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Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?
  
 
Timothy OConn
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


Hi all

I moved to Nikon Full frame last year when I got a D600. Love the camera and the system, but I'm curious as to why Nikon's Live View is so poor compared to even the most entry level Canon.

Is there some hardware difference in the sensor that makes implementing LV more complex than Canon?



Oct 08, 2013 at 12:08 PM
BenV
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


Not sure if this is a troll post or not. Since I haven't used a Canon camera since the 1D3 debacle.


Oct 08, 2013 at 12:30 PM
2of9
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


I was using my cousin's Canon 7D and comparing it with my Nikon D90. We both went on live view to compare and contrast. Be it the D90 doesn't have as many 'features' as the Canon, i think both LV are decent for what they are.

Maybe you are using 'poor' lighting?



Oct 08, 2013 at 01:49 PM
cputeq
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


From what I've read, I think it's some sort of interpolated readout of the sensor for whatever reason, which means the clarity isn't there.

2of9 do note I believe this happens with the newer Nikons, the D800/600s. The D90 had a "normal" LV experience.



Oct 08, 2013 at 01:57 PM
mguffin
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


My D7100 seems to perform just fine in LV. Don't recall much of a difference compared to when I had a 50D or 7D...


Oct 08, 2013 at 01:59 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


Assuming you mean the clarity and refresh rate of LV...Sensor readouts and processing on all current cameras aren't fast enough to support a 30fps readout of the entire sensor. For the magnified views then there are two techniques. One method (best) is for the sensor to support a selective readout "window" mode where a smaller subset of the sensor can be read at full speed and fed to LV without any interpoloation. The other method (much worse) is to read the entire sensor but skip every few lines so that the readout rate is reduced, the same as how the HD video feed is generated for the camera. The first method produces clear 1:1 magnified views with excellent low-light performance (matches sensor's native low-light characteristics). The second method produces muddied 1:1 magnified views because software must interpolate the skipped/missing lines in order to recreate the 1:1 magnified view resolution; it also has much worse low-light performance in the feed because discarding lines means discarding half or more of the sensor's light capturing capability.

All Canons starting from the first to support LV (40D) utilize the first method.
Some Nikons use the second method or some variant of it, including the D90/D5000, D800, D700. Some use the first method, including the D7000/D5100, D3s/D4, D600. In my experience the D7000/D5100 have the best implementations in terms of 1:1 magnified clarity and low-light performance.

I believe all Sony Exmor sensors support the selective readout mode, so it's not clear why the D800 is not using it.



Oct 08, 2013 at 02:49 PM
GC5
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?



I'm guessing OP is discussing the difficulty in changing aperture in many Nikon liveview implementations, including the D600 (aperture changes are not reflected in real time on the screen).



Oct 08, 2013 at 03:01 PM
BenV
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


I use my live view on the d800, only thing I would change is adding a swivel LCD for my landscape and macro photography.


Oct 08, 2013 at 04:02 PM
BlueBomberTurbo
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


BenV wrote:
I use my live view on the d800, only thing I would change is adding a swivel LCD for my landscape and macro photography.


There are tablet/smartphone apps out there that let you connect to the camera's Live View via USB. Similar to Nikon's Capture NX, but implemented much better.



Oct 08, 2013 at 04:54 PM
bpark42
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


BenV wrote:
I use my live view on the d800, only thing I would change is adding a swivel LCD for my landscape and macro photography.


The D800's live view is very poor relative to the competition. It is still usable, but even though it has been more than a year since I switched I still miss the superior live view from my old 5D2. (That's pretty much the only thing I miss though.)



Oct 08, 2013 at 05:37 PM
 

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sjms
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


you all make me so happy I don't take live view seriously.


Oct 09, 2013 at 12:51 AM
monochrome
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


GC5 wrote:
I'm guessing OP is discussing the difficulty in changing aperture in many Nikon liveview implementations, including the D600 (aperture changes are not reflected in real time on the screen).

Hard to say with such a general statement. Could be what post number two is talking about...



Oct 09, 2013 at 12:55 AM
OccAeon
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


The D600's live view has some disadvantages (although I loved my D600):

(1) It is slow to react when you focus. There is some degree of input lag (when you turn the focus on the lens, the screen takes a while to react), probably from having a processor that is too slow.
(2) Because it can't change aperture during live view, it can very hard to use in low light situations. I.e., if you want to take multiple shots at F/16, you have to set the camera to F/2.8, turn on live view, focus, set the camera to F/16, take the shot (at which liveview switches over to F/16, making it too dark to see), change the camera back to F/2.8, exit live view, enter live view again (now you can see again), change the camera back to F/16, and then finally you are ready to refocus for a second shot. Granted, it only matters in low light, but it pretty absurd when you have to deal with it.



Oct 09, 2013 at 01:30 AM
Timothy OConn
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


Compared to my 7d, the liveview is poor - very laggy when zoomed in, and very noisy. Thats not to say its it's not useable, but its a shame it couldnt be done better. My friends d800e doesn't have the lag issues, but the image quality is poor. Just thought that there might be some sensor design issue that was at fault.


Oct 09, 2013 at 07:41 AM
Timothy OConn
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?




GC5 wrote:
I'm guessing OP is discussing the difficulty in changing aperture in many Nikon liveview implementations, including the D600 (aperture changes are not reflected in real time on the screen).

That is is also annoying. Live histogram would be nice as well...



Oct 09, 2013 at 07:43 AM
Timothy OConn
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?




BenV wrote:
Not sure if this is a troll post or not. Since I haven't used a Canon camera since the 1D3 debacle.

Curious to know why you replied, since as as you say, your experience is limited. No im not a troll.



Oct 09, 2013 at 07:48 AM
hijazist
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


I don't understand the bashing from some, the OP is right, the Live View implementation on the D800/D600 is very poor for a body of this caliber. When you zoom in to 100% for critical manual focus (especially in night scape photography) the image is very noisy and you can't determine the details to achieve optimal focus. It's really bad in low light. I never had a Canon but my friend does and her 5DIII's Live View is much clearer than my Nikons. This is not a new issue and has been well documented and discussed before... This not only affect stills but also using Live View in video.

Not every rant is trolling guys Fred Miranda mentions this in his "Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon D800 Review", I am pretty sure he ain't no troll



Oct 09, 2013 at 08:18 AM
Timothy OConn
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


hijazist wrote:
I don't understand the bashing from some, the OP is right, the Live View implementation on the D800/D600 is very poor for a body of this caliber. When you zoom in to 100% for critical manual focus (especially in night scape photography) the image is very noisy and you can't determine the details to achieve optimal focus. It's really bad in low light. I never had a Canon but my friend does and her 5DIII's Live View is much clearer than my Nikons. This is not a new issue and has been well documented and discussed before... This not only
...Show more

if I came across all ranty mc rant rant, then I apologize...Really the point of my post was to find out if there was some sort of design reason why Nikon cant implement LV as well as Canon - I was suspecting that the Canon design just makes it a lot cheaper to do, hence they seem to include all sorts of LV goodness on all their DSLR's.




Oct 09, 2013 at 08:28 AM
uscmatt99
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


I agree that Nikon's live-view implementation is not ideal. This is more obvious when you compare it to a dedicated live-view camera like a Sony NEX. I wouldn't mind it so much if OEM screens were available to swap in for accurate manual focus of fast lenses.

For now I just set my aperture to wide open, engage live-view to focus on my D600, magnify, achieve focus at 100% with the zoomed in box, disengage live-view, set my desired shooting aperture, confirm composition through the viewfinder, and shoot.

On my NEX-6 I tilt the LCD up, focus at my desired aperture under one-touch 100% magnification, one-touch zoom out to full view, confirm composition, and shoot. LCD will brighten enough to give details for successful focus, and can be set to a "torch mode" for shooting outdoors in bright light. Alternatively, I can do everything through the EVF.

Those are my processes when on a tripod. I shoot exactly the same with the NEX handheld using either the LCD or EVF. With the D600, I get it close with my eyeball through the OVF, then rely on the rangefinder dot, and hope for the best. Live-view is arduous at best handheld. My hit rate is essentially 100% with the NEX, and about 50% critical focus wide open on the D600. When I stop down, I'm closer to 100% with the D600 of course.

The Nikon DSLR bodies are excellent for so many types of shooting and are ergonomically superior, but are lacking for manual focus glass usage compared to other cameras. I plan to try out one of the rumored new full-frame NEX cameras when they are released.



Oct 09, 2013 at 12:17 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Reason why Nikons LV is so bad compared to Canon?


The lag on the D600 (D700 was even worse) is due to the low refresh rate of the LV feed. And I agree, it makes manually focusing more difficult than it needs to be, esp on lenses with focus ring slop like the 28 f/1.8G.


Oct 09, 2013 at 01:26 PM
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