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How do I Choose the Best Digital Camera Screen Protector?

By Stacy Taylor
Updated May 16, 2024
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A digital camera is an investment that must be cared for and protected. One of the best ways to ensure a camera remains in top working condition is to use a digital camera screen protector. The primary function of a screen protector is to guard the display screen against dirt, sand, oily fingerprints, pet hair, gouging, and surface scratches. Some include extra options, like improved contrast or color, so getting educated before buying one is a good first step in making the right choice.

Digital cameras are exposed to many hazards with everyday use, especially if the owner is an avid photographer. Most are only used occasionally for a vacation, a holiday, or a special event, which means they are not particularly susceptible to any real damage. You'll want to determine exactly what sort of protection is necessary before investing in a screen protector.

Most modern screen protectors are made from a clear, thin, non-adhesive polyurethane film that was first developed for the United States military and later put into commercial use. The film is applied to the display screen of the camera and left in place until it begins show signs of wear, at which point it is removed and a new digital camera screen protector is applied. All polyurethane screen protectors guard against everyday wear and tear, but a large number also offer extra features developed from the newest cutting-edge polymer manufacturing techniques.

The latest optional features available include high contrast and clarity, protection from glare, and color improvement. Some protectors have multiple clear layers that last longer than a single layer, bubble free application methods, and improved scratch resistance. These additional features are handy, but they may also mean a higher price tag.

In addition to the standard polyurethane screen protector, there are several other options. A screen hood, or cover, mounts directly onto the camera body and provides very good protection. Another option is a relatively new digital camera screen protector line made in Germany called digiCover. It is an inexpensive, self-adhesive, clear, and lightweight “foil” that comes in a cut-to-fit roll.

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Discussion Comments

By shootme — On Jul 31, 2014

I'm using Martin Fields screen protectors and I'm quite satisfied with them. They seem to have them available for most camera models and they're precisely precut to size for each model so that they fit nicely onto the camera's LCD screen, including the smaller top LCD screen protector for my Nikon Df.

You can get Martin Fields at the usual places like Amazon or you can google for their website.

By Joe Hall — On Feb 08, 2011

I have used XO Skins on my cameras, gps, phones, and my ipad for years. The camera screen protectors are the cheapest for the lot and worth every penny. We lost a camera in the couch for a few months and one day found it in there. It is a reclining couch so the camera got jammed in between the moving rails. If we didn't have a xo skin on it, it wound have shattered or at least gouged the screen for sure.

By sammyG — On Oct 27, 2010

I had on of the much nicer glass screen protectors on my digital camera and had been very pleased with the performance until I realized of it can go very long. After working for several house in a long and hot photo shoot, I managed to crack the glass of the screen protector. While I was elated that there didn't seem to be any damage to the camera, I was not in a situation where I could actually take care of the splintered glass and pull off the excess shards and adhesive. Because of this I ended up having to continue shooting the models while pressing my cheek and nose up against the broken glass.

At one point a model asked if I was OK and motioned that I wipe my nose. Sure enough, blood wiped off and I had cut myself pretty badly. I cleaned up and continued the shoot with a piece of tape over my screen. Thank goodness I had learned to shoot film and didn't need to rely on the preview image on the camera's screen.

By Burlap — On Oct 27, 2010

The problem with most of these universal digital camera screen protectors is that they fail miserably in the aesthetics department. In every sense, they simply do not look attractive on a camera.

The plastic type of these protectors often leave a dull and contrast killing effect on the image when viewed from the back of the camera and they are more prone to scratching then the harder glass types. Plastic digital camera screen covers often protrude from the back of the camera as well adding to the overall bulk and outer dimension of the device that some people abhor.

When it comes to glass screen protectors the quality is often a bit greater then that of the plastic ones. They are not without disadvantage however. Oven they require the use of an adhesive seal around the outside edge of the digital camera screen and one must be very dexterous to apply the screen properly. If these glass screen protectors do shatter one much be very careful about the broken glass pieces that can cut skin very easily.

By NightChef — On Oct 27, 2010

My experience with my Canon Powershot digital camera has been great as far as screen protection. I think that the manufacturers of these very expensive devices have learned that consumers will not tolerate easily breakable screens. I have owned several previous models of various brands but it seems that none have been as strong as my current camera. When I think about the scratches and even cracks that I have experienced there have been some major camera failures that I've dealt with.

While I have never purchased a digital camera screen protector I think I will only when I actually feel like I am taking my camera somewhere potentially hazardous. Otherwise I appreciate the fresh from factory look that my very nice camera still has. No cheesy add ons for me please.

By spreadsheet — On Oct 27, 2010

The only camera I have ever owned that actually had a screen protector was one that I purchased with it already attached. I had never found the need to purchase such an extra accessory as I never felt like I was clumsy enough with my camera to warrant the extra protection. Well, ironic as it might be, I did in fact end up needing that protector as it prevented my screen on my very expensive camera from breaking.

While photographing a wedding I will typically have two cameras with me and while I am shooting with one, the other is hanging from my shoulder. Well, when I went to switch cameras, the flash of one smacked the screen of the other and I gasped at the cracked glass. For an instant a fear of failed equipment came over me and a flush feeling of the consequences was horrible. Then just as fast as it came, the fear left when I realized that it was just the screen protector that had cracked and not the actual camera screen. I can tell you, those $10 to $20 screen protectors are well worth the money they cost as a repair bill from the manufacturer can run hundreds of dollars.

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