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That big LCD screen on the back of your camera is a great photographic aid. You can use it to review your images in live view mode, you can actually use it as a viewfinder, but there are some things to understand about it. It is not an accurate way of assessing tone or color in your image. So if you're trying to figure out if something is over or under exposed, just looking at that image on the back of your viewfinder is not the way to do it. Similarly, if you're trying to decide that colors are accurate, or if you have got a level of saturation that you like, still don't want to go with the LCD.
One thing to understand is that the camera might be brightening up the image that it puts to the LCD to make it easier to view in brighter light, and that can cause a shift in tone and color. So we never use the LCD as a really accurate way of assessing anything other than composition. Now, you can change the brightness of the LCD, and this is a good thing to do, if you find yourself in direct sunlight, and your screen looks washed out, brightening it up can make a big difference. Similarly, if you're shooting in a dark room, a performance, or a museum, or something like that, you may want to turn the brightness down.
Now, there are some tools that make the LCD screen a little more useful for judging both tone and color, and you can learn about those by studying your histogram. For now, here is how you can change the brightness. Over here in the second page of the tools menu, you will find an option for changing the brightness of the LCD, and as you saw earlier, we have got the brightness of this LCD turned up all the way, because we've got it under really bright lights, so it was getting washed out. That's a perfect example of why you might need to change the LCD brightness.
Or another example is you might want to turn the brightness down if you're shooting, say. a concert, or an event, or something, and you want to minimize the amount of glare coming from the camera. By default, you can set the brightness to Auto, which I did with the main dial up here, and within Auto, I have three different settings, and you can see that it gives me an okay range of brightness. I am going to switch back to Manual, where I have got seven different levels of brightness to choose from. I have got two things going on here in the display. This is actually showing me a view outside the camera.
You're seeing white right now, because we are just pointed at the white wall. It's also giving me this gray ramp, which can make it easier for me to see how much shadow and highlight detail I am going to lose in my image as I lower the brightness. So as I pull this down, I am actually picking up a little more detail in my middle grays, but I am dropping out the bottoms. It can be a good idea to take a look at this little test wedge to get a better understanding of the accuracy that you might be seeing on the viewfinder when you are reviewing your images. That said, you should never trust contrast and color on this screen.
All of the image data going to this screen is amped up, so that it's easier to see in bright light. Be aware that as you increase brightness, you are also going to increase battery drain. It takes more power to drive a brighter screen, so you are going to want to balance those concerns. You are also going to heat up the camera faster with a brighter LCD. If you're mixing shooting stills with video, or you are shooting a lot of video, you are going to want to watch that screen brightness, because you will already be battling heat issues in video mode. The screen is really about judging composition. You can use the image's histogram to get a better idea of exposure.
But for simply being able to see the screen in bright lights, or to not see it so well in really dark light, you'll want to go to the LCD brightness screen, and turn the brightness up or down.
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