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News from our labs: For image quality, OLED camera displays don't beat LCDs

News from our labs: For image quality, OLED camera displays don’t beat LCDs

OLED HDTVs made news earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show. But cameras have had OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays for years. Just how good are they?

Camera companies claim these displays are clearer or brighter than traditional LCDs. For instance, some camera companies have included OLEDs on rugged-and-waterproof models, suggesting that such displays can be viewed more clearly underwater. Our Ratings include several basic and advanced cameras with OLEDs, such as the Nikon Coolpix S800c. But our testers have found that OLED displays on such models did not have better image quality than traditional LCDs. For the most part, they scored about the same. But no OLEDs underperformed.

To learn more about advanced point-and-shoots as well as other models, check out our digital camera buying guide and Ratings.

For instance, our testing found the Nikon Coolpix S800c, a basic subcompact model, has a good-quality OLED display. But the Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS has a very good LCD.

This was also true advanced cameras: The Samsung EX2F, an advanced point-and-shoot, includes an OLED with very good quality. However, almost all advanced point-and-shoots have very good quality. Only one advanced point-and-shoot, the Canon PowerShot G1 X, which has a traditional LCD, has excellent quality.

Note that image quality is just one factor in a camera display. Before you buy a camera, you should also consider whether the display is a touch-screen. You should also find out how large the display is: Most are 3 inches or larger. And a few models include a swiveling display, which can be helpful in shooting hard-to-reach subjects.

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