Choosing Digital Camera LCD Hoods and Shades
Many photographers use the LCD screens on their cameras for verifying composition, selecting focus points, and checking exposure when taking photographs and filming video. Unfortunately, bright outdoor conditions often obscure the screen, making it almost impossible to see the image. Digital camera LCD hoods and shades eliminate this problem by shading LCD screens.
How LCD Hoods and Shades Work
Shades are simple devices with flaps that shield screens from the sun. They provide reasonable protection, and their compact size doesn't interfere with your ability to use the touchscreens of your cameras. A hood offers increased shading, especially when the sun is behind and shining directly on the camera's LCD screen. Some shades and hoods clip over LCD screens, while others attach to camera hot shoes or tripod mounts. Alternative mounting solutions include adhesives and Velcro, as well as elastic straps such as Z bands, which go around camera lenses. Advanced hoods include adjustable eyepieces and diopter correction lenses, allowing you to view the screen in more detail, or to use the LCD screen as a viewfinder. This is particularly useful for mirrorless cameras that don't have viewfinders.
Images seen through camera viewfinders and on LCD screens are small, and it's sometimes difficult to focus accurately on specific features and small details. To overcome this limitation, many types of HoodLoupes or screen loupes magnify images for better viewing. For those preferring optical viewfinders, camera eyepiece accessories such as viewfinder magnifiers are equally effective.
Choosing LCD Viewfinders
There are several points to consider when selecting an LCD hood. Check that the hood is the right size for your camera's screen. If it's too large, it'll obscure camera controls, and if it's too small, you won't see the entire screen. If your camera has a touchscreen, it's a good idea to choose a hood that opens or has a removable eyepiece, allowing access to adjust the focus points on the screen. While some loupes are handheld, others attach to the camera and remain in place while you're filming. In addition, to helping you choose the right type, many suppliers such as Z-Finders from Zacuto and Letus35 specify camera compatibility, while others, such as Hoodman, provide accessory kits for different camera types.
Focusing and Composition Aids
While LCD hoods and loupes help you compose your pictures and get the correct focus using the LCD screen, there are similar optical devices for viewfinders. These include angled viewfinders and auxiliary optical and electronic viewfinders. Some are purely optical, while others interface with camera's electronics to provide focusing information. On many DSLRs, it's possible to swap SLR camera focusing screens with screens better suited to your photography, such as to help focus in poor light or for an unobstructed view.
Find digital camera LCD hoods and shades for your camera at B&H Photo and Video. Choose between full loupe hoods and collapsible shades.