Steve's Digicams
Hardware Reviews

Williams & Associates
Xtend-a-ViewTM LCD Shade

Xtend-a-View LCD Shade

Anyone who has ever tried using the LCD screen on their digicam out in the bright sunlight knows what they need - they need a shade!

Williams & Associates has come up with the Xtend-a-ViewTM which is a combination LCD shade and a 2x power magnifying loupe eyepiece.

Xtend-a-View LCD Shade

The Xtend-a-View sells for $16.95 and attaches with self-adhesive velcro strips so it can be easily removed when not needed.

Xtend-a-View LCD Shade

I'm happy to report that my earlier review had pointed out that the Xtend-a-View did not sit flat on the Nikon 950. They have since made a modification in the unit and it now seats firmly and flatly on the back of the Nikon as illustrated above.

Xtend-a-View LCD Shade

Once you get it mounted properly it does leave the control buttons accessible but not "easily" accessible. You can see in this photo and the very first one at the beginning of this review, the top and bottom buttons around the Nikon 950's rear LCD screen.

Xtend-a-View LCD Shade

The "dangling" strap lug on the bottom makes it a bit of a challenge to get to some of the lower buttons. But it can be easily snapped off as is illustrated in the photo above this one.

The Xtend-a-View is an inexpensive solution for those of us that want to use auxilliary lenses on the Nikon 950 or most any digicam with a LCD screen.

Xtend-a-View LCD Shade

Here's the Xtend-a-View mounted on an Olympus C-2000Z camera. Due to the flat surface around the LCD it is a very "clean' fit on the Olympus.

They also have the Extend-a-Lens attachment for Kodak DC260 and DC265 cameras that allows you to add 49mm filters and lenses. And the sturdy Extend-a-Bracket that lets you add a regular camera strap to any digital camera with a tripod socket. Plus an optional flash bracket with a shoe mount that can be used with the Extend-a-Bracket. Check out all their fine products at their website.

Extend-a-View II Review for Mavica cameras

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."

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Steve's Conclusion

It's inexpensive, small and lightweight and works well to shield the bright light off of your LCD. The 2x magnifying eyepiece allows you to put your eye right up to it like a conventional viewfinder. It works well with other cameras that have a nice, flat surface all the way around the 1.8" or 2" LCD screen.

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Content copyright © 1999 Steve's Digicam Online, Inc.
Thanks to John Cowley for loaning me the left side digicam graphic!