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Old Sep 7, 2006, 5:19 AM   #11
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Sorry to hear dust is such a problem for you. I see you use a D70 - I use a D200 which has o-ring seals in all the body joints - perhaps thisis thedifference - do you store your camera in a dust free environment? I can only agree with the others that have replied and report my own experience that dust is not a big issue for me. As I said I nearly went the Oly way but was eventually put off by the small sensor size which I agree is the most likely cause of thenoiseof the Olys.

On the topic of your original question, Nikon do have a kind of solution - if you see dust on an image you can take the camera, shoot a special 'dust-off' reference frame. Then theNikon software uses thatto edit out the dusty pixels found. A big advantage is that dusty images already taken can be corrected with minimal effortand image degradation, and the obvious disadvantage isthat you still need to clean the sensor manually; and it won't work if new dust arrives or the dust movesbefore you shoot the reference. I can't say how well it works because I've not yet run into a dust issue - and Ioftenchange lenses outdoors and check my images carefully.

If Nikon were to introduce an anti-dust system then I think shaking is the only option - I cannot believe any coating technology could prevent dust settling without some other aid such as shaking. Even if the anti-alias filter had to be thicker to withstand the force of shaking there is no reason why it should absorb enough light (1 stop+) to increase the image noise - so again I agree with rjseeny that a dust-off mechanism need not increase noise at all. Personally I would not rush out to buy a Nikon with anti-dust technology - lower noise at high ISO and increased dynamic range would be top of my wish list.

Why neitherNikon or Canonhave not incorporated a anti-dust technology I can only guess - perhaps someone holds the basic patent and won't licence it to them. But I note that the anti-dust battle is in the consumer-level market and nopro-level DSLRs (except the not very successful Oly E1) has anti-dust technology (yet), so most likely they see no strongtechnical need for it even if there is a market-driven need. So I think the truth is contained in your first post where you say about Canon:
Evidently, it is an effort to come near with OM on that and a reaction to other manufacturers' attempt tosharpen the competitive edge of their cameras in today's heated competition for more market share.
i.e Oncea feature is incoprporated by one brand it becomes a must-have for the others, particularly in consumer-level products.

With respect to full frame sensors, although these presently have some advanatagesI agree with rjseeny that it would be very unlikely for Nikon to suddenly abandon theAPS philosophy. I suspect Nikon's plan is that APS sensor technology will, in the limit, giveperformance goodfor most of us - pros included,whilst those with higher quality needs (and very thick wallets) will still have the option of 6x6.

Best Regards,

PS I believe the Oly's and some other cameras have a small sticky patch in the mirror box to capture dust - and this is supposed to be replaced at the routine service recommended by the makers.
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Old Sep 7, 2006, 10:20 AM   #12
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Thanks for going into great depth to explain. It is good discussing. Here is my feedback:

1. RE: 'Sorry to hear dust is such a problem for you.'

Dust is not a problem with me. I just lament why Nikon does not do anything about it.

2. Re: do you store your camera in a dust free environment?

I storel it in a clean electronic dehumidifying cabinet. Dust is not from that cabinet.

3. Re: 'dust-off' reference frame

It is not a solution to the dust problem. You have said that in your feedback. The problem with dust occurs when we change our lens. We can never take a new frame every time we change a lens in the outdoor.Doing that is time consuming. Suppose we reallydo that, we then will realize howbigsensor dust is aproblem to all of us. I therefore presume no photographer out there will do that when they change lenses.

4. Re: imagescan be corrected with minimal effortand image degradation

I have the experience of taking about70close-ups of a white rose. I stepped down the aperture to the smallest to capture a deeper depth of view. Unfortunately, a very tiny dust was on the sensor, resulting in all shotsbeingstained with atiny spot at their very centre. I used the Photoshop to do away with it. It took me an hour!

5. Re: I agree with rjseeny that a dust-off mechanism need not increase noise at all

I agree to that as well. In addition, coating materials can be improved to make them work perfectly well above the sensor without light loss, thereby avoiding noise increase. It is a matter of time for such to be resolved. Furthermore, SHAKING will probably the best way, and the ultra-sonic one will be on the centre stage in solving dust problem.

6. Re: the basic patent

Other manufacturers must not be able to come up with a technology that is much better than Olympus'; otherwise, they would have incorporated such in their cameras.

7. Re: Oncea feature, it becomes a must-have for the others

Youthought about using OM when investing in DSLRsbecause of its anti-dust technology. I thought about it as well. And definitely, many a photographer out there has the samehesitation when deciding what to invest in. That is why OM has a big market share in recent years. Nikon andCanonknow about that as well in planning their new products to ensure that they sell well. Think about what will happen if Nikon incorporatesan effective anti-dust device in their newDSLRs? I think many a nikon fan will considerusing such a modelto increase their fun inphotography.If dustis a trivial problem to them, then the new modelwill even make them feel totally secured against sensor dust. Butthe fact is: it is a problem, no matter how small it is. If Nikon can do something about it, the DSLRs it produceswill be as reputable as the F1, F2, F3,F4, F5 and F6 they produced in the SLR era. Iwill buy one and so will be the case for other Nikon fansand non-Nikon users.

The market-driven factor is an important commercial factor that Nikonmust considerin the course of producing their cameras. I think Nikon will not consider the dustfree sensor installationon the basis of'oncea feature, it becomes a must-have for the others'. It is a real market-driven factor for the sake of making their cameras more perfect.I presume Nikon has no solution for that for the time being.

8. Re: full frame sensors

APS is good enough, but from quality point of view, the full-frame is a big attraction.

Many thanks for your attention. I wrote all these because I don't want to be like opening a safe when changing my lens.



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