.
hey the way technology is changing, i can buy another one for the next trip!!!!
digital camera

Hi Dawn,

Sorry to have been confusing, Brad does have a number of good points - but it is a quagmire out there choosing a camera. But it is good to have opposing views sometimes. I am also bringing a 35mm film camera to take black and white shots.

I leave for Leon in two days and start my Camino on Sunday 2nd April.

Good luck to you and to you Brad too,

Have a FANTASTIC WALK Hanleyman.
All points of view are always welcome.I'm sure after my FIRST camera, i'll know what will work for me. Take lots photos. Do you have a website?

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