Today's modern digital cameras and their color LCD screens are great when
you use them indoors but what happens when you use them outdoors? You,
guessed it -- next to worthless unless you shield the screen. As long as you're
shielding the screen why not magnify the view too. Now you can use macro mode
on those flowers or use that big telephoto lens that used to be impossible to focus.
Williams & Associates has updated their Xtend-a-View LCD sunshade
and magnifier loupe and is now offering the
Xtend-a-View Pro TM a rugged,
precision optical device. The body is machined aluminum and the eyepiece is
a 2X custom ground glass element.
Shown above is the $22.00 Xtend-a-View Pro plus the optional $5.00 Eyecup, cover
and leash. (Coolpix 990 not included, sorry).
The Xtend-a-View Pro attaches with the included self-adhesive velcro
strips and can be easily removed when not needed.
The Xtend-a-View Pro is a perfect fit on the Nikon Coolpix 990 and also works
on many other digicams, there's a complete list of compatible cameras on the
To check if Xtend-a-View Pro will fit your camera:
- Take the measurements of the LCD. It should be within the 1.56 x 1.5 inch size of
- Measure from the bottom of the LCD to the bottom of the top buttons if there are any. This must
be at least 1.75 inches.
- And finally, measure between the right side of any buttons to the left of the LCD and the left
edge of the LCD itself. This must be be greater than 1/4 inch.
If it's within these dimensions, Xtend-a-View will work for you.
Just as important as being able to see the LCD in the sunlight is the ability
to access all those buttons located around the screen. As you can see, all of
the Coolpix 990's buttons are easy to get to.
Once the Xtend-a-View Pro is on your camera it now becomes the digital
equivalent of an SLR camera. You can put your eye right up to it and use
the LCD for framing which is much more accurate than the optical viewfinder,
especially when doing macro shots or using add-on lenses.
Williams & Associates also has the Extend-a-Lens attachment for Kodak DC260 and
DC265 cameras that allows you to add 49mm filters and lenses. The Xtend-a-Bracket
that lets you add a camera strap to any digital camera with a tripod
socket. There's an optional flash bracket with a shoe mount too. And they also
have a larger version of the Xtend-a-View made for those big LCD screens on
the Sony Mavica cameras.
Check out all their fine products at the PhotoSolve website.
Use of Xtend-a-View - Cautionary Warning
One of our readers emailed me to let me know that he had destroyed (literally) the
LCD screen on his Coolpix 990 when using the Xtend-a-View magnifier. Here's what
he had to say:
"Last week I was photographing my daughter's soccer game with my 990 and
2X converter, using the loupe to view the screen. Between shots I would
drop the camera down from my eye to watch the game, leaving the loupe
looking straight into the sky. The sun was directly overhead and during
a short (a few minutes) period of no picture taking, the loupe
effectively focused the sun onto the LCD screen and basically destroyed
it. Melted plastic window, melted silicon LCD behind it. Very
traumatic!! It only took a very short time to do a lot of damage as I
enjoyed my daughter's game."
So it will definitely pay to purchase the optional eyecup cover to prevent this
from happening to you -- or make sure it never ends up pointing towards the sun !
It's inexpensive, small and durable and perfectly shields the
bright light off of your LCD. The 2x eyepiece allows you
to critically compose your shot and focus those lenses like the
EagleEye OpticZoom and the
Kenko 8x32. To be honest, I wouldn't even try
to use those lenses without it.