The LCD seems fine outdoors, but where I am it's the dead of winter and cloudy all the time, so the true test will be when the sun's out. The VF is not good enough for critical focus but with peaking turned on and if you've got a wide shot set up with a deep DOF you can be reasonably confident that your shot will be in focus using only the VF.
Actually, I did a few tests trying to focus on an object with a shallow DOF using only the viewfinder and the subject was in focus after checking later at home. But using peaking in this situation, as well as using the expanded focus feature is a must if you want to be sure.
I will be typically shooting on on tripod, with a varizoom and using the LCD. We try to set up in the shade, but...
Is there room on the LCD for any kind of hood attachment (velcro) and still have it retract? I am guessing no. I am trying to determine if a Small she mounetd monitor will be required or if I can get away with the stock setup.
[randy Strome]"s there room on the LCD for any kind of hood attachment (velcro) and still have it retract?"
Probably not, but something like a Hoodman, depending on how it's made will enable the user to flip out the LCD and quickly slide it on and then off again before stowing the screen. If that works out you won't need an additional monitor. The stock LCD works very well.
The LCD has a backlight on/off function as well as level control. I have a hunch it'll do just fine outside in sun. The LCD has awesome detail good enough for focusing especially with expanded focus or peaking.