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Dealing with Dust

Digital capture opens up a world of new possibilities for photography, but there can be pitfalls. One of those is dust. Dust has been a problem for photographers since long before the first digital camera was invented, but digital cameras with interchangeable lenses introduce a new reason to be concerned about dust. Unlike film that moves with each frame, the imaging sensor stays where it is. If dust or other contaminants get on the sensor, they can produce spots in every picture you take. Fortunately, although the problem is very annoying, special cleaning accessories exist to help you remove dust from the image sensor. See the sidebar “Cleaning the Image Sensor” in this chapter.

The old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure holds especially true when it comes to keeping the sensor on your digital camera clean. You can start by always keeping a lens or body cap attached to your digital SLR. When changing lenses, work quickly to minimize the time the camera body is open to the elements. We recommend having the new lens out of the camera bag and ready to go, with its rear cap already off so that you can mount it as soon as possible once the first lens is removed from the camera. If you are in conditions with considerable moisture and flying dust, or there's some other risk of getting contaminants inside your camera, make every effort to shield the camera while changing lenses.


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