Bring back viewfinders on cameras, says Which?Manufacturers respond to our viewfinder campaign

31 March 2011

Canon A1200

The new Canon PowerShot A1200, the first new affordable compact model in two years with an optical viewfinder.

Which? has been campaigning hard to get the big camera manufacturers to return viewfinders to compact digital cameras.

In a recent survey of 1,667 Which? members, an amazing 70% of respondents told us that they struggled to use a camera LCD screen in bright daylight. Of those respondents who owned cameras without viewfinders, 60% said they'd find it easier to take photos if they had a viewfinder.

Armed with these findings, and the overwhelming response to our viewfinder campaign on Which? Conversation, we took this issue directly to the camera manufacturers.

New Canon A1200 viewfinder digital camera

Taking a positive step in responding directly to consumer demand, Canon has announced the UK availability of the new Canon PowerShot A1200 – the first new affordable compact model in nearly two years to feature an optical viewfinder.

Canon told us directly that this model has been developed 'to address the voice of the market requesting optical viewfinders.'

Canon is making the A1200 available from the end of March, from Jessops only. This slim model features a 12Mp sensor, HD video and 4x optical zoom, as well as that much-missed optical viewfinder.

Sony and Panasonic consider viewfinder cameras

Sony and Panasonic were both receptive, telling us they were sharing our findings with their product development teams in Japan.

Sony stated they were now preparing a global feasibility study to test the market for a compact camera with a viewfinder.

Olympus and Fujifilm develop electronic viewfinders

Olympus was less enthusiastic, stating that it was concentrating on improving LCD technology, and pointing towards its expensive high-end cameras as options for those seeking a viewfinder.

However, Olympus did inform us that it was concentrating on developing and improving electronic viewfinder technology, with an aim to making it available in cheaper models.

Fujifilm acknowledged that viewfinders still have a place in digital photography, and said they were continuing to develop new hybrid viewfinder technology, as seen on the groundbreaking Fujifilm X100 camera.

Take action: Head to our Which? Conversation site to read the responses from each manufacturer, and let them know what you think in return. Sony has promised to take part in the Which? Conversation to respond directly to its customers.

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