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Delkin announces SensorScope sensor inspection device  
Wednesday, December 20, 2006 | by Rob Galbraith

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Open Wide: The Delkin SensorScope, shown atop a Canon EOS 5D. Click to enlarge. (Photo courtesy Delkin)

Delkin today has announced SensorScope, a device comprised of a 5X magnification lens and an array of four LEDs that enables the inspection of a digital SLR sensor for picture-ruining dust. It's designed to properly fit both Nikon and Canon lens mounts.
 
We had a peek at a prototype earlier this fall, and it did make it a snap to spot unwelcome guck sitting on a camera's sensor cover glass.
 
SensorScope is slated to ship in January 2007, bundled with a kit of new Delkin DigitalDuster sensor cleaning tools (also announced today, and which we haven't seen or used), at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of US$189.99 in the U.S. The company doesn't plan to offer the SensorScope separate from their new DigitalDuster system, says Eric Richter, Marketing Manager at Delkin.
 
More information is in the press release below:
 

Press Release

Delkin’s SensorScope, the Safest and Most Effective System for Cleaning Your Digital SLR Image Sensor.
 
Poway, CA. December 22, 2006 - Delkin Devices, Inc., makers of high quality digital photography products and accessories, today announced the SensorScope™ System, the safest and most effective system for cleaning your digital SLR image sensor. The innovative SensorScope (patent pending) is the first and only sensor inspection device in the market designed for DSLRs.  Its use of magnification and focused, high intensity light enables camera owners to inspect their camera’s sensor to see if it needs cleaning. Why risk damaging your camera —don’t clean your sensor if it doesn’t need it!
“Because the DSLR sensor is electrically charged, dirt and dust are attracted to it and cannot be easily removed,” explained Eric Richter, Delkin’s Marketing Manager. “Usually you find out after you have taken a picture that your sensor needs cleaning.”

SensorScope enables you to check your sensor to see if it needs cleaning—there’s nothing safer than not cleaning your sensor. The SensorScope looks like a camera lens; however, it allows you to look back into your camera to inspect your sensor. The SensorScope is easily portable and provides a 5x magnification lens and 4 ultra bright LED lights, which are focused to completely illuminate the field of inspection.  Although specifically designed for Canon and Nikon DSLRs, the SensorScope may be used on any manufacturer’s DSLR.

“Our main objective is to protect the DSLR sensor while safely and completely cleaning it,” said Richter.

Dirty sensors are a real problem. What you can’t see can affect your pictures. Dirt comes from many sources and it must be removed in a safe and effective way, or your images will show this debris. The SensorScope system, which includes the new DigitalDuster cleaning kit, is the safest and most effective system for cleaning your DSLR sensor. It comes equipped with the SensorVac, SensorWand™ and SensorSolution. Only the SensorScope system addresses all types of contaminants and the proper way to remove them safely.

Contaminants mar your pictures when they show up on your DSLR camera sensor.  Often these are dust particles that have just settled on the sensor, where they lightly rest.  They may “stick” to the sensor because they picked up an electrostatic charge when the camera is turned on.  When such pieces are hard, such as tiny rock or sand particles, there is some danger they will damage the sensor.  The same is true of small metallic pieces that result from the camera maker’s manufacturing process.  There is less risk debris such as clothing fibers or hair will scratch a sensor, but they will still appear as unsightly blotches on your pictures.  These contaminants often originate from shooting in a dusty environment, and are even carried to the sensor by improper cleaning materials or methods. 

Worse, contaminants can actually adhere to the sensor, either because of a chemical bond, or the nature of the contaminant itself.  Wet contaminants pose especially difficult challenges.  These include moisture condensation from talking or even just breathing with the camera lens off.  The camera’s own internal lubricant may end up on the sensor.  Even skin oils from your hands may be transferred to the sensor by handling cleaning brushes and swabs often used for cleaning.  These contaminants create smears that are tough to remove with conventional cleaning methods.

Surprisingly, dust and debris can originate from within the camera as well.  The camera sensor is probably pristine when it leaves the factory, but during transportation to the camera store, the camera may be bounced around.  When a new camera is used for the first time, the internal mechanism movement itself may stir up small pieces of metal, plastic, dust, fabric, and camera lubricant, which are then drawn to the sensor.  Air movement resulting from pressurized airliner cabins can move particles around in the camera, too.       

The DigitalDuster kit handles all types of dry and wet contaminants, regardless of how they arrive at the sensor.  The SensorVac is a battery or USB powered portable vacuum, which uses suction to draw out abrasive particles and dust.  No more canned air that just blows debris around!  The SensorVac’s tip is made of ultra-fine, non-abrasive and static-free brush filaments.  These brush filaments protect against damaging the sensor screen in case of accidental contact. 

Actual cleaning contact is done with the unique SensorWand.  Each end of the flexible SensorWand has a soft lint-free and non-abrasive fabric head.  One end is used first for wet cleaning, and the other for the dry cleanup.  This ensures the photographer can complete a cleaning with just one wand, leaving no moisture behind.  A novel design feature provides additional protection against over-saturation. Each wand head is wicked with small slots to pull excess liquid away from the wand tip.          

SensorSolution is the exclusive chemical cleaning solution included in the DigitalDuster kit for wet cleaning.  It is alcohol free and safe for check-in air travel and air shipment.  SensorSolution dries quickly without the use of methanol or any other harsh chemicals, and effectively breaks the bond that holds many of the tougher contaminants onto the sensor surface.  With two drops of SensorSolution and a few swipes of a SensorWand, dried raindrops, pollen, chamber lubricant, dust, and anything else that finds its way into your sensor chamber can be easily, effectively, and safely wiped away.

Pricing and Availability

Delkin Devices begins shipping the SensorScope System and DigitalDuster kit in early January.  More information is available on Delkin’s website: www.delkin.com. Three models are available:

DigitalDuster Refill Kit  - $49.99 MSRP
15 SensorWands
1 SensorSolution
1 cleaning guide

DigitalDuster Kit - $89.99 MSRP
1 SensorVac
12 SensorWands
1 SensorSolution
1 cleaning guide
1 DigitalDuster carrying case

SensorScope System - $189.99 MSRP
1 SensorScope
1 SensorVac
12 SensorWands
1 SensorSolution
1 cleaning guide
1 SensorScope carrying case

Delkin Devices, Inc., based in Poway, California, has been providing “Everything but the Camera” since 1986.  From Archival Gold Media to Pop-Up Shades, Delkin provides products with premium quality, innovative designs and an ongoing dedication to superior customer service.  Delkin Devices and its products have become worldwide industry leaders in both OEM and consumer markets.  The company’s eFilm brand of memory cards is a leading choice among professional photographers and others passionate about digital photography.  Delkin Devices’ innovative digital photography products are available worldwide through a network of independent camera stores, and online at Delkin Devices’ website: www.delkin.com.

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