Ever since the invention of digital cameras, easily the most popular feature has been the LCD viewfinder. And why not? Instead of mushing your face up against the back of the camera and squinting into the peephole (optical) viewfinder like we did with film cameras (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), the LCD lets you compose images while holding the camera at a comfortable distance from your face. It's easier to see, you can hold the camera at weird angles (particularly if you have an articulated LCD like I do on my Canon point-and-shoot) and, especially in dark rooms, it's like looking at tiny TV screen.
The problem with LCDs (other than that they are hard to see in bright daylight) is that they drain batteries very fast. The more you use your LCD to compose and review photos, the sooner you'll have to recharge your batteries. So when using the LCD isn't critical, or when you're shooting in bright daylight and the LCD view is hard to see anyway, try going back to using the peephole viewfinder. Some manufacturers have started doing away with optical viewfinders, which in my mind is a mistake--so that's one thing to consider when buying a new camera. If you shoot a lot and take your camera on trips, charging batteries is not always that convenient and that old-fashioned peephole can save you a lot of otherwise wasted battery power.
4 days ago