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Best Viewfinder Cameras

Find the Best Cameras With a Viewfinder


One of the most common complaints I hear from readers about the current state of the digital camera market is the lack of viewfinders included with cameras.

Most cameras today make you frame photos using the LCD and don't contain viewfinders, so you may have to hunt quite a bit to find a camera with a viewfinder, especially a point and shoot type of camera.

Hopefully my new list of the best cameras that contain viewfinders with help you spend less time hunting. This list, shown alphabetically, contains both fixed-lens point and shoot cameras, as well as interchangeable lens cameras, all at varying price points.

1. Canon EOS T3i DSLR


Canon's latest Rebel camera -- the T3i -- builds on the successes of past Rebel DSLR cameras, including adding a viewfinder, while incorporating the latest technologies and features.

The T3i uses an APS-C size image sensor and uses Canon EF lenses. With 18 megapixels of resolution, the T3i is near the top end of consumer DSLR cameras. The award-winning T3i allows for nine AF points and includes a 3-inch high-resolution LCD that can swivel away from the camera, if you don't want to use the viewfinder. 

2. Canon EOS T5i DSLR


Although it's touted as an upgrade to last year's Canon Rebel T4i, the new Canon EOS Rebel T5i doesn't appear to offer a significant number of improvements over the T4i. So if you already own the T4i, an upgrade probably isn't worth the investment.

Still, if you didn't purchase the T4i, the now available T5i can provide some nice improvements over older Rebel cameras, making it well worth considering as an upgrade over those older DSLR models.

The Rebel T5i has an 18MP CMOS image sensor, an articulated 3.0-inch LCD, full 1080p HD video, and a burst mode with up to 5 frames per second.

3. Canon PowerShot A1300


The PowerShot A1300 from Canon is a beginner-level camera. It offers 16.0MP of resolution, a 5X optical zoom lens, a 2.7-inch LCD, and a 720p HD video mode. None of those features are going to give you high-end capabilities, unfortunately.

However, there's one feature that is definitely surprising to find in a camera like this, as Canon has included an optical viewfinder with the A1300. This gives you another option for framing photos, and viewfinders are extremely rare on point and shoot cameras.

Canon is offering the A1300 in either silver or black camera bodies. The PowerShot A1300 also makes use of two AA batteries to provide power, meaning you should be able to come up with more battery power almost anywhere in the world.

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4. Canon PowerShot G16


The PowerShot G16 is a very powerful fixed-lens camera with some high-end features. You'll find a fast f/1.8 lens with this camera, something that's rarely found outside of a DSLR lens.

The G16 has a 1/1.7-inch CMOS image sensor carrying 12.1 megapixels of resolution. The fast lens is a 5X optical zoom lens, which is pretty good for this type of camera. You can pick between the G16's optical viewfinder and its high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD screen to frame photos.

There are quite a few features found here that will appeal to advanced photographers.

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5. Fujifilm FinePix S8400


Finding a digital camera with a viewfinder can be pretty difficult, at least unless you have the budget to splurge on a DSLR or other interchangeable lens camera.

With an ultra-zoom camera, though, a viewfinder is a great option to have. Fujifilm has paired a long zoom lens with a viewfinder in its now available FinePix S8400W camera.

The S8400W has a 44X optical zoom lens, full 1080/60i HD video capabilities, a 3.0-inch LCD screen, a 1-second start-up time, and 16MP of resolution. Fujifilm claims the S8400W can shoot macro photos from as close as 0.39 inches.

The FinePix S8400W, which runs from four AA batteries, is available in black.

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6. GE X550


The recently released GE X550 provides the look of an advanced camera -- complete with large zoom lens and viewfinder -- coupled with the point-and-shoot simplicity of most GE cameras.

The X550 offers 16 megapixels of resolution, a 15X optical zoom lens, and a 2.7-inch LCD screen. It runs from four AA batteries, which can be handy when traveling.

The GE X550 is similar in look to past GE models, such as the GE X5 and the GE X500. Look for the X550 in black or white body colors.

7. Nikon Coolpix P7800


The Nikon Coolpix P7700 is one of the top cameras on the market right now, so I have high hopes for the Nikon Coolpix P7800 too.

The P7800 includes a 1/1.7-inch 12.2MP CMOS image sensor, a 3.0-inch articulated LCD, an electronic viewfinder, full HD video recording, and a 7.1X optical zoom lens.

The P7700, which is available only in black, offers full manual controls, and it has an accessory port that allows you to connect a GPS unit, Wi-Fi unit, or an LED movie light.

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8. Nikon D7100 DSLR


Although it seems like entry-level DSLR cameras are being released at a rapid rate of late, Nikon hasn't forgotten that advanced DSLR cameras have a solid position in the market, too.

One of Nikon's latest advanced DSLR models, the D7100, is now available for purchase.

The D7100 has an impressive 24.1MP of resolution in a CMOS image sensor. It also includes a large 3.2-inch LCD screen, and full 1080p HD video recording. The D7100 is compatible with DX or FX format Nikon lenses. You'll find a 51-point autofocus system and a 6 fps burst mode with the D7100, which made my list of 2013's best cameras.

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9. Nikon Df DSLR


Nikon has borrowed both the design and feature set of its now available Df DSLR camera from other Nikon models, creating a powerful blended model that should have a lot of appeal for enthusiast photographers.

The Df borrows its look from classic Nikon film cameras, and it's available in either all black or black with silver trim. There are plenty of buttons and dials that contribute to the retro look.

But don't let the classic look fool you. This powerful full frame 16.2 megapixel DSLR camera has quite a few top-end shooting and oeprational features. It borrows the Nikon D4's 3.2-inch LCD, a 39-point autofocus system from the D610, and weather-resistant seals from the D800. Additionally you can use the viewfinder to frame photos, or you can shoot at full HD video, shoot in JPEG, RAW, or TIFF, and shoot at up to 5.5 frames per second with the Df.

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10. Olympus Stylus 1


One of the more interesting high-end fixed lens cameras announced recently, the Olympus Stylus 1, is now available for purchase.

The Stylus 1 includes several advanced features, including a 1/1.7-inch 12MP image sensor, a viewfinder, and an articulated high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD. Olympus included built-in Wi-Fi with this model, too.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Stylus 1 camera, though, is its 10.7X optical zoom lens. Many advanced fixed lens cameras have very small zoom lenses, which limits their appeal, but Olympus has conquered this problem.

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11. Pentax K-500 DSLR


For several years, Pentax has steadily been one of the primary manufacturers of DSLR cameras, providing a mixture of entry-level and intermediate DSLR models.

The company has added another entry-level DSLR to its family with the now available K-500. This camera ha a 16.2MP CMOS APS-C image sensor measuring 23.7 by 15.7 mm, which gives it a significant image quality advantage over most fixed-lens cameras.

The K-500 features a 3.0-inch LCD and a viewfinder, and it can shoot full HD video at three different frame rates up to 30 fps. There's also a good mixture of automatic and manual features with this camera.

The K-500 can run from AA-sized batteries. The K-500 can use any Pentax K-mount interchangeable lens, which is great.

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12. Pentax K-x DSLR


Even though the Pentax entry-level K-x DSLR camera is a bit older, it's still a really nice advanced camera that includes a viewfinder and that now can be found for a bargain.

The K-x offers 12.4 megapixels of resolution, a 2.7-inch LCD, and HD video capabilities. For a DSLR, the fact that the K-x runs from four AA batteries is unique, as is having the DSLR camera body available in several different colors, including a limited-edition rainbow model. The K-x is an award-winning camera as well.

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