Glass screen protector review

16Feb09

One thing I can’t stand about my old Nikon D200 and my new D300 is the screen protector. The flimsy piece of plastic seems like an afterthought against the expensive body. Granted that the design has improved a little since the D200 — I was in constant fear of breaking the securing tab from plastic piece on the D200 when I tried to remove it, it’s still a far cry from being usable.

“What’s wrong with it?”, you might ask.

Well, firstly, just breathing on the plastic will invariably scratch it. Also, because it’s plastic, it seems to develop a static charge easily, which attracts lint and dust. Now if you try to clean the dust off the screen, you’ll scratch it. Worse still, dust can between the plastic and the LCD screen, which means that you’ll risk breaking the securing tab removing the plastic (and fuggetaboutit if you have an Arca-Swiss quick release plate mounted on your camera because it gets in the way of removing the plastic protector). Now you can clean, and in the process scratch, the other LCD side with a cloth, but why bother because you’ll only create a charge rubbing the plastic, which will attract more dust particles, making the whole endeavor a waste of effort.

For the several years that I owned the D200, I lived with this and learned to look beyond the scratches and dust, but with the D300, I decided there had to be a better way, so I searched around for a solution. And there was!

Apparently, the camera accessory maker, Giottos, had introduced an LCD screen protector made of tempered glass with 12 layers of anti-reflection multicoating to provide 98% light transmission. The product is known as the AEGIS Professional Glass Screen Protector (D300 link). It’s affixed to the LCD screen with a 3M double-sided tape, that is secure, but can be removed if needed if it gets scratched or damaged. The down side is that it costs between US$22-40 for one thin piece of glass.

While looking for a better price, I searched online and found a copycat brand called GGS with a similar product, at least spec-wise, and for a total of US$9 including shipping for the D300 version, it includes a protector for the top and the rear LCD screens. Just search Ebay with “ggs glass screen” and you’ll find many hits for a variety of camera models.

That was four months ago.

Since then, I’ve been using the cheaper screen protectors and it has been awesome. I’m not hard on my camera, but I don’t pamper it either. After four months of use cleaning the glass with anything I had on hand, the screen protectors are still scratch free. It has gone with me on my local outings and also to Spain where the camera was rained on. It fits the LCD perfectly (check out photos at the end), so much so that it seemed to be a part of the camera instead of an accessory. If it hadn’t been for the “GGS D300” label at the bottom, I don’t think I’d be able to tell. Because the double-sided tape complete seal the LCDs all around, there’s no change of dust sneaking between the glass protector and the LCD. Also, because they’re not plastic, dust aren’t attracted to them.

Is the GGS any better or worse than the Giottos? Besides the large difference in price, and that the GGS also covers the top LCD, I don’t know. Maybe the GGS really doesn’t have the 12 layers of coating, and that it’s not as strong a glass. I can’t tell because I don’t have the Giottos. All I know is that it hasn’t failed me yet and I’ll happily pocket the price difference.

One potential warning though. I did read about one person who managed to break the Giottos glass screen protector, and in the process of removing it from the camera, scratched his LCD. Caveat emptor I guess.

ggs_d300_1ggs_d300_2ggs_d300_3

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3 Responses to “Glass screen protector review”

  1. protector is a survivor. I suggest everybody ….

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