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80D Optical Viewfinder Question


Hello!  I am baffled and have looked everywhere but cannot find the answer to a question.  I have had a Canon 80D for a couple of years now but have never gotten a question answered.  Here is the situation:  I look through the optical view finder and see my image sharp and clear in correct lighting and all.  I took a few photos of a King Fisher flying over our pond.  When I went to view my captured images via the LCD screen, they are all pretty briliant white - the ISO was super high.  Yet, the image in the optical viewer did not indicate that.  This happens all the time to me.  What i see in the optical view finder is not the same at all of what I am seeing if I had used the LCD screen to shoot it.  The LCD shows my lighting adjustments and etc. but in the optical view finder, it doesn't reflect any settings I am applying.  Is this normal - ?  Just something the camera does?  I am used to seeing my changes in settings even through the optical view finder but for the couple of years I have to be careful about viewing my settings on the LCD screen before taking shots. 



The optical view finder is not going to show you anything different than what you see looking over the top of the camera (except it might be a little darker depending on the lens you have mounted). The optical viewfinder is simply what is coming through the lens. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic


I make use of the exposure indicator that should show up along the bottom area of the viewfinder (press shutter half-way to display it if it's not present).  Typically runs from -3 to +3.   If you see the reported exposure level all the way to the left or right, that's a good indicator the final image will be under or over exposed.

You don't always need this indicator to be in the middle though.


EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x

Hell Unise welcome to the forums. With an SLR or DSLR camera the viewfinder cannot simulate exposure because its an Optical viewfinder. All you'll see is the ambient lighting conditions you're in. You'll need to use the light meter or exposure compensation meter to make changes to the exposure settings. Mirrorless cameras on the other hand can simulate exposure because they have an electronic viewfinder. What mode are you shooting in that is causing overexposed pictures.


EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM, EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM, EF 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6 IS USM (Retired), EF 50 F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM & EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS III USM

EOS 40D (Retired) & 5D Mark IV

430EX III-RT & 600EX II-RT


Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D & Sigma 17-50mm F/2.8 EX DC OS HSM


I will tyically be shooting in AV mode but the over exposure came from my last setting when I took photos of the stars at night.  It hadn't cleared.  Now that I know that what I am experiencing is normal, I am good. I thought that all this time I had some sort of setting off.  Sincere  thanks so much everyone for the quick responses!  

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