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Details emerge of new Alphatron EVF – with 'perfect downscaling factor' 960 x 640 hi-res display

By site editor Dan Chung

Electronic viewfinders (EVFs) are fast becoming a must have accessory for news and documentary shooters with newer cameras like the Sony F3, FS100 or Panasonic AF100. They can also be used to get a much clearer view of what is going on in the frame with some video DSLRs. They are essentially a mini monitor with a loupe attached.

At the NAB show this year Alphatron are showing their high resolution competitor to the popular Zacuto, SmallHD and Cineroid EVFs. Alphatron’s EVF-035W-3G main selling point is that it has a higher resolution along with both SDI and HDMI connections. The product is made in co-operation with established monitor manufacturer TVlogic.

The Alphatron EVF has both HDMI and SDI connections

The interesting thing is that the Alphatron display is a 960×640. 3.54 inch (diagonal) display which looks suspiciously similar to the one found on the Apple IPhone4S. When displaying a16:9 widescreen image the EVF will place bars top and bottom resulting in 960×540 pixels being used.

According to Alphatron this is significant because this resolution allows the EVF-035W-3G to downscale a HD 1920×1080 image with a downscaling factor or exactly 2. The resolution of 960×540 is exactly half of the full HD resolution which is 1920×1080.

Other competing displays with a lower 800×600 resolution have a greater downscaling factor of around 2.4. Because this is not a whole number Alphatron claim that there is a significant difference in picture quality.

Alphatron claim the downscaling factor of 2 is a ‘magic number’. This is what is says on their website:

“The EVF-035W-3G shows 1 out of every 2 pixels. However, if the downscaling factor is not an integer (i.e : 2.4 or 2.25), some of the horizontal and vertical pixels cannot be reproduced in a correct way. Hence, fine details, particular those for accurate focusing, cannot be reproduced.”

Other specs of the EVF are shown in this table:

The Alphatron seems to be a slightly bigger unit than my current Zacuto EVF and so it will be interesting to see how it really works at NAB 2012. Pricing has not yet been confirmed.


Posted on April 12th, 2012 by admin | Category: EVF |

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