Product Review: Expert Shield Screen Protectors
I have never used screen protectors on my cameras. The reason, I think, is because I’ve been a photographer since long before digital photography, so I saw the birth and growing pains of digital. In the “old” days of digital cameras, all the screen protectors I saw were thick, permanently attached, and, in my opinion, obstructed and lowered the quality of the LCD screen view. I certainly didn’t want one of those on my camera. Now, years later, I guess I was aware that screen protector technology had progressed over the years, but never reconsidered using one until now.
I was contacted by the makers of Expert Shield and asked to review their product. Why not, I thought, with my 6D still relatively new, perhaps it was time to reconsider screen protectors. The screen on my old camera (a 50D) has quite a few scratches, and the 6D already had one or two. So, a screen protector might be called for. I said yes, and shortly thereafter, installed Expert Shield’s product on my camera.
Overall, I’m very happy with the Expert Shield screen protector. It was moderately easy to install, does a great job protecting the screen, easy to remove, and did not leave any residue on the screen. Once installed, I barely noticed it was there; to my eye, there was no visible loss of light transmission through the screen protector. Additionally, Expert Shield screen protectors come with a lifetime guarantee against scratches or peeling.
The key to installing the screen protector is not to have any dust on your screen. The instructions on the package state “dust, your worst enemy.” This is totally true, each speck of dust on your screen when you install the protector will result in an air bubble. Having been shipped two sample screens, I installed a protector twice (one for my testing, and one after testing). The first time, it went very smoothly, and I was able to install the screen protector without any bubbles. On the second installation, I did have a few small bubbles. However, by following the directions on how to remove dust with tape (making sure not to touch the inner surface of the protector with anything other than tape), I was able to again achieve a bubble-free installation. The protector comes with a lint-free cleaning cloth to help ensure the screen is dust free and clean before installation.
Once on, the screen protector is barely noticeable. It does cause a slight, colored interference pattern that is only visible when the screen is off. When turned on, the screen looks perfect, as if the screen protector is not there. Also, the few small scratches I already had on the screen prior to installation were virtually invisible with the protector in place.
I decided to test the guarantee against scratches. While the screen protector doesn’t scratch easily, it does scratch. With the edge of a coin and a bit of pressure, I succeeded in putting a permanent scratch on the screen protector (and I was glad it was there, because that scratch would have really gouged my screen). When I later removed the screen, there was no corresponding scratch on the screen (luckily, or I would have been really pissed). Removing the screen protector is easy. By placing a piece of tape on the corner and pulling gently, the screen protector easily peeled back. If you plan to re-install it, don’t touch the underside. If you are not planning on reuse, it can be peeled back with a fingernail. Once off, it left no residue on the screen.
In summary, I recommend this product without hesitation, just be sure to apply according to the directions and be very careful about dust. While it is capable of being scratched, it will certainly protect your screen. And with the lifetime guarantee, if your protector is scratched, you can get a free replacement. My only disappointment is that Expert Shield does not make protectors for all my devices. While they do have them available for many cameras, smartphones, and tablets, they are not available for my 50D, my smartphone, or my wife’s tablet. That said, they are available for very many devices. You can see a complete list at the Expert Shield website.
Expert Shield screen protectors are available directly from Expert Shield or from Amazon, starting at about $10. Want to try one out for free, Expert Shield will give a free sample to one of my readers. Leave a comment listing your camera or smartphone model and I’ll pick one commenter by random for the giveaway.
Disclaimer: Expert Shield provided me with free samples of this product.