Giotto, known for their tripods, have produced an alternative to those flimsy plastic LCD screen protectors that you find on iPods, digital cameras and media players. The Giottos AEGIS is a high translucent, optical glass sheet made from Schott glass of Germany.
Giottos AEGIS LCD screen protector features
The screen lays over the camera's LCD panel to protect it against abrasion, scratches or accidental impact.
The glass used has special properties to reduce ghosting, minimise light reflections and ensure maximum light transmission.
It has a 12 layer coating that's also claimed to protect the camera's LCD from UV so its life is prolonged. The screen is water repellent and resistant to acid, so you're not only protecting it from scratches, but the elements too...and this includes your greasy nose that is often resting up against the LCD while you're looking through the viewfinder.
Picking the correct screen is easy if you are lucky enough to own one of the cameras that has a dedicated version. Simply look up the camera you own on the Giottos website and the model number you require will be listed. There are dedicated versions for Canon EOS-1D variations, EOS 350D, EOS 400D, EOS 5D, EOS 30D, Fuji Finepix S3, Nikon D40, D50, D70s, D200, D80, D2X and Sony A100.
If you own a camera that's not on the list, you need to measure its LCD and then choose from one of the nine specific fixed size options in sizes from 1.6” to 3”
This can be confusing. In our test I used a Pentax K10D which has a 2.5” screen, of which there are three options: 53.9x41.7mm, 56.3x46.7mm and 56.6x45mm. As a handy extra the Giottos display pack comes with a slip out plastic identifier that shows the size of the enclosed screen. You lay this over the camera LCD to see if it's the correct one. While this is useful in store it's about as much use as a chocolate kettle if you are buying over the Internet and seems to be an unnecessary cost that will, no doubt, have been absorbed into the price of the screen.
For those wondering where to measure from it's from the outer edges of the camera's screen including any black mask/surround so the K10D, for example, is 56.3x46.7mm and product no SP8251.
Giottos AEGIS LCD screen protector handling
There's not a lot to say about handling. The screen is supplied in the pack in its own small card wallet and has a plastic overlay on both sides to protect it. You first clean the camera's LCD using the supplied micro-fibre cloth. Then peel of the Aegis screen covers and wipe away any dust that lands on the screen before laying it over the camera's LCD.
This is the tricky bit. Having been a stamp and card collector in my youth I'm fairly accurate at landing things square on, but I still managed to be a couple of millimeters out and it does instantly stick down strongly. The instructions show you how to remove the screen using a hair drier, but as I'd just laid my screen down I managed to lift it without too much effort. My third attempt provided a perfect match.
Giottos AEGIS LCD screen protector performance
Once in place the Aegis is bright and smooth. Marks can be removed with easy and the fear of scratches can be overcome. I'd only had the K10D for a few months before I noticed a small scratch. If I'd had the Aegis on from new this would never have happened. And even if you do manage to scratch the Aegis you could remove it and add another.
Of course, a scratch or two may not bother you, but it will certainly bother the person who may be interested in taking the camera off your hands should you wish to upgrade in the future.
The screen does deliver a super bright image, and cleans easily. The downside to such a shiny surface is grease marks do become more noticeable and you may find yourself spending more time cleaning to get that gleaming surface. The slightest thumb mark does stick out like a...erm... sore thumb! It's also so reflective you can see your face in it...which may not be pleasant, but, despite this you can still see a very bright and clear display.
Giottos AEGIS LCD screen protector verdict
A smart and stylish item that doesn't make the camera look tacky like it would if you left the camera's original protector in place or use one of those cheap foil overlays. £18 is a small price to pay for the added protection and a well worth investment that will be recouped if you sell your pristine camera in the future.
EASE OF USE
The Giottos AEGIS LCD screen protector costs between £17.99 and £29.99 depending on the camera and can be bought from the ePHOTOzine shop here.