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Cluttered display on Vixia HF R400


I'm looking to buy an HF R400, which is a very nice camera except for one quirk.  I've spent some hours looking at the one in the store and reading the directions, but can't solve this.


In P mode the viewfinder is so cluttered with information that it's hard to see the subject.  (It may be true in A (auto) mode too -- didn't check yet--, but I'm not likely to use that much because the lens will zoom a lot wider in P mode.)


Is there a workaround?  Can I make all that information disappear from the viewfinder display?





While it is possible to turn on/off certain display markers like grid lines, it is not possible to turn off the other information displayed on the LCD.


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Thanks. I had another look, and it's not as bad as I thought. Still, if anyone asks, it would be nice if it would just disappear.

I discovered one other problem. On AVCHD (LP) setting the resolution should be 1440x1080, which is a 4:3 ratio, yet the viewfinder shows 16:9. Is the image letterboxed or morphed, or what?

I must take the time to really get this point across to the product managers and engineers about not being able to turn the cluttered LCD GUI off even in the slightest. The main offender that’s intrusive is the quality setting ID. That eats up a lot of real estate right across the screen. The AUTO and P icons are too large. Gridlines and level lines don’t count. In fact in some instances I need those just to line things up at all especially in a small studio with a tripod. In some cases I actually decided to press the PHOTO icon 2-3 times in a row to turn the GUI off or even to review a setup as if I was taking a Polaroid. I literally can’t see what I’m shootng until I download it because there’s so much on the LCD. Why did Canon do that? Even the horrible Samsung F90 des that with a button. It’s not even presented as a user option. The irony being it has a 197pg manual. Lots of functions. But not the simplest one in the book. Drop some of the features that don’t need to be used like the scribble art which is fun to use once. Even that has an icon where you hide the tool palette. Why didn’t Canon do that to the main GUI? A few of the worthless ‘Cinema modes’ (should’ve at least had a bleach bypass look of deep shadows high contrast that’s popular. Even the Samsung F90 tries to do that. They call it Film Noir). The scratched film look was fun in some cases. Black & White is beautiful. But blue tint, old washed out 70’s TV that btw doesn’t look like that. Why? Can’t some of that effort and engineering be put into allowing the option for the GUI to be turned off. I can’t believe that keeps the price point down. I’d also note that the playback GUI icons don’t stay on long enough. There could be an option of how long a user wants them to show up. I always had to press it more than once just to play whack-- mole with I so I could choose what I needed due in part because the touch screen is not always responsive. It’s a bad user experience and a near deal breaker which is a shame for such a nice cam that has a great picture, smooth zoom, quiet mechanisms, nice feel, AC adapter, AV/mic output, nice mic etc. I’d be surprised if I was the only one who was concerned. I felt I had to write this book about it. Please on the next model give us an option. As for the 1440x1080. I did notice that when I dragged a 35Mbps 60p from an Apple iMovie HD 1080i file as an .mov to my Mac Desktop. I was changing the aspect ratio to 1280x720 so I could use a clip with footage shot at 720 4Mbps quality. I used MPEG Streamclip fwiw. That app and QuickTime’s Info said 1440x1080. It looked fine in iMovie and layed correctly in QuickTime and on youtube at 720p or 1080p. So I didn’t question it.


I'm sorry, but I must agree with the previous poster.  THis is a nice little camera, but way too many bells and whistles to remember.  HOWEVER, not to have a function that unclutters the screen and just lets you see what you are shooting is unexcusable in the most primitive of cameras, not to mention one as nice and sophisticated as this one.


So, Canon, tell me.  If I can't turn them ALL off, how do I turn off MOST of them so that I can see what I'm shooting?



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