A photographer looks through a viewfinder to compose, and in many cases to focus, the picture. A camera’s optical viewfinder is normally positioned above the actual lens, and there is also a horizontal offset. What you see through the optical viewfinder is different from what the camera’s lens projects onto its sensor. This is known as a parallax error. SLR cameras or electronic screen viewfinders avoid this problem. Optical viewfinders allow you to see only a percentage (80 to 95%) of what the sensor will capture. Additionally, the viewfinder normally shows a lower percentage (e.g., 85%) of the final image area at telephoto range (this percentage increases to 89 – 95% at wide angle settings). Higher end camera’s provide 100% coverage.

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