Sony preps OLED viewfinder

April 15, 2008 | 08:17

Tags: #display #hd #lcd #oled #viewfinder

Companies: #sony

If you're still waiting for organic LED displays, or OLEDs, to make their appearance outside teeny-tiny MP3 player screens you'll be interested in Sony's new viewfinder aimed at pro-level HD video cameras.

The rather ungainly monikered HDVF-EL100 is an 11” unit designed to make taking high-definition footage easer and more comfortable than using a traditional CRT or LCD viewfinder. Rob Willox, director of Sony's Content Creation Group, describes the OLED technology as allowing the operator of the camera to “accurately see contrast and colour levels when framing a shot” due to an improved colour gamut over traditional liquid-crystal screens.

The main reason for moving to OLED from LCD is, of course, the contrast ratio. Whereas a traditional liquid-crystal display often has poor black level reproduction due to the permanent backlight, Sony's OLED viewfinder is capable of a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. Try finding an LCD capable of that.

Sadly, the resolution leaves a little bit to be desired at a measly 960x540. Okay, it's a small screen – but if you're capturing 1080p high-definition content then it'd be nice to see exactly what's being recorded. Even so, it's a good start to hopefully move studio types away from their beloved old Trinitron CRT displays – displays which are ill-suited for high-definition content anyway.

While the HDVF-EL100 is a niche product for a professional market – with “suggested list prices to be announced”, naturally – it's clear that OLED is starting to scale into larger and larger commercial products. Perhaps a big-screen OLED TV isn't too far away?

Are you hoping that OLED will deliver us all from horribly grey black levels, or is that why we developed plasma displays? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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