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06-03-2019, 03:05 AM   #1
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Low-res (1,92 MPx) display costs a whopping $460 purchasing price

Often we hear some myths about how real optical viewfinders (allowing the full 6-8 MPx equivalent human eye resolution) are so expensive compared to mirrorless cameras tiny displays used as surrogate viewfinder.

I would challenge that myth based on the fact that these tiny displays with meagre resolution of the 1990s cost $460. And remember that is a B2B purchasing price without tax, not the price we as private individuals get. Obviously this is just a market introduction price with a lot of discounts to apply for large customers.

The most recent April 2019 DSLM CIPA figures show that the average complete shipped DSLM has a factory price of 75709 yen = $698.

I guess this explains why some cameras still sport even lower res displays than these 1600 x 1200 pixel ones.

Info from a year ago:
Sony Unveils EVF with 1.6x Resolution Increase and 240fps Refresh Rate

06-03-2019, 03:48 AM   #2
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Ten years ago (not to mention 30 years ago...), high density LCD was hard to produce with good yield and it was expensive. Smartphones have completely changed that, lots of R&D had been put into manufacturing technology and equipment for high density LCD panels. If I'm not wrong LCD panel are now made with photo lithography planar process, which allow large scale production to be very cheap per area unit. High density LCD tech. is now very cheap, some smartphones are priced $100 so you can imaging how cheap is a 3" high res. And even cheaper for an EVF with a lens in front of it. The EVF lag isn't limited by the EVF LCD refresh rate, it's limited by the image sensor especially slower with larger sensors and more MP.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 06-03-2019 at 03:55 AM.
06-03-2019, 04:01 AM   #3
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Pentax K-01 (mirrorless by Pentax) 921K dots LCD
Pentax K-1 (latest DSLR body by Pentax, mk. II is the same) 1037K dots LCD

Panasonic GH2 (contemporary to K-01) 460K dots LCD, 1440K (or 1533K, conflicting informations) dots viewfinder.
Panasonic GH5 1.6M dots LCD, 3.6M dots viewfinder

Sony A9 1.44M dots LCD, 3.68M dots viewfinder

That's going to be one of the next big improvements for mirrorless cameras.
It also follows that using an LCD viewfinder ("loupe") is a poor substitute for a proper viewfinder (except perhaps when greater magnification is needed).

I believe that advances in this field will be plentiful, unlike optical viewfinders, where a balance must be struck between magnification, coverage and luminosity, and there's no escaping physical limits.
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