Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Shutter Count

Ever wanted to know how many shutter actuations your camera has? There is a Perl script called ExifTool which extracts a whole bunch of useful information from your images. You need to run the script in a terminal shell. Here is an example:

macbookair$ exiftool MD7D5952.CR2 | grep "Shutter Count"
Shutter Count : 414023

Simple enough right? Enjoy!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Keep your gear nice and dry!

For photographers living in humid environments, keeping your gear away from moisture is very important. Mold, fungus, and other nasty stuff can ruin your lenses very quickly. Ideally you want room temperature, occasional direct sunlight, and humidity within 20% and 60%. Anything lower or higher than that will cause fungus growth. The same can be said about our gear bags. To aid in humidity control, silica gel bags can do miracles. One such supplier here in Brazil is Didai Technologia Ltda. It is also important to air out those lenses that don't see much action. Take them out once every week so that it can also get some much needed sunlight. Below is my custom-made all-glass cabinet where I keep all my camera gear. Notice the temperature and humidity indicator device in the middle of the cabinet.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Service Notice: EOS 5D: Main Mirror Detachment

Thank you for using Canon products.

We have discovered that, in rare instances, the main mirror of some EOS 5D Digital SLR cameras may detach due to deterioration in the strength of the adhesive. Accordingly, we would like to convey the details and our service policy concerning this phenomenon.

We offer our sincerest apologies to those customers who have been inconvenienced by this issue. Canon always strives to provide the highest quality products to our customers and we will spare no effort in our quality management to make sure our customers can use our products with confidence. We hope our efforts will earn your understanding.

The main mirror of the camera detaches and images cannot be viewed through the viewfinder.

Affected products
EOS 5D Digital SLR cameras whose main mirror has detached.

User Support
We will repair and reinforce the mirror portion of the affected products free of charge. If you own one of the affected products, please contact our Customer Support Center.

We appreciate your patience, and we offer our sincerest apologies to the customers using these products who have been inconvenienced by this issue.

This information is for residents of the United States and Puerto Rico only. If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.

Contact Information for Inquiries
Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Customer Support Center
Phone: 1-800-OK-CANON (toll free)
Support options and hours of operation:

Before Fix:

After Fix: Notice the thin metal strip added to the mirror "holder arm" (both sides)

DSLR Sensor Cleaning

Have you ever noticed some dark tiny spots on your images? Did you happen to notice that they appear in the same exact spot image after image? If so, then you've just witnessed your first "sensor booger" as they are affectionately called. Put simply, they are just dust/dirt particles that landed on the camera's sensor low-pass filter. Cleaning the sensor (actually the low-pass filter over the actual sensor) can look like a daunting task, but with enough knowledge, some hand coordination, and a little bit of hands-on do-it-yourself spirit, anyone can perform this operation with little risk. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, let me show you a video instead: