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2015.02.10

Digital cameras recently are being plagued more and more with rotating displays that swivel outward. While these things do add some flexibility, they are much more problematic than are worth and, frankly, they are almost obsolete already.

Firstly, rotating LCDs are fragile. The hinge is clear a weak-point and could rip right off it the LCD is impacted while extended outwards. On a camera like the recently reviewed Panasonic GH4, the LCD hinge is the only part of the body which bends. Everything else, even the compartment door is sturdy. At least, thanks to its excellent 2.4 MP EVF, the GH4 would remain completely usable without an LCD, assuming that does not cause a short-circuit somewhere.

Canon Powershot SX50

With a DSLR, the the Pentax K-S2, the camera would become almost unusable as many important settings could not be changed and image review would be unavailable. Canon, Nikon and Pentax are all now guilty of putting such fragile displays on DSLRs. This must stop!

Secondly, framing with a rotating LCD is awkward. When folded out, which is required to tilt the display, the camera takes almost twice as much space. The image is no longer aligned with the lens which makes adjusting framing more difficult. Except perhaps shooting by the hip, these things do not afford much discretion.

Of course, people want to frame at low and high angles all the time. Shots taken from the height of a child or with a close foreground can have drama, impact and intimacy. All those are good. Thankfully there is another solution: Digital Cameras with Tilting LCD displays.

Nikon D750

There are several cameras with tilting display, but only two such DSLRs, the recently reviewed full-frame Nikon D750 shown above and the Pentax 645Z, which is a Medium-Format mode. A tilting screen is still fragile compared to a fixed display, but less so than a rotating one. It allows the most important flexibility for taking shots from above and below. Very few rotate 180° which is required for a selfie, but some do.

There is another better solution. It is here already! It requires no moving parts or fragile hinge on the camera and offers much more flexibility for framing. It is WiFi Remote Capture and, thanks to the ubiquity of smartphone, should be available to most people, as along as the camera supports.

Yes, WiFi can save digital cameras from moving displays, from breakage, allowing manufacturers to build more lasting cameras. With Remote Capture, framing can be done from any angle and even from a distance. This can replace a remote too and does not transmit vibrations when releasing the shutter. Many cameras already support this.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium


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