People with visual impairments know how difficult it is to use cameras with viewfinders – especially if they don’t have a diopter adjustment. Well, the new development of Sony DSC-HX99 RNV should help such users.
As reported in the official press release, Sony Electronics jointly with the Japanese company QD Laser introduced a “retinal projection camera” kit – DSC-HX99 RNV. It is based on the Sony DSC-HX99 (2018 model) compact camera with an 18-megapixel sensor and 30x zoom (24-720mm in 35mm equivalent).
But the most interesting thing here, of course, is not the characteristics of the not-so-new camera, but the new viewfinder Retissa Neoviewer— it has a built-in low-power laser projector that projects the image directly onto the retina, “bypassing” the eye’s focusing system, which should help users with visual impairments — nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
According to the QD Laser specifications, the Retissa Neoviewer uses a semiconductor RGB laser to produce an image with a resolution equivalent to 720p and 8-bit color depth. The image has an approximately 60-degree horizontal field of view with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, the built-in battery is enough for 4 hours of battery life.
Interestingly, Sony offers this kit at a very reasonable price. Whereas the Sony DSC-HX99 camera itself costs $475, the DSC-HX99 RNV viewfinder kit is priced at $600 – saying it is covering most of the cost in an effort to support the visually impaired community.
Sony also encourages users to try it first before buying to make sure it’s right for each case, and offers to make an appointment for a test by phone or email. The DSC-HX99 RNV kit is set to hit the US market in limited quantities this summer.