For many reasons, some people prefer taking pictures using viewfinders instead of the typical LCD screen that most updated camera releases come equipped with. This is mostly because viewfinders provide a more stable image capture experience, ideal for users who want sharp pictures without the motion distortion. Viewfinders are also great if you want to use your camera in bright light settings, as LCD screens can give in to glare when it’s too sunny out.
These days, it’s rare that you’ll find a camera with a viewfinder because they’re commonly considered a thing of the past. But that doesn’t mean you’re completely out of options. Find out which viewfinder-equipped camera is right for you and get the best bang for your buck by checking out these top options.
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The Absolute Best Compact Camera with Viewfinder
With viewfinders being considered a vintage camera feature, what better way to appreciate that old school feel than with an equally retro device? The Fujifilm X100T 16 MP Digital Camera showcases a vintage-inspired design with all the features and functionality of your run-of-the-mill modern day digital camera.
Fujifilm is a Japanese brand that’s been competing in the camera and photography market for decades, pleasing consumers and fans with unique and quirky camera releases that add a touch of fun to photography. Their X100T digital camera has been dubbed by many as the best compact camera with viewfinder because it boasts all the high-tech features of a typical digicam, but also offers a few vintage functions that are unique to the model.
The 16 MP CMOS sensor can capture crisp detail in low light settings for sharp imaging, but can also adapt lomography style with a slight change in settings. This means users can appreciate the best of both modern photography styles and older image capturing styles all in one compact device.
What’s Hot About the Fujifilm X100T 16 MP Digital Camera
- Classic Chrome mode precisely replicates styles and colors from film-era cameras, ideal for people who want a vintage aesthetic to their captures.
- Digital functionality competes with others in its segment, producing clear, crisp, and vivid images that demonstrate superior image sharpness.
- Unique camera body is compact and light, mimicking the appearance of older film-type cameras.
- Smartphone compatibility with the Fujifilm Camera Remote for greater functionality and hands-free operation.
- Hybrid viewfinder allows manual focusing – a first of its kind.
What’s Not So Hot
- Autofocus can be slow and inaccurate in some lighting settings.
- Fixed lens limits users who want to experiment more with the device’s capabilities.
- Expensive! Up to five times the cost of other cameras with the same functionality and features.
The Second Best Compact Camera with a Viewfinder
While the COOLPIX P900 does seem to cross the border towards becoming a full-fledged DSLR, this camera sits pretty as one of the best compact digital cameras with viewfinders. The Nikon brand has always been reliable with their camera releases, and so it came as no surprise that this one has won over the hearts of countless users the world over.
The COOLPIX P900 Digital Camera features a whopping 83x optical zoom feature that boasts stability and clarity like no other. With a 16 MP CMOS image sensor, the P900 can easily capture subjects in low light settings with reasonable clarity. What’s more, the full manual function gives greater control to the user for specific image capturing strategies and styles.
What’s Hot About the COOLPIX P900
- Swivelling Vari-angle display allows users to capture images from various viewpoints and angles without losing sight of their subject.
- Built-in WiFi makes it easy to share and transfer photos from the camera to various other devices, eliminating the need for tedious cable connections.
- Manual exposure feature allows users to achieve different image styles with complete control of lighting.
- 83x optical zoom is powerful, clear, and sharp no matter the distance of subjects from the user.
What’s Not So Hot
- Bulky camera build makes it feel like a DSLR at times, instead of a compact camera.
- A bit pricey. May be impractical for some buyers who are working on a budget.
The Third Best Camera with Viewfinder
Of course, wherever Nikon goes, Canon is likely to follow. To match up to the COOLPIX P900 release, Canon has come up with the PowerShot SX60 – a formidable opponent in terms of features and functionality. To date, this is the best camera with viewfinder that the brand has since released.
While the 65x optical zoom on this unit doesn’t reach the same distances as the 83x on the P900, it can be a very powerful tool all on its own without comparison. The bright 3-inch vari-angle LCD screen also allows flexibility with angles and perspectives, while the viewfinder provides a lofty and comfortable position where users can find and lock in on subjects with ease.
Aside from the marginally weaker optical zoom function, the SX60 promises practically the same benefits as the P900. So if you’re partial to the Canon brand, this one can be a premium pick for you.
What’s Hot About the Canon PowerShot SX60
- Vari-angle LCD allows users to take shots from different angles and perspectives with ease and convenience.
- 65x optical zoom is powerful and clear, focusing on distant subjects with relative clarity and sharpness.
- Slightly cheaper than the former, giving it greater value per dollar spent.
What’s Not So Hot
- Bulky design makes it difficult to pass off as a “compact” camera.
- Disappointing manual focus feature is clumsy and difficult to master.
The Fourth Best Compact Digital Camera with a Viewfinder
Not to be outdone, Fujifilm has released a competitive product into the same segment. The FinePix S9900W Digital Camera features an impressive 50x optical zoom feature that’s on a level of its own. Sure, while it’s not quite as powerful as Nikon’s P900, the S9900W is a reasonably reliable image capturing tool for distant subjects and far-off sceneries. This makes it a possible choice if you’re looking for the best compact digital camera with a viewfinder.
The camera is equipped with a 16.2 MP CMOS sensor for low light captures, and a high resolution 920k Dot electronic viewfinder for exact image previews prior to capture. Much like other cameras in the segment, the Fujifilm FinePix S9900W Digital Camera also offers the option to connect to a smartphone device for greater functionality.
What’s Hot About the FinePix S9900W
- Crosses the bounds to DSLR status while maintaining easy and convenient point-and-shoot usage.
- Powerful 50x optical zoom is stable, reliable, and easy to focus despite great distance between shooter and subject.
- Crisp, clear, and natural colors ideal for shooting scenery and nature subjects.
- Again, slightly on the cheaper side of the price spectrum. Most easily affordable DSLR-like point and shoot.
- Up to 10 FPS for continuous image capture, ideal for creating seamless videos at high-quality.
What’s Not So Hot
- Bulky design makes it difficult to bring around as a compact camera.
- Minimal manually adjustable features can be confusing to some users who want a plain and simple point-and-shoot.
The Best Cheap Compact Camera with Viewfinder
One of the most underrated brands in the camera market is the Panasonic LUMIX line of imaging devices. Offering premium features and functions, these cameras are sometimes considered the unsung heroes of the niche because they rarely ever get the attention that other well-known brands like Canon and Nikon often receive.
For those looking for the best cheap compact camera with viewfinder, the LUMIX DMC-ZS60 should be right up your alley. Staying true to its purpose, this camera features a sleek, pocket-friendly body that can be brought anywhere with ease and convenience. However, while the camera is quite sleek and small, it doesn’t cheap out on features.
The camera features a sensitive 18 MP CMOS sensor that’s more sensitive to light in low light settings compared to the previous 16 MP options. In combination with its highly accurate and stable Leica DC Lens, this camera promises to produce rich, clear, and beautifully crisp images effortlessly.
What’s Hot About the LUMIX DSC-ZS60
- True blue point-and-shoot functionality, allowing users to take professional-grade snaps without worrying about settings or features.
- Slim, sleek, and compact design characteristic of true compact cameras – take it with you anytime, anywhere.
- WiFi capability allows users to easily transfer files sans the use of clumsy cables.
- Leica DC Lens is among the best on the market, competing with other more complicated lens options on the market at a fair price.
- Affordable! For the features and functionality it offers, this one’s a definite steal for its price.
What’s Not So Hot
- Unstable zoom especially when taken to the limit of the camera’s lens. The use of a tripod becomes highly necessary for distant subjects.
Buyer’s Guide for Compact Cameras with Viewfinders
It’s not hard to see that all of the cameras in this segment offer a ton of varied features and functions. If the endless number of feature combinations makes it hard for you to stick to a decision, make sure to consider these factors.
- Viewfinder Specifics – While it is true that viewfinders can generate more functionality out of your camera, not every type of viewfinder will suit your fancy. Optical viewfinders are somewhat like windows that use mirrors and prisms to provide you a live representation of what’s in front of your camera. These are always more accurate in terms of color, but might be inaccurate with the actual scope of your camera.
Electronic viewfinders on the other hand can be much more accurate in terms of the scope that they cover, but they can also lag behind when it comes to real time representations of what you’re trying to capture.
Give each type of viewfinder a go and see which one will suit your needs better. If you want realistic color representations to fine tune lighting requirements, go with optical. But if you want something that provides you a more reliable scope, go with the electronic.
- Defining ‘Compact’ – What does ‘compact’ mean to you? When it comes to compact cameras, there are lots of different sizes and shapes. Strictly speaking, a compact camera is one that you can carry around with ease, not weighing more than you find convenient for bringing around in your purse or pocket.
However, some compact cameras simply mean that they have a more ‘compact’ list of features. This means they don’t fully support the functionality that DSLR options provide. That said, some compact cameras can be bulkier and heavier, as long as they still function like a straightforward point-and-shoot.
- Budget Considerations – These cameras can easily range from thousands of dollars, to just a few hundreds or less. Accessories can also add to the cost considerations. Make sure to settle on a fixed budget and invest in something that doesn’t pinch your pennies too much, but also provides you sufficient functionality and quality.
No doubt, choosing a camera with a viewfinder can be a bit of a challenge – especially because each option looks like a promising purchase! During instances when you feel like you might struggle with landing the right choice, look into the specifics and match up your decision with what you really want out of your device.
If you’re still not sure about what you might want to shell out cash for, try any one of the top notch products on this list! With superior features and functionality, rave reviews, and premium performance, you can be sure that any one of these five cameras can easily capture your heart in a single snap.