How to Take Better Photos With Live View on Your Camera

A camera with a lot of underused photographers is the Live View screen on the back. Although it's slower to align a photo with Live View rather than just looking through the viewfinder, there are a few advantages. Let's see how to use the Live View screen to take better photos.

See the whole picture

Have you ever taken a photo looking through the viewfinder where you have carefully cropped some distraction on the very edge of the frame, then when you looked at the photo later whatever that distraction was still on the edge of l & # 39; image? The reason is that your camera's viewfinder only shows more of the image. In general, it's around 95% (or 98% on better cameras). Here's what it looks like.

While this isn't normally huge, it does mean that you will sometimes have to crop otherwise good pixels to get rid of a distraction that you haven't seen in the viewfinder. With the live view screen, you see the whole picture all the time.

See what things will really look like

Not only do you see the whole image, but you'd better see the things what they will look like in the final image. The viewfinder shows you the light that enters your camera and bounces directly from the mirror to your eye. In order for enough light to pass through, the opening is kept wide open. You will not see if your image is correctly exposed or what the depth of field looks like – at least until you press the DOF Preview button.

RELATED: How to fix the exposure on the location when taking pictures

With the live view screen, your camera will display what the photo will actually look like – or at least, a very good approximation of it. With longer shutter speeds, the live view screen does not appear all motion blur.

Zoom in to focus

One of the best ways to nail your concentration exactly where you want it – at least for things that don't move – is to manual focus using Live View screen. Install your camera on a tripod, set your lens to manual focus, and then press the magnify button on the back of your camera until you reach maximum zoom – it is normally 10x.

RELATED: How to manually focus your DSLR or mirrorless camera

You can now carefully refine your focus. It’s basically the only way to take good pictures of stars.

Work in the dark or with ND filters

Dark nights or when you are using neutral density filters, the optical viewfinder becomes practically useless. You can't see anything through it. With the Live View screen, however, you can increase the ISO up to 12800 or even 25600.

The preview will be quite noisy and bad, but as long as there is a small amount of light, it should give you enough view to focus and compose your photo. Remember to lower your ISO afterwards.

View a live histogram

The histogram is a really useful tool to see how the light levels are distributed in your images. I'm a big fan of occasionally checking the histograms of your images to make sure you're not blow your reflections or crush your shadows.

When taking pictures using live view, you can even view a live histogram while you are aligning a shot: normally, press Info repeatedly and it will display. This is a great technique if you are taking photos somewhere where the light levels change dramatically.


The Live View screen is really handy for slow and deliberate forms of photography like landscapes. Accurate focus, proper preview and histogram facilitate take better pictures. This is not to say that the viewfinder is not without its use: it is faster, works better under bright light and is much easier when you hold your camera. One of the most interesting things about mirrorless cameras is that their electronic viewfinders combine the advantages of both.

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