Flip-out vs Tilting Displays

Why do some cameras have flip-out displays vs tilting displays? Wouldn’t full range flip-out displays be preferable for everyone?

For some, displays that can rotate in all directions can be very useful, but there are trade-offs that might go against the design goals of the camera:

  • Flip-out displays require more support and are therefore bulkier and maybe heavier.
    • Both are no-nos for creating super lightweight cameras.
    • This is also probably why some cameras like the Fuji X100 series have a fixed monitor (to further minimize on weight and size).
  • Flip-out displays also widen the view of the photographer therefore making people react to the photographer differently (a no-no for many street photographers).

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Some cameras have tilting displays that tilt enough to be used for selfies, but since DSLRs have viewfinders in the way, I have only seen these on mirrorless cameras.

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Tilting displays are also good for using the camera like an old medium format or twin lens reflex camera (looking down into the viewfinder), so people are more likely to ignore you since you look more like you are fiddling with the camera controls.

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(Some call this shooting from the hip, but shooting from the hip also includes those who shoot zone focus without looking through the camera among other methods.) Unfortunately for some, I have not seen tilting displays that work when shooting vertically/in portrait orientation (so far).

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