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As we've seen one of the great advantages of an SLR is that you have a viewfinder that looks through the same lens that exposes the sensor. However, there are times when looking through that viewfinder is actually kind of a hassle. Maybe the camera is on a tripod, in a difficult to see position, or perhaps you're shooting a portrait and you prefer to look directly into your subject's eyes rather than hiding behind the camera. For those situations Live View might be a preferable way to work. In Live View, the camera's LCD screen becomes a viewfinder just like on a point and shoot camera.
The camera takes the image that's being captured by its sensor, then it puts it immediately up on the screen so that you can see what the camera is actually capturing. One advantage of Live View is that you see absolutely 100% of the area captured by your camera as opposed to the roughly 96% of the scene that you get when you look through the normal viewfinder. To activate Live View, you just press the Live View button which is right here. Now when I press this you're going to hear the mirror come up. That was the mirror flipping up to allow light to get all the way back to the image sensor which is creating this image that I'm seeing here on the LCD screen.
So the first thing you should notice is I get a status display at the bottom of the screen that's very much like what I would see in my normal viewfinder. I've got a exposure compensation. I've got a number of shots remaining. I can see that I'm in Auto ISO mode. I can see that I have a full battery. This is actually a fairly critical piece of status information here, because Live View will drain your battery very quickly. If I half-press the Shutter button I get my shutter speed and aperture just like I always will. So this is pretty much everything you need when you're shooting, but there are some additional displays that I can pop up.
If I hit the Info button I get all this stuff. Now this is all the stuff that I would normally see back here on the display if I was just shooting in regular mode, not in Live View. And I can see that I'm in Single Shot mode, I'm in Autofocus, in Live View, I am at Auto White Balance selected, my Auto Picture Style, the Auto Lighting Optimizer is set to the middle setting and I'm shooting a high-quality JPEG image. I can also see that Exposure Simulation is turned on. This means that it's really trying to simulate what the final image will look like. That means it's applying a picture style. It's trying to show the actual white balance that it will use.
It's trying to show the ambience that I may have selected, and a lot of other parameters that really make this a fairly accurate view of what my final image will look like. If I press this button again, I get a histogram display. Now if you're not familiar with a histogram it's something you really need to learn about. It's a critical exposure tool. This makes it very simple for me to see if I've over or underexposed an image, if I've got enough contrast, if I have a very low contrast image. This is also a live histogram. As the scene changes the histogram updates in real time, well close to real time.
So a very, very useful shooting feature you can learn more about that in my Foundations of Photography: Exposure course. If I press the Info button again, all of that stuff goes away, leaving me a very clean, uncluttered view of my scene which can make composition much easier. I typically work with my standard display down here, because I want to keep track of my exposure settings as I'm working. I can also use the Q button just like I would in normal shooting to bring up an interactive set of controls. Now I can work through these and change any of these settings without having to manipulate any of the other controls on the camera.
So this is particularly nice when you're working on a tripod. I can be working with Live View and not have to look through the viewfinder, not have to reach for control, I can really see and do everything right here on this one screen. I can also deactivate this button. If I were to accidentally press this button the Live View might activate and as I've said it can be a real battery drain and maybe my camera's bumping on my belt or something and continually turning it on and off. Before I know it, I could lose battery. So I'm going to go in here to the menu and you see right here Fourth Shooting Menu>Live View shooting.
I can just choose to Disable that and now pressing this button does nothing at all. So if you don't ever use Live View you might as well turn that off so that you don't ever accidentally get into Live View mode when you don't want to be. Running the LCD screen on the camera generates a lot of heat inside the camera and because heat is bad for electronic components and makes your image more noisy. Your camera will begin to show you warnings as it heats up. First, you'll see this white icon. This indicates that image quality might be degraded, because the camera's getting too hot.
As you continue to shoot the white icon will turn red, and then it'll start flashing. Eventually, the camera will just stop shooting altogether and you will have to shut it down to let it cool. How quickly this will all happen varies with ambient temperature. You can avoid these overheating problems by turning off Live View when you're not actively shooting, especially if the weather is hot.
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