The Vello Screen Protector for the Nikon D800, at $24.95, is an attractive alternative to the Nikon BM-12 protector, which sells for $16.95. At first glance, I wondered why a third party was offering a product that was priced higher than the Nikon equivalent. I soon realized why.
1) Initial Impressions
I have used a number of Vello products over the years and found them to offer solid value for the money. The Vello Screen Protector package actually contained two screen protectors – one for the main LCD, and the other for the top Control Panel. Both are manufactured with multiple layered optical-quality glass – a noticeable difference from other options, including those from the OEMs, that provide plastic LCD protectors and nothing to guard the Control Panel display.
2) What’s In The Box?
2 black-rimmed LCD glass protectors and installation instructions.
3) Installation And Quality
Installation was very simple. I snapped off my existing Nikon BM-12 protector, dusted off the main LCD, removed the plastic protective coating from the Vello LCD protector, and snapped the unit into place. 10 seconds max. The Vello unit has a ring of felt around the edge which is designed to help keep dust from getting underneath the LCD protector. The main LCD screen protector definitely improved the view of the LCD. The Vello glass protector seemed to cut down the “haziness” that can often be seen via plastic screen protectors, particularly those with some wear. Photos viewed with through the Vello glass had better color, contrast, and sharpness than those viewed with through my plastic Nikon BM-12 unit.
The top Control Panel protector attached to the D800 using a thin adhesive layer that outlined the glass and perfectly matched the area around the control panel. I pealed the protective film from the glass, and, having cleaned my D800′s Control Panel, pressed the Vello unit into place. Another 10 seconds and the installation was complete. Once in place, the Vello Control Panel protector was nearly invisible. You would have to be looking at the Control Panel protector in bright light and look diligently to even notice it.
The Vello unit also sports a black trim which makes it blend in with the camera’s body – a classy touch. I also appreciated the ring of black felt around the edge of the Vello LCD protector, since I have often found myself taking my Nikon BM-12 unit off to remove dust that managed to sneak into the slight gap between the protector and the LCD.
I often wondered why Nikon and other camera manufacturers go to the trouble of creating high end LCDs, tout their optical abilities, and then put cheap plastic over them, that with time, significantly obscure your ability to clearly see your photos. Similarly, I thought it odd that there was no protection for the top Control Panel. Vello seems to have pondered these same questions and decided it was worth creating a solution for both.
What I don’t know yet is how well the Vello unit will stand up to scratches, bumps, and bruises. Every 12-18 months, I have typically replaced my DSLR’s plastic screen protector, since it often accumulates quite a few scratches quickly from bumping into my belt buckle, zippers, shirt buttons, etc. It will be interesting to see how the Vello LCD protector holds up compared to the Nikon BM-12.
Considering that the Vello unit is priced higher than the Nikon BM-12, but offers a better viewing experience, has a felt rim to keep dust off the LCD, features a classy black trim that blends in with the D800 body, and includes a Control Panel protector, I believe this package represents a solid value and worth a few bucks more than the standard Nikon BM-12. I will report back regarding the Vello units’ durability once I have used them in the field for some time.
5) Where To Buy
You can find the Vello Screen Protector package at B&H for $24.95.