Today, we see that most of the point and shoot camera reviews talk about the digital cameras which have no viewfinder. There are so many digital camera models available today, and every month new models keep hitting the market. However, if you like to check the composition and lighting in the viewfinder and then take the picture, then you will find very few models of cameras with viewfinder are available today. Before, we start our discussion on the different types of camera models, here is some technical information.
LCD vs Electronic Viewfinder vs Optical Viewfinder
First, let's start with LCD, the newest hype. Consumers today, are more and more focused on bigger LCD screens on their digital cameras. LCD monitor or liquid crystal display monitor is used to compose the shot and preview the images. It is usually more accurate than an optical viewfinder, however if you are in bright sunlight then visibility of the LCD to compose shots is difficult, which makes a viewfinder important in a situation like this. However, everyday digital camera manufacturers are researching to make this technology better and better, and are coming up with pretty much good advancements of LCD monitors.
Now, let us discuss the difference between an electronic viewfinder and an optical viewfinder. Electronic viewfinder or EVF is a tiny sized LCD which is mounted inside the viewfinder, this helps to replace an optical system. And an optical viewfinder or OVF in a camera is a device which using the optical system, allows the user to frame the shot. The best cameras have both an LCD monitor and an optical viewfinder.
Reason Behind No Viewfinder in Point and Shoot Camera
The reason is that if a camera doesn't have a viewfinder, then the space for the viewfinder is free and can be used to make the LCD bigger. Point and shoot photography cameras which don't have viewfinder can have an LCD of 3 inch or a bit more. While the best point and shoot cameras with viewfinder today, don't have an LCD monitor of 2 or 2.5 inches. Also, the prices of cameras with viewfinder compared to those without viewfinder are higher, so get ready to spend 50 - 100 bucks more for a camera if you want an optical viewfinder in it.
If you want to buy a digital point and shoot camera which comes with a viewfinder, then the choices are limited. Here are three good models...
Canon PowerShot SD950 IS
This camera is a compact camera which has 12.1 megapixel resolution and optical zoom of 3.7x. It has a sleek design, great image quality and optical image stabilization, face detection feature, and optical viewfinder. However, this camera doesn't come with any manual exposure controls, and is a little bit slow on performance. It is priced below USD 800.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W80
This camera has optical image stabilization, 2.5 inch LCD, 7.2 megapixels, and an optical viewfinder. This camera is priced around USD 250, has great performance and gives good picture quality. However, the buttons are small and a little big awkward for use.
Nikon Coolpix P5000
The optical viewfinder in this model is good, but like all direct view cameras, you can't use it for macro photography. This camera has excellent exposure, color, sharpness, and optical image stabilization. However, it has a slow LCD which is not usable in bright sunlight, which is okay as you can use the viewfinder in such cases. Also, it has strong barrel distortion at the wide angle. But, all in all, this camera is an appealing nice compact camera. It is priced around USD 400.
So, pick up an appropriate model which fits your photography needs and budget and enjoy shooting using an LCD monitor or the optical viewfinder.