It has been some time since I have written a review and I have been meaning to get back to some writing but just never quite getting round to it. I have a list of cameras the length of my arm that I need to try and get round to reviewing but a smart little product came to my attention recently that I just have to tell you about so here goes.
Giotto air rocket`s have been around for some time and I have reviewed at least one of them in the past. They are clever little devices, simple in nature but very, very effective in practice, they are little air blowers designed to blow out dust from the internals of DSLR cameras. Giotto have gone one step further now though and produced an even better little air blower known as the Giotto Q ball.
Firstly let me tell you just how important it is to keep your DSLR camera dust free. In the worst case scenario you could end up with a collective of dust clogging up the workings of the mirror inside the camera but long before that happens you could find yourself taking a photo you are in love with and very proud of only to find that there is a dreaded dust spec or specs on it that ruin it completely.
Dust get`s into DSLR cameras when lens changing and is very hard to avoid especially if you are shooting outdoors, air blowers are designed to simply blast out the dust and although the air rockets did a good job the Q ball is just so much better, mainly because the nozzle moves to get into tricky areas, a design the rockets never had.
The Q ball from Giotto is made from a non toxic rubber which as well as being tear proof is also resistant to high and low temperatures. They work on a very simple strategy in that you they suck in air as you release a squeezed ball then blow it out at high speed as you re-squeeze and the blast of air removes dust from the area you point it at.
No dust can be sucked into the Q ball because of a very clever dust preventative air valve built into it and there is also the very cleverly designed tripod like legs that it stands on which stop the valve on the bottom coming into contact with anything that might have an adverse effect on it.
The nozzle can be adjusted through 60 degrees which doesn't give you a full coverage of angles but it is way better than the static nozzles of most blowers and in my so far three weeks of use on all of my own DSLR`s and a few friends I have found it reaches the parts other blowers fail to reach and gets to the areas other ones can reach mush easier.
The Q ball makes light work of dust particles and a couple of blasts is all I usually need to get the inside of my DSLR`s dust free. I recommend when using this that you hold the camera with the shutter facing downwards and blow up into the camera this will loosen dust particles which will then fall down out of the camera and no other particles will be getting in because the natural way for dust to go is to fall downwards.
The Q ball is a light and fairly small item so can easily be packed into a reasonable sized camera bag so it can be taken out on shoot`s with you. They come in red, blue and black so if you really feel the need you can choose a colour, for me it has to be the professional looking black one but each to their own.
Although aimed at the DSLR camera market the Giotto Q ball does have other uses, such as blowing dust from Keyboards, laptop`s, printers and much, much more in fact this will pretty much remove a dust build up from anywhere dust can build up and costing only around a fiver you can I am sure afford to have a couple, one for around the home or studio and one to carry in your camera bag. The Giotto Q ball is a very simple yet ingenious little piece of kit that I would highly recommend to all.
Dust is just one of a photographers worst nightmares. In the world of SLR and DSLR cameras, changing lenses is one of those necesary evils. You need to do it quick. Balance between getting the old lens off and new lens on is a skill itself without dropping anything. No matter how fast you can do it, dust will always find itself in the dark depths of your cameras innards.
But what harm can a little bit of dust do?, I hear you ask.. Well quite a lot actually. Not only can its gunk up the workings of the shutter and mirror in the camera, its can scratch the glass inside and potentially ruin your images. There is nothing worse, getting an amazing shot and then coming to review it on the PC and seeing large blotches of dust all over the image.
The effect of magnification and aperture in the camera can mean minute dust spots actually appear very large. Although computer software can help remove these, its best to avoid it in the first place.
The Giotos Q.ball is made from a tough but environmentaly friendly silica that is tear proof and resistant to high and low temperatures. It is shaped much like a rocket, or as I found out in a Polish airport, a hand grenade. That experience took a lot diplomatic talking and hand gestures...and a new change of underwear!!
The Q.ball works by sucking in air when you squeeze and release it through its dust proof airvent on the bottom and then pushing the air out at high speed through its long adjustable nozzle. The nozzle has a 60 degree arc of movement fowards and backwards, and also a sturdy tripod base, so you can sit it on a table and adjust the nozzle to point into the area you want to clear. This method means nothing ever touches the inside of the camera, so there is no risk of damaging anything, as can be the case with other sensor cleaning devices if the upmost care isnt taken.
One or two blasts of the Q.ball removes all but the most stuborn dust particles and in my experience is all I have needed to use to keep my lenses and the inside of my DSLR's clean and dust free.
Of course the Q.ball isnt just restricted to cameras. Computer keyboards are notorious for picking up dust, and if you are like me, crumbs too. Again, a few blasts with the Q.ball remove all these effortlessly. I also use mine to clean my bass guitars, drums and sometimes even my desk.
The Q.ball comes in black, red or blue, and also you can get slightly different shaped ones. One more elongated and one more stubby that the one pictured here which stands at 140mm and is 67mm wide at the widest point. It wieghs in at a super light 66g so is not even noticable in your kit bag.
Priced at between £5-£7 from all major camera retailers, this is a very cheap way to keep your equipment clean and will last for years to come. A must have for any photographer.