Why the LCD Monitor Is So Important

The flexibility of the digital camera has allowed a new mastery over photographic imagery. Things that were impossible with film or that took a very long time to learn are now quite easy thanks to the LCD monitor.

What the LCD Monitor Does

The LCD allows you to take control in some valuable ways, including:

  • Preview of the image before taking in real time

  • Accurate TTL rendition of the image

  • Good depiction of the color of the scene

  • Ability to adjust color balance in real time

  • Improved display of focus

  • Ability to instantly review the last image taken

  • Ability to make corrections within seconds after a picture is taken

  • Ability to rapidly change settings in quickly moving situations

  • Ability to review all images taken in a session

  • The Big Digital LCD Advantage

    Many people assumed that it was the ability to manipulate electronic images or to send them as e-mail attachments or post them on the Web that made digital photography so popular. Yet at least as attractive are the greater enjoyment and the higher skill level made possible by the instant feedback of the LCD screen.

    Photography.com commissioned a detailed survey about the advantages of digital photography. The response showed that photographers over-whelmingly valued the increased control over the picture-taking process more than any other aspect. This control included the immediate feedback of the LCD monitor and the ability to manipulate and correct images at the time of shooting. And because of this control, the survey respondents said that photographers could now work with a precision that was previously not available.

    How the LCD Helps with Picture Taking

    The LCD monitor/viewfinder shows the camera operator what the image looks like in real time before the picture is snapped, and moments later it allows a review of the photo just taken. For the first time in the craft of photography, the picture taker can obtain a good idea of the quality of the image that was just captured. This has a number of advantages for the photographer. She can rapidly make adjustments if a picture is not right; she can quickly learn how to take pictures in unusual situations; she can delete pictures that she doesn't like; she can review a series of shots to make sure she covered all aspects of a picture opportunity. In addition, she can show pictures, as they are taken, to her subjects to get feedback and keep every-one happy.

    An excellent example of this new control and flexibility is how the LCD screen works with the camera's flash. Flash lighting has always been very hard to predict. Yet with the LCD monitor, a few test shots will soon reveal the best settings for the flash and even allow some complicated setups such as bouncing the flash (see Chapter 6), which can provide a much softer and more natural look.

    How the LCD Provides Important Information

    In addition to providing feedback, most LCDs allow a constant display of critical photographic information such as the particular automatic or manual exposure settings, the amount of charge left in the battery, the number of pictures left in the memory card, the picture resolution, the color balance setting, the metering configuration, the flash setup, and the focus mode.

    Some photographers find that this can be too much information. Many systems allow the camera operator to shut off some of the displays so that only the most critical data is shown. As if that were not enough, the LCD is also used as a mini computer monitor that allows the changing and setting of a number of parameters via a menu system.

    1. Home
    2. Digital Photography
    3. LCD Screens and Viewfinders
    4. Why the LCD Monitor Is So Important
    Visit other About.com sites: