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The PhotoNotes.org Dictionary of Film and Digital Photography.

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Viewfinder frame coverage.

Percentage of the total image area which can be viewed through the viewfinder.

Normally this is only a concern for SLR cameras. SLRs require large pentaprisms in order to cover 100% of the image area in the viewfinder. For this reason most medium to low end SLRs do not have full coverage - 90% to 95% is fairly typical. Only pro SLR cameras have 100% coverage - coverage all the way to the edges of the image area.

The drawback to having less than full coverage is obvious - you might be surprised by what the actual photo turns out to include. Usually, however, it isn’t an insurmountable problem. When shooting slides the plastic frame often covers the edge of the image area. And you can always crop a print if it turns out something shows up that shouldn’t. Nonetheless, 100% coverage is desirable, if usually expensive.

cf. image area, pentaprism, viewfinder.

Entry last updated 2002-04-03. Term 1285 of 1487.


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