Can anyone help with this technical term for ‘viewfinder image’?

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In the days of film cameras I used a Nikon F90 and loved it. I’ve never loved my digital Canon EOS as much and one reason is the viewfinder. It’s hard to describe but in the Nikon, the image you see in the viewfinder is much bigger and fuller than in the Canon. The lens is irrelevant since this effect applies even without a lens. To use an analogy, in the Canon it’s like looking out of a tunnel from 20 yards back, but in the Nikon you’re standing right in the tunnel mouth. Or, it’s like sitting closer to your TV screen. Anyway, because the image is so much bigger, it’s easier to compose your shots. But what is the name for this ‘viewfinder image’? I ask because I want to get a new camera and I’d like it to have this ‘big screen’ image in the viewfinder but don’t know what to ask for. Any help much appreciated.
 

NCV

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I think it is called viewfinder magnification. You can see it on the spec sheet.
 
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I'm not a Canon user, but is your Canon a full frame or APS, sometimes called a crop sensor, the Nikon you had was 35mm, now called "Full Frame" this difference will show up in the viewfinder.
 
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The size of the viewfinder is a function of the size of the sensor/film plane. The larger the sensor/film plane, the larger the viewfinder glass.

Viewfinder magnification is independent of the size of either. A crop sensor DSLR can have the same VM as an 8x10 film camera.
 
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Thanks you all for those helpful replies. The Canon is an EOS 40d, which I think is APS, so perhaps that explains the different viewfinder image size. I’m still puzzled though because last week I tried out various cameras at John Lewis and one of them did have this larger viewfinder image I’m after. However, it was a Nikon DX D500, and I believe the DX signifies APS format. I’m very grateful for the answers though and they’ve given food for thought.
 
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one of them did have this larger viewfinder image I’m after. However, it was a Nikon DX D500, and I believe the DX signifies APS format.
The D500 is Nikons top of the line DX (Crop sensor) DSLR, which has a great viewfinder, 1x magnification, 100% coverage, which is why it's giving you the view you're looking for.
Your Canon only gives 95% frame coverage and Magnification: 0.95x
 
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Thank you NP. That’s very interesting. It looks like the D 500 could be the way to go. I don’t suppose anyone knows if my old F90 lenses and speedlight would work with it?
 
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That's very kind of you NP. The lenses are both AF Nikkor D lenses ( 28-70, and 70-210). The Speedlight is an SB-26. If you have the compatibility info to hand that would be great but please don't go to a lot of trouble.
 
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That's very kind of you NP. The lenses are both AF Nikkor D lenses ( 28-70, and 70-210). The Speedlight is an SB-26. If you have the compatibility info to hand that would be great but please don't go to a lot of trouble.
Both lenses will work fine, but as the D500 is a DX (Crop sensor) you'll need to multiple the focal length by 1.5 ,so the 28-70 will give you the equivalent of a 42-105, I'm pretty sure the SB-26 won't be compatible, as my SB-28 wouldn't work on my later DSLR's.
 
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Both lenses will work fine, but as the D500 is a DX (Crop sensor) you'll need to multiple the focal length by 1.5 ,so the 28-70 will give you the equivalent of a 42-105, I'm pretty sure the SB-26 won't be compatible, as my SB-28 wouldn't work on my later DSLR's.
Dear NP, Thank you so much for such a helpful reply. That's a very good point about the focal length, which I hadn't considered. I'm delighted to hear the lenses would work, even with the focal length issue. Maybe a wide angle lens is all I'd need. I'll keep the Speedlight as I still have the F90 and like to use it now and again. Thank you again for all your great advice!
 

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