Few photographic techniques will draw quite as much criticism from the greater photography community as shooting with your LCD, rather than with the EVF or OVF. Is there something inherently ‘wrong’ about shooting in live view or via the LCD? Do the people doing it regularly know something that we don’t? In this article we will tackle the issue of shooting with the LCD and whether or not you ‘should’ be doing it.
But let’s hold the presses just a bit, because honestly, I feel like its a bit silly to have to justify to anyone how you shot an image. So let’s just shed some light on what is at play here, when a certain shooting style is looked down on.
Photography, like any art, is open to interpretation and by its very nature is subjective. This extends beyond the frames that we capture and really applies to how we capture these images as well, with different photographers adhering to different styles and creating communities of like-minded individuals. This site is a perfect example of that, as we all share a love of the Fujifilm gear that we use, and we choose to spend our time on this site with others who feel the same.
In the case of shooting with the LCD, I feel like we can point to one culprit as the genesis of this issue, and that is that for the longest time (and still true to some extent) consumer level cameras did not have viewfinders, it was LCD only. So for many photographers, it has been ingrained for years that LCD = Consumer/Amateur. Then there is also the aspect of people just like to hate on people who do things differently than themselves. So let’s take these two aspects out of the equation for the rest of this article, and we can look specifically at reasons for and reasons against LCD shooting.
One pretty obvious reason to shoot with the LCD is that it is a larger screen than your EVF, you are more likely you are to be able to see issues in your image or more clearly see details. Another, and I think this is probably the biggest reason most use the LCD, you are shooting at an angle that would make using the OVF or EVF awkward or impossible. In a case such as that, you really have no other option except to point and shoot and hope you got it right.
On the list of reasons to not use the LCD, it lies to you. We all know how easy it is to think you have a great shot when looking at the LCD, only to get home and have a shot turn out not quite as great as you expected. Another reason, in bright sun or other extreme lighting conditions glare can make it hard to see the picture clearly. This isn’t the case with Fuji’s, but on some cameras shooting in live view with the LCD the camera outputs a weird crop.
Ok, the number one reason that you should use an LCD to shoot your image…. because you want to and it won’t get in the way of what you are trying to shoot. So the number one reason why you should not shoot with your LCD screen? You guessed it, because you don’t want to or that it would get in the way of what you were trying to shoot.
Honestly, people, shooting a certain way or using certain techniques isn’t what makes you a better or more professional photographer, it isn’t what separates the professionals from the amateurs. The difference maker, the true separator is knowing what you need to do to get the shot you want and having the knowledge to do it. If that means using the LCD for a certain shot, go for it, if that means using the LCD as often as you can, go for it. Do what feels right for you in a given situation and everyone elses opinion can bugger off.
You are never going to be asked if you shot an image with the LCD or the EVF (or OVF for X-Pro users), so don’t worry about it, do what needs to be done and create your amazing work.