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100% viewfinder or built-in flash?

ZoneV

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ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005
Thu 04-Aug-11 09:25 PM | edited Thu 04-Aug-11 09:27 PM by ZoneV

If you could only have one or the other in a future high-end, non-integrated vertical grip DSLR, which option would you choose?

100% viewfinder with a slightly higher magnification or built-in flash and 95% finder at current magnification level?

Assume both have sensor cleaning systems.

Poll result (47 votes)
100% finder with higher magnification, but no built-in flash
(38 votes)Vote
95% finder with current magnification and built-in speedlight
(9 votes)Vote

  

Floridian

Tallahassee, Florida, US
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#1. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 0

Floridian Silver Member Nikonian since 11th Feb 2007
Fri 05-Aug-11 12:35 AM

>... a future high-end,non-integrated vertical grip DSLR...

You don't have to wait for the future. The D300 has both!

Randy

GroovyGeek

Portland, US
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#2. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 1

GroovyGeek Registered since 16th Jul 2011
Fri 05-Aug-11 12:38 AM | edited Fri 05-Aug-11 12:38 AM by GroovyGeek

>You don't have to wait for the future. The D300 has both!

For some of us the future is a body without flash that you don't need a pickup truck to move around. They can use the extra space for 100% VF while both shaving off a bit of weight and bulk. Most who would shell out $3k+ for a body have the good sense of not using on-camera flash.

andre reichmann

sao paulo, BR
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#3. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 0

andre reichmann Registered since 27th Dec 2004
Fri 05-Aug-11 01:33 AM | edited Fri 05-Aug-11 01:33 AM by andre reichmann

actually for me the great drawback of d700 is not having a 100% viewfinder. bought it cause i wanted a FF camera from nikon and this is the one i could afford. i have many nice images done with this cam, but in my world a true pro camera has a 100% viewfinder. maybe in the near future we will have one...
andre
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olivierrychner

Boudry, CH
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#4. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 1

olivierrychner Gold Member  Awarded for his long standing high level of commitment to the Nikonians community and demonstrated excellence in the art and science of photography. Nikonian since 03rd Jan 2005
Fri 05-Aug-11 07:00 AM

>>... a future high-end,non-integrated vertical grip
>DSLR...
>
>You don't have to wait for the future. The D300 has both!
>

Can't agree more!

>Most who would shell out $3k+ for a body have the good sense of not using on-camera flash

Can't agree less, since the on-camera flash is very very useful: not only will it lighten a foreground or a face if necessary (although one has to take extra care when using big f/2.8 zooms with hood), but also it will serve as a trigger for that SB-something on the side. I for one wouldn't spit, if my means allowed it, on a D3 successor with a built-in unit, and certainly not either on a D800 with a slightly bigger prism housing for that 100% viewfinder and a built-in flash!

Olivier Rychner
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briantilley

Paignton, UK
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#5. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 2

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Fri 05-Aug-11 07:30 AM

>Most who would shell out $3k+ for a body have the
>good sense of not using on-camera flash.

Please don't lump me in with that group...

I find the built-in flash very useful for controlling remote Speedlights, as well as for gentle fill for outdoor off-the-cuff portraits.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

gfinlayson

Maidenhead, UK
244 posts

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#6. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 3

gfinlayson Registered since 24th Jan 2011
Fri 05-Aug-11 08:02 AM

I really didn't like the 95% viewfinder in the D700 at first, but I've gotten quite used to it now.

I wouldn't really want to sacrifice the built-in flash - I often use it in Commander mode to control remote Speedlights.

ScottChapin

Powder Springs/ATL, US
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#7. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 5

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter Member
Fri 05-Aug-11 10:16 AM

>Please don't lump me in with that group...
>
>I find the built-in flash very useful for controlling remote
>Speedlights, as well as for gentle fill for outdoor
>off-the-cuff portraits.

Add me to this group. Although I don't know why we cannot have both, like the D-300, the built in flash is a Swiss army knife. I wouldn't want to leave home without it.

The lack of built in flash is the only reason I don't buy a D3...LOL

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA

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benveniste

Boston Area, US
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#8. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 0

benveniste Moderator Awarded for is high level skills in various areas, including Macro and Landscape Photography Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his generous suppport to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2002
Fri 05-Aug-11 11:18 AM

I voted for the 100% viewfinder, but with one hesitatation. I don't miss the lack of a pop-up flash on my F100 at all, but that's because of a wonderful little unit called the SB-30. Unlike the SB-400, the SB-30 could be used off camera or as a TTL commander, plus it has manual modes to allow triggering of studio lights. All of this in a package about the size of a pack of cigarettes.

Alas, with the advent of dTTL and iTTL, Nikon decided not to update the SB-30. I miss it, even though both my dSLR's do have popups.

If you want to photograph a man spinning, give some thought to why he spins. Understanding for a photographer is as important as the equipment he uses. - Margaret Bourke-White

ZoneV

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#9. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 1

ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2005
Fri 05-Aug-11 01:31 PM

>>... a future high-end,non-integrated vertical grip
>DSLR...
>
>You don't have to wait for the future. The D300 has both!

Randy,

Sorrryyy......

I forgot to add "FX" into that tagline. So far, there's no FX camera with all of the above features (removable grip, built-in sensor cleaning, 100% viewfinder, and built-in flash).

That's the reason I posted here rather than in the D300 forum!

Nikon user since 2000

ZoneV

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#10. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 8

ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2005
Fri 05-Aug-11 01:37 PM

In digital (on a high end camera), I believe that a 100% viewfinder is extremely important, because:

-There is no slide mount to cover part of the frame.

-Borderless prints are easy to make.

-Certain techniques require clearly delineated edges. These are easier accomplished in digital.

Canon still does not have a 100% coverage in their 5D Mark II either (it's 98% and has no built-in flash).

Granted, even 100% coverage does not mean 100% accurate, but they can get pretty close.

Nikon user since 2000

ZoneV

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#11. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 8

ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2005
Fri 05-Aug-11 01:38 PM | edited Fri 05-Aug-11 01:38 PM by ZoneV

>I voted for the 100% viewfinder, but with one hesitatation.
>I don't miss the lack of a pop-up flash on my F100 at all, but
>that's because of a wonderful little unit called the SB-30.
>Unlike the SB-400, the SB-30 could be used off camera or as a
>TTL commander, plus it has manual modes to allow triggering of
>studio lights. All of this in a package about the size of a
>pack of cigarettes.


I like the SB-30, too. Got to find some rechargeable batteries for it...

Nikon user since 2000

Floridian

Tallahassee, Florida, US
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#12. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 9

Floridian Silver Member Nikonian since 11th Feb 2007
Fri 05-Aug-11 01:48 PM

>Sorrryyy......
>
>I forgot to add "FX" into that tagline...

I figured that was the case, but I'm a D300 owner and don't have a D700. We lowly D300 shooters don't often get such an opportunity to gloat in the D700 forum!

I will note, quite seriously, that in reading all the camera forums I think D700 shooters are more satisfied with their cameras than contributors in any other forum. In the other forums (even the D3 forum) you see a fair number of complaints and issues raised by owners, but in this forum posts are almost always praising the camera. There isn't a more satisfied group of camera owners, to judge by the posts.

So, when I saw your poll I couldn't help but gloat a little over my 100% viewfinder. I do think it is an advantage when you want to frame a photo in-camera so you won't have to crop later.

Randy

benveniste

Boston Area, US
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#13. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 11

benveniste Moderator Awarded for is high level skills in various areas, including Macro and Landscape Photography Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his generous suppport to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2002
Fri 05-Aug-11 02:49 PM

I like the SB-30, too. Got to find some rechargeable batteries for it...

I got a set after a web search, but these days they see more use for my SBR-200's than for the SB-30. The same charger also works for CR2's, in case anyone's interested.

If you want to photograph a man spinning, give some thought to why he spins. Understanding for a photographer is as important as the equipment he uses. - Margaret Bourke-White

GroovyGeek

Portland, US
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#14. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 5

GroovyGeek Registered since 16th Jul 2011
Fri 05-Aug-11 11:45 PM

>Please don't lump me in with that group...

My apologies, I filtered my reply through the narrow view of a landscape shooter. Practically the only time I shoot people is when my wife forces me to take a picture of her, I don't like doing it and avoid it at almost all costs.

Mike in FL

Jacksonville, US
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#15. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 0

Mike in FL Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Apr 2008
Sat 06-Aug-11 12:17 AM

I can definitely live without the built-in flash, especially if it means better moisture and dirt sealing combined with a 100% viewfinder.

As for triggering remote flashes, I really like the SU-800 for that.

If they would make the D800 without a built-in flash and with a built-in vertical grip--but at a reasonable size and weight--I'd be really happy. The D3 and D3s are big brutes; I don't see why they can't make those bodies smaller and lighter while retaining the vertical grip. Not everyone wants a camera that can double as an assault weapon.

I love my D700.

Mike

Ned_L

Philadelphia, US
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#16. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 5

Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter Member
Sat 06-Aug-11 07:34 AM

Please don't put me in that group either.

It's certainly true, if I'm planning to use a flash, or suspect that it's important to have one with me, I've got my SB-900.

For example, I don't use the built-in flash for controlling remote speedlight. I primarily us an SU-800 for that. If I know I'll be doing some portraits, I have the SB-900 for that.

As primarily a travel photographer, already dragging around a lot of equipment for my daily shots in the field, I try to stay as light as possible, so during the day, most of the time, I don't have the SB-900 with me, instead substituting an additional lens I believe I will find more useful.

Yet there are times when I come upon a photographic opportunity for which a flash would be highly useful. On a recent visit to the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, I was prepared for the low light conditions in the museum, however, I found a few opportunities for which a flash would really "make" a shot possible. Having that built-in D700 flash proved invaluable.

I've had more than one or two opportunities where I didn't need a whole lot of flash power, just some fill, and was happy to have it built-in.

If I had to choose, I'd take the built-in flash.

On the other hand, I see no reason the successor to the D700 couldn't have the best of both worlds; a 100% viewfinder with built-in flash. There shouldn't be a reason it has to be an "either-or" situation.

The D700 has been an extremely useful camera for me. I haven't run into a situation in which its specifications or feature limitations kept me from getting the photo I wanted, yet there are specifications and features which would be very welcome in an updated version of this camera.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

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ZoneV

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#17. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 0

ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2005
Sat 06-Aug-11 12:29 PM

The D700 is actually one-of-a-kind right now. I do believe the D700 is the first (and only so far) DSLR with an FX sensor AND a built-in flash. It also has the sensor cleaning system. I think having all three of these features (FX viewfinder, sensor cleaning, and built-in flash) may have limited the space avalable, and thus limited the magnification and/or coverage of the viewfinder.

Was there ever even a 35mm SLR (by any manufacturer) that had both a built-in flash and a 100% viewfinder of equal or greater magnification than the D700's finder? I know Nikon never made such a camera. I don't believe Canon did, either. But I'm not sure about Minolta, Pentax, Contax, Yashica, etc. Anyone recall?

That's not to say they couldn't achieve it. If the built-in sensor cleaning unit is an issue, it might be shrinkable in the next generation. If the prism or condensing lens size is an issue, then Nikon could just keep the viewfinder magnification the same instead of increasing it further. And if clearance on top is the issue, Nikon could just make the hump on the top of the higher to fit everything in. I'm sure they will eventually make it work, somehow.

Nikon user since 2000

ZoneV

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#18. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 12

ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2005
Sat 06-Aug-11 12:35 PM | edited Sat 06-Aug-11 12:36 PM by ZoneV

>I figured that was the case, but I'm a D300 owner and don't
>have a D700. We lowly D300 shooters don't often get such an
>opportunity to gloat in the D700 forum!

Neither do I have a D700, though I've one a few times a few years ago.

>I will note, quite seriously, that in reading all the camera
>forums I think D700 shooters are more satisfied with their
>cameras than contributors in any other forum. In the other
>forums (even the D3 forum) you see a fair number of complaints
>and issues raised by owners, but in this forum posts are
>almost always praising the camera. There isn't a more
>satisfied group of camera owners, to judge by the posts.

Yes, I do think that is probably the case in general. The D700 is a near-perfect still camera, as long as you don't need medium format resolution out of it. Probably the biggest flaw on the camera though is the lack of 100% viewfinder. Nikon obviously had to make a compromise somewhere, and they made the one that they felt was least likely to impact users. Then again, it seems that two thirds of nikonians (according to this poll) would have sacrificed the built-in flash instead.

Nikon user since 2000

Ned_L

Philadelphia, US
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#19. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 18

Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter Member
Sat 06-Aug-11 05:17 PM

Personally, to me, the biggest flaw in the camera is the lack of a dedicated bracketing button. You can get used to a 95% viewfinder pretty darn easily, but it's a pain in the neck to turn bracketing on and off and adjust it according to the situation, when you want to use HRD or merely creatively, take a look at the effect of over and under exposure in showing off the scene before you, in creating your image.

When it comes down to it, according to Nikon, the major reason for the 95% viewfinder isn't the flash, it's the sensor cleaning system. That cleaning system does a "bang up" job. I can forego the last 5% of the viewfinder to have a sensor as clean as mine. Prior to the D700 I had to do a wet cleaning of my camera every 8-12 weeks, due to the conditions in which I'm often photographing under; urban environments, deserts. In more than 100,000 exposures, I've only had to clean my sensor once.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

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briantilley

Paignton, UK
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#20. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 17

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Sat 06-Aug-11 06:01 PM

>Was there ever even a 35mm SLR (by any manufacturer) that had
>both a built-in flash and a 100% viewfinder of equal or
>greater magnification than the D700's finder?

Yes - Minolta's last "pro" film SLR, the Dynax (Maxxum) 9 had a 100% viewfinder with 0.73x magnification and a built-in flash. It even had a cleaning function - after taking each image, the recording medium was shifted along to uncover a new, clean, section...

For comparison, the D700 viewfinder is 95% and 0.73x, the D3 is 100% and 0.7x.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

ZoneV

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#21. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 20

ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2005
Sat 06-Aug-11 06:39 PM

I doubt Nikon would eliminate the built-in flash on the D800. Once you have it, it's a hard feature to leave out in a successor. If they can shrink the sensor cleaning mechanism, and they leave the viewfinder magnification where it is, they should be able to reach 100% coverage.

I think most people here would agree that going to EVF (as Sony is doing currently) is the wrong choice.

Nikon user since 2000

TomCurious

Bay Area, US
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#22. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 0

TomCurious Registered since 03rd Jan 2007
Sat 06-Aug-11 07:31 PM

The 100% viewfinder is certainly important for a film camera. I don't care about it much with digital, since I post process all my images anyway, and I crop almost all of them to a 5x4 aspect ratio. The 95% viewfinder simply results in a bit looser framing during the shoot, with some extra pixels that I loose during cropping. With the rumored 24MP D800, that would be even less of an issue. Sometimes it's actually a benefit if I composed the image too tightly and the extra pixels save me.

I would have a huge issue if it were the other way around (a 105% viewfinder), since the image would miss parts of the frame.

Tom
Bay Area Nikonian


http://www.tkphoto.me/

Ned_L

Philadelphia, US
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#23. "RE: 100% viewfinder or built-in flash?" | In response to Reply # 22

Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter Member
Sat 06-Aug-11 07:39 PM

Well put Tom. You explained it beautifully. Thanks.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

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G