Viewfinder Image Size

For years still camera manufacturers have hyped the "largest image" in their viewfinders. While this is an advantage for focusing, I feel it is a definite disadvantage for composing. Most of us don't view a picture, film or TV up close, but view things at a distance where we can absorb the image as a whole and not have to scan it to take it in.

I discovered this when shooting with the early reflex cameras. I shot better images with cameras that presented a smaller image to my eye.

Movie and video cameras show smaller images to the eye than still cameras. My favorite still camera is the Canon N-F1 with a Sport finder that gives a smaller image in the viewfinder. The camera also is needle match exposure, which demands my attention to calculating the exposure. It's heavy.

Some focus magnifier can be modified to attach in reverse to fit still cameras to provide a smaller image. There are a few underwater attachments that do the same.

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