Xtend-a-View Pro [Review]

by Mike
Posted December 12th, 2009 at 12:46 pm


Any photographer new or old will experience at some point if they haven’t already the difficulty in viewing pictures on your camera’s LCD while in harsh direct light. Shooting pictures outside on a nice, clear, sunny day is the wish of many photographers as it provides plenty of natural lighting and offers them the greatest ability to tweak their shots. What is good for actually taking the pictures doesn’t however translate to optimum circumstances for viewing your freshly taken pictures on the LCD. Even some of the best, top of the line cameras with specially designed displays to resist direct sunlight still fall victim to the sun’s ever powerful rays.

Instead of doing a hand dance, constantly juggling your camera back and forth while trying to cup your hands for a suitable glance at your pictures can be a thing of the past thanks to Photosolve’s Xtend-a-View digital camera accessory. As the name implies, the Xtend-a-View will allow you to quickly and easily view any images on your screen. Available in two models, the Xtend-a-View Standard and the Xtend-a-View Wide ensure that most LCD screens from virtually any camera manufacturer will fit. The Xtend-a-View Standard will fit LCD’s from 1.8″ to 2.0″ while the Xtend-a-View Pro raises the limits and accommodates 2.25″ to 2.50″ LCD’s.

Typically, camera accessories such as the Xtend-a-View are rather fragile as they’re often small, thin, and made of plastic. Not so with the Xtend-a-View. When I first opening the box I was actually surprised to how weight it was. For good reason though — it’s made out of aluminum. Durable and functional mean you should be able to get at least a few good years out of this, more if you don’t abuse your equipment.

**Also available separately are Xtend-a-Mount brackets for both specific and non-specific cameras giving users a more permanent viewing solution.

Included in the package:

  • User Guide
  • One Xtend-a-View Pro Variable
  • Eyecup and Eyecup cover
  • A small plastic envelope containing a strip of non-skid rubber, a strip of Velcro, an adhesive backed mounting block, and a small hex wrench for adjusting the tension of the focusing.
  • A separater package with a neck lanyard.

Attachment Methods

One of the cool parts of the Xtend-a-View is that there are a few ways you can mount the unit to your camera.

  • Method 1 — Quick View: Place the small strips of gray ru ber on the three wings of the viewer (to prevent scratching) as to easily and quickly place the Viewer over your LCD at will without actually attaching anything to your camera.
  • Method 2 — Velcro: The Velcro method is a tad more permanent and involves attaching Velcro strips to both the camera and viewer.
  • Method 3 — Xtend-a-Mount or Wing Brackets: The third option is more permanent still and comes in several options depending on the camera being used. The Xtend-a-View Pro Standard model can be mounted to the Kodak 4800 and certain Olympus Cameras with the Xtend-a-Mount 4800, 5050, Oly, or 2100 models. Similarly, Nikon 990-995 cameras can use the Wing II unit. Finally, for those users who don’t use any one of the particular cameras above can find help in the Xtend-a-Mount Omni which is designed to conform to just about any digital camera you can think of. A jack of all trades if you will.

I chose to use Method 1 on my Nikon D80 as I’m not very fond of mounting things to my camera. With that said, the adhesive strips provided do peel off rather easily with any residual residue easily removable with a damp cloth and a bit of scrubbing. Still, I like it nice and clean. I found that in my tests using the Xtend-a-View Pro Wide version, viewing my LCD outside was easier as is claimed. The 2x magnification of the device also came in handy as sometimes when looking through such viewers, images tend to go through an invisible shrink ray.

Overall it’s a simple solution to a simple problem. It works well, is constructed of solid aluminum for strength, and is easy to use. A no fuss solution for photographers amateur and professional alike. The particular model I used — the Xtend-a-View Pro Wide — is available from Photosolve.com. While you’re in town, you might want to check out Photosolve’s other camera offerings as the Xtend-a-View is but one of many great products.

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