December 18, 2013

Expert Shield for the Olympus OM-D E-M5


Back in May I received an email from an employee of Expert Shield in the UK asking me to review the screen protector product. I believe he found my blog and my postings about the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and that is the reason why he contacted me. You're probably asking why it took me so long to review it. To be honest I was hesitant because I don't really review products and this will be my first. My blog posts about the OM-D E-M5 were my personal experiences using the camera, I was not reviewing it. Call it a review or what not, for me this is also about my user experience with the Expert Shield screen protector for the E-M5.

If you go to the Expert Shield web site you will notice that they make screen protectors for smart phones and also cameras. I've used the product on my iPhone and also on my E-M5 and plus I've used it for a while.


Let's talk about the packaging first. It is made of hard card board and the lettering is great. Included in the package is a lint free cloth and the screen protector in a small plastic. Both sides of the screen protector is protected by an easy to peel film material. Compared to other screen protectors I've used this one doesn't come with an applicator card. You may or may not need one depending on your technique. If you need one a credit card is something you can try using. No need to worry about scratching the screen protector because like I said, there are protector films on both sides. Or if you want to be really careful then you can wrap the edges of the credit card with the lint free cloth that comes with it.


In the front of the packaging it lists the following: Ultra-high transparency, Anti-scratch coating, Easy to apply, No residue when removed and Easy Removal. Let's go over it one by one then I'll talk about one other thing that is great about Expert Shield, at least in my own experience. 

Below you'll find an example photo and I hope I was able to show transparency somehow. For me one great way to find out if a screen protector works well is if you don't see smudges or finger prints on the screen when you're using it. As long as nothing gets in the way of using your equipment that's always good. I switch between using the EVF and the LCD a lot and when using the EVF the LCD will always touch my nose so a smudge of oil gets in the LCD. The key thing though is I don't notice any smudge of oil when I'm chimping or when I switch back to using the screen to change settings or compose. Sometimes I will use the touch screen feature of the E-M5 but I don't use this a lot. However, I used the product on my iPhone and I also have no problems with finger prints or smudges and swiping with your finger is never an issue.

You'll notice there's a smudge of oil in the top right corner of the screen in the picture below. You can easily see it because that part of the tilting LCD is always black, the black border or others call it bezel. There is another smudge of oil in the center but can you see it? I don't.


Let's move on to the most important aspect of a screen protector which is to protect from scratches and that is the 2nd bullet in the packaging, anti-scratch coating. In my OM-D I never had problems with scatches but on my iPhone I did experience some light scratches. This is primarily due to me putting my iPhone in my pocket together with other items specially keys. Well, it did protect my iPhone :). To be honest, I think even the most expensive screen protector is never scratch proof. Maybe scratch resistant but scratch proof maybe not. So I told my contact at Expert Shield about the scratches and he sent me a new one, free of charge and shipping. I believe this is what they preach on their website, that they provide a life time guarantee.

Since we talked about transparency I also decided to take some photos of reflections on the screen. For me this is also a great way to test it. If you can see clear reflections then that means it's very clear or transparent. I'm not a fan of anti-glare screen protectors because they don't provide the same visual appeal. For me they get in the way of seeing what's in your screen. You can see things but not how the designers intended you to see graphics or text. When I'm viewing photos on my camera screen I like it to be as real as possible.


The product is also easy to apply, it does not leave any residue when removed and it's very easy to remove. I've misplaced the first one on my E-M5 and I had to remove and re-apply it and it never left any residue. And yes, it's easy to apply but you still need a good technique to get it aligned and without bubbles. The back of the packaging has a 3 step process on applying the product and I highly suggest you follow the instructions.

So what about that other thing I mentioned earlier about Expert Shield. It's about customer service and it's not much but one simple thing can go a long way and perhaps you can prove it yourself. After working for a while in customer service I have learned that providing excellent customer service is one great way of retaining customers and also promoting your product. My contact never hesitated in sending me a new set of screen protectors when I gave him feedback about the scratches on my iPhone. Perhaps because he was eager for me to review it or perhaps that is just their standard procedure. I never knew until last night that they provide life time guarantee (life of your equipment) and this is what's exactly written in their website "If you scratch your screen protector, send it back. If you scuff it, send it back. If it's rude to its elders, cut off its pocket money and send it back. That's no small print, no scratch, no-bubble, no-quibble guarantee. No kidding."

I guess with any other review or experience let's ask the big question, would I buy this product? The answer is yes. It's not the cheapest but it's also not the most expensive. My experience with using it is great and I think that is the most important part.

You can see dust and scratches but that is on the film protector, not on the actual screen protector itself.
All photos in this post were taken using an Olympus E-P1 and an adapted Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8. I love this lens and I might just blog about it soon. Stay tuned.


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