Anyone that has ever used a DSLR outside in bright sunshine knows that it can sometimes be tough to see the LCD on the back of the camera. Yes you can get a rough idea whats going on but when you are trying to check critical focusing or exposure with the histogram it can be tricky and I normally resort to unzipping my jacket and trying to view it inside, or removing my jacket and throwing it over my head if its a bright day. When you have miles of snow surrounding you on all sides, each flake seemingly reflecting the sunshine directly at your LCD it can prove very annoying! But not any more……

I recently picked up a newly updated version of the Hoodloupe Professional from the US company Hoodman who specialise in screen shades for a variety of photographic and video applications. The new version fits up to a 3″ screen and provides the perfect solution to my problem.The Hoodloupe can be worn around the neck, and when it is time to review your shot simply place it over the screen and look through the adjustable eyepiece. The optics are crystal clear and really allows you to check your framing and exposure as if you were in a darkened room. Its is coated in a layer of grippy rubber and feels solidly made but also very lightweight. When its not in use it also comes with a very nice, thickly padded case so you can stuff it in your pack and not worry at all about damaging it. The eyepiece has a smooth motion and works just like that of a pair of binoculars with a +-3 diopter to accomodate people with glasses.

Another useful application is to allow clients and art directors to view the shots you are getting. Sometimes it is just not possible to set up a laptop for them to view the shots as you shoot them but offering them a look using the Hoodloupe instantly gives them an acurate idea of what you are capturing. I always get comments on the usefulness of the Hoodloupe from my clients if they are on the shoot.

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