Which One is Better; Rangefinder Digital Camera or DSLR?

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There are so many types of digital cameras today. The common ones are SLRs, DSLRs, and also Mirrorless. However, do you know about one type called Rangefinder digital camera? If you do, what is the first thing comes in mind when you heard about this?

People call it Rangefinder camera because this kind of camera uses two components in uniting the images. In DSLRs, the similar principle applies in lens, as the component to see images and to set focus.

Rangefinder camera was originally a manual camera. But over the time, this camera also has its own digital version. So, let’s discuss about Rangefinder digital camera below.

What Are the differences between Rangefinder and DSLRs?

The term stalker actually comes from the focus tool inside of the camera. Unlike DSLR, the camera focusing system on rangefinder digital camera is not done through a pentaprism mirror. But, how this system works is by combining two images from the viewfinder and the lens. So, the focus distance can be found. This principle is different from DSLR because DSLR  is only produce focus from the lens. And lens will transfer it to the viewfinder.

Moreover, in Rangefinder digital camera, we do not see images directly from the lens. Rather than that, we see images from an optical viewfinder on the other side of the camera. We also do not find a mirror that moves because the focus is done by uniting two images.

Rangefinder camera also has a wider and brighter viewfinder. We will find that there is a ‘frame in the frame’ in rangefinder camera as well. The inside frame is the limit covered by lens.  And from the  outside frame, we can estimate things around which might become interference.

Advantages of Rangefinder Digital Camera

Although DSLR camera is more popular, but do you know about Rangefinder Digital camera? This is the camera that has many advantages than DSLR.

Rangefinder digital camera has more compact and lighter body. This is because this camera does not use the mirror Pentaprism. That’s why this type of camera is possible to focus faster. Besides it also does right on picking up the focus. So, it is very helpful for beginner photography.

Next advantage is that the viewfinder on this camera is brighter. This is because the glass is directly exposed to light. In addition, rangefinder also has moving mirror to produce better image quality. The lens and  sensor sections are closer too. So, it can reduce torsion to create sharper images.

The next advantage of Rangefinder digital camera is softer shutter button. It makes momentary blackout does not occur when shooting. Momentary blackout itself is the movement of the optical component. This component moves to close the viewfinder when the shutter is pressed.

The Rangefinder Digital Camera
The Rangefinder Digital Camera

Disadvantages of Rangefinder Camera

While having bunch of advantages, there are some weakness on the Rangefinder digital camera too. Firstly, focusing is not really good when using Tele lenses.

That is actually normal because basically Rangefinder digital camera is not a camera for using Tele lens. But for some people, they may need to use tele lenses to fulfill their photography needs. So if you are one of these people, rangefinder is definitely not the best option. However, this camera is still very good for wide angle and normal shooting. The close distance of this camera is from 0.6 to 1 meter.

Next disadvantage is total view only from the viewfinder. So we don’t know the the final result when shooting.  We need to take photos first and see the results afterward.

This the camera has limited filters too, including polarizing filter. There is no Depth of Field control buttons is also a lack of this camera. Video recording capability and face detection are also a step back. And the last disadvantage is the expensive price that the camera has. Therefore, some people may think twice to buy this camera.

Rangefinder Digital Camera Brands

It turns out that not all camera brands releasing Rangefinder cameras. Then, what camera brands provide this type?


Fujifilm has been focusing on medium format cameras for a long time. But apparently, this Japanese brand also has a Rangefinder digital camera. Even, the cameras from Fujifilm also have good quality too. Fujifilm X 100-5 and Fujifilm X Pro-1 are some examples of Rangefinder digital cameras.

Read too about Fujifilm Rumor: The latest GFX Series will be Released in 2019


In 2006, Leica M8 came into digital competition. This M8 camera is also the first digital rangefinder camera from the brand. To strengthen its position in range finder field, the manufacturer even continues to develop technology in its lens system. Then, combining it with digital images. All of these are to create perfect imaging results.


This is the first rangefinder digital camera among many competitions in rangefinder game. Epson R-D1 has stylish body, but with no direct connection to PC. However, it saves images on standard SD and MMC cards. Therefore, it can be asier for when moving the picture from camera to computer.


With the DMC-GX7 camera, Panasonic enters top-end ranking in the rangefinder camera market. This camera is the first mirrorless that also has a rotatable EVF to accommodate difficult shooting angle. Under the hood, this camera can produce photos resolution up to 16Mp. And it also has reliable full HD video recording.


Original Olympus Pen camera became very famous during the 1960s and 1970s. Specifically for the Olympus Pen E-P1, this camera brings the brand to the top level of imaging games. And also, it is the first digital rangefinder camera from Olympus that has various functions.

Olympus Pen E-P1 has compact shape and offers several functions. Not stopping on that, it also comes with a classic leather design. So surely,  it makes the camera looks more elegant. Besides, leathery material also protect the entire exterior / base of the camera.


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