Epson Rolls LCD Panel for Viewfinders

Oct 16, 2009
Tomohiro Ootsuki, Nikkei Electronics
Seiko Epson's 0.47-inch LCD panel used in an EVF. This picture was taken using an eyepiece. Click to see a 2,000 x 1,500-pixel image.
Seiko Epson's 0.47-inch LCD panel used in an EVF. This picture was taken using an eyepiece. Click to see a 2,000 x 1,500-pixel image.
[Click to enlarge image]
The LCD panel and the eyepiece used to take the picture above
The LCD panel and the eyepiece used to take the picture above
[Click to enlarge image]

Seiko Epson Corp started volume production of its high-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD panel whose size and resolution are 0.47 inches and 800 x 600 (SVGA, 0.48 Mpixels, 1.44 Mpixels on a sub-pixel basis), respectively, for electronic viewfinders (EVF) of cameras.

Cameras equipped with the panel are expected to hit the market in the near future.

Seiko Epson released an EVF module for the first time in the world in 1988 and has it adopted for many video cameras. But the company has been producing its panels only for projectors for more than 10 years. This time, it decided to enter the EVF market, considering that the market is promising and its product has clear advantages over the other companies' products.

One of the advantages is that the new LCD panel, in theory, does not cause color breakup, a phenomenon often seen with field-sequential LCD panels, which display RGB colors in sequence. At the moment of looking away from the screen or panning the camera at a certain speed while looking into the EVF, the rims of the objects on the screen look iridescent.

This phenomenon is seen even with Panasonic Corp's DMC-G1, which has one of the industry's highest performance EVFs.

The new LCD panel, on the other hand, features a resolution as high as 2,117ppi, and each sub-pixel is covered by a color filter so that it is possible to display RGB colors at the same time. The sizes of the pixel and the sub-pixel are 12 x 12μm and 4 x 12μm, respectively.

The power consumption of the panel is less than 200mW at 460cd/m2. Eight-inch wafers are used in the manufacturing process. Seiko Epson aims to develop a full-HD (2.07-Mpixel) EVF, which has been requested by some camera engineers, in the future.