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Thread: HELP: Black dots on image (A55)

  1. #1

    Angry Sony A55 Queries

    REFER TO LATEST POST BELOW

    Hey guys,

    While I was checking to see if my Sony A55 is working fine in preparation for an overseas trip, I switched to a low aperture (f22) and took images on a white background. Noticed after that there were a couple of black dots on the image, some pretty obvious, some slightly fainter. I tried removing the lens and lifting the mirror up to blow off any dust lying around the image sensor. However, despite doing this for several times, the black dots still remain. Question is, does this call for servicing? If yes, do I bring it to a Sony Service Centre or can I just bring it down to a shop like Cathay Photo? Can anyone please advise what's the charges like?

    Also, if there're dust specks on my UV Filter, can I just use a micro fibre cloth to clean it off? To clarify as well, I recall reading somewhere that little scratches on the UV Filter doesn't really affect the image cause it's just supposed to control the amount of light entering? (Correct me if I'm wrong please)

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Last edited by MachCurve; 24th November 2013 at 07:25 PM. Reason: Updated Title

  2. #2

    Default Re: HELP: Black dots on image (A55)

    most likely stubborn dust. bring it down for sensor cleaning

  3. #3

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    So a search on CS for sensor cleaning. Discussed to death ad infinitum.

    As for the uv filter, the only purpose it has on a dslr is to protect the lens front element.
    Alpha

  4. #4

    Default Re: HELP: Black dots on image (A55)

    Quote Originally Posted by kei1309 View Post
    most likely stubborn dust. bring it down for sensor cleaning
    Do I bring it to a Sony Service Centre or can I just bring it down to a shop like Cathay Photo? Any idea what's the charges like?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by MachCurve View Post

    Do I bring it to a Sony Service Centre or can I just bring it down to a shop like Cathay Photo? Any idea what's the charges like?
    Search. This is asked about 3x a week. This also includes tips for cleaning it yourself, other service centers, etc

    As for Sony, the charges are in black and white on their website. Please try some basic effort before coming and asking to be spoon fed.
    Alpha

  6. #6
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP: Black dots on image (A55)

    You need to go to Service Centre, quite sure Cathay or other stores don't provide that service.

    You can DIY, if you are confident. A lot of people have done it and their cameras work great. Cost-wise and convenience-wise it also makes a lot more sense.

    I use the Copperhill international kit (please Google for more information on this, because there is a wealth out there and more than what I could write fluently on) and the total cost is approximate to ONE cleaning session at service centre inclusive transportation. Have cleaned my camera about 10 times this year already and barely made a dent in my supplies.

    By the way, there are two types of dust: welded and unwelded. Your blower will get rid of unwelded dust, which has no moisture in it, and can be dislodged by simple "wind" action. You will need wet cleaning of sorts (Copperhill kit, Sensor swab, etc) to get rid of welded dust, which cannot be dislodged by blower.

  7. #7
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP: Black dots on image (A55)

    Quote Originally Posted by MachCurve View Post
    Also, if there're dust specks on my UV Filter, can I just use a micro fibre cloth to clean it off? To clarify as well, I recall reading somewhere that little scratches on the UV Filter doesn't really affect the image cause it's just supposed to control the amount of light entering? (Correct me if I'm wrong please)
    Remove the filter, done. Dust on filter or lens front element does not affect your pictures, unless they form colonies already.
    The main purpose of UV filter is to give kiasu people a good night's sleep and sales men some extra profits. In terms of digital photography they are completely useless (except a very few special cases).
    EOS

  8. #8

    Default Re: HELP: Black dots on image (A55)

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Remove the filter, done. Dust on filter or lens front element does not affect your pictures, unless they form colonies already.
    The main purpose of UV filter is to give kiasu people a good night's sleep and sales men some extra profits. In terms of digital photography they are completely useless (except a very few special cases).
    Thanks! Same for scratches on the filter right? Image quality won't be affected right?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MachCurve View Post

    Thanks! Same for scratches on the filter right? Image quality won't be affected right?
    Scratches can add flare. Do a quick Google search for "star filters" to see what effect (deliberate in this case) scratches can have.
    Alpha

  10. #10

    Default Re: HELP: Black dots on image (A55)

    Thank you.

    1. Btw, I noticed one dust speck on the back of my lens (the part which attaches to the main body). Tried blowing it off with a rocket blower but it sticks there as well. Is it necessary for me to remove it?

    2. Possible to do it myself with a micro fibre cloth and some lens cleaning solution? The manual I have only says I can do that for the other side of the lens - nothing is mentioned for the side in question. Also, I read from some sites that using a vacuum cleaner to vacuum up the dust might help. Anyone tried this before or thinks it's too risky a deed?

    3. Is there any difference between dust at the back of the lens connecting to the body VS dust in the image sensor of the camera? Can I safely say that dust in the image sensor will be more disastrous for image quality as compared to dust at the back of the lens connecting to the camera body?

    - I might have got the answer for point 3 from Sony: Dust inside the lens is a normal phenomenon and there is nothing to worry about. In comparison to dust on the sensor, dust inside the lens will not show up on your images. So if you spot dust inside your lens (easier to spot with the bare eye than dust on the sensor) you can keep on enjoying shooting!

    "
    Does that mean point 3 is rightly addressed - that I don't have to bother about those dust particles?
    TIA!
    Last edited by MachCurve; 23rd November 2013 at 12:30 AM.

  11. #11
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP: Black dots on image (A55)

    1) Not if it's just a tiny piece.
    2) Yes. MF cloth is all you need, solution only if it's really sticking to the glass. Get away with vacuum cleaner, no point.
    3) In general: the closer the dust to the sensor the more likely it will show up in images when closing the aperture (f/8 and more). Or: a tiny oiece of dust on a sensor might show up under certain conditions, the same piece on the rear element or even front element will never show up.
    Relax and shoot. Hunting dust is the wrong hobby.
    EOS

  12. #12

    Default Re: HELP: Black dots on image (A55)

    Thanks Octarine!

    Haha, anyway, I thought maybe I should continue asking some newbie questions here to avoid spamming too many threads.

    I read online in Dpreview (http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3142691) and flickr (https://www.flickr.com/groups/sony_a...7628484061379/) that there've been many instances of the A55 dying suddenly during usage/after sometime in storage. Was quite concerned about this as I'll be bringing my A55 overseas in 2 weeks time, and certainly wouldn't want anything like this to happen. Bought it since Nov 2011 and have been using it only a few times for the past 2 years, most of which for travelling.

    Anyone knows what's the cause of the problem above, and if so, is there any contingency plans I can adopt last minute, less buying an extra camera (don't really have budget for that)? And, more importantly, any pros here heard of such a thing happening to Sony A55 users in Singapore (specifically)? Hopefully, this isn't a phenomenon that extends to Singapore.

    Updates: Oh, I realised it actually is happening to S'porean users (A33/A55) as well: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=957951 and http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1243678
    Any way to resolve a shutter issue immediately? Or can only suck thumb and bring it to SSC back in S'pore?
    Last edited by MachCurve; 24th November 2013 at 08:21 PM.

  13. #13

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    Never heard of it here in SG.
    Alpha

  14. #14

    Default Re: HELP: Black dots on image (A55)

    It's always a relief to hear from senior members.

    Any other Sony users (or specifically A55 users), can chip in their own experiences?

    Updates: Oh, I realised it actually is happening to S'porean users (A33/A55) as well: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=957951 and http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1243678
    Any way to resolve a shutter issue immediately? Or can only suck thumb and bring it to SSC back in S'pore?
    Last edited by MachCurve; 24th November 2013 at 08:22 PM.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MachCurve View Post
    It's always a relief to hear from senior members.

    Any other Sony users (or specifically A55 users), can chip in their own experiences?

    Updates: Oh, I realised it actually is happening to S'porean users (A33/A55) as well: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=957951 and http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1243678
    Any way to resolve a shutter issue immediately? Or can only suck thumb and bring it to SSC back in S'pore?
    It's an old camera. Only way to fix is service center.
    Alpha

  16. #16
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    Default Re: HELP: Black dots on image (A55)

    Quote Originally Posted by MachCurve View Post
    It's always a relief to hear from senior members.

    Any other Sony users (or specifically A55 users), can chip in their own experiences?

    Updates: Oh, I realised it actually is happening to S'porean users (A33/A55) as well: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=957951 and http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1243678
    Any way to resolve a shutter issue immediately? Or can only suck thumb and bring it to SSC back in S'pore?
    Ive been using A55 for 3 yrs and i have never experience my cam die on me.

    I have sent my cam twice to service center; back focus issue and no display on my LCD. No display was caused by my reckless doing when i tried to pry my broken GSS protection glass from the LCD display. The whole LCD display was dislocated from the LCD housing.. LOL
    SC changed to a new LCD and that cost me a cool $217

    Max aperture for me is f16.. and my photo seems clean from any obvious dots or other blemishes so i dont bother to check on smaller aperture that i dont use.

    Good luck and happy holidaying
    ~PeaceNoWar~

  17. #17

    Default Re: HELP: Black dots on image (A55)

    Quote Originally Posted by intrance View Post
    Max aperture for me is f16.. and my photo seems clean from any obvious dots or other blemishes so i dont bother to check on smaller aperture that i dont use.
    Actually that's MINIMUM not maximum. Remember, it's a fraction, so f/16 is smaller than f/2.8 etc.
    Alpha

  18. #18
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    Default Re: HELP: Black dots on image (A55)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Actually that's MINIMUM not maximum. Remember, it's a fraction, so f/16 is smaller than f/2.8 etc.
    i understand the other way round..

    many thanks for correcting me..
    ~PeaceNoWar~

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by intrance View Post

    i understand the other way round..

    many thanks for correcting me..
    Rare to see Rashkae get any thanks around here

  20. #20

    Default Re: HELP: Black dots on image (A55)

    Thanks guys for the comments. Intrance, may I ask what's your shutter count till now? Mine is around 11k+ when I checked http://tools.science.si/index.php . Not sure if it's accurate though, because I've only around 3-4k photos in my comp. Perhaps the "dying" phenomenon might only strike those who've high shutter counts.

    Anyway, SSC just called me with bad news saying that there's a stain on my sensor that can't be removed even through cleaning. Was given the option of replacing the sensor which'll cost around 500+, or live with the stain, which according to them, can only been seen at f36 on photoshop (any1 experienced something like this before?). TBH, I'm kinda disappointed now since it seems really ridiculous to me for something like this to be happening for a camera that hasn't even exceeded 2 years.

    In fact, I'm having second thoughts about whether buying the A55 was a right choice - in terms of reliability/durability, though I do agree that the A55 has many features that makes it worthy for its price.

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