Do DSLR and mirrorless cameras use LEDs or CCFL as backlight for their LCD displays?

I'm interested in the modern cameras like nikon D3500, D7500, sony a6500, nikon d780 etc.

  • 1
    Hi camguy and welcome to Photo.SE! What's the background for this question? Jun 20 '20 at 12:45
  • What photographic purpose does this question have? That is, how will knowing the answer make any possible difference in the photographs that could be produced by a camera with one or the other types of screen?
    – Michael C
    Jun 23 '20 at 15:38

It is likely that LED backlighting will be used rather than CCFLs for a number of reasons.

Firstly, CCFLs require a driver circuit which steps up the input voltage to around ~1000V and oscillates it to create alternating current (AC) rather than the direct current (DC) of a battery pack. Existing circuits are only ~80% efficient and create heat. Heat is a direct enemy of modern cameras, so it makes sense that it should be minimised.

LEDs are smaller and more compact - they exist in footprints as small (and smaller than) 6x3mm. Laptop CCFLs tend to be thicker than the entire fold-out portion of my camera.

In fact, look at this comparison: two laptops side by side

This image compares the thickness of a modern (2019) laptop that uses an LED backlight to an older (2007) laptop that uses a CCFL backlight. This is the tablet version, but the non-tablet version is not significantly thinner.

Other benefits include lower power consumption and extended longevity. The only main reason to stick with CCFL backlighting would be cost, that stock would have been used years ago, as most laptops, handheld devices and TVs made the switch around 2010.

Ultimately, the only way to know for sure is to take the camera apart, but it's a pretty safe bet to assume that cameras use LEDs for backlighting.

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    It might be EL (electroluminescent) on some models though... and some early digital compacts did use CCFLs for their rear screens. Also, while I do not know whether that was ever done, you could theoretically combine a CCFL supply with the flash charger :) Jun 22 '20 at 8:56
  • All valid points, but EL wire also requires a driving circuit - it typically runs off ~200V AC. And I do agree with the early digital compacts part, but the OP specifically asked about modern cameras. I guess the definition of modern could be construed in multiple ways, but I was assuming 2015 and onwards.
    – wilkgr
    Jun 22 '20 at 9:40

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