We've recently looked at ways of keeping unwanted things out of your DSLR, like the Dust Donut and the dri+Cap. But, what do you use if you've already got nasty dust specs all over your sensor: chemical wipes, an anti-static brush, or an air blower? The FireFly is a battery-powered air blower which shoots ionized air onto the sensor of your digital camera to clear it of dust more efficiently.
The FireFly (now in its second generation, and which is smaller and lighter than the original) differs from traditional air blowers in that it blows ionized air into your DSLR or mirrorless camera. This means it neutralizes the static charge which can cause dust to stick to the components of the mirror box, shutter chamber, and image sensor filter. Maker, NRD, claims this means dust will be flushed out of the camera body more efficiently.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
Powered by a 9-volt battery, the device sits between a traditional air bulb and a nozzle which is inserted into the body of the camera (with the mirror locked up) while being careful not to make contact with the sensor. Users then pump ionized air onto the sensor for about 12-15 seconds to clean it of dust.
Because the FireFly features a 20 micron filter, nothing but pure air gets into your camera and the device automatically turns off after 15 seconds meaning you can use it with one hand. That said, it's probably still a good idea to mount your camera on a tripod to do this.
While the blast of ionized air should blow dust off your sensor, if you've got a sticky substance on there, you're still still going to have to break out those chemical wipes and a steady hand.
The FireFly DSC-2000 is available online now for US$130 with a Giottos Air Bulb, or $100 without a bulb, but with adapters for Giottos and Hurricane bulbs.
Below is a quick video from NRD showing exactly how the FireFly works.