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  1. #1
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Paris, France

    Does dust removal actually work?

    Chasseurs d'Images magazine has an interesting article this month. As most people can't read French I thought I might share it with you.

    CdI tested dust-removal mechanisms available in different DSLR's. They deliberately exposed the camera to a dusty atmosphere and and checked to see how well they did:

    - Olympus E series did very well with it's special high-frequency shaker
    - Canon 400D/XTi was fairly effective at avoiding dust sticking on the sensor, but once it was there, the shaker was only moderately effective at getting it off
    - Sony and Pentax systems with a low-frequency shaker were not very effective at all
    - Nikon and Canon software solutions (Capture NX and Digital Photo Pro) were very effective

    Bottom line = in most cases a physical clean is still necessary from time to time.

    Anybody got any thoughts on this?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Reston, VA

    Re: Does dust removal actually work?

    I did get a dot on my Sony A-100, after trying different lenses I realized it was the camera. I did the vibration thing, and used a cheap blower and the dot was gone... I'm glad that the camera had this system.

  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

    Re: Does dust removal actually work?

    Shooting mountain biking in dusty conditions with a whole bunch of digital SLRs, I've cleaned a lot of dirty sensors. It's a serious problem if you shoot an outdoor event all day and then find there's a piece of dust in the sky of almost every photo. So I think any bit of help makes a difference.

    I have the Canon XTi/400D now and haven't had to remove any dust. I expect that at some point I will have something that needs to be removed. But with my 1D and my 10D I needed to clean the sensors at least once a month, and every day when I was shooting an event.

    I've also used the Sony A100 and never had any dust problems with that camera, either. Again, I'm sure that there's dust that will make it past the system and have to be dealt with. But if a system can cut it down even a fraction, I say that's a huge win for the photographer.

    Incidentally, Adobe Lightroom 1.0 has a cloning tool for dust removal!

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  4. #4
    Porter's Camera Store Employee
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Cedar Falls, IA, USA

    Re: Does dust removal actually work?

    A physical clean is neccessary in certain extreme conditions... but if the in camera system doesn't work, in my experience anyways, quick fixes usually aren't incredibly effective either. Using a rocket duster (something that i would call a quick fix) might be used to move dust spots around on the censor, but it is very difficult to actually remove spots with that technique. If the camera has a system that helps prevent dust spots all together, its obviously going to be a lot better than a camera that has no protection whatsoever. So spending the extra money for dust protection is going to happen eventually, either when you buy a cleaning system after the camera or spending the money on the camera itself.

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