Right now, the new Nikon D600 is one of the world’s hottest cameras in spite of its $2100 price tag. Why is the camera so great? It incorporates a lot of professional-grade features that can be afforded, albeit with some saving, by most dedicated hobbyists. Unfortunately, along with all of the rave reviews popping up online, there seems to be a problem with the new camera: dust.
In a video that has gone viral, one can see what appears to be specks of dust accumulating on the D600’s sensor. The video consists of 1,000 still images shot against a white sheet of paper ans then edited into a short movie. The kicker: the lens was never changed indicating that dust is finding its way into the camera by some other, as yet undetermined avenue.
In response to growing reports, Nikon issued a statement that, in essence, urges customers impacted by dust to consult with a Nikon service center id the camera’s self-cleaning mechanism does not help the problem.
However, there is another way to fix a dust problem than to send away your camera for who knows how long.
Back in the old days before self-cleaning sensors, dSLR owners who had dirty sensors had to clean them at home (or send away the camera like Nikon is suggesting we do today). Obviously, for many people, sending out the camera is simply not an option, so many home-spun (and cheap) remedies for a dirty sensor came about as a way to avoid a trip to the service center.
Two of the easiest are using ear syringes and compressed air as both are great for blowing off dust, are cheap, and have other uses around the house. To do this, simply get your camera so that its mirror stays up, exposing the sensor, and then go to work by either squeezing the syringe or giving the sensor a quick blast of air.
Pros and cons? Well, there are some. The good thing about the syringe is that there is no risk of getting anything on the sensor, provided it is dry, at the cost of having a comparatively weak blast of air. As for the compressed air, it solves the weak problem seem with the syringe but there is a tiny risk of it blasting out a bit of moisture. To avoid this, be sure to spray some air onto something else (and thus release any moisture) before going to the sensor.
As for the D600 itself, it may or may not be a dust magnet (the Internet is great for exaggerating non-issues) but if it (or any other camera) gets dusty to the point of the self-cleaning function being unable to do its job, try these alternatives before sending your camera to the repair shop.
For more info:
Photographic guide to sensor cleaning
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