Monday, May 11, 2020

This is why you ALWAYS put a screen protector on your camera screen

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The gods have been good to me over the years when it comes to near disasters and near misses with dropped cameras and potentially broken LCD screens. For example: I have dropped my Sony G 70-200mm f/4 zoom lens twice with the only damage being a broken UV filter on the first occasion and a broken lens hood on the second. The lens itself went unscathed both times, as if protected by a guardian angel.

The same can be said of my Leica D-Lux Typ 109. On the flight home after completing my 3 year tour of South Korea, the read LCD screen was broken, although there was no visible physical damage to the screen or the camera body. My theory is that the damage must have been caused by some source of heavy weight putting pressure on the screen over the entirety of the 15 hour around the world flight. When I powered it on, the screen looked much like a cracked TV screen. Fortunately, the repair was covered by the 3 year warranty provided by Leica.

Fast forward to today... my good friend Keith @coffee_2_cocktails had the day off and called to inform me that he was considering the purchase of a drone, his first ever. He has been trying to decide between the DJI Mavic Mini and the new Mavic Air 2 so I invited him over to my side of town to have a go at flying my Mavic Mini.

We hopped in his Jeep and made our way via a series of desert Jeep trails to an abandoned water tower from which, looking East, provides a panoramic view of the Franklin Mountains near El Paso, Texas. The ride was quite bumpy, as Jeep trails tend to be. I had my Lieca D-Lux Typ 109 strapped and slung with a should strap. But the bumpy ride cause it to slide, unnoticed to me, to the right side of my body, where it was then caught, again unnoticed to me, between the car door and the Sig Sauer P229 pistol tucked in my holster.

As we continued on our off road journey, the jerking and swaying motion of the Jeep caused the weight of my body to press the camera, more specifically, the rear LCD screen, where it was crushed and broken. As you can see in the above photo, the damage looked pretty bad. The initial fear I felt was because I could not recall if I had installed a screen protector on it. Although this is a standard practice for all my cameras, I have too many that I could not specifically remember if I had applied one to this camera. I gave it a good inspection and my initial assessment was that I had not, this Leica model comes with Gorilla glass as it's standard and therefore, would not normally require a screen protector. As it turns out, I had indeed put on a screen protector. It took me a while to notice because I had done such a good job installing it that I could not even tell it had a screen protector. Much to my relief, I finally got a finger nail underneath the screen protector and pulled it off, revealing the undamaged built-in, factory screen below.

Well, undamaged except for a small scratch which does not affect the function nor viewing of the LCD screen. Compared to the damage that could have occurred had I not had the screen protector, I was relieved, to say the least and I'll take it any day, over a cracked screen that would have cost hundreds to repair and replace.