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Old Nov 17, 2005, 12:48 AM   #1
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How mush of a problem is dust on the image sensor and how often should you expect it? I assume it is inevetible that it will happen, or can certain percautions avoid it? How difficult is it to deal with, and what are the risks? How does one know that they have dust on the sensor? Is it worth the hassels to go dslr over high end single lens digicams?

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Old Nov 17, 2005, 2:05 AM   #2
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So many questions....
1) It is very situation dependent. If you change lenses in a dusty environment then you're more likely to have problems. I remove my lens every now and then... but very quickly, and usually just to put a teleconverter on or off. I don't have to clean a sensor more than a few times a year. Maybe I'm lucky? I don't know.

2) You can reduce the chance... but unless you never remove your lense... ever, it will eventually happen. But by doing things "properly" you can reduce the problem a lot.

3) It isn't that hard to deal with, you just have to be careful when you clean the sensor. The risk is permenantly killing your camera by damaging the sensor... but if you use the proper materials to clean it (you can buy many that are good) and be careful while donig it, it isn't a problem. It only takes a few minutes.

4) You'll see the spots on your pictures. Then you'll have to see if its on the lens or the sensor. Not hard to do, just look at the lens.

5) That is a person judgement. For me, yes, absolutely. I sell my work and therefor demand the best. I have a single lens worth over $7,000USD. No lens on a fixed lens camera will compare. But you're not asking about me, you're asking about you. I don't know you. There are many factors.
- What do you shoot?
- How much do you care about absolute quality (over saving money)
- How much of a perfectionist are you?

A DSLR and high end lenses are much better than point-and-shoot or fixed-lens cameras. In many, many ways. But that doesn't mean you need one. Only you can answer that. We can help you look at the facts, be we can't decide for you. To help you, we need to get to know you.

Eric
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Old Nov 17, 2005, 3:38 AM   #3
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?GUY wrote:
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How mush of a problem is dust on the image sensor and how often should you expect it? I assume it is inevetible that it will happen, or can certain percautions avoid it? How difficult is it to deal with, and what are the risks? How does one know that they have dust on the sensor? Is it worth the hassels to go dslr over high end single lens digicams?
1. It seems to be more problem for some people and some cameras. I think the "full-frame" (35mm) sensor cameras are going to have more problem simply due to the larger exposed area of sensor.
Some people claim to have no problem, others have constant problems. Precautions include changing lenses infrequently, not buying kit lenses with plastic bases, not changing in dusty environments, and not leaving the lens off the camera for any longer than absolutely necessary.

Here's some articles that let you know whether you have dust, and how to clean:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/es...cleaning.shtml
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...ble-dust.shtml

If you want to enjoy dust-free dSLR photography, there's also one other solution: an Olympus E-system camera (E-1, E-300, E-500). They have a built-in dust prevention "supersonic wave filter" that actually works. I've had my E-300 for 8 months without any dust I could positively confirm, and I've known people who've used E-1s for two years without any dust.


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Old Nov 17, 2005, 8:57 AM   #4
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Norm in Fujino wrote:
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1. It seems to be more problem for some people and some cameras. I think the "full-frame" (35mm) sensor cameras are going to have more problem simply due to the larger exposed area of sensor.
Not really. I have both and the FF sensor is no more prone to dust than the APS sensor. However, the FF sensor is definately harder to get clean. On the APS sensor, you can easily clean to and past the edges of the sensor, something you cannot do on a FF sensor. So getting the edges and corners clear is more difficult. Not impossible, just more difficult.

Spotting dust (parden my pun), is easy. Stop down the lens to maximum aperature, point the lens at the blue sky and take a shot. Then, under 100% magnification, view the image on your computer. Dust will show up as spots, blobs and squigly black lines.

Overall, the dust problem is greatly exadurated. Just take your time and do it right. I use the visible dust sensor cleaner and it does work as advertized.

If you want a dSLR, get one and deal with the dust when it does happen. But do not let the dust problem keep you from buying.
*
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Old Nov 17, 2005, 8:17 PM   #5
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Thank you all for your help and advise. I am still looking to discover which dslr is the best for me, but I am confident that dslr is the right choice. Perfectionist I am, though great photographer I'm not. I have shot 35mm slrs for years, only in a very amaturist way, but I comprehend the basic functions of appeture and shutter speed and exposure. I want the best picture results I can get with my limited experience and I am sure that the dslr will give me that. I still puzzle a bit about sensor size, FF vs APS and how that relates to total megapixles. Is the 10MP sensor larger and therefore closer to FF than the 6MP sensor? Does that then change the crop factor of the lenses used on the different sensors?

Well, that's enough for now.

Thanks again for the help,

?GUY
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Old Nov 17, 2005, 10:47 PM   #6
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The answer is that MP has no relation to the physical size of the sensor.
They are getting very good at cramming more and more photosites on to a sensor.

Glad to have helped!

Eric
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Old Nov 18, 2005, 7:56 AM   #7
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There is really only one reason to go with a full frame sensor. And that is the proper use of wide angle lenses.

So, if you like to shoot wide angle (anything less than 50mm (in 35mm terms)), then Full Frame is the best way to go. On the other hand, if you prefer to shoot telephoto (anything greater than 50mm focal length), then the APS sensor may be best.

The real advantage from full frame comes when you need to shoot wide angle. As for megapixels, both FF and APS offer pretty much similar megapixels. So how to decide?

Well, for one with you wallet. More megapixels means more $$$ to buy the camera. But you must also consider what is the maximum size you are likely to ROUTINELY print. More megapixels really translate into bigger enlargements. If you never intend to print larger than 8x10 then anything over 6MP is overkill. That is not to say it is bad, but that it is absolutely NOT necessary.

On the other hand, if you only view your photos on the computer, or downsize for web posting, don't waste your money on lots of megapixels. You will never see the benifit more megapixels *can* bring.

Hope that helps.

Declan
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Old Nov 18, 2005, 7:59 AM   #8
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Crop factor and price two major differences between APS & FF size sensors: FF has a crop factor of 1.0 while APS is something like 1.5.

In general, but not always, FF has more sensors and pretty much always has larger sensors so often has better ISO/noise characteristics. Often a better built body as well. Again, how much better depends on price more than anything else.
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