Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"My God, it's full of dust!"

Since dealing with a DSLR is something new for me, and I'm sure new for a lot of other film makers coming from a camcorder background, the idea of dust on the sensor is new too.
I got hit between the eyes with some dust motes when I was out shooting airplanes against the sky recently, and couldn't believe how awful the shots turned out.

That got me to looking for a solution, and to the discovery of just how fragile the sensor really is.
It's definitely a "no-touch" little gizmo and the best way to clean it is with a simple puff of air.
No, that doesn't mean blow on it, that can be worse. And it doesn't mean to crank up the 5hp compressor out in the shop and give the sensor a blast.
Instead you get a little rubber bulb that is made for the job and give the sensor a puff until the offending dust goes away.

I've had it suggested to me that one of those little squeeze bulbs you'd use on an infant could work and it just might.
The main difference between those and the ones made specifically for cameras is the way they get their air in the first place.
The grocery store bulbs draw air through the same opening that they expel it and the camera ones draw air from the bottom. The theory apparently being that the air drawn in isn't contaminated with the same dust that was just blown off the sensor.

And there's about an $8 difference in price, so the choice is yours.

I ordered a bulb from an Ebay seller that is designed for camera use and when it comes in I'll post the second part of the video below showing how to use it.

And now the blower has arrived and it works like a charm! See the following for details: