[ Team LiB ] Previous Section Next Section

View Panels

In framing a shot, the only image you need to see displayed on the LCD view panel on the back of your camera is a full-screen look through the lens. For the review of photos you've previously captured, however, most digital cameras offer additional modes. Some of these include single-image mode, multiple-image mode, slideshow mode, and zoom mode.

Single Image

In single-image mode, that's all you see—a one-shot view. Most cameras will let you step through all the images you've exposed so that you can look at them one at a time. Although you can't compare shots (except in your mind), you will see the greatest possible level of detail. Single-image mode is the basic viewing mode for digital cameras in review mode, and usually the only preview view.

Multiple Image

In multiple-image mode—sometimes called thumbnail mode—your camera breaks its viewfinder into a matrix of individual images, typically an array of four or nine. Although each image is a fraction of its individual size (say one-quarter or one-ninth), this mode allows you to make side-by-side comparisons. You can pick out an image to keep or trash in one quick glance. This mode is particularly useful when you urgently need more memory and want to eliminate wasted shots to gain memory space.


Long before we had home videos to bore our friends and neighbors through wintry evenings, God gave us the slideshow. You'd drag out a rolled-up screen that never properly unrolled, plug in the projector, and flash side after slide, one at a time, on the screen. The slideshow mode of a digital camera's electronic viewfinder operates similarly, a one-after-another display of the images in its memory. This mode allows you to briefly view all the photos you've captured before deciding to chuck them all and start over.

The slideshow lets you assess the mass of your work in full detail. At that, it can be quite useful in making a quick evaluation of your technical prowess. As with the presentation of single images, it does not allow you to make quick comparisons.


The small screen and low pixel count in digital camera LCD displays can make checking image details difficult. Consequently, many cameras incorporate an electronic zoom mode in their viewfinder systems. Typically this mode will let the LCD panel display one pixel for each pixel in the captured image, which magnifies the image by a factor of two to four. Although you cannot see the entire image at one time, you can usually pan across its width and height to check each pixel. If you're critical about the images you take, you'll want zoom mode. For ordinary snapshots, however, you may find it unnecessary and may not miss the feature in a camera that lacks it.

If you plan only to use your LCD panel to review images, you don't much care about where it is on your camera. You can just tilt the camera to the viewing angle you prefer. If, however, you want to use the panel as a viewfinder, the mounting of the LCD is decidedly important. It must be located so you can view it conveniently while pointing the camera lens at your subject. Not all digital cameras have LCD panels that let you do this conveniently.

Adjustable panels allow you to swivel the LCD to whatever position is most comfortable for you to view it. In particular, you can tilt it upward so that it functions as a waist-level viewfinder, which many professional photographers prefer, particularly for portrait photography.

    [ Team LiB ] Previous Section Next Section