Photographers and videographers, particularly vloggers, are well aware that one can only do with the flip screen or rotating screen cameras. It is by far the most fruitful feature of modern-day cameras. These cater to photographers’ diverse needs, enabling them to frame their shots from unconventional angles. Those familiar with this field’s technicalities know that the DSLR ergonomics are not suited for videos and filming, and using the viewfinder on the DSLR is very difficult and complicates the process. Hence, the flip screen and rotating camera have become essential filming tools as they significantly elevate the filming experience.
For those unfamiliar with the pros and cons of flip screens and rotating ones, we will cover that and much more in this article. By the end of the article, you will not be confused about whether to buy a flip screen camera or a rotating screen one, based on your preferences and shooting styles.
Let’s get started right away!
Understanding the difference between a flip screen and a rotating screen
The foremost thing is to get clarity about what is the difference between flip screens and rotating ones so that we can later dive deep into the details of the two of these individually.
First off, the key difference between the flip screens and rotating ones lies in the extent to which each screen can be tilted or rotated. Hence, the degree of freedom each one of these gives is the key here. Flip screens can be rotated and tilted to face the front or back of the camera’s body whilst mounted on a hinge. Unlike flip screens, rotating screens provide a greater range of motion and can be rotated 180 degrees horizontally and tilted up and down. The rotating screen may look ideal given its flexible flip capability, but each one has its own advantages and disadvantages as well as unique use. Hence it is important to learn about the pros and cons of each so that we can make an informed decision.
What is a flip screen camera?
A flip screen camera is a versatile tool that allows you to frame your shots from various angles by tilting or rotating the display as per need. It is definitely a valuable asset for vloggers and other content creators and can take the content creation game to the next level. Imagine yourself on a mountain trail where you want to capture the beautiful landscape, but you need to risk everything and bend and twist to capture the moment. With the flip screen, you can mount it on a hinge, and it will provide you with the required flexibility to position the screen at numerous angles. It allows you to capture low or high-angle shots, selfies, vlogs, self-portraits and whatnot; you name it. Hence, these flip screens are not only efficient for vloggers but also for photographers seeking creative freedom and convenience. Need suggestion on best flip screen cameras for vlogging? Then check the guide!
Advantages of flip screen cameras
Now that we know what flip screens are and what they are used for, let’s get right into the pros and cons of flip screens. But, it is also vital to know that flip cameras are of three types based on the degree to which the screen can be tilted or swivelled. The types are self-explanatory. They include the front-facing ones that can be just flipped to view the shoot and are the simplest type of flip screens. Next is the 180 degrees tilting flip screen, flipping at one axis front or back. And the last one is a fully articulating flip screen, also known as the vari-angle flip screen, that can be rotated at all angles.
1. Low-angle and overhead shots
The flip screens are ideal for capturing low-angle and overhead shots. You don’t have to set up different cameras for recording or framing a shot from above or from the ground level. For instance, if you are shooting a cooking video that needs to be shot from above or want a cinematic shot from ground level, the flip screen cameras excel at capturing such shots.
2. Convenience for vlogging, self-portraits
Vloggers and content creators who shoot content which involves filming their own selves prefer using flip screen cameras. With flip screen cameras, vloggers can view their shots and can film while looking at themselves, which enables better composition and focus and eventually results in very engaging and appealing content. Flip screens provide great self-portrait clicking as well. Another convenience with flip screens is the ease with which one can take group photos. It comes in handy in ensuring a perfect frame while viewing the composition.
3. Creative framing
Flip screens allow shooting with unique angles and frames, allowing you to experiment to enhance creativity and innovation in your photography or videography.
4. Protection and durability
The good thing about flip screens is that when not in use, the screen can be folded and closed against the camera’s body. In this way, you don’t have to worry about any scratches or damage to your flip screen.
Limitations of the Flip screen camera
Let’s take a look at the limitations of flip screens now that we have understood all about flip screens and their pros.
1. Limited screen size
Most of the flip screens have a small screen size, unlike the fixed screens and the external monitors that tend to be bigger in size and also have choices when it comes to size. Where a small screen size might not be an issue for many, this might not be appealing for those who need more visibility and detail. Content creators who shoot in broad daylight or have to pay attention to every little detail might have to use external monitors with their cameras.
2. Concerns regarding durability
As we have already mentioned that flip-screen cameras are mounted on a hinge; therefore, this design makes flip-screen cameras less durable. The screen, if not handled with care, is susceptible to damage or breaking. But, with all cameras and such equipment, no one can act carelessly. Therefore, with flip screen cameras, it is better to invest in some extra care by using screen protectors and using a screw bag to carry your camera around. Also, be more careful when the flip screen is tilted or opened and fold it back as soon as you are done using it.
3. Bulkier design
The flip screen is clearly an additional screen or feature to a conventional camera. Therefore, it is expected to be bulkier or a bit broader in size as compared to non-flip cameras. If you are not used to a flip screen camera, you might feel different with it in the beginning, but eventually, you can get used to it. Also, the flip screen feature is a necessity; hence, there is little you can do.
Despite the limitations mentioned above, flip screen cameras surely offer versatility and convenience to the user.
What is a rotating screen camera?
Rotating screen cameras are also known as fully articulating or vari-angle screen cameras. As the name suggests, the rotating screen cameras allow screen adjustment to various angles and have a flip and tilt capability of 180 degrees. The flexibility this screen allows is very suited for content creators whose creative need requires maximum versatility in the farming shots. It is well-suited for content creators who are regularly filming themselves. The rotating screen is flexible enough to facilitate shooting from high or low angles as well as facing the front of the camera.
Advantages of Rotating screen camera
While many of the advantages of the rotating screen camera are the same as that of the flip screen cameras, there are some additional features that differentiate rotating cameras from flip screen ones. Let’s look at these advantages one by one.
1. Versatility in shooting angles
The amount of versatility and flexibility in farming shots from various angles that rotating screen cameras offer is unmatched. The rotation of 180 degrees and tilting capability allows for unparalleled creative freedom. These cameras can be used for a variety of tasks ranging from shooting vlogs, framing shots from high and low perspectives as well as shooting selfies and self-portraits; you name it. Vloggers benefit quite much from such screens as they can monitor their frames, composition and position while looking at themselves in real-time. It enhances the main purpose of vlogging content as it ensures engagement with the audience.
2. Enhanced comfort and convenience for vari-angle shots
With the improved 180-degree rotation, the rotating screens provide even more freedom in capturing ground-level and other high and unique-angle shots in a comfortable shooting position. This is very beneficial for people during extended shoots as it does not strain the body in any way.
Also, the rotating screens allow for discreet shooting without drawing any attention. Particularly in crowded, formal or sensitive environments, where you are shy or do not want to draw attention by becoming a human pretzel to take that perfect shot, the rotating screen cameras come in pretty handy. The rotating screen cameras also have the ability to close against the camera body, just like the flip screens.
Limitations of Rotating screen camera
Now that we know all about rotating screen cameras as well and we have gone through their pros, the only thing that is left is to understand the limitations or cons of these cameras.
1. Cost and complexity
Rotating screen cameras are relatively expensive as compared to non-rotating and flip screen cameras as well. It is because of the additional features with it that allow it to rotate at 180-degree angles. Also the additional engineering and mechanics also make it difficult to use and a bit complex. Nevertheless, if your shooting and content style is one that requires shooting from odd angles, there is no better option than to get a rotating screen camera.
2. Design and durability concerns
As mentioned before, for flip screen cameras, the rotating screens are also bulkier in design. Also, the rotating screen has a mechanical design that is potentially susceptible to damage. So with extra care, it will be fine, as it can be closed when not in use. This one, just like the flip screen camera, has a limited screen size and, when compared with external monitors or fixed screens, might not present that much visibility, speciality in bright light or low light conditions.
3. Mastering the full range of motions
Getting used to the full range of motion that rotating screen cameras exhibit and mastering all these motions requires practice and getting familiar with all the movements. Those who are new to Thai design might need help putting it to optimal use in the beginning. But practising it and shooting with this at different angles will make you understand the complexities as well as how to enhance your creativity with it. It does require time and skill, but once you master the full range of motions, it will really up your content game.
Both the flip screen cameras and rotating screen cameras have exceptional features that make the shooting experience even better. The decision of whether to buy the flip screen or the rotating one is based on your creative needs and the extent to which your work needs flexibility in shooting various angles. If your content does not require you to shoot at various angles other than a few low-angle or overhead shots, then you can do perfectly well with a flip-screen camera. But if you are more into cinematic photography or filming and your content requires high creative needs, then do invest in a rotating screen camera. Also, do check out if you want to go for a external monitor for your volgging needs!
Additionally, make sure you do not go overboard with the thought of having a fully rotating screen when you do not need it because you will be able to do it with the flip screen as well without breaking the bank. Hence, it all comes down to your shooting style and creative needs. If you know those, you can clearly make a decision by going through the pros and cons of flip screens as well as rotating screens. Once you understand the difference between the two, you will know that each offers unique capabilities, and hence, you can elevate the quality and creativity of your content.