"Hello all! First post - have a question I can't answer after reading the manual!"
Just got my wife a D7100 and a couple of choice lenses to get her started. We are BOTH super excited to dive in, and this camera takes AMAZING pictures, especially with the 50mm prime lens!
My question is this - Is there a way to have the large display on while taking pictures - ie use it INSTEAD of the small viewfinder?
I've googled, read the manual, and I'm pretty sure I'm just not searching with the correct words, so I thought I'd ask here since it's humans who's checking it out.
Thanks for any and all responses!
Feel free to make suggestions or tips! She wants to use it for a small business. She has a several collage classes under her belt from about 10 years ago, so she's kind of getting back up on that horse, so to speak.
#2. "RE: Hello all! First post - have a question I can't answer after reading the manual!" In response to Reply # 0 Sat 08-Feb-14 04:16 AM by jec6613
Yes, but there are many drawbacks (and some advantages) so it's not a choice that should be made without a reason. So, first the explanation, then at the end, how to do it.
The defining feature in a DSLR (or film SLR, but I'll go completely digital from here on in) is the Reflex mirror. Indeed, it's the, "R," in the name - Digital Single Lens Reflex.
The single lens is normal on a digital compact camera, but in the film days, it was unusual - as exposing the film was a one shot deal. The mirror in the way let you see what the lens was seeing, exactly, through a viewfinder, rather than using a viewfinder that had its own lens and didn't see exactly what the primary lens was seeing. If you dismount the lens, you can see the mirror sitting behind it.
With digital, you can leave the sensor exposed all of the time (with film, once it was exposed you had to keep it dark), and therefore can use it to see through the lens. This is what digital compacts and mirrorless cameras do all of the time, is take a video from the image sensor and put it onto the screen on the back. In a DSLR, the mirror lifts out of the way to expose the imaging sensor for only the time needed to take a picture (that's one reason that the D7100 is so much louder than a compact camera, there's a lot moving inside of it).
You can lock the mirror of your camera up and use it like a large compact camera, but there are downsides. In no particular order, your autofocus performance plunges, there's significantly more shutter lag (the time from pressing the shutter to taking the picture) as it's using a contrast detection autofocus, and the screen lags what's actually happening. There is one small upside: for critical manual focus work, it can be more accurate. This mode is known as liveview, because you're seeing a view, "Live," off of the sensor.
With the mirror down, you use the optical viewfinder, which has a bunch of benefits: you're seeing what's happening at the speed of light, without lag, shutter lag drops dramatically, and the advanced 51 point autofocus system can go to work and focus really, really fast. The camera as a whole is significantly faster and more responsive.
Now then, how to do it: There's a button marked LV on the back, to the right of the screen, towards the bottom. Press it. Press again to drop the mirror and return to viewfinder. There's a switch around it to switch from movie mode to stills mode (movie mode only exists in liveview).
#4. "RE: Hello all! First post - have a question I can't answer after reading the manual!" In response to Reply # 3
I would add one more thought on this, to the excellent information already provided.
I started with SLR's in film back in the 1960s/70s, and of course there was only one way to view, hold the camera to your eye and look through the viewfinder.
Then about 10 years ago I stopped using my SLR, and my wife had a point-and-shoot, so I got used to looking on the back LCD.
A few years ago, I went and bought a D90 and held it out to look at the LCD, nothing there -- I was disappointed, I had gotten very used to using the LCD -- the salesman said I should really use the vewfinder. It took a month or so, but now I prefer the viewfinder again, so just give it a bit of time.