What is an OLED display?

An OLED display uses a relatively new technology called OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes). OLED displays are brighter, more efficient, thinner and feature better refresh rates and contrast than other display technologies.

OLEDs are made by placing thin films of organic (carbon based) materials between two electrodes. When an electrical current is applied, a bright light is emitted. Since the OLED materials emit light, a backlight is not required (unlike LCDs).

OLEDs for digital cameras

OLED-equipped cameras are offered by some of the biggest names in the industry. OLEDs’ major advantages seem to be especially beneficial for digital cameras - a wide color scheme, superior contrast, high refresh rates and more.

OLEDs are mostly prevalent in compact cameras, but the technology is also starting to appear in DSLRs and high-end models. OLED displays are used in digital cameras as back displays and also as viewfinders.

All OLED camera back displays use AMOLED screens. The OLED electronic viewfinders (EVF) use OLED microdisplays - tiny high resolution displays (under 1-inch) that are magnified to be used as a near-eye display.

OLED cameras on the market

The Samsung NX1 is Samsung's flagship mirrorless camera for 2014, that can shoot UHD (4K) videos at 30 fps. It sports a 28.2 mp sensor, ISO range of 100 to 51200, Wi-Fi and NFC. The display on the back is an articulated 3" Super AMOLED and it's also got a 1024x768 (XGA) OLED viewfinder. The NX1 costs $1,499 (body only).

Fujifilm's X30 is an enthusiast premium compact digital camera with a classic design. It has a 2/3" CMSO sensor and 28-112mm (F2-F2.8) lens. It has a 3" tilting LCD display and an XGA OLED viewfinder (EVF). The X30 costs $600.

Sony's a7S is a full-frame (12.2 MP, 35mm) mirrorless digital camera with 4K video support, high-precision Fast Intelligent AF system, an ISO range of up to 409,600 and an XGA OLED EVF. The a7S costs $2,498 (body only).

Nikon's AW120 is a rugged, shockproof, waterproof and cold resistant compact digital camera that features a 16 mp sensor, 5X zoom, GPS, Wi-Fi, Full-HD video and a 3" 921k-dot OLED display. The AW120 costs $228.

The DMC-GH4 is Panasonic's 2014 flagship micro four thirds camera that can shoot 4K videos with a new Venus Engine IX processor. This 16mp camera has two OLED displays - a 3" 1.04M dot fully-articulating display and an OLED EVF (with over 2 million dots). Other features include Wi-Fi and NFC. The GH4 is currently shipping for $1,700 (body only).

Further reading