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Old 11-08-2008, 07:26 AM   #1
devastat
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Got my reader today - Screen contrast

Hello all,

I finally received my Sony Reader yesterday, and I am quite excited about it - it feels good when been held and I really like the e-ink technology it does work extremely well.

There is only one thing I am not 100% happy about, maybe it is just a matter of getting used to the device, but when I compare the page of a book and a page in the Sony Reader, it does feel like the text is not nearly as clearly visible as in a real book. The color of the text is gray, not black and overall the contrasts in the text could be better i think.

This is noticable especially in pdf files that are a bit bad quality, as the text isn't very sharp, in some pdf files the text was so "weak" or faded that it was hard to read.

My question is that is there a way to improve the contrast in the screen? I did not find anything in the settings. What i mean is that is there a way to make the text stronger, thicker and blacker so that it would be a bit easier to read?

I still think tho it is great device and works extremely well I just guess that I have to get used to it and soon I have no things to complain about it.

Last edited by devastat; 11-08-2008 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:33 AM   #2
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No - that's just the way that eInk screens are, I'm afraid. You will find, though, that the contrast varies with the lighting conditions. In strong direct light, it's far better than in poor light.
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Old 11-08-2008, 08:25 AM   #3
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Hi devastat and welcome to the Forum. I got a 505 back in January and felt the same way about the screen at first but that quickly became a non-issue. Like learning to turn the page by pressing a button you quickly get used to it. In fact, I've gotten to the point where I much prefer reading on the Sony over a pBook.

BTW, check out the Freebies section as Sony is offering 25% off the book of your choice between now and 15 November
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Old 11-09-2008, 02:28 AM   #4
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Hi devastat. Before I bought my PRS-505, I often checked the displayed Sony reader at Borders whenever I went there. Every time I examined the reader, the lack of contrast that I saw always made me think that I would never buy a reader, and I considered it a big shortcoming. I also kept looking for a way to adjust the contrast, but I realized that there was no way to do so. This was the issue that kept me from buying a reader for a long time. When I finally decided that I would buy a PRS-505, because many people here seemed to be satisfied with it anyway, I found that I could live with what I once thought I couldn't. No, the contrast is not the same as that of ink on paper, but I found that I could quickly get used to it and, after a while, I didn't even notice it. Sufficient lighting is the key.

As to the ePub and PDF formats, yes I also noticed that, for small fonts, the eInk is not very dark. I notice that it does get better if I increase the font size. This is not an issue for the LRF format.
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Old 11-09-2008, 03:06 AM   #5
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For PDF files, you can convert them into PDFs using PDFLRF. The program can cut side margins and make the fonts thicker resulting in much more readable LRF file.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13135
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...&postcount=435 [Download link available in this post]
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:28 PM   #6
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I just got my 505 two days ago and I have noticed the same issue (if you really want to call it that) as well. I do find in lower light it can be a bit more difficult to see but it doesnt seem to bother me really. The more I use it the less it seems to be an issue.

I am really excited to have the 505. I think it is a great reader! The one thing I want to find now is a better case. The cover it comes with is OK but not great for travel. I spend a lot of time on public transit and I am afraid one drop will kill it with the current cover.

Guess I started to go off topic there...
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soilwork View Post
For PDF files, you can convert them into PDFs using PDFLRF. The program can cut side margins and make the fonts thicker resulting in much more readable LRF file.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13135
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...&postcount=435 [Download link available in this post]
Thanks for the replies. I am sure that I will get used to the E-ink and I won't be bothered about the fact that it the text isn't as visible as in real book, in anyway it is really close.

I have been trying to transfer some film scripts to the reader using the pdflrf mentioned. It seems to be a really good software. If the psf file is as image, not text, is it best to read it on Sony reader as Landscape (as otherwise the text gets too small to see) ?

I tried to read some comic books, but it seemes that the text gets so small that Sony Reader is not really good devide for reading comic books?

Anyway I am falling in love with my Sony Reader, and thanks for all the replies!
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:07 PM   #8
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I'm glad I ordered a 505,and didn't wait for the 700. If there already is an issue concerning screen contrast on the 505, there will surely be on the 700 as well.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:21 AM   #9
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I am glad it helped.
Quote:
Originally Posted by devastat View Post
If the psf file is as image, not text, is it best to read it on Sony reader as Landscape (as otherwise the text gets too small to see) ?
I am afraid that it is the only viable option that I know of. If the PDF has text in them, you can use Calibre to extract the text, though.

Quote:
I tried to read some comic books, but it seemes that the text gets so small that Sony Reader is not really good devide for reading comic books?
If your comics have small fonts, it will be hard to read them on Sony PRS 505. BTW, you can use PDFLRF to convert comics but you can also try 'comic2lrf' in Calibre. 'Comic2lrf' can even split wide pictures into two images automatically, resulting in better-reading LRF.

Enjoy your PRS 505!
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:32 AM   #10
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I agree that e-readers are too low-contrast to really compare with books. For all the hype e-ink has gotten, it really isn't that good.

I find myself using it more to justify the expense and to avoid "wasting" my superior paper books rather than because I really like it. In a few weeks, I suspect I'll be ditching my prs-505 more in favor of taking paper books with me again. Since I want to avoid buying too many paper books due to space and availability issues (I live in Taiwan--a few good bookstores but not everything I want is available, and don't know of any English libraries), the e-reader is more of a necessary evil to me.

Unfortunately, I worry that rather than improving the clarity and contrast, which depends on screen tech that is usually OEM, companies are going to instead focus on gimmicks and gadgets. Built-in radio, camera, fingerprint ID, coffee grinder, instant messenger service, etc.. Good interfacing and navigation are also probably out of the question.

Still, I've got my fingers crossed.
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:37 AM   #11
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Inversed colors are a lot easier to read imo.
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:36 AM   #12
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It's too bad that Word and Acrobat don't have default print to white-on-black options. I haven't had the chance to try out white on black text (I won't use epub or lrf). If you've got a link to any inverted texts (even just a page or two--I don't have Calibre at the moment and don't plan to download it again), I could load an epub or something up just to see what the inversion looks like
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:47 AM   #13
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Is there a setting in calibre to reverse colors, or what program can we use to inverse colors?
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:48 AM   #14
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I switched to the 505 because of worsening eyesight last year. Some things that I learned from someone here at MR (sorry, forgot who it was) is to increase the line spacing and use sans serif fonts. The goal is to allow for more space to contrast the text and background.

My preference is 1.25 line spacing and ariel font, 22 pt. Although, lately my eyes have gotten better and I can see 20 or even 18 pt font!
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:26 PM   #15
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I looked in calibre and couldn't find a reverse color scheme in it, are there any opinions on how to reverse color in epub or sony formats?

update:

Ok I did find a way to do it and I did convert the book so black background and white print and I didn't like it , it's too dark for me , so the way it is so far seems the best. Here is the program I used to try it out.


http://www.freeware4pc.com/webdevelo...onverter.shtml

converted txt file into html and adjusted background color and font color, then opened calibre and converted to epub.

Last edited by richman; 07-28-2009 at 01:56 PM.
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