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Smoke and Mirrors, Minus the Smoke

Flipbac Angle Viewfinder and LCD Screen ProtectorFlipbac Angle Viewfinder

(Note the spelling of the product–no letter K)Viewfinder Substitute
The Flipbac Angle Viewfinder and LCD screen protector is designed for point-and-shoot digital cameras and DSLRs with 3" LCD screens.

$14.95 to $24.95 the day I went e-Shopping

Flipbac Innovations

Vancouver, BC, Canada

www.flipbac.com

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What’s in the package: The Flipbac mirror/screen protector/viewfinder with mounting tape attached. Peel the protective film off the mounting arms and attach to a camera’s LCD screen. The Flipbac rests in easy-open clamshell packaging (yay!!) held lightly by a display card with basic mounting instructions, a suggestion to let the adhesive harden for 24 hours, and illustrations of ways in which the Flipbacwill broaden your photographic range.

Horizontal mirrorThe Flipbac addresses a major flaw in almost every basic digital camera on the market today–the missing viewfinder. Those of us who prefer to point and shoot with something more sophisticated than our smartphones sometimes prefer to know what we’re pointing at, even in bright light and–oh, my goodness, bright sunlight. Impossible on an LCD screen.

Using a mirror, the Flipbac allows the photographer to see the reflection of the image on the LCD screen. By some judicious adjusting of the mirror angle, one can get a fairly good and complete reflection of the image in the screen. The image isn’t perfect but it’s a whole lot better than the burnt-out blur of the original.

There’s a bit of a learning curve as one gets used to positioning the viewfinder/mirror to Casio with Flipbac installedbest reflect the screen before the camera shuts itself down. While not quite seamless, I found the translation to “normal” view (the one we’re used to) from the mirrored reflection to take just a bit of focus of my mental apparatus. Some people are naturally better at this kind of visual-motor reversal task than others, and many of the others can learn to do it well enough to make use of a car’s rear-view mirrors.

One looks at the mirrored reflection of the LCD screen from above. This makes it possible to hold your camera below eye level–say at your waist– and still look straight at your subject, rather than down on the top of the tot’s head. While you’d still need to squat a bit, you’ll be able to snap a face-on portrait of Fido and Fluffy on the floor without flattening yourself on the rug.

When not in use, the Flipbac folds up, covering the LCD screen. The fold joint is smoothlyFlipbac closed flexible and seems quite sturdy. The Flipbac adds about 1/8" to the dept of the camera, not enough to change the configuration of the pockets or purses it will fit into. Wish I’d had such a screen cover for the camera whose screen I scratched and crosshatched dropping it into my bag. Oh, well. my cameras from now on will be better protected.

The attachment to the camera is semi-permanent. With careful peeling away from the adhesive, the Flipbac can be removed from the LCD screen. But one would need to come up with an equally permanent and noninvasive way of re-attaching it in order to attach the viewfinder to a different camera.

The attachment arms of the Flipbac cover about a millimeter on both the right and left sides of my screen, clipping some informational displays a bit. So far I haven’t come across anything that was annoyingly obscured. As a matter of fact, seeing just half of the rather obtrusive Flash Indicator has a calming effect on me.

I’m not willing to declare that having applied the Flipbac to my camera makes me suspect that I’ve died and gone to heaven, or even that it has turned me into a digital artist. But it has improved the quality of shots taken in sunlight and reduced the contortions for capturing children and animals at their own level. Some might argue that encouraging me to increase the number of cute pet pix I have to share is not a benefit. That’s a different review.

For the price, the Flipbac easily and economically solves a problem suffered by basic digital cameras and is worth your consideration.

by Bayle Emlein

Photos from http://www.bhphotovideo.com

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