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Old Nov 7, 2007, 4:50 AM   #1
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I've been thinking about buying a digital SLR instead of the Nikon Coolpix 8800 i have now. The camera that i thought to buy doesn't have automatic dust removal from the lcd sensor. I began to consider buying another camera but then i got such information that these dust removal systems don't in practise work very well.

So, any experience here, is there any sense to think about the dust removal when you consider buying a digital SLR? I know that it's rather simple to use a blower to remove the dust yourself.

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Old Nov 7, 2007, 8:47 PM   #2
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I don't know if there is a consensus on this yet, but from posts I have been reading, it seems that the kind of dust which can easily be removed by a blower is pretty well taken care of by the cameras with dust removal.

If you are nervous about cleaning the sensor yourself, then it would probably make sense to opt for a model with dust removal. If, on the other hand, you aren't afraid to dig into the insides, then the cost savings makes sense. The only other consederation, would be the models with sensor based image stabilization, some of which have dust removal built in, as well as some other advanced features, such as the Pentax K100D and the Super variant. Would the additional features be worth more to you even if the dust removal wasn't included?

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Old Nov 8, 2007, 10:47 PM   #3
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I would not go out of my way to get a camera because of it having a dust removal syatem. I would put builtin dust removal quite a way down the list of must haves. I would use other criteria when deciding on a camera to buy, and once you narrow the choice down, if the camera has dust removal buitin, then that would be a plus, but not a minus if it didn't.

Manually cleaning your sensor is not rocket science.
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Old Nov 14, 2007, 6:49 PM   #4
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I've heard the Olympus dust reduction works well (and the Olympus E-510 is also in Steve's top 5 dSLRs).
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Old Nov 14, 2007, 9:03 PM   #5
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Olympus' SSWF system is the only one that works well. And yes it does work. No one seems to think dust is a problem until it is (google for words like "sensor" "dust" and "cleaning" and see how many hits you get). Ask a question about sensor cleaning on any number of manufacturer forums and you'll get lots of advice, from blower brushes to the Visible Dust "Arctic Butterfly" sensor cleaning kit--which "actually lifts the dust away from the sensor, instead of simply moving it around" , and costs only $162.37 (add that to the overall cost of the camera).

The few cases of visible "dust" I have ever heard of on Olympus forums have been cases where the E-1 was taken on a boat and got some moisture condensation on the sensor, or a rare case of sticky pollen. Virtually nil, however. Anecdotal evidence is what you make of it, but in three years with an E-300 and a year with the E-1, I have never had visible dust on my sensors and have never cleaned them or blown them off. The most embarrassing case of dust I've seen was that of an acquaintence--professional photographer--who was exhibiting large A3 prints at a local fair and several had multiple big goobers of dust spots on them (camera was a Sigma). Unbelievable. He confessed he just hadn't had time to pp the dust out.

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Old Nov 15, 2007, 7:44 AM   #6
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Regardless of the brand or model, having a dust removal system is better than not having a dust removal system.

But a dust removal system would not be near the top of my list of important features I want in my next dSLR.
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Old Nov 15, 2007, 8:50 AM   #7
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I agree with TCAV 100%.

Dust removal is a nice-to-have. So if 2 cameras were completely equal in every other regard and one had it and another didn't - I'd take the one with it. Unfortunately that's hardly ever the case. There are much more important factors to me in choosing a DSLR. My latest DSLR happens to have it. But I would have chosen this camera over any other DSLR even if it didn't.

My previous 2 dslrs did NOT have it and cleaning the sensors just wasn't a big deal. I had to use a cleaner about twice a year - 20 minutes each time. No big deal.

My advice is to concentrate on the features that actually have a greater affect on your results. IMO, dust removal isn't one of them.
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Old Nov 15, 2007, 10:37 AM   #8
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From all the forum traffic I've seen about this issue there are great indivdual differences; some people are afraid to clean their sensors, or have poor success at it and screw up the job time after time. Some people are upset by the fact that Canon charges $195 for sensor cleaning; personally, I would be too. I'm sure if I had a camera that required it, I'd do it myself, but I'm equally sure I'm glad I don't have to.

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Old Nov 21, 2007, 10:52 AM   #9
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My first DSLR didn't have dust removal and my new one does and I agree I wouldn't make it a deciding factor on the camera. That said, my old camera seemed to permit dust, or in my case soot, to adhere to the sensor cover and my new one doesn't. In eleven months I've had dust spots once and the blower solved the problem. On my old camera the blower never once solved the problem.
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Old Nov 23, 2007, 6:53 PM   #10
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Dust removal is not really a huge problem. So please, let's all see the problem in some perspective. Of the dust removal systems in the market place, the Olympus system is the very best. There is no doubt.

Sarah Joyce
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