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Silicon Imaging SI-2K
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Old April 26th, 2015, 02:32 AM   #1
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Oled failure

Two P+S Technik OLED electronic viewfinders specific to the SI2K camera system have developed an identical fault within a similar timeframe. The SI2K optical viewfinders came to market well ahead of the RED versions so may involve earlier tech which may have presented issues subsequently resolved in later manufacture.

Both finders had been stored indoors and saw little use over a period of six months. After a subsequent usage on the same project, both displays have developed an "ink-stain" artifact which is penetrating from the image borders. Replacement panels are user-installable but horrendously expensive. Their assemblage is within a proprietory mounting module which is low volume and unique.

I initially thought that I had inadvertently "sunned" the display by rear-view mirror light getting in through the eyepiece. However, on the same assignment the viewfinder on the second camera developed the same defect, only recently discovered. I know for sure that eyepiece was not "sunned" as the finder was boxed and built to the camera on the location which was an evening event shoot. Both had been stored on the same premises indoors for about six months through our winter here which is also our rain season.

After doing bit of reading, it transpires that OLED small-screen tech has a known failure mode. The mechanism involves "trace amounts of H2O" which is water plus a thermal process, which I imagine is happening the next time you turn the thing on. A black stain appears at margins and works its way towards the centre until most of the display is obscured. Unlike image "burn-in", it cannot be reversed.

Whilst RED OLED finders are not identical to the P+S finders which came first, it might be prudent to make sure that all OLED electronic viewfinders are kept well protected from damp. In storage it may be wise to use a lot of new or freshly dehydrated silicagel dessicant in the box which holds the OLED finder to minimise any form of moisture ingress or humidity dewing getting at the organic layer in the OLED panels. If OLED tech ends up being a commercial dead-end, then product support may well die with it.

Attempting to preserve from moisture would seem to be the best bet against the future.

RED finders are not an option for us SI2K diehards. The SI2K finders are fed their signal via SVGA D-Sub connectors.
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Old April 26th, 2015, 01:18 PM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,376
Re: Oled failure

Furthur to my post above, on inspection of the OLED screens, one has been "sunned" as I previously suspected with a signature burn and halo blemish visible. The other has a "black ink" sharply defined defect incursion from an edge.

I think it remains prudent to minimise moisture contamination risk by removing all possibility of ingress, taking the usual precautions against condensation when moving in and out of hot and cold humid environments and using plenty of dessicant cels or sachets for storage containers.

For your information, the following details are found on the PCB board which mounts the display panel and the control PCB it plugs into.

Emagin OLED chip.

(c) 2008

Control Board. Probably custom to the original manufacture of the Liteye 600, eyepiece print found on a small paper label stuck onto an IC.


The P+S eyepiece body appears to be a hardened innovation by P+S Technik, styled after their Evolution eyepiece built around the innards of the Liteye 600 eyepiece which is less robust than desirable for film production purposes.

As with the PCBs for the Recorder Unit body, P+S Technik appear to have gone for a military spec or critical industrial quality when sourcing their bits and pieces.
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