GGS camera LCD screen protector review
Unlike most of the manufacturer supplied screen protectors that are made of plastic, GGS LCD screen protectors are made of a very thin 0.5mm optical glass material. This glass laminate sheet is coated to offer UV protection and reduce glare, and is also strengthened during production to resist abrasion and scratching.
I bought my first unit for a Panasonic LX3 compact camera, which comes with no screen protector on its rear LCD panel. My biggest testament for this product is how it looks after 18 months of abuse: like new, as you can see in picture below. This is after much use and lots of time with the camera lying around in my wife’s purse or the car glove compartment.
After this good experience, I've decided to ditch the Nikon BM-8 screen protector that came with my Nikon D300 and use a glass GGS model instead.
Glass vs. plastic LCD screen protectors
- The glass protector offers better image quality and is brighter under the sun. The LCD looks sharper and is easier to view, even with the glossy finish. All GGS screen protectors offer over 90% of light transmittance and other brands, like Giotto, claim up to 97% transmittance.
- Plastic scratches easily. All my previous Nikon protectors looked horrible after a year of use, even though I take good care of my equipment.
- Clip-on plastic protectors are fitted by pressure and leave small spaces where dirt can penetrate and be trapped behind it, possibly scratching the screen. Glass protectors, on the other hand, are glued all around the screen by an adhesive strip and leave no entry points for dirt.
- Sometimes plastic LCD covers come off on impact. I've managed to drop one on a waterfall, when I went to Presidente Figueiredo, Amazon, in 2008. Better think of this accident as an offer to Yemanjá, the water goddess in Brazillian Candomblé and Umbanda religions.
Drawbacks of glass LCD screen protectors
Even though I much prefer them to the plastic ones or an exposed unprotected screen, there are some drawbacks you should be aware of.
- It’s hard to remove and you have only one shot to install it, so double check alignment and whether the LCD is clean before applying it.
- Glass is more reflective than plastic screen covers, so it shows more glare under bright illumination. The better transparency of glass more than makes up for it, in my opinion.
- Glass is more fragile than acrylic in case of blunt impact.
- If you camera has a swivel LCD screen, the added thickness of the protector may prevent it from closing. Check before buying.
GGS vs. Giotto Aegis
The more upscale brand of glass LCD covers is Giotto. They offer two lines of covers made of tempered German Schott glass—SP 70 and SP 80 series—varying in price, and with models for most cameras. The higher end SP 80 series has 12 layers of coating and claims more than 98% of light transmittance, while the SP 70 has similar specs as the GGS units: 6-layer coating and over 96% light transmittance. They also have better packaging and come with a microfiber cloth for cleaning.
As to whether those differences can be felt on real use, I don’t know. Giotto’s protectors cost around US$ 30, while most GGS covers are around US$ 10. I've opted for the cheaper GGS protectors for both of my cameras, so I cannot personally compare the two. Most user reviews state that both brands are comparable, but Giotto’s have slightly less glare.
Both GGS and Giotto offer model-specific fitted protectors for most cameras. Amazon carries a good selection; another option is to buy them on eBay, with vendors usually offering free shipping.