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Digital SLR Cleaning Methods

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There are numerous brush products on the market at various price points. Generally there are two technologies employed. Anti-Static and Static.

Anti-Static brushes use a mixture of conducting and non-conducting fibres to eliminate the static on the surface being cleaned. Since static can contribute to keeping dust on the sensor surface, elimination the static means the dust particles can be swept away by the bristles. CCD (as in CCD Sensor) stands for Charge Coupled Device, so static can and does attract dust to the sensor. Modern sensors have special anti-static coatings in order to reduce the effects of static on dust contamination. Anti-Static brushes have been used successfully for many years by photo-laboratories to clean dust from film, which was notorious for attracting dust and spoiling the negatives.

D-SLR Brush

The other type of brush technology uses a low-cost nylon brush that is then ‘charged’ by some means to introduce a static charge onto the nylon bristles. This charge can used to attract dust from the sensor surface to the bristles. A nylon brush can be charged by various means, such as blowing air over the surface, or an aerosol or by spinning.

Like a blower, a brush can only remove loose dust from the sensor surface. Unlike a blower, which doesn’t touch the sensor surface, a brush with greasy bristles can smear the sensor surface. Unfortunately because the sides of the camera mirror box can get contaminated with lubricant from the shutter and mirror mechanisms, it is easy to contaminate the bristles by touching the insides of the camera. Touching the bristles with your fingers can also transfer grease to the bristles. So it is necessary to pay close attention to cleaning the brush on a regular basis to ensure the bristles are both clean and dry.

Good Points – Can be cheap; Easy to Use,
Bad Points – Can be expensive; Only works on Loose Dust; Brush must be cleaned regularly.

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