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Digital SLR Camera Basics

Live View, Live View Photography, and Movie Live View

Live View

As originally designed, single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras employ an optical viewfinder to frame pictures. Light passing through the lens is reflected from the quick-return reflex mirror in the camera and then from a pentaprism or pentamirror to the viewfinder window, where a photographer looking through the viewfinder can see the subject. Live view, in contrast, uses a monitor on the rear of the camera to display the light passing through the lens. In live view, pictures are framed in the monitor rather than in the viewfinder.

Live View Photography

The first step in live view photography is to press the live view button to activate live view mode. The reflex mirror inside the camera clicks up and the subject is displayed in the monitor. The photographer frames the subject in the monitor, focuses, and presses the shutter-release button to take pictures.

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  • Note: Artist's conception

The live view switch is used to select between the viewfinder and live view. Light does not enter the viewfinder during live view and consequently no image appears in the viewfinder.

Movie Live View

The ability to record movies is another feature of digital SLR cameras, starting with the D90. To record movies, the camera must be in live view mode. Pressing the movie-record button in live view mode starts movie recording. Press the button a second time to stop. If the shutter-release button is pressed all the way down during recording, movie recording will end and the camera will take a photograph.

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  • Noteļ¼š Artist's conception
  • In the case of cameras with a live view switch, movie recording is only available during movie live view.

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