Protect your camera's LCD. Expert Shield tells you how.

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This is a guest post from Edward Tyson of I've been a long time advocate of protecting LCDs myself, but I don't care for the big plastic ones included with some cameras (like Nikon). Tho the advantage is that they're included sometimes and a “bird in the hand…” as they say.

The problem for me is that it is always an extra step to go buy something like Expert Shield… I am lazy and wish that it was just included in the box when I buy the camera! Ha! Now that's lazy!

But Edward is right here – my LCD on my Canon EOS 5D Mark II needs replacing because I didn't make the time to get protection. You should consider it.

Your dSLR LCD is living on borrowed time

If you scratched your camera’s LCD, you’d probably be a little sad afterwards. Especially if it’s something a bit nice – like a Canon 70D. You might also feel like a bit of a tool as your friends looked over in horror and muttered “I’d never have done that…” behind your back. You heard them too, because you’re not deaf, and they’re stood right behind you.

But you can’t scratch the 70D’s screen, you say? It’s made of quite strong glass and folds over when not in use – it's unscratchable. Besides I’d never mistreat a camera like that. I’m not a moron…

Accidents happen.

And accidents like to pounce when you’re not paying attention. Leaving that lovely semi-useful dSLR LCD naked is only going to invite them the second you let your guard down.

So it’s settled, you’ll want a screen protector for it. But what to go for, and why?Sure some cameras (like the Nikon D800) come with a polycarbonate over-guard. Does the job. But it’s big and bulky, so it’ll probably leave a cheek indentation like a huge gruesome looking scar. Fun for scaring children (for best results use on October 31st).

How about a tough glass protector? Again, a little bulky – and they’re about as clear as a politicians answer. Your best bet? A good quality PET film type screen protector. ‘Good quality’ being the key phrase here.

If you’ve ever applied a film type protector and not had much luck with it – it’s because you’ve done it wrong. Sorry. Maybe not your fault, you probably just succumbed to the glorious marketing efforts of a poor quality product sold by con artists. Sadly, that may well describe plenty of companies you’ve dealt with – let’s move on before realization creeps in and this all gets a little upsetting.

Any film based protector – by that I mean those bendy ones that look quite flimsy, but are actually a subtle technical marvel – can be applied in under 5 minutes, flawlessly. But like most things, there’s a bit of a knack to it. Luckily I’ve got the knack, so I’ll share a little of the knack with you.

First off; it's dead important to ensure you don’t leave any specks of dust on the screen before you begin. If you do, you’ll end up with loads of bubbles. It’ll leave your screen looking like you’ve skinned a miniature Dalmatian and laid it over the LCD.

Any animal right’s activists will have a field day over the skinning alone, but don’t even get them started on the whole genetic miniaturizing thing. You’ll probably be in court before you have chance to explain it was just a ‘bad time with a screen protector’.

You’re best doing the application in a room with as little movement around you as possible. Ideally, the fastest and easiest way to do it is in a slightly steamy bathroom – just as the steams settled. It’ll bring all the dust down with it, and make the installation even more of a doddle. No need to be silly with it though, it shouldn’t be super-steamy or apply in a wet atmosphere.

The Process

Before you clean the screen, just place the protector over your LCD to see how it aligns up. Taking note of any cut outs or unusual shapes on the LCD. You may want to familiarize yourself with how much room for error there is at the edges.
Once you’re happy that the protector is central and in position, get a small strip of sticky tape and stick it between the edge of the LCD and on the long side of the protector that is closest to the ‘Step 1’ tab. The tape will then act like a hinge on a trapdoor, allowing you to lift the protector up, clean underneath and then lower it back down to apply it whilst keeping everything perfectly in place.

When cleaning, it’s often a great idea to reflect some light off the screen to let you ‘scan’ the surface for any last specks of dust. It’s all in the preparation.

Now you’re happy the screen is speckless, with the protector still attached to one edge of the screen with the sticky tape you can peel off the ‘Step 1’ layer and lay the protector down onto the screen.
To finish, simply wrap the cloth you used to clean the screen around a credit card at one end and squeegee out any last bubbles. This is really effective and should finish off your application nicely. Once that’s done, carefully peel back the ‘Step 2’ layer. Bend it back on itself at a steep angle to avoid ripping off the actual screen protector with it.
That’s it, you should now be looking at an expertly applied protector. Well done.

For more tips on how to wash, rescue, un-bubble or remove your screen protector, you can find more details on out blog HERE.

About Ed
Ed Tyson is the large cheese at Expert Shield. What he doesn’t know about screen protectors isn’t worth knowing. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and he’ll do his best to answer them.

  Disclaimer: we've posted this for our readers – we were not compensated in any way by ExpertShield, tho obviously they're getting a little bit of promotion out of it. I felt it was a good story that should be shared.

If you'd like to submit a guest post on HDSLR related topics, please contact planet5D


(cover photo credit: snap from Expert Shield)

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