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.
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.