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Using Camera LCD Screens

Learn How to Adjust Your LCD Screen to Show True Exposure


LCD screens are improving with each generation of cameras, and they provide a quick and easy way to review images once they've been taken ... something that was impossible with film cameras.

However, as discussed in the "Viewfinder Vs. LCD" article, LCD screens aren't renowned for their accuracy. Three short steps can be taken to improve LCD's accuracy, though.

  • Calibration. Take some test shots on your DSLR and then upload the images to a computer without deleting the originals off the card. Using the LCD screen on the camera, compare its displayed image with the computer's displayed image. If you notice any differences, be sure to compensate for them when using the LCD screen to shoot.
  • Adjust the brightness of the LCD. In general, LCD screens tend to make everything look overly bright. This can lead to images that actually are properly exposed looking overexposed. If your images look brighter on your camera than your computer, you can adjust your LCD screen by going in to your camera's menu settings. Adjust the levels until it looks of a similar brightness to your computer.
  • Use a shade. If you're only just starting out with DSLRs, and you don't feel confident in trusting your exposures, you'll want to look at the LCD screen in all conditions. Adding a simple shade to the LCD screen makes the it easy to see the LCD in bright sunlight by cutting out the glare. 

Keep in mind that even with a perfectly balanced LCD screen, nothing is a substitute for acquiring technical photographic knowledge that can give you the confidence that you'll end up with perfect shots every time ... without the need to look at the LCD screen.

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