A digital camera’s optical viewfinder is bright and clear, uses no power, and lets you compose your image quickly. But not all optical viewfinders are created equal. You need to evaluate a few optical-viewfinder features:


Decide what magnification you want.

Some cameras have no magnification, giving you a tiny image floating off in the distance. Other cameras provide a big view that makes it easy to frame and compose your photo.


Make sure your viewfinder can zoom with your lens.

Ideally, the image should match the view of your LCD and lens, but some cameras keep a fixed view and use indicator marks to show the picture area.


Find an optical viewfinder with an accurate viewpoint.

The optical viewfinder might not show everything you’re framing, with some image area clipped off the top, bottom, or sides.


Consider an extended eyepoint.

The eyepoint is the distance your eye can be from the viewfinder’s window and still see the entire view.


Decide what readouts (if any) you want.

Some cameras show nothing but the unadorned image. Others have framing or parallax correction lines or indicator lights, like in this figure.