#2. "RE: I am fed up of being a contortionist!" In response to Reply # 1
Correct, the D5000, D5100 and D5200 cameras have them. Since they share sensors with their D7k series cousins, they are the ideal cameras to use with live view and the swivel LCD.
In any event, I've found them much more capable than the T3i/T4i from Canon that the D5100 and D5200 compete with. Those four cameras (T3i, T4i, D5100, D5200) represent the sum total of DSLRs with flipping mirrors and flipping screens that can be purchased new today.
#3. "RE: I am fed up of being a contortionist!" In response to Reply # 0 Thu 21-Mar-13 10:41 AM by dagoldst
Little Rock, US
>When will Nikon introduce a Dslr with a swivel LCD?
It's a good question as SLR type cameras were designed to be shot through the viewfinder - and I understand it does not work well for shooting video.
I see for the higher end cameras, companies like Zacuto build all sorts of bolt-on accessories to allow one to control their shooting with great precision, which is a great way to get professional looking captures.
#4. "RE: I am fed up of being a contortionist!" In response to Reply # 0
Trying to guess what Nikon will do next is a path that seems to lead to madness... I have to admit that once the D5000 got the articulating screen, I thought that all of the other higher models would get that feature as they were introduced. But no, they seem to think it's a feature only for the D5xxx class cameras. I suppose I could construct a reason not to put it in the D4. The mechanism might not be made as robust as that camera is required to be. (On the other hand, I am pretty sure that they can make it to D4 standards.) But even that argument doesn't explain how the D7000/7100 didn't adopt the feature.
At this point the only conclusion we can take away from the announcements is that they really do think it's only for the D5x00, even if that seems to make no sense.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#5. "RE: I am fed up of being a contortionist!" In response to Reply # 0
It's not just because of video though. In nature photography with flowers, fungii etc at ground level I find it rather difficult (my age of course but we will all experience this one day) getting down to view and up again and even worse with macro.
#6. "RE: I am fed up of being a contortionist!" In response to Reply # 5
Clearly, they want you to buy both the D5100 and D7000, and then upgrade to the D5200 and D7100.
Seriously though, articulating screens can be pretty delicate and putting them on one of the magnesium bodies would probably be a poor pairing for that reason, and the D5x00 series is the highest end plastic bodies they make.
Also, when using the screen for still photography, the pairs I mentioned above give identical image quality and features to each other, as they share the same sensor.
I understand why they did it - for instance, I wouldn't be purchasing a D7100 if it had an articulating screen, because having it on the D5100, I know that I definitely do not want it on the higher end body.
#8. "RE: I am fed up of being a contortionist!" In response to Reply # 0
Farmington Hills, US
One way to solve the problem is to use a right angle viewfinder attachment such as the DR-6. It will work with any Nikon with a rectangular viewfinder including the D7100.
Personally I wouldn't want a swivel LCD. I'd be afraid that it would be too easily damaged, maybe even broken off, when sticking out from the body. I prefer a much more robust method of using my camera when it's in a awkward to view position.
Gary in SE Michigan, USA. Co-organizer of the Southern Michigan Chapter Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera. D4, D800e, D300, D90, F6, FM3a (black), FM2n (chrome) YashicaMat 124, Graflex Speed Graphic 4x5 My Nikonians Gallery & Our Chapter Gallery
#10. "RE: I am fed up of being a contortionist!" In response to Reply # 8
I use right-angle viewfinders, too, but it's not quite the same thing. You still have to bend down to within a couple of inches of the camera. The swivel screen lets you view the composition from well above the camera.
#11. "RE: I am fed up of being a contortionist!" In response to Reply # 0 Fri 22-Mar-13 02:42 PM by agitater
I think it must be possible by now for camera makers to design and build a tough, high resolution, snap-resistant, break-resistant articulating LCD. Problem is, none of them have done it. All of the articulating LCD screens I've seen (and/or reviewed) end up being deployed and then eventually (accidentally) banged/bent/impacted to their detriment. I think the camera makers know this and that's why such screens seem to be implemented only on lower cost cameras.
I think that as potentially useful as they are, articulating screens are used less often than camera buyers initially think such screens might be used when the buyers are first considering the camera. So camera makers end up with a moving part that is subject to failure. Considering the relatively rough, active use through which I put my D700, D800, etc., I don't think even the best currently available articulating LCD would hold up for very long.
For photographers who have the time to handle their rigs more carefully, an articulating LCD for low level work makes good sense to an extent. Nonetheless, a 3" screen is still only a 3" screen, so for photographers who aren't easily able to get down low there's still the matter of seeing that 3" LCD with sufficient acuity from a distance. After all, the presence of an articulating LCD isn't going to make aging hips, knees and ankles magically work any better. Still, the photographer might at least be able to get some sense of the composition. A better solution for such photographers would be a plug-in monitor for still shooting - a monitor which could be viewed at eye level which would then dramatically reduce the need for any kneeling, bending, etc., except for part of the initial setup at a location.
By contrast though, I'm always walking, often in crowds, certainly in busy areas during the bulk of my photography. Having an articulating screen built into a high-end DSLR is nothing more to me than a part that might stick out slightly, or partly deploy, and get hung up on the way in or out of my shoulder bag. Yank/shove, snap, or at best a delay while I unsnag the thing.
I'm also concerned that a properly robust articulating screen would, by necessity, add some physical bulk to high-end Nikon DSLR bodies which are already too bulky.
#14. "RE: I am fed up of being a contortionist!" In response to Reply # 0
Some interesting comments and suggestions. Alex, it's not so much the laying down it's the getting up again! I can't really agree with many of the comments of the fragility aspect of having a swivel screen. My Panasonic camcorder has been with me in all sorts of rough situations on my wildlife forays and the swivel screen is as good now as the day it was bought and used in all weathers too. It is so much easier to view in awkward situations. These DSLR's are now capable of producing 1st rate video. Live view is also used to ensure focus is spot on in macro. I have good lens and can now bring these into use in my videography as well as still photography. The swivel screen will come, mark my words.
#15. "RE: I am fed up of being a contortionist!" In response to Reply # 14
>I can't really agree with many of the comments of the >fragility aspect of having a swivel screen. My Panasonic >camcorder has been with me in all sorts of rough situations on >my wildlife forays and the swivel screen is as good now as the >day it was bought and used in all weathers too. It is so much >easier to view in awkward situations.
I agree . . . for people who have time to set up. But, Nikon, for love of whatever, please don't saddle the models that follow the D800 with a swivel screen designed solely for wildlife, macro and landscape photographers. There are many of us who look forward to running & gunning in crowds, rapid fire shooting in the crush of events, single shot firing the split-second a nearby subject poses, and who have to draw or stow a DSLR really quickly to either keep it out of sight of suspicious security people or to draw it quickly as soon as someone or something suddenly appears. If some weak-link swivel screen decides to hang itself up on a strap or the edge of a bag or get me caught it some difficult situation, I will track down the designer and engineer who spec'd the thing and have a private chat with them. Seriously. I don't need new kit that adds potential points of failure; I need new kit which reduces the number of potential points of failure.
A camcorder which sits on a tripod for minutes or hours on end in a rough environment is not really being roughed up. It's not being whipped in and out of a bag constantly. It's not being banged around in a surging crowd at a concert, protest, rally or event. That camcorder's swivel screen is not designed to take the kind of beating I described. I fully agree that it has it's place on a rig dedicated to less hectic photography, but I hope Nikon keeps it off my hard-use gear.
I can't find serious videographers who are shooting events or any of the situations I described using a camcorder. They're using heavy-duty video gear. Even the cheapest pro rig - e.g., a Canon XA10 AVCHD - has a good viewfinder. The swivel monitor is more often used for review or for reporters to monitor themselves. It's not a focusing aid for a serious videographer. Full pro shoots using DSLR rigs are jacked into high-end, larger, HDMI driven external monitors that can be located off the main camera body in many situations.
> The swivel screen will come, mark my words.
You may be absolutely right. It better be tough as nails, have superior resolution, and be able to take repeated bends, smacks, scrapes and all manner of abuse, and it better work as reliably as existing rear LCD monitors in deep cold winter weather and in damp, tropical heat.
#16. "RE: I am fed up of being a contortionist!" In response to Reply # 14
>Some interesting comments and suggestions. Alex, it's not so >much the laying down it's the getting up again! > I can't really agree with many of the comments of the >fragility aspect of having a swivel screen. My Panasonic >camcorder has been with me in all sorts of rough situations on >my wildlife forays and the swivel screen is as good now as the >day it was bought and used in all weathers too. It is so much >easier to view in awkward situations. > These DSLR's are now capable of producing 1st rate video. >Live view is also used to ensure focus is spot on in macro. I >have good lens and can now bring these into use in my >videography as well as still photography. > The swivel screen will come, mark my words.
As someone who owns a D5100 body, I can guarantee you that the swivel screen is tougher than any camcorder I've ever used, and that the rest of the body is built even better. The plastic bodies are surprisingly well built.
However, we do have an example of what it takes to make an indestructible swivel LCD - because Panasonic makes them on their Toughbooks. It's over three times thicker than the LCD on a D5100, and would add about 0.75 inch of thickness to a magnesium bodied DSLR (Remember, it's not just the screen, you have to have the reinforced back panel where the swivel LCD stores itself, too) and not to mention 6-8 oz of weight to the body.
Let's say that I offered you two choices: First, a D800 that cost $700 more, weighed half a pound more and was three quarters of an inch thicker than a standard D800. Second, a remote battery powered monitor that weighed 8 oz and cost $1000 and gave you a 6" screen, that would plug into any current Nikon DSLR. Nikon and Canon have already sat down and thought about that, I'm sure.
Sony does make their entire Alpha line with articulating displays, but because they're live view only cameras and not built to the same standards as the pro Nikon, Canon, or even most Pentax bodies, they're a different story.
#17. "RE: I am fed up of being a contortionist!" In response to Reply # 11
>Considering the relatively rough, active use through which I put my D700, D800, etc., I don't think even the best currently available articulating LCD would hold up for very long.
Each to their own, of course, but I don't see any reason why a well designed articulating screen should be any less robust that the flip up flash on your D700 and D800. So I ask how many pop-up flashes have your broken? If it clipped in, like the flash does, there is no reason why a screen should be vulnerable. And if people don't want to use the articulation, they wouldn't have to. Or only use it to reverse the screen to protect it when travelling, as I do with my Lumix GH3. With my Lumix, I have found the screen to be much more useful than I had expected. SO much so that this is the primary reason why I have passed over the D600, D800 and now D7100. Unfortunately, the D5200 is simply too restricted in other areas to meet my wish list.
As for things like a separate remote screen and angle viewfinder, these are all useful when the camera is mounted on a tripod, but pretty useless for rapid compositions. Here is one of my corgi, Mack, who is about 10" tall to the shoulder and runs surprisingly fast for his size. This is exactly the sort of picture I love a swivel screen for. Without it, I would have to shoot machine gun style with the camera held down to the ground but without looking through the finder, and trust to luck. Note the wet beach, so not ideal for lying down !!
Fingers crossed the D400 is soon to be announced with a swivel screen...
#18. "RE: I am fed up of being a contortionist!" In response to Reply # 17
>Each to their own, of course, but I don't see any reason why a >well designed articulating screen should be any less robust >that the flip up flash on your D700 and D800. So I ask how >many pop-up flashes have your broken?
It's either six or seven for me. I know several pro and amateur street, event and PJ photographers who use gaff tape or sticky rubber bands to keep the pop-up flash permanently in place. On my D800, I now use a black elastic band (with a bit of tack/stickum to keep it permanently in place) to ensure the pop-up flash stays down at all times when I'm protecting the camera in a surging crowd or drawing it out of the bag too quickly for care, and so on. I hate pop-up flashes because to me they're just another point of failure and they're of limited use.
>If it clipped in, >like the flash does, there is no reason why a screen should be >vulnerable.
I think my main concern is that too often I'm in situations in which I can't take an extra moment to ensure an articulating screen is fully seated in its recess, and I can't fully protect my rig from someone who is deliberately trying to shove past me and who doesn't care in the slightest if they hammer an elbow (or something harder) into my camera or lens or whatever is unfortunately sticking out (such as an articulating screen, a pop-up flash, an external GPS unit, etc.). And that's another thing - it's about time that Nikon and all the other camera makers found a spot for a SiRFStar GPS chip inside the camera (like, in an externally accessible slot so the makers could still sell us the accessory), rather than in it's snap-off/smash-off current location perched in a hot shoe. The current external usage of these GPS units makes drawing and stowing the camera a more delicate procedure and yet another potential point of failure. I realize that a lot of photographers don't have the same concerns as me simply because they're not doing the same sorts of photography as me. The problem is that Nikon isn't about to make one model that's available with or without an optional articulating screen.
I fully agree that for less hectic types of photography an articulating screen can be wonderfully useful. Problem is, again, Nikon is not going to make a single model of camera body with an optional articulating screen, so if a pro body ever appears with one it had better be tough because a wide variety of us will end up using it.
I think I'd prefer it if camera makers reduced the number of potential points of failure, rather than pursue a relentless course of adding complexity and features which often increase the number of potential points of failure. I don't want the frangibility of a feature to (sometimes) dictate or limit my photography practices.
Here are a couple of alternative solutions. How about a pro body which has an external screen port, and a matching accessory articulating screen (sold separately) which is designed to plug into the port and automatically take over the rear LCD duties? How about a GPS module slot (GPS card sold separately) to eliminate use of the hot shoe and eliminate that cable connection between the GPS unit and the camera?
BTW, the shots of your Corgi are always wonderful.