Q&A: Need a P&S camera with viewfinder | Pierre B Photo | Montreal Photographer


 It’s My Dad’s birthday soon and I thought of getting him a new camera.

Seeing as my Dad cannot work anything more complicated than a pedometre.  I was wondering if you have any ideas.  Essentially, we’re looking for something with these features:

– Point and shoot style– Viewfinder

– Capability for extra lenses or very good optical zoom.

– Easy to connect to the computer

It’s hard to find a point and shoot with a viewfinder, but maybe there is something that is a hybrid between slr and pas that would be easy to use.Thanks for any help you can give.



Hard to find something with a viewfinder.  You have two types of viewfinders… the optical which is the traditional you look through the hole on top of the lens and the electronic viewfinder that is basically a video feed of what the lens sees.  Pros of electronic is that it makes the camera smaller, but the cons are the lag that the video feed sometimes has.  Not sure your dad would notice the difference.

  • The ultra high end, and with a cool retro feel, would be the Fuji X100. Its $1200 but is a really awesome camera, probably way more than you should pay for what your dad will use it for.
  • Canon’s G line is really nice, but might have too many buttons for your dad.  The current model is the G15 and is about $450.  A few pros I know use this when they are travelling.  The zoom is not so great though
  • The Canon Powershot SX50HS has an electronic viewfinder and a pretty sweet 50x zoom.  Its about $400 and should be easiest to operate than the G15.  This would probably be your best bet.

For the compact cameras with interchangable lenses, or known as the mirrorless cameras such as the Olympus EPM, Sony NEX, Samsung NX… I dont think any of them have any viewfinders.  They cost on average $600 with a single short lens and you’ll probably pay $300 or more for each additional lens.

Its really hard to say which would be best because it has to be simple to use.  The best way to know this is to head to a store and try it out. You can check out LL Lozeau on St-Hubert (while they can be pricier, they often have good deals) or Photoservice in the old port.  If you stick with brands like Nikon, Canon, Panasonic and even Sony, you should be fine with that you get.

Hope this helps!

*Have a question? Feel free to send me a message 🙂


  1. Pierre, there’s a little piece I’d like to add and correct you on:

    A lot of the mirrorless cameras have really decent viewfinders; the Sony NEX 6 and 7, Panasonic G5, GH3 (very expensive), Olympus OM-D EM-5 (dito), Samsung NX20, Nikon V1. Almost all have the ability to put an add-on electronical VF in the hotshoe, Cameras like the SONY NEX5 and NEX3, all Olympus PEN models, the Panasonic GF1, GX1, probably the smaller Samsung models (whatever their name is).

    1. Thanks for the extra info about being able to use the accessory hotshoe for a viewfinder. I looked up the Sony Nex 5 and that thing costs $300. Ouch. And i guess the drawback is you can’t use an external flash or any other accessory.

      But good to know more complete info 🙂

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