High-definition video cameras are all very well, but what about that very low-def image you see when you look at the LCD viewfinder round the back to check your focus and framing? NEC thinks it's a problem worth tackling and has just announced an elegant solution.

This summer, the Japanese company will start selling a 2.7-inch LCD screen to camcorder makers that manages such a high resolution in that tiny space that it can reproduce HD TV video.

Smells like high def

A pixel density of 413 per inch yields what NEC calls a quarter high-definition (QHD) resolution of 960 x 540 pixels and accurate colour reproduction. While it may seem like just another stats shouting contest, there are advantages in the new tech.

Being able to check focus and colour accurately means professional broadcasters no longer need to hook up an external monitor to do so. As with most such advances, us amateur cinematographers are sure to see the benefit before too long.