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After placing camera, when one orbits with MMB the view snaps to another place (wherever it was before I entered camera view) which makes one disoriented (see image, notice the selected object and viewer location). Are there any settings in Blender that can change this?

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location before orbit command

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location after orbit command

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Disable the Auto-Depth option in User Preferences > Interface.

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There will be still a small jump in the transition but not that big. Also making your scene larger will help.

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Yes, you can seamlessly transition between the camera view and the perspective camera. By pressing Num 0 you can toggle between the camera view and the last perspective view. This is a fast transition however. This will give you a slight idea as to where the two cameras are in relation to each other.

I myself don't find this too useful though. What I would do to have a better navigate your scene is to enable Rotate Around Selection under interface in the blender user preferences. This will keep the selected object in the same screen space when rotating in perspective view.

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