This question has appeared a few times in various photography forums. Some commenters are "astounded to learn that expensive DSLRs do not provide LCD screen previewing". Maybe AR members are wondering the same thing.
Let's say you first got interested in photography with a compact, point-and-shoot digital camera. You decided you wanted to move up to a Digital SLR, only to find out that with a DSLR you cannot view your image on the LCD screen before shooting.
What?? You mean you can't preview the image on the LCD display?? You can only look through the viewfinder??
Yep. That's correct, and it's due to the mechanical design of an Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera (digital or film).
When you look through the "peephole" viewfinder of an SLR you are seeing an image reflected off a small mirror behind the shutter, that is then reflected to pentaprism in the dome of the eyepiece, then on to your eye.
The advantage is that you see exactly what the lens sees, in real time. When you press the shutter button to take the picture, the mirror swings up out of the way, and the shutter opens to let light hit the film or sensor. Then the shutter closes and the mirror drops back down so that you can again see through the lens. That is the way single lens reflex cameras have worked for a very, very long time. To get a live view on the LCD screen of a DSLR, something would have to be designed to get that mirror out of the way.
When camera manufacturers first developed digital SLRs, they substituted a digital sensor for film, but kept the original reflect-the-image-with-tiny-mirrors mechanical design.
Evidently, though, some DSLR manufacturers, are watching the now-common upgrade path from compact point-and-shoots digitals, and are realizing that many users have become accustomed to composing their shot on the LCD screen,
Enter "Live View" on DSLRs:
Canon calls it Live LCD and is available on the EOS-1D Mark III: http://www.engadget.com/2007/02/21/canons-eos-1d-mark-iii-dslr-with-live-lcd/
A little more about the Mechanics of a Single Lens Reflex camera:
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