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Help Me, I Can't See Anything Using My SLR!

Aug 17, 2007
The inner workings of the digital SLR rely on image sensors. These sensors capture the image by carrying electrostatic charges, which attract the dust, along with many airborne particles to these same sensors. Particular areas, such as dirt fields, beaches, or parks, have more dust than others.

We need to save our SLR from dust if we want to obtain consistent results, this is not an easy battle to win, because dust finds different ways to get inside our camera body and stick to the sensor. This happens especially when the lens is being replaced or it happens when the sensors get charged - drawing in the dust. Probably the easiest way to avoid dust is by changing the lens in a clean place with no dust - but it makes sense to not change the camera lens in a windy, dusty or sandy location.

It is much better to change them inside a closed room before leaving for a shoot. It can be determined if the camera is affected by dust in a simple manner. Shoot a picture of a clear blue sky or a smooth white surface, well lit. Shoot without a flash, such as f/16 or f/22; if the camera has a zoom lens, shoot the test shots at a wide angle. If the camera zooms in, the dust splotch will appear like a soft blob instead of a spot.

When taking pictures, try to hold the camera in a downward angle, while changing the lens to avoid dust from entering from above. Basically, the mirror fixed inside the SLR offers protection to the sensor from dust. The mirror/sensor chamber, which can accumulate dust, should therefore be kept clean to avoid dust from finding its way to the sensor. In case it is decided to change the lens in the field, try to find a sheltered location. Try to reduce the time the camera is kept open, by keeping the replacement lens ready for a swap.

Giotto's Rocket Air Blower is a good product to keep for removing dust from the camera. Reviews have said it is light to carry, yet bulky. Other than that, it is a good product. It effectively cleans with just a puff or two, and is better to clean at home or the studio. Never clean the insides of your camera with compressed air stored inside an Aerosol can.

The propellant in the Aerosol can sometimes sprays a liquid that quickly evaporates leaving a residue behind on the surface of the sensor resulting in malfunctioning of the sensor. The air blowers work a lot better. The air blower is helpful when available within arm's reach. It helps to eliminate massive dust in an easy manner, helping a few photographers, who use editing software to remove the particle from the pictures, keep their cameras clean.

Another way to avoid dust accumulation, in emergencies you can shoot with wide aperture openings. This reduces the camera's depth of field and negatives the impact that dust may have on an image. However, this should not be made a practice as he dust, if it is allowed to accumulate on the sensor surface, will lower its sensitivity.
About the Author
Check out http://www.digicamland.org/ for more articles on camera digital and memory card for digital camera.
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