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Camera Labs Digital SLR dust workshop

The major selling point for digital SLRs is of course their ability to change lenses, but ironically this is equally their Achilles heel, as once the lens is removed, dust and other foreign particles can enter the body and settle on a filter in front of the sensor. The result are faint, out-of-focus patches on your images which are particularly noticeable in areas of flat colour, such as skin or blue sky.


In the photos left you can see the effects of foreign particles on an image. When viewed at a shrunken size (far left), particles are rarely visible, but by zooming-in on a portion at 100% (left), a small hair has become obvious.

Over the years much has been written on the subject of dust entering digital SLRs, from owners arguing over the cause to manufacturers turning a blind eye to its very existence. Today the problem is at least recognised by the industry, although some manufacturers are doing more about it than others.

Olympus, for example, is the only company so far to aggressively tackle the problem of dust with its Supersonic Wave Filter. Featured in the E-System digital SLRs (including the E-1, E-300 and E-500 models), this filter literally shakes any dust from the sensor or any filters in front of it. Interestingly other manufacturers including Fujifilm are now using the problem of digital SLR dust as a selling point for sealed all-in-one cameras like the S9500.

Either way, at Camera Labs, we've regularly suffered from dust entering our digital SLRs while changing lenses and feel the important issue is what you can do to minimise or eliminate it. In this workshop we'll describe a simple technique which has successfully worked for us, but before sharing it we thought we'd approach the manufacturers and ask what they had to say on the subject of digital SLR dust and how to avoid it.

To read what Canon, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta and Nikon had to say, please go to manufacturers' comments.

To see how we combat dust at Camera Labs, please go to our digital SLR dust workshop.

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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