Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dust removal on cameras

Before going to Australia I bought a Fujifilm S9500 camera. It is not an SLR but it was perfect for what I wanted. One of the really good features of this camera when travelling around dusty Australia was the fact that the lens did not come off the camera. While this was less flexible than a sack full of lenses it meant that I would not have to worry about sand and dust getting into the camera and onto the sensor, at least not as much I'm still working Whitehaven sand out of the zoom ring. Also the odds were the lens attached already, 28-300, would cover the ranges I wanted in 99% of cases, which it did.

Despite the Fuji being a great little day to day camera I still have the idea of buying a proper D-SLR (what can I say, I'm a gadget freak) but dust on the CCD was still a concern so I was considering some of the newer models with built in sensor cleaning, mainly the Canon 400D and the Sony Alpha, while discounting the new Nikon D40 and D80 since they didnt have similar mechanical cleaning mechanisms and use a software system instead. Turns out I was completely wrong.

Pixinfo has done a review of the anti-dust systems on 4 cameras and returned a surprising verdict. The review has photographs taken with the cameras before dust was applied, after dusting, and then after cleaning up to 25 times. Then they simply used a blower to clean the cameras. The results are clean from the photographs.

  1. Olympus: good
  2. Canon: poor (we are disappointed)
  3. Pentax and Sony: useless (we are very disappointed)

If you, like me, are considering buying a new D-SLR just as a hobby then this is required reading. For me it means I will be looking again at the Nikons and in fact I may even look at one of the old Canon 350Ds which were top notch cameras 6 months ago and are now on special offer. Though the chances are I'm going to wait longer and see if the technology improves to a point where it, you know, works.

[via Engadget]