What Is Live View and How Is It Used When Taking Photographs?

When talking about digital cameras the term ‘live view’ refers to a mode which allows a photographer to view the photographic sensor output in almost realtime on the camera’s LCD screen. In live view mode the photographer sees what the lens is seeing, including the effects of any changes in exposure settings. In DSLR’s live view requires the camera’s mirror to be lifted, this can limit autofocus functionality in cameras with dedicated phase detection autofocus sensors. This is overcome to some extent in cameras that use dual pixel imaging sensors. The name live view is somewhat misleading as what is seen on the LCD screen is not strictly live, having to be read by the image sensor and processed by the camera’s onboard software before being rendered on the LCD screen. Live view must be used on DSLR’s when recording video as the mirror must be lifted in order to record a constant moving image.