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One of the major advantages that digital cameras have over film cameras is their ability to give an instant preview of the picture you have just taken. If it is good, you can keep it. If not, you can delete it and re-shoot it. Most digital cameras now have LCD screens at the back of the camera, which means you can preview your photos without having to find a computer to download the image on first. In many cases you can use this screen to compose your shot (the viewfinder/LCD screen), but it technically correct to use the camera’s built-in viewfinder and then check it later on the LCD screen. Most professional cameras don’t have the viewfinder/LCD screen function as it takes up battery power and leads to poor shooting habits.

Although manufacturers recognize the importance of the LCD screen in digital photography, it is not recommended to rely on it, especially if you are a student of photography or someone looking to make a career in the field. A dependence on the LCD screen will lead you to ignore important rules in film photography such as metering for light and composition. It is best to learn with film and then move onto digital so that you can master the technical functions of your camera. Simply looking at the back of your camera and adjusting can lead to problems. In many photography disciplines (especially in photojournalism) you might not be prepared for a shoot because you say, “I can take a test shot when I get there.”

More often than not, you’re missing all the important action while “test-shooting”, and further, if your subject moves to another area where there is more light or contrast or is moving more quickly than you thought, you won’t have that split second know-how to adjust your camera functions accordingly in such a short period of time. Take some time to practice not relying on your LCD screen and you will become a prepared and knowledgeable photographer in half the time.