Viewfinder size measures, rougly, how large the image appears in the viewfinder. In general, larger values are better.

Manufacturers sometimes advertise this value as viewfinder magnification, which has a very specific meaning: the amount of magnification observed when viewing a scene through the viewfinder on a 35mm (full frame, in DSLR terms) camera with a 50mm lens vs. viewing the same scene with naked eye. This definition, however, is problematic when comparing digital cameras with different sensor sizes. Snapsort corrects the published viewfinder magnfiication to account for crop factor, thus enabling meaningful comparisons of viewfinder size across cameras with different sensor sizes.

Viewfinder comparison

The following image shows the relative size difference of a scene viewed through viewfinders of a number of cameras.

Relative size of viewfinder across a number of cameras.

Details for geeks

To come up with our viewfinder size number, Snapsort uses the following forumla:

    viewfinder_size = viewfinder_magnification * (1 / crop_factor).

Cameras with the largest viewfinder size

The following cameras have among the largest viewfinder images.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
from $5,252
Continuous shooting Rapid fire Help
16 fps
Viewfinder size Large viewfinder Help
0.76x
Screen size Large screen Help
3.2"

Learn more about the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Nikon D5
Nikon D5
from $6,349
Movie format Shoots UHD movies Help
UHD @ 30fps
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
2,359k dots
Light sensitivity High ISO Help
3,280,000 ISO

Learn more about the Nikon D5

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
from $192
Screen size Large screen Help
3.2"
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
1,620k dots
Viewfinder size Large viewfinder Help
0.71x

Learn more about the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Pentax K-1
Pentax K-1
from $1,897
Screen size Large screen Help
3.2"
Sensor size Large sensor Help
Full frame 35.9x24mm
Viewfinder size Large viewfinder Help
0.70x

Learn more about the Pentax K-1

Green arrow See more of the top DSLRs with large viewfinders

Discussion

Showing 6 comments

Avatar for Doc Greystone Doc Greystone (9:53 PM, May 21, 2017)
You could update the Nikon Viewfinder section, only old models there
 
someone (0:25 PM, March 10, 2013)
the largest slr viewfinder... ever?om 1?what r u crazy? do u know anything about nikon F?
 
Avatar for Aputure Aputure (6:23 AM, September 19, 2012)
Yeah, Canon crop cameras have some god-awful viewfinders. Starting with the D80, Nikon started to get it right. The 7D improved a little bit, but the rest of the Canon crop cameras still lag behind.
 
Lamplight123 (10:51 PM, July 22, 2012)
Very helpful! I remember shooting with an AE-1 and being blown away when I picked up a working OM-1 at a thrift store for $3. I didn't realize at the time I was looking through the largest slr viewfinder... ever? Now I'm stuck with a 300d and it kinda blows.
 
Dechat (9:21 AM, January 02, 2012)
Maybe you should include also viewfinder coverage in comparison? 
 
Js7124 (2:11 PM, December 19, 2011)
For a more complete comparison you should also show the smallest Nikon viewfinder size (D50 & D70) and a medium one (D60 & D40) and the largest DX viewfinder (D7000).  Good work!