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phxazcraig

(Nikon) Mirrorless users - do you use the viewfinder?

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I'm curious on this, coming from a DSLR world.   The only time I've used the back panel LCD while shooting underwater is for video in Live View mode, where I didn't have any choice anyway.

I'm about to start shooting a Z9 underwater, and I've been thinking about viewfinders.   I have a 45 degree viewfinder accessory which I intend to use for macro.   But non-macro, I'm wondering.  I can use either the viewfinder or the back panel LCD interchangeably.  Is anyone else here these days shooting a Nikon ML underwater, or similar, and using the back panel LCD most of the time?

I like having the viewfinder pressed against my mask as a third point of stability.

I'm wondering about this a lot because I've used a 180 degree viewfinder since 2015, but I don't have one for the new rig.  My old 180 wouldn't fit anyway.   So I'm going to have a choice of stock Nauticam viewfinder, back panel LCD, or spend another $1800 on a 180 degree finder.

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Craig, won’t a viewfinder really get in the way of viewing the screen? I’ve got a 45 finder on my D500 housing and do a weird sort of head duck to be able to view the screen clearly. 

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I don't know what your eyesight is like but for me reading anything on the rear screen UW is a little difficult, so I use the EVF with a 45° viewfinder on my rig.  It's on Olympus and has an EVF, but I wouldn't think of using the rear screen UW, I also review my pics with the viewfinder as it has dioptric correction and you can set the camera to flash up the pic for a period of time after taking the image - 1/2 a second is enough to confirm the strobes fired and exposure is at least in the ballpark, all without taking you eye from the viewfinder.

You are coming from a Nauticam to a Nauticam for the Z9 aren't you? Nauticam are probably recommending the new viewfinder, but your old viewfinder should still  fit, but the edges may not look great - it's worth trying on land before you decide to throw down extra $$ on the new model.  I actually just use the 45°viewfinder for both wide angle and macro which is also an option to consider - the framing difficulties of the 45° fade away when you use it for wide angle shooting and it encourages you to shoot up.

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I have a180 finder on my Z50 housing which I use all the time, except at night, shooting women in pools. Poor eyesight and high ambient light in shallow water makes the LCD pretty useless for me.

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Posted (edited)

I have a Nikon Z6 ii in a Nauticam housing with the Nauticam Full Frame Angle Viewfinder 0.8:1 and love it! I use it for both macro and wide angle. I can see the image I am shooting sharp and clear corner to corner. It also has a diopter that I adjust and no longer need readers in my mask to see the LCD. I also have Image Review turned on and instantly get a crystal clear review of the last shot without moving my head, and I have learned to make adjustments to the shot by touch while looking through the viewfinder. Yes, it’s expensive at $1800 US but for me it is worth it!

Edited by UWPics

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I received my housing, finder, extension and macro port yesterday.  Plus the Backscatter vacuum warning system.

Today I went to a friend's house to give it a quick try.   And try my new wetsuit as well.   I used the 0.8x 45 degree viewfinder, and it's going to take some getting used to.   There were times I was below the camera and it was awkward to get my head up above the viewfinder.  Seems fine viewing it through the mask.  I was concentrating on many other things, but I don't recall any issues seeing the edges of the viewfinder.

I really like my 180 degree finder.  If it fits, I'll almost certainly want to use it with wide angle, and leave the 45 degree for macro.  But then I'm not comfortable with the 45 yet.

I've still never shot any of my Nauticam housings without an add-on viewfinder.   I should try that some time.   Probably will if the old 180 doesn't fit/work.

I can see what you mean about not being able to see the LCD panel in bright light.  Still, I think the ability to use a function key to select an AF mode with subject detection might just allow me to shove the camera forward at arms length to get certain shots and have them properly focused.   I like the fact that not only do I have access to Fn keys 1 through 4, the Fn2 and Fn3 buttons are moved to a lever on the left side. 

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On 8/15/2022 at 4:45 PM, TimG said:

Craig, won’t a viewfinder really get in the way of viewing the screen? I’ve got a 45 finder on my D500 housing and do a weird sort of head duck to be able to view the screen clearly. 

Yes, I noticed that today once I mounted it.   But if I don't have any viewfinder installed except the stock one, I'll have a clear field of view.

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