Another reason to love Electronic Viewfinders!

When backpacking for long distances, it's a given that unwanted things will happen to your camera. If you hike with the camera strapped on your front so as to always have it at hand, as I do, it can become the first point of contact when falling. (I always bring an extra compact camera and many lens caps on these trips.)

A rock and my camera met with unfortunate consequences. Luckily, the digital viewfinder turned out to be a savior, as I was able to do everything in the viewfinder that I could do on the screen, including reviewing images.

On the circuit hike in Torres Del Paine, I was packing up the camera in it's lightweight case and it slipped from about waist height. In the case, a rugged body, low drop height, I was sure nothing had happened. But when I opened it up, the rear lcd screen was smashed. Now I love that screen, especially since it's articulated. When hiking with a heavy pack, it's easy to shoot down low or up high without having to strain.

More importantly, if I had been using my last camera, the Sony a850 with it's big bright beautiful optical viewfinder, I'd be really out of luck. It would have been like going back to film, where I couldn't check the composition in the field and I wouldn't even be able to see the camera menu.

But all was not lost! Although I lost use of the screen for the rest of the trip, I was still able to review all my images because my viewfinder was electronic. I had access to all the menus and was able to check for exposure, sharpness and compositional errors.

A new day has dawned. Electronic viewfinders provide the photographer the ability to preview the image with appropriate settings prior to hitting the shutter. Here I was able to see exactly what highlights were clipped. (Sony a77, Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile)

In another post, I'll write a little bit about the pros and cons of electronic viewfinders. But this past experience has turned me on to another benefit that I didn't even knew existed. Your screen can break and you'll be okay!


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