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Old 12-14-2009, 08:43 PM   #1
mmmkay
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Strange increase in contrast

So I had a black PRS-600 for the last week and I noticed that the contrast wasn't really good. It happened to be an open box, possibly a returned unit.

I swapped it out back at the store today for a brand new silver PRS-600.

When I took it out of the box, first thing I noticed was how much nicer it looked, to me.

But also, the text looked more black. Probably a perceptual thing.

But then, I stuck on a cheapo dollar screen protector that was designed for a dvd player.. the ones that are glossy. Strange thing happened..it also increased the contrast even more, but obviously at the expense of increased reflection.

It oddly looks a lot like the PRS-300 and PRS-505 that I saw in store.

The viewing angle with the cheap screen protector seems to have increased. Previously, if I tilted it so I was looking at it from the bottom I could not make out the words on the main menu - they would be fuzzy. Now I can clearly see the words and they are sharp!

So either
1) my black PRS-600 had a defective screen, or
2) the combination of the lighter silver colour and the screen protector increased contrast somewhat noticably.

But really, there are too many variables. There also seems to be less give to the touchscreen - as if the touchscreen was closer to the display - which might have something to do with the viewing angles.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:48 PM   #2
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I can't address the entire post but a glossy screen protector would increase contrast.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:52 PM   #3
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Yeah, a lot of things changed all at once Or at least.. on the same day!


50mm, f/8 focussed on the middle of the screen 1/60sec
nikon sb-15 flash pointing forward

Pretty close to what you can see by just holding it up like that in front of your nose.

Last edited by mmmkay; 12-14-2009 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:48 AM   #4
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I tried two different screenprotectors. The first one did I get from eBay (I think it was screenPatronus). I ordered a mat version but got a glossy one. I returned it due to the high level of reflections but when I tried it on it did also improve the readability of my 600 !
This improvement was very nice but the reflections increase was too much, a pity.

My new mat screenprotector does not give this improvement, neither does it affect the contrast.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:56 AM   #5
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I find it hard to believe that adding a layer of anything would INCREASE contrast.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:31 AM   #6
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Stick one on and see. It will work. I wouldn't consider the increased reflectivity as worth it.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Stick one on and see. It will work. I wouldn't consider the increased reflectivity as worth it.
No thanks, but I'd be interested in your analysis of how this is even possible.
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Old 12-15-2009, 03:57 PM   #8
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maybe this will "shed some light" on the answer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRoL2q-tU-Q

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Old 12-15-2009, 06:43 PM   #9
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Light doesn't just interact with a medium, the surface of the medium is also important.

Matte surfaces work by scattering reflected light so reflections aren't as strong. Both the 505 and 600 use matte surfaces to get softer reflections. But the catch here is that it also includes the light that passes through from the other side. You get scatter from the light going through the surface, and as it comes back out after reflecting off the eInk display itself.

So it is the mix of the matte surface, and the thicker non-glass medium of the touch panel that combines to make it worse than the 505. The adhesive on the protector fills the gaps on the matte surface and can actually change the amount of scatter (since you are no longer going from air->solid/liquid/whatever). The gloss surface lowers scatter as well.

Ideally, Sony would move to a capacitive touch screen at some point on the touch editions of their reader so they could use glass in the touch layer. It'd get them back to the clarity of the 505, but they'd have to figure out how to make a stylus work that isn't too bulky and easy to lose.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grownupboy View Post
maybe this will "shed some light" on the answer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRoL2q-tU-Q

k
Interesting and thanks for the explanation Kolenka.

I'm not convinced this is very effective on the surface of a 505, but I understand what you are saying.

Thanks.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
I'm not convinced this is very effective on the surface of a 505, but I understand what you are saying.
I would agree. The 505's panel is mostly transparent and doesn't scatter much light (glass is excellent at this). The matte surface does scatter a little light (which we want for the reflections of the glass itself), but not enough to worry about when the material scatters hardly any.

The 600 has scatter from both the material and surface, which is the key difference between the two. It leads to the lack of sharp lines as it scatters more light. The glossy protector just removes one of the two sources of scatter.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:51 PM   #12
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Just an update. I actually find it a lot easier to read with the glossy surface. Reason is that the bare matte screen tends to make light sources that reflect off the screen turn into big blobs of light, which makes it necessary to turn the reader quite a bit in order to get rid of the big blob of reflection.

With the glossy surface on, I just need to tilt it ever so slightly, and the glare is gone.
Yes, I can see myself in the reader's screen now, but I find it a lot easier to "ignore" reflections than big blobs of light.

FWIW, I find it's a lot better, and the screen protector was cheap too.. 2 bucks, from Daiso
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:40 PM   #13
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I traded-up my PRS-500. The PRS-600 is a superior reader... but I due notice that the contrast could be increased for my taste. I might give a screen protector a try.

Thanks, mmmkay!
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