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LG's OLED Screens Will Change the Way You View Your Images

LG's OLED Screens Will Change the Way You View Your Images

When LG invited me to their OLED exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London, my ears pricked up. This is for two reasons: the first is that a couple of years ago, I wrote a piece on OLED lighting and how I think it will change how photographers light their subjects in the coming years. The second is because, well, I love technology. LG's OLED 4K TVs and monitors are the epitome of digital clarity, and while I suspected that to be the case, seeing it in the flesh did more than confirm my suspicions.

So, what is OLEDOLED stands for "organic light-emitting diode," and it contains flexible sheets of an organic electroluminescent material that can convey imagery. As much as I love technology, I can't profess to understand the workings of these OLED screens in any depth, so I'll provide a description in layman's terms we can all understand: when electric current is put through these OLED sheets, they organically produce light, which allows for blacker blacks, whiter whites, and lower energy consumption. This allows for a uniform picture (with regards to color, brightness, and contrast) and much higher image quality. Now, that's the bit we really care about, isn't it? The image quality is utterly astounding.

LG OLED Technology

When I walked into the exhibition, I realized it had a lot more substance to it than just a technology demo; the whole theme was revolving around the evolution of the eye. Interspersed between taxidermy and science fiction-style bell jars with floating deceased critters were OLED screens hosting crystal-sharp images of nature. Perhaps this was a little primitive of me, but one aspect of these screens that resonated was that it seemed to not matter how close I got to the screen; it never became pixelated. It felt more like approaching a vibrant print than a screen.

All I could think is how amazing it would be to see my photographs on an OLED screen and how effective the screens would be for editing, particularly with a view to print. With a picture so vivid and clear, retouching images, particularly product and beauty, where detail is everything, will be much easier. At the moment, we can only get our hands on the LG OLED 4K TVs, but the computer monitors are projected for 2017 release. It is without question a technology to keep your eye on as it will be taking over its LED predecessor in due course.

If you want to learn about the evolution of vision and get a taste of top photography on OLED screens, the exhibition runs until 6th November 2016 at the National History Museum in London, and tickets can be purchased here. For more information about LG OLED technology, visit here.

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Bill Peppas's picture

OLEDs will most likely be the image king in the near future.
They need to get new panels with better IRE 80,90,100 performance ( let's call it "highlights" control ) because the current panels have a lack of control on the highlights of contrasty scenes.

Spy Black's picture

A while back Sharp had RGBY TVs that had a wide color gamut, not sure what it was measured at, and not sure if it was able to be used as a monitor, although most TVs are. I wonder how that tech stacks up to present-day OLED.

Bill Peppas's picture

They were nowhere near the black levels of OLED ( basically OLEDs black level is practically 0nits :D )

Anonymous's picture

"It will be taking over its LED predecessor" Do you mean LCD? Or is that line that you got from LG? I ask because the difference is important. OLED has made surprising few inroads given how long the technology has been around. Even the LED LCD display you see on the market are LCD displays with an LED back light. The principle display technology is LCD meaning color is created by a passive filtration system and therefore there is always some degree of bleed or light corrupting black levels.

Meanwhile competitors are developing something called Micro-LED (often confusing shortened to just LED by the press) which is very different than LCD technology and actually much closer to OLED where the light source and color are derived from the same element which means better blacks, simplified displays, and more accurate color. The difference is it doesn't use the difficult organic compounds found in OLED and will (possibly, I know of no large scale conversion but I'm just a casual follower of the tech) be easier for exiting LCD facilities to convert to making Micro-LED.

All this happens while OLED is finally hitting the mainstream. So OLED makers seem to spreading the kind of misinformation that killed the superior Plasma technology. They would love for the buying public to associate anything "LED" with being inferior when the term can mean very different things depending on how the LEDs are used. I have no issue with OLED but I'd rather see competing technologies compete on equal footing.