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Olympus presents sunshine LCD for digital cameras
Dennis Hissink : March 23th 2004 - 14:37 CET
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OlympusFinally it is possible to check shots on a digital camera's integrated display even in direct sunlight without having to huddle over the monitor or crawl under a table to view the shot. This improvement is the result of a new LCD technology. Called sunshine LCD, it was first integrated by Olympus in its CAMEDIA C-8080 WIDE ZOOM and Mju 410 Digital models. The new technology is also found in two cameras receiving their CeBIT première: the C-60ZOOM and the C-460ZOOM del Sol. In less than a decade, digital photography has progressed at such a rate that it is now a leading image capture technology. Without the fascinating ability to check shots immediately and show them to others, its triumphant progress would certainly not have been possible.
Pictures taken by digital cameras can be checked on their LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). Instead of a ray of electrons like CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors, LCDs use liquid crystals to create the image.

In standard Thin Film Transistor LCDs, the image is displayed with the help of back light. To keep the power consumption as low as possible, the brightness is calculated so as to be fully sufficient for standard situations. However, if very bright or direct light shines onto the surface of the LCD and is reflected, the images become difficult to make out.

To combat this phenomenon, the new sunshine LCD from Olympus uses not only the available back light but also bright light from outside that hits the display’s surface. With standard displays, sunlight is reflected off their surface, thus affecting the ability to see the shot. However, the sunshine LCD has semi-transparent layers so the sunlight is able to penetrate a few layers into the panel (see graphic). The light is first reflected by the underside of the liquid crystal layer. Thanks to this additional "back light", the LCD can present a much brighter image.

The brightness of the display even adjusts itself to the ambient light conditions. Regardless of how bright it is: cameras with a sunshine LCD allow a perfect view of the image.

   The six million pixel Olympus C-60 ZOOM
   The Olympus CAMEDIA C-460 ZOOM del Sol
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