Orquid "Phoenix"

Orquid "Phoenix"

by ceinmart

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I've noticed there are several different types of screen protectors present for DSLR cameras. I've actually used and tested all of them, but i'm interested to see what the wider community feels and what benefits people see when comparing different types of protectors.

The three most commonly used ones (that i've come across) are (and in order of price):

I've had issues with all three and there's benefit in all three as well. Does anyone has a well informed opinion as to which one is generally better?

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4  
The best screen protector is the one already installed from the factory. You mentioned that you have a Canon DSLR, and at least with the 5D mkII Canon puts an exterior lexan like layer that protects the actual LCD screen. If you ever scratch this, or it cracks, you can order up a new one from Canon and replace it yourself. Third party vendors also sell versions of it for a very small amount of money. Adding on additional layers is unnecessary in my experience, and just degrades the experience. –  dpollitt May 6 '13 at 0:43
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take a sharp knife and scratch your screen yourself. Now you no longer have to worry about it. Then go shoot some pictures. –  Paul Cezanne Feb 7 at 18:56
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3 Answers

I've never seen the benefit of any of them. It would take a lot of scratches to degrade the view as much as a plastic cover does. As @dpollitt has mentioned in several comments, the protective glass installed by the factory is fairly easy and economical to replace yourself. I've replaced the one on my 5DII when I cracked it. I bought a cheap knock off for less than $20 and installed it myself.

I view my cameras as tools, not as "investments". A tool that is used will show the signs of that use. Putting a screen protector on a camera is like putting plastic covers on all of your furniture: It does keep it in pristine condition, but at the expense of not being able to enjoy the use for which it was intended.

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I agree 100%, I will say, I was quite angry when 2 days after I bought my newest DSLR I scratched it pretty good! Oh well :) –  dpollitt May 6 '13 at 14:42
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Well, most of the answers here suggest that people don't use screen protectors. That's fine, but for those that do, here's my following list of Pro's and Con's for each type

Clear Plastic Films

Pros

  • Cheap

  • Easily replaceable

  • Lets the largest amount of light through

  • Stops screen from getting scratched

Cons

  • Easily gets scratched

  • Deep scratches can still reach the screen

  • Doesn't prevent damage due to bumps

Adhesive Glass

Pros

  • Mid Range Price

  • Stops screen from getting scratched

  • Stops Minor Bumps from impacting the screen

Cons

  • Easily gets scratched

  • Reduces light transmission from the screen more than plastic film

  • Can shatter if knocked from the side causing problems

  • Adhesive can be hard to remove after protector is damaged

Snap On Screen Protectors

Pros

  • Best protection

  • Easily replaceable

  • Stops screen from getting scratched

  • Stops quite strong bumps

Cons

  • Most Expensive choice >$15

  • Needs tape underneath border to keep in place (moves around otherwise)

  • Reduces light transmission from the screen more than plastic film

  • Makes camera more bulky

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Honestly, my opinion would be don't use them. They make sense on something that is subject to lots of touching and daily abuse and image quality doesn't matter all that much, like a smartphone screen. On a DSLR however, you are dealing with a piece of equipment that is all around sensitive and shouldn't be subjected to the kinds of stresses where a screen protector would help. The screen shouldn't be getting wear and tear like a smart phone and any type of screen protector you use is going to have an impact on image quality.

If you really want one, the glass ones are the only ones that are going to provide real protection since they are hard, so then it just matters if you mind the adhesive or not.

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Well, i regularly abuse my mkIII with a variety of hostile conditions. Not to mention my backpack. I've shattered 2 screen protectors (saved the screen) and 1 screen as a result of using a film one. –  NULLZ May 6 '13 at 0:06
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I agree. I used to put on on my DSLRs, but figured out replacing the built in screen protector on Canon DSLRs is very cost effective if you really need to do it after a year or two of abuse. The big gain comes in the clearest possible display without an extra layer of junk between you and the LCD. –  dpollitt May 6 '13 at 0:35
    
@D3C4FF mind if I ask what you are doing with it that manages to regularly expose it to that kind of threat of damage? It almost sounds like you might be best served by some kind of enclosure at that point. That would protect your camera body and lens rather than just the screen. –  AJ Henderson May 6 '13 at 2:58
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protected by mattdm Feb 7 at 15:24

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