Gadgets FireFly-DSC-2000

Published on March 8th, 2013 | by Greg


Firefly Sensor Cleaner: Keep Your DSLR Tip-Top

It looks like a rocket. It cleans your camera. But the name is Whedon-esque, and it uses something called “ionization technology”. Let’s take a look at the Firefly DSC-2000 digital sensor cleaner, for those who have an SLR, regularly change lenses, and want a safe “no-touch” cleaning solution.

Most cameras are sealed- but larger ones, and more professional models, offer interchangeable lenses. This is great- it makes a lot of photography possible- but it also means that the most delicate part of the camera is exposed. The sensors are incredibly… well, sensitive. And if you’ve seen little specks or dark spots appear regularly on your images even when you change lenses, that’s likely because of some dust or particles caught in your camera. Cleaning the sensor with your fingers or even a dust cloth is foolish, like trying to clean your face with steel wool.

That’s why there are a few methods- you can just use compressed air, for instance, but that’s not very gentle, and just as likely to blow the particles into another area (or add more). Most cameras include a self-cleaning system that vibrates the sensor, but it doesn’t always work. There are cleaning fluids (the wet method), but they can leave marks and are frankly fairly distressing. The enemy is static, a charge that keeps the dust on the sensor, and that’s why you add a 9-volt battery to the Firefly. It then ionizes the air, pushes it over the sensor, and the dust gets hit by the negatively and positively charged steam. Dust-be-gone.

Our camera sensors tend to be pretty clean, perhaps because we don’t change lenses all that often. But there were a couple of minute specks, and in our (admittedly limited test), the Firefly was able to escort them safely away, and they haven’t returned. It took a little bit of work to use, and it’s fairly expensive- this is an item that is aimed at professionals. But it really works, can be taken on the road or in airplanes easily, and you won’t need to re-buy anything else. Available directly, for $130 with bulb.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Appleā€™s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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