A semitransparent OLED technology example.


The only rumors I got about the new Olympus viewfinder technology talk about a sort of semitransparent OLED technology. It works with a fixed semitransparent layer on the optical viewfinder. You should be able to use both simultaneously or switch from full optical or full electronic.

The video on top shows a futuristic transparent OELD panel made by Samsung. As you know Olympus already uses the Samsung OLED technology for the Olympus E-P3 LCD screen. And sources also told us that Samsung offered Olympus a new Micro Four Thirds sensor. So it’s sounds possible that the partnership can extend to the new viewfinder technology.

I am collecting all rumros abotu that next camera. Feel free to send me bits of info at 43rumros@gmail.com or use the anonymous contact form on the right sidebar. Thanks!


  • Terry

    Admin – The Fuji X100 isn’t a choice between fully optical or EVF. The optical has electronic viewfinder information visible. That means when looking through the optical viewfinder you still get live histogram and other shooting information. The technology used is different but the effect seems similar.

    • zf

      Exactly. I don’t think it is as good as the hype. And non-SLR optical viewfinder is the worst of the worst.

      It’s not “what you see is what you got” for starter. And it is indeed very very small unless it is fixed like M-9 or X100(G12 has tiny OVF, don’t know bout X10).

      And the hundred years old rangefinder frameline is nowhere near adequate. Use a 50 and it’s perfect but otherwise it is just plain shit. Can only dream about ultrawide. Not to mention that, it is constantly bugged by, now required, lens hood or just protruding big lens.

      Don’t get me wrong. I’ll buy anything that oly sell with in body VF at least 2 bodies. But that mostly because of the EVF. Not OVF. Want OVF? Buy an SLR.

      Things like the video above is indeed fancy. Especially for augmented reality stuff. But, it’s definitely not for a real camera.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        > non-SLR optical viewfinder
        Non-TTL viewfinder to be precise. SLR viewfinder is this mirror&prism viewfinder.
        EVF can show same Through The Lens picture with accurate framing and without sensor size limiting image size.

      • ausserirdischegesund

        Yeah, sure.

        That might be the reason why people just *love* the X100.

        And why people buy the M9 for what, like $6000 when they
        can get a D3x with substantially better sensor for that money?

        There seem to be people (like you) who hate the optical
        rangefinder-like viewfinder. They are not forced to buy this

        And then there are the people who simply love a reverse
        galileian viewfinder with framelines. Who pay crazy prices
        for Leicas or the x100 (that one is not cheap either).

        Having framelines is the best and most enjoyable aspect of Leica
        shooting to me (no, I cannot afford a M9, mine is film based). You
        can see stuff outside the frame. It gives you 120% or 150% (or more)
        coverage, depending on lens.

  • Jason

    So will this be a non TTL viewfinder type approach (like the Fuji hybrid I believe) or are we seeing a rebirth of 4/3?

    • digifan

      I hope not NON TTL, because that will be useless with exchangeble lenses.

      • ausserirdischegesund

        Why is that? The Leica M9 also has a non-TTL OVF, and has no problems with exchangeable lenses (from 28mm to about 90mm with the builtin VF). A MFT camera has LiveView *additionally* where the M9 does not have that luxury.

        I really do not see the problem with a rangefinder-like viewfinder.

    • Cam

      frame lines are not what make the leica any special. it is the rangefinder system ppl enjoy.optical viewfinders are nice, but their achilles heel is the parallax problems that come with using optical viewfinders.You may be able to put a electronic frame line inside the optical viewfinder via the transparent oled screen, you may even compensate for parallax with it too..but how can you make a finder for different zoom lenses on that sort of camera?
      it’s possible if you have a fixed zoom lens camera, have an optical zoom finder inside, and inside that, stick a sheet of transparent oled lcd technology in it to for the display, but it would never work for another zoom lens, provided you build another zoom finder for it.
      there arent that many choices for camera finder solutions, either its going to be an optical slr type, optical rangefinder finder type, a pure electronic viewfinder,or a transparent pellicle mirror system…take your pick

  • EASY

    But Samsung sensor is not great, it is better be Fuji.
    20 MPix anyone?

    • Jesper

      Let alone the megapixel race! Better DR and High ISO performance.

      • EASY

        Samsung sensor 20 Mpix already.
        I doubt they will reduce pixel density.

    • explorer76

      Samsung sensor in NX200 actually seems excellent based on the RAW files on DPR (and it is already 20 MPix, though I don’t why we need such high MPs)

  • Yun

    Olympus finally wake up , viewfinder is important but sensor is the most important .
    As I just tested my GX , yes it’s huge step forward compare with my ex , GF2 . Even without summilux , the 14mm F2.5 become very capable lens under the new 16 megapixel sensor .
    Olympus , do concentrate too on new sensor , that is how a camera being rate !

  • twoomy

    I may be in the minority, but I could care less about the viewfinder. I use it so rarely on my GH2 as a touch-sensitive flip-screen is much more useful (for me atleast).

    I’d be much more excited about sensor improvement; more resolution and more dynamic range. For me, it’s about the end-product that comes out of the camera; I can deal with a crappy viewfinder if I need to. :)

    • Tobias

      I never use a viewfinder either. I think the viewfinder folks are just louder, not more frequent.

    • Jim

      +1 yeh GH2 style flip screen with EP3 touch sensitivity and Brightness – 4inch or as big as can cram on and 1920×1440 res please…. that would be the ultimate setup – no need for FV with that res you could just use a loup over the main screen if you realy need it – 3 point contact and all…

    • Nick

      I’m completely the opposite, I very rarely actually open the swivel screen on my GH2 – all the info I need and want is there in the EVF :)

      • Rick

        I also rarely use the LCD except when taking a photo at ankle level or held over my head on my GH2.

      • Mr. Reeee

        The LCD is for adjusting settings. The EVF is for composing and shooting!

        • TomR


  • kesztió

    Semitransparent OLEDs aren’t a good choice for m43 at all.

    Let’s think a little.

    Non-TTL optical viewfinder “is the worst of the worst”, as zf can say.

    TTL optical viewfinder cannot be implemented w/o making a compromise like translucent mirrors and so on – moreover, LENSES OTHERWISE WITH HIGH QUALITY BUT HIGH DISTORSION cannot be used anymore, unless framing based on a highly distorted preview.

    So better begging for a top quality and high performance viewfinder.

    • Disraeli

      That isnt the right way to look at it. What you describe is Panasonics way of taking distortion out in processing, Olympus wont do that, so there will be synergy between the view from the mirror to the view in the EVF.

      • kesztió

        Olympus wont do that?!

        In-camera distorsion correction is an inherent feature of m43. Even Olympus cannot come through it.

        • Disraeli

          it isnt a micro four thirds camera, it is simply mirrorless

          • kesztió

            You mean a fixed lens camera? I cannot see Olympus developing 4/3, MFT and a new mount simultaneously…

            • Disraeli

              No it isn’t fixed lens, its SLT like the Sony’s.

              • kesztió

                So it will be an E–5 replacement. Should admit that this is actually the only way to keep 4/3 alive.

  • littorio

    Bad news. OVF are much worse than EVF. Actually, any attempt to mix optical and electronic “channels”, especially in semi-transparent way, is a mistake.

    EVF show you exactly the same picture that camera sees. Not allowing you to use your eye’s large DR and not allowing you to “travel” with your eyes by different areas of FOV. I know, it seems more natural, but it creates a wrong impression about the final picture. Any optical “presence” damages the real picture as camera sees it. So – viewfinder must be 100% electronic.

    Add to that cost, size and various problems of optical viewfinders and you’ll clearly see that OVF is just waste of company’s and customers money. Olympus, please give us just good EVF, without all that marketing “optical” crap!!!!

    • kesztió


    • Jason

      …… so bad that Nikon and Canon rule the waves with prosumer cameras. Was 4/3 so long ago……?

    • spam

      I prety much agree with littorio. Mixing optical and electronic on a mFT-camera seem like a complete waste of resources. There is no way the optical part would be good enough except for a fairly narrow range of focal lengths arond the kit zoom area, and even 28mm equivalent is too wide for the optical viewfinder.

      EVFs are good enough for most things today, except for sport/action where optical viewfinders still have some advantages (less lag/better refresh rates) and that’s areas Olympus mFT cameras don’t handle well anyway.

      Even Olymnpus original 1.4 million dots EVF is pretty good, and larger than any OVF on a FT-dSLR. Sony’s new EVF is even better and they will certainly improve in the coming years. The only place I could see a hybrid viewfinder could make sense at all is in an E-5 replacement where the optical part would have dSLR-quality.

    • Disraeli

      Almost all LCD monitors are backlit. The brilliance of this version of technology is that its real life backlit.

    • ausserirdischegesund

      Have you ever used a Fuji X100? It is sheer joy. You could not be more wrong about the non-TTL-OVF with electronic information added. It is the most wonderful type of viewfinder ever, especially for quick shooting with normal or moderate wide lenses outside, like in documentary, photojournalism or street photography.

      • littorio

        Yes, I have. Wasn’t impressed, actually. As I told before – I can’t see real camera’s picture through X100 OVF.

        How can it prevent me from using my eye’s high DR? Don’t allow me to travel with my eye across the whole picture and adapting to areas with different luminosity? Show me effect of correcting exposure/shutter speed?

        Again – optical (or hybrid) viewfinder is more comfortable to human eye. But it creates false impression of the picture, gives much less control, is too complex and expensive. Period :)

  • achiinto

    Dont know why, I recently started collecting and using Olympus film camera, and now I really hope that an OM-5 with digital sensor will show up someday. Although shooting film is still fun and no any future camera can replace any vintage camera for what they are. Still a dream of OM system revived is a good dream.

  • Daemonius

    Now imagine Sony A900 OVF with OLED overlay..

  • Renato S.

    Samsung may not be the best, but I think they can do at least something on par with Panasonic new sensors. The NX200 IQ is not bad and it’s actually much better than the previous edition of NX. As long as Olympus doesn’t go for MP, I think they will have an excellent camera. Olympus color render are incredible and you add a good or reasonable sensor to it and you have a very powerful camera.

  • Nic Walmsley

    Agree with the sentiment that a view finder isn’t as important as a new generation sensor.

    A silent, vibration-less shutter should br high priority too.

    • Renato S.

      I’m still aiming for the global shutter, with that, electronic shutter should not be a problem. I guess video IS will be easier as well.

      Expectation are high for the GH3.

      I mean, mirrorless in general.

      Fuji is coming, Olympus have new stuff…

  • Scott

    You need a large body to balance the shd glass so why not keep the mirror and you will have the best of both worlds :-)

  • Mike

    In Opnion OVF is dead. All the Talk about Optical VF is a Legacy Thing from the Time when Photography was an purely optical thing. Just like this talk about Sound Quality of CDs vs. LPs when musik became digital.
    In my Opinon the fututre lies in amazing and phenomenal Electronic VF. For only One Reason. Pictures are already digital today.
    So View Finders Schild be digital to show what will be seen the picture once it is taken.

  • Jim

    We do all relise that, that advert is a simulation, a visulisation of concept…. how the thing performs in reality is another thing all together!

  • Vivek

    Someone commented earlier on the difference between a rumor and wishful thinking. I think it applies here.

  • rUY

    Olympus never been that creative. they have never been closer to that yet OK! except they are making great lens.

    • Nick

      Olympus has often been very creative – it’s their excecution that sometimes falls short…

    • Scott

      WTF olympus was the first with the swival screen, First with in camera stabilization. First with dslr live view. Who isnt creative. Oh and first with cheezy filters

      • digifan

        You forgot:
        First with digital from ground-up concept in DSLR’s.
        First with dust buster, SSWF, they were ridiculed about it.
        First DSLR with no prism hump
        First with pixelmapping in camera (now Nikon is starting that as well)
        First to enable built-in and external flash operation simultaniously (E300-E330).
        First remote flash in consumer DSLR’s.
        First collapsible zoom lens (exchangeable lens camera’s).

  • Camaman

    Is somebody feeding Samsung technology from 2149?
    They are even showing us a 3D model!? Save some for later, Samsung, don’t spoil us, please…
    WOW, what are they smoking? give me some…

    Anyway, just saw that tech in the last Terra Nova episode, so not impressed. Give us something we haven’t seen yet.

  • OlyFan

    Could this have anything to do with the viewfinder mystery?


    Sounds plausible!

  • reggieandtfe

    I have not been impressed with Samsung’s NX cameras, but the screen on the EP3 is brilliant. Actually sometimes it’s too brilliant as the previews look better on there than on my laptop in LR.

  • Mr. Reeee

    Wow! Transparent cicuitry! Who’da thunk!?

    This is the 21st Century! Where’s my flying car?!?!?!?

    Gotta love those vaporware special effects!
    Samsung tears a page from the Microsoft Courier play book! LOL! :-)

    • Disraeli

      It is less fantastic than that, just remember looking at 3D TV, where the image projected seems in a different place than it physically is. The lesson is you can project an image, especially where you have film, and rather like a heads up display, you can overlay it onto reality. In this case the reality perceived is what you would see from an SLR.

      I think it borrows a lot from the X100, you may see it differently.

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