If you have not heard of the LCDVF product please read about it on their website here – www.lcdvf.com/
The LCDVF is a viewfinder optic and hood that attaches to your LCD screen, turning it into a giant EVF. A metal frame is stuck to the LCD and the LCDVF has very strong magnets that hold it perfectly in place against the LCD screen. This method would work great with any model that has live view, particularly those with main sensor live view. At first I was really put off by the idea since the LCDVF adds quite a bit of size to the NEX, but for my shooting style it doesn’t matter much.
Before looking toward the LCDVF, I tried the Hoodman Hoodloupe, and I cannot recommend that product to anyone. The attachment straps are a terrible idea and only the center of the image stays in focus, the edges are out of focus just like a cheap camera lens. You also have to adjust focus on the hoodloupe, unlike the LCDVF which is perfectly focused and does not have (or need) an adjustment. It costs almost the same as the LCDVF by the time you buy any of the required attachment options and it is of much lower quality. That being said I really liked the idea of the Hoodloupe so after a lot of research and review reading I went for the LCDVF.
Yesterday I finally received mine, I purchased the 16:9 model which is specifically designed for NEX and certain M4/3 cameras with 16:9 screens. It fits over the NEX screen almost perfectly, just being slightly too narrow but its not cutting off anything I need to see at all.
Today I took the LCDVF attached my NEX-5 and my a55 out so I could do a comparison between the a55 EVF and the NEX with LCDVF…and lets just say there is no comparison. I actually do like the a55 EVF despite its limitations, but once you get used to using the wonderful NEX LCD with a magnifier as an EVF, there is just no comparison. It has excellent eye relief and its very easy to manually focus.
It also gives you the ability to shoot larger lenses with the NEX without a tripod, since you get the extra stability of having the camera propped against your face. It helps in so many ways I can say the LCDVF will always be in my bag when I am doing any significant amount of shooting with the NEX.
I am also planning to order an extra 16:9 frame for the a55 since I used both frames for my pair of NEX-5’s. Once I get one on the a55 I am not sure I’ll ever use it’s EVF again…. Again let me emphasize that I actually like the a55 EVF, but by comparison the LCDVF is so much better to me.
The LCDVF includes a padded carrying case, a strap, a padded eye cushion and 2 metal frames for attaching to your camera. The strap is useful so you can switch back and forth between using the LCD normally and using it with the LCDVF without having to pocket the LCDVF each time.
That being said, it really wasn’t designed with photography in mind. The big eyepiece is perfectly suited to wrap around your eye when shooting in landscape orientation. But it does not have a way to rotate the eyepiece for portrait shooting. I might have to find a way to trim the eyepiece or make it rotate. Shooting in portrait is still great even with this limitation.
There is a small amount of light that leaks around the joint between the frame and the LCDVF when shooting in bright sun, but its not bothersome to me.
Overall, I love the LCDVF and highly recommend it to anyone looking to have EVF-like capability on their NEX, or even for a5xx and SLT users with who want to use it as an EVF replacement / substitute.