Epson is set to exploit the booming digital ‘SLR’ camera market by announcing mass production of ‘high-resolution’ LCD electronic viewfinder panels for ‘mid to high-end’ DSLRs.

Borrowing technology from its projector line-up, the 1.44-million-pixel electronic viewfinder screen – the first in Epson’s Ultimicron range – is designed to replace traditional optical viewfinders.

Epson predicts that its use by DSLR manufacturers will lead to ‘smaller, thinner digital cameras’.

An Epson spokesman adds: ‘Until now, no electronic viewfinder has been able to offer the resolution and fidelity needed to replace optical viewfinders and to focus the image. Epson’s new panel, developed using HTPS technology, not only makes this possible but also uses an analog driver to recreate smooth gradations and a natural softness.’

The firm claims: ‘This panel will allow camera manufacturers to eliminate the mirrors and pentaprisms needed for optical viewfinders, enabling much smaller and thinner camera bodies and letting users capture the image they see.

‘In addition, the use of a colour filter prevents the colour break-up that tends to occur with other colour systems when shooting fast-moving subjects and while panning.’

However, Amateur Photographer is seeking clarification over Epson’s definition of a DSLR because – strictly speaking – to be an SLR, a camera must have a mirror box.

Epson continues: Competition in the digital camera market has reached fever pitch. Companies are launching new products with higher resolutions and more features at even lower prices. In recent years, more and more consumers have been switching from compact cameras to SLR units in pursuit of better performance and image quality, driving the need for smaller and thinner DSLR cameras with video and other features. Epson’s new panels meet these needs and open a whole world of possibilities for DSLR cameras.’


Epson issues clarification statement