This is not a problem. This is how the camera is designed to work. It is an SLR and you must view the picture you are taking through the small viewfinder not the LCD. It simply reflects the camera settings,etc. I too was thinking it was a "viewfinder" and a bit disappointed that it wasn't. Oh well.
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Which is it? The LCD will not show anything, or it will show previously taken pictures? Does it show menus when you press the MENU button? The D80's LCD will not show pictures before you take them. The LCD is for menus, shooting information, and reviewing pictures already taken. You must use the viewfinder for composing your pictures. The LiveView capability which lets you use the LCD for composing is a recent development in DSLRs. Nikon introduced it to their product line with the D3 and D300, released years after the D80.
There is no function to do this on the EOS 400D. Don't forget the camera is an SLR and still has to open and close a shutter to take a picture. The image is then converted using a CCD instead of exposed on film. I find with my 20D I just take loads of pictures and review them and then delete the ones that I don't want. This is the beauty of the digital age.
Turn the camera on. Press the display button (second button down right next to the LCD (Labeled LCD/info) to turn on the LCD. Make sure you are not in review mode. Here is a link I am sure you will find helpful (its what I used to solve this problem) http://www.kodak.com/global/en/service/publications/urg00714toc.jhtml
Let me know if this works
I have checked to see if I can simulate your problem on my D70.
There are no settings on the Set-up menu to turn off the display.
The display should show for a minimum of 6 seconds after a phot is taken.
You can reduce the screen brightness but that will not turn it completely black.
I presume you have eliminated all other possibilities by changing batteries, card, lens etc..
If so, it would suggest an LCD screen failure which would necessitate a repair by a Nikon agent.
Your camera works just like a film camera SLR,. You use the eyepiece
to frame and focus your picture. The LCD screen is for reviewing
pictures taken or menu operations. You cannot preview a shot on screen before it is taken with the camera.