By Don Lindich
Week 19, 2016
Q. When taking pictures in bright sunshine with the sun above or behind me, I can’t see the screen on my cellphone to compose a picture. I am forced to just point in the general direction and hope for the best. Is there an adapter that will let you see the screen to compose a picture? In this case I am using a Samsung S5. It takes good pictures, but the screen in sunlight is a real problem.
-Bill D., Minneapolis, MN
A. I did some research on your behalf and did not find any custom-designed solutions to solve the problem. Such products may exist, and if any readers know of any please contact me so I can tell everyone about it.
As a start, you may want to try angling the screen very slightly towards you when you compose. Remember that angle of incidence=angle of reflection, so you may be able to reflect some of the sunlight away and change your viewing angle so the screen does not completely get washed out. You can tilt it back to the taking position before you press the button. This may help somewhat.
Using a folding wallet case for your phone may help. I myself use a SwitchEasy WRAP cell phone case with my iPhone 6 Plus. It has a leather sleeve that hold the phone with a folding cover that protects the screen, opening almost like a fliphone but hinged at the long end. When taking pictures outside in the sun I hold the phone so the cover part of the case opens upwards, using my palms to support the cover and position it above the screen,. This shades it from the sun like an awning and my index finger is free to activate the shutter. I find this grip keeps the phone very stable as well.
The SwitchEasy WRAP is only available for the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. The only thing I do not like about the case is that after a few months of use the sleeve does not hold the phone as securely as it did when it was new. The phone may then slide out if you are not careful as it is not secured at the open end. When it starts moving around I suggest placing a small piece of cloth behind the phone so it stays nice and snug. There are many wallet cases available for your Samsung S5. Find one that appeals to you and give it a try.
Consumer Electronics Show product report: Regular readers are familiar with the Dayton Audio B652 bookshelf speakers. At only $35/pair they have made a lot of fans with their decent sound and incredibly low price. Dayton has taken the concept to the next level with the T652 tower speakers, which use the drivers from the B652 in a tower configuration. The tweeter is identical but using two of the woofers in a much larger cabinet produces dramatically better bass and a fuller midrange. I’ve heard the T652 and though it may share the drivers and the sonic character with the B652, it is definitely a big jump up in sonic impact and overall sound quality. They are not high end but for $118 per pair it is hard to go wrong, and combined with a pair of B652s gets you 4-channel surround for about $150. See them at parts-express.com.