Hood Loupe versus Clearviewer

Started Mar 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Hood Loupe versus Clearviewer
Mar 27, 2012

In a previous thread I extolled the virtues of the Hoodman HoodLoupe 3.0" model when used with a Panasonic ZS7 (or other ZS camera of same body size). The HoodLoupe is roughly the volume of a 3" cube (though not cube shaped) and so,although it weighs almost nothing, it doubles the size of the kit if you want to call a pocket camera and a loupe a kit. Helpful responses to my thread suggested I try a Clearviewer instead, which folds up against the back of the camera when not in use. I have, and so that others may benefit, here is my comparison.

While shooting, there is no contest. The HoodLoupe completely covers the screen an entirely eliminates all light and glare. The magnification is perfect, giving the appearance of a large bright viewfinder, all of which can be viewed at once, and there is an adjustment for eyesight correction. It is also perfectly comfortable, and as stable as this camera gets, to hold the camera and Loupe together with the left holding the shutter with the right.

By comparison, the Clearviewer, which attaches to the tripod mount and folds up when not in use, allows light to hit the screen, which requires the left hand to shield. The shield is never complete and so there is always some glare on the screen. Also, at least with Clearviewer's premium lens, the magnification is too high, and it is difficult or impossible to view the center and frame of the image simultaneously. There is no correction for eyesight.

Don't get me wrong, the Clearviewer works well and as advertised, just not as well, in operation as the HoodLoupe. And for convenience, there is again no contest, but this time it is the Clearviewer that comes out on top. If folds small and while folded hardly increases the size of the camera.

So which one wins? Depends entirely on your goal. If I'm out just to shoot pictures, but for some reason don't want to bring a larger camera, I'll take the HoodlLoupe every time. The camera around my neck with Snapr attachment and the HoodLoupe also around my neck weigh very little and would make carrying the kit almost no burden even on, say, a strenuous hike. When I'm just and want a camera with me and don't want anything (or more than one thing) dangling from my neck, say to avoid looking like what my daughter calls my dork look, then I'll put the Clearviewer on the camera and leave it at that. It really is a very good product.

You can't expect one device to do everything. The HoodLoupe can't be smaller and the Clearviewer can't shield all light from the screen; neither would be what it is if it did. My one complaint then is with the Clearviewer: the lens should have a lower magnification.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 (Lumix DMC-TZ10)
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