Dust on micro 4/3 sensor question.

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by metalbernd, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. metalbernd

    metalbernd Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 1, 2012
    I asked my self, are micro 4/3 camera's not sensitive for dust or greasy spots on the sensor? I had several Canon dslr's and on some forums there are many topics about dust and greasy spots on sensors. I have to clean my sensor at least twice a year. Is this because micro 4/3 has no mirror?(grease for mechanism) because I don't see allot of topics about this subject.
  2. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    All Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds DSLRs have a very efficient anti-dust system. Every time the camera is turned on a clear filter in front of the sensor is vigorously vibrated by supersonic waves and this is extremely effective at removing dust - which is then trapped by sticky pads within the camera. For this reason it is important to always turn the camera off when changing lenses, turning it on again once the change has been made. A friend of mine once took a set of pictures on his E-3, which inexplicably had a number of frames with several prominent dust bunnies in the middle of the set. Upon analysing it, we realized that the dust appeared at the point where he had changed lenses without switching off. From the point at which he later switched off anyway for a break, the dust miraculously disappeared.

    The system won't remove grease or other residue so the usual care must still be taken when changing lenses. Keep the time with the lens off to a minimum, keep the body pointing down while the lens is off, use your body to shield the camera against the wind and don't allow any liquid splashes to enter the lens mount.

    In theory the sticky pads that capture loose dust within the camera can clog up or become less adhesive over time and would need to be replaced by the service dept. However, I've been using interchangeable lens Olympus cameras since 2007 and never once had an issue with dust.
  3. metalbernd

    metalbernd Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 1, 2012
    OK, thanks for your explanation.
  4. Even when using the Olympus Four Thirds DSLRs I've always found Olympus cameras (and by extension Panasonic cameras that use the same SSWF system) to be more resistant to sensor dust than the various Canon DSLRs that I have used over the same time.
  5. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    If you get something sticky like pollen on the sensor, then you'll have to do a manual cleaning.
  6. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Absolutely. The SSWF is extremely effective against dust, but it cannot work miracles with splashes or sticky residues.
  7. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Generally, as long as you are careful about changing lenses there shouldn't be a problem.
  8. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    After 8 months of using µ4/3 cameras, I find them much less likely than my DSLRs to pick up sticky particles or grease stains. (This includes a D7000 that has a similar self cleaning action. The mirror, its mechanism and the foam bumper all contribute FOD (Foreign Object Debris). Which the flapping mirror blows onto the the sensor.
  9. bcaslis

    bcaslis Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2011
    Wilsonville, OR, USA
    Brian Caslis
    As stated above, one of the big contributors for DSLRs is the moving mirrors. In addition to dust, there have been some problems where oil used to lubricate the mirror mechanisms splashes onto the sensor causing oil spots. Most DSLRs do have vibration mechanisms to get rid of dust, but for some reason the mechanism used on Olympus m43 cameras seems to be the most effective.
  10. Brownian

    Brownian Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 28, 2012
    A nicely detailed explanation of the SSWF system:
    Olympus - Supersonic Wave Filter

    I believe the system is patented so that would explain why other manufacturers systems are not as effective.
  11. Shutterdad

    Shutterdad Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2012
    Big D
    Never had any issues with dust on any of my Olympus dslrs. Bought my first :43: camera from Cameta and guess what.....it's got dust! :mad:
  12. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    It also helps that people don't stop all the way very often and that the glass in front of the sensor is quite thick. All my 4/3 DSLRs showed dust stopped down at f/22 and I'd be surprised if the m4/3 ones do any better.

  13. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    My new OMD came with dust too. It was shipped from amazon. It even had one dust particle under the AA filter. Dust is very common it seems.

    One bad thing about the OMD is that its very difficult to wet clean the sensor due to the IBIS. The sensor assembly moves with every stroke of a swab, giving you no friction to clean the sensor. If you have dust on it, you probably have to send it to Olympus to get it cleaned.
  14. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Maybe, but if you cannot see it, does it matter? :biggrin:
  15. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    I think if id had dust underneath the AA filter on the sensor on a brand new camera I'd have returned it for replacement
    How long have you had the camera - is it too late to send it back and does the dust appear on images when on smallest apertures ?
  16. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    I took care of it ASAP :cool:

    The dust was visible at 8 and smaller aperture! I wouldn't have cared as much if it only appeared at 16 or above.
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