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MicroOLED introduces 5.4 million pixel camera display

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February 5, 2012

French microdisplay specialist MicroOLED has released a new panel with a 5.4 million pixel...

French microdisplay specialist MicroOLED has released a new panel with a 5.4 million pixel density, no spacing between pixels and 96 percent uniformity.

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Digital camera technology has just taken a huge leap forward with the development of a microdisplay panel that's millions of pixels beyond what is currently used in the highly detailed electronic viewfinders of Fujifilm's most recent X-series cameras (X-S1/X-Pro1), and more than double the panels in Sony's latest alpha and NEX cameras. MicroOLED's new bright and detailed, low power OLED panel has been viewed by a number of industry pundits as the final nail in the coffin of the optical viewfinder.

Even though electronic viewfinders (EVF) allow photographers to access lots of important information like exposure or white balance while framing a shot, and see what the application of different settings will look like on the fly, professionals and serious users still seem happy to continue with optical. Reasons offered for sticking with tradition include a lack of dynamic range, noticeable lag while the digital image is processed and concerns about the power needed to drive electronic panels.

The image quality of Sony's recent consumer-level XGA OLED EVF panel developments, in particular, already seems to have stunned some of the critics into silence, but now MicroOLED has entered the fray with the highest pixel density OLED microdisplay available on the market today. The new 0.61-inch (diagonal) OLED panel has a 5.4 million pixel density and a sub-pixel pitch of 4.7 by 4.7 micrometers. It comes in both 16 million color SXGA (1280 x 1024 pixels) and monochrome (2560 by 2048 pixels) formats, and is also said to have eliminated any spacing between pixels and benefit from 96 percent uniformity.

The high resolution image reproduced on the display has a 100,000:1 contrast ratio that should pick up many of the subtle tones in a scene that are missed by other EVFs and, perhaps most importantly, it can be driven with as little as 0.2W of power.

MicroOLED is looking to market the new panel for use in head-mounted displays used by surgeons, professional cameras and camcorders, and night vision applications.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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9 Comments

Amazing! Are we going to see displays based on this technology on smart phones?

I wonder about the refresh rates.

Paul van Dinther
5th February, 2012 @ 08:57 pm PST

"final nail in the coffin of the optical viewfinder" ?

The optical viewfinder's been pretty much dead in sub-pro-grade cameras for a few years now. That's one of my biggest complaints about them, and the main reason I haven't bought one of those compact AVCHD camcorders. The flip screen may be satisfactory for many casual applications, but I like the feel of a viewfinder camera better, and still lug my Hi8 and DVD cameras around for mainly that reason. Also, the flip screens wash out in bright daylight, which is when I do most of my video recording, not to mention the added shaking caused by having to hold the camera at arm's length. It's just not worth it to me to spend $1200+ for a camera just to have a viewfinder.

Hopefully this development will eventually spur the return of the viewfinder in some form to non-professional-grade cameras.

Desert Tripper
6th February, 2012 @ 08:46 am PST

When I shoot 1080p60 video with my Panasonic TM700 3MOS camcorder I very seldom use the EVF and use the flip out 3" LCD instead. I also don't hold it at arms length. I also have the GH2 and also use the flip out LCD most of the time.

joe1946
6th February, 2012 @ 09:21 am PST

I agree w/Desert Tripper on the inherant shortcomings of electric view finders. The bright light problems and the shaky images that come from holding the cameras away from your body can't be overcome by brighter, or tighter displays. Optical view finders are for pros, electronic view finders are for those that are less concerend about the quality of the final image. I would have bought a micro 4/3rds camera ages ago it they had an optical view finder option. As it is, I'll sit on the sidelines with my money.

Gary Lanthrum
6th February, 2012 @ 09:24 am PST

I have to agree, the electronic view finder is not suitable for high quality still photography. Lack of dynamic range is just part of the problem, when viewing a scene you must see exactly what you are shooting, not a approximation. Also with a optical viewfinder the camera is solidly braced and held to the eye, not so with electronic screens!

Jerry Peavy
6th February, 2012 @ 12:51 pm PST

How can there be no spacing between pixels. There either is something or it's not individual pixels.

BZD
6th February, 2012 @ 03:17 pm PST

I think you guys are missing the point. Did you see the size of these things?

They are small enough to be placed inside the camera and act as an optical view finder with the added benefits EVF give you.

I can't wait to see the next gen HVD's build around this thing. Maybe we finally are going to see 1080 3D video goggles with a decent FOV.

Paul van Dinther
6th February, 2012 @ 03:23 pm PST

Try tracking anything moving fast with a view screen. I, at least, cannot do it. I photograph airplanes from the runway's edge as they do a fly past. I'm pretty good with a sub $200 digital if it has a view finder, not at all when I try it with the screen. It's just too big a movement to keep the plane synchonized with the camera unless I can keep the camera up to my eye.

Lsaguy
6th February, 2012 @ 03:26 pm PST

HVD's already on the market with this technology give you full HD picture with a better 3D experience than you can get at a cinema because they have individual screens for each eye. The refresh rate on them is so high and the pixel density that it gives you the best possible viewing experience you can get. You just can't provide this with any other system this is the only way it can be done this well.

Check out the new ones Sony sell.

Foxy1968
6th February, 2012 @ 06:11 pm PST
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