A Flip-out Screen on a Camera is so useful!
A flip-out screen is also called a Vari-Angle LCD screen or an articulating monitor screen. I just call it a flip-out or fold-out screen. It’s a feature that only some cameras have, but it’s a practical feature that should not be overlooked. It makes taking pictures easier and is great for taking candid pictures of people, interesting nature scenes, and much more. You don’t have to get down on the ground, or look people right in the eye! People tend to freeze up if they know that their picture is being taken, and having a fold-out screen sometimes means you can be sneaky!
Digital SLR Camera
Looking for a Digital SLR that has a fold-out screen? The Canon EOS Rebel T3i is a great choice for both beginners and those who have experience. The movable display is one of the things that sets this apart from the Rebel T3.
Above is another photo of my Canon EOS Rebel T3i. It is a relatively low cost digital SLR (dSLR). I highly recommend it. If you’ve never owned a dSLR before, don’t worry, the learning curve is not too great. It has auto modes built in, so you can still use it like a point and shoot. As you can see, the screen can be used to review your photos, as well as during shooting (to use the screen during shooting, you want to turn on the “live” mode).
Also, check out the Canon EOS 60D
Want to go beyond entry level? DPReview calls this a “super Rebel.”
Point and Shoot Cameras with Flip-out Screens
This tops my list for point and shoot cameras with fold-out LCD viewing screens. I owned its predecessor, the Canon PowerShot SX40, and still use it today for some situations. The 50x optical zoom gives you a lot of power in an impressively compact camera. I used the SX40 for taking photos of birds on my bird feeder and was quite impressed by it.
A Nikon Camera with a side-articulated LCD
This Nikon is a great choice as well.
What do I do with the flip-out screen?
Nature photos and people photos!
I take pictures of insects, mushrooms, flowers and other things really close to the ground. The variable angle screen allows me to take pictures at awkward angles. I don’t get quite as dirty (still a little dirty) and I don’t have to lay out on the ground to take a picture looking UP at a flower, like this one!
I use my camera all of the time to take pictures of things for Ebay, and often I put the camera way up high to look down on the item. I don’t have to stand on a chair and squint! I just turn the flip-out screen to face me!
You can also take close-up self portraits, although for regular self-portraits, a tripod and auto timer work better.
It’s also great for getting for taking candid photographs of people. Sometimes people will act differently if they know a camera is aimed at them, but for some reason if you’re looking down at the LCD flip-out screen, they don’t realize that you are about to take their picture! It’s a trick I’ve used at parties.
Photo Taken with the Canon EOS Rebel T3i – I used the flip out screen to take close-up photos of small mushrooms!
I just bought my first DSLR camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T3i, and while I wasn’t sure that I would want or need a fold-out screen on a DSLR camera, soon after buying it, I was sure glad that I had it.
These little brown mushrooms popped up in my front lawn. Of course I still had to get down on the ground to photograph them, but having the flip-out screen made it easier… I could sit and look at the LCD screen and I was able to manually focus it! The manual focus is so much easier to do on the T3i compared to the SX40HS powershot (my old camera). First, the screen has a higher resolution, and secondly, if you push the button with the magnifying glass, it enlarges the area that you’re trying to focus. (If you want to manually focus, don’t buy the SX40HS!)
So, I am very, very happy with the Canon EOS Rebel T3i and would recommend it to anyone who’s looking for an advanced camera with an articulating screen. On the Canon EOS Rebel T3i, when you look at the LCD screen it’s a little different than using a point-and-shoot because it goes into “Live View” mode. The live view mode turns the LCD monitor into a large viewfinder and it simulates the exposure.
When Don’t I use the Screen?
Screens are hard to see in bright sunlight, so it is also a good idea to buy a camera with a viewfinder that you can look through. Here’s a picture that I used the viewfinder for!
If you do mostly landscapes, and regular family pictures, where you are pointing the camera directly in front of you, then you don’t need a fold-out screen. But if you are short and taking a picture of a tall person, or if you want the picture to come out from a higher viewpoint, then a fold-out screen allows you to hold the camera high above your head!
More Cameras with Articulating Screens
Canon EOS 60D Video Review – This video shows the new features, including the vari-angle LCD
Panasonic Lumix with Flip-Out Screen – and 24x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom!
This full featured point-and-shoot camera seems pretty amazing! Check out the reviews 🙂