Visible Dust isn't the only company talking up new sensor cleaning products this week. Photographic Solutions, the originator of the Sensor Swab cleaning stick for Kodak digital SLR cameras way back in 1998, will ship their first brush-based sensor cleaner later this year. Called BRUSHOFF, it combines a retractable, approx. 0.5 inch (13mm) brush with a grounding cable for claimed superior cleaning abilities.
We have no experience with BRUSHOFF yet, and therefore we can't speak to its actual effectiveness. But that doesn't mean we don't have anything to say about Photographic Solutions' newly-developed sensor cleaner: if the press release weren't from a well-known sensor cleaning products firm, we would have turfed it into the bit bucket. The release contains a factually-incorrect cheap shot at Visible Dust's Sensor Brush (though the text steers clear of mentioning Sensor Brush by name, the reference is obvious), it states that BRUSHOFF has been developed in conjunction with NASA without a supporting quote or an explanation of what NASA might be using the product for (and a followup question to Photographic Solutions resulted in an answer that it would be several weeks before it might become possible to discuss the NASA involvement) and....well, we could go on, but you get the idea. This is not the approach we expect from an established company like Photographic Solutions.
In addition, the recommended procedure for cleaning the BRUSHOFF's brush is to use one of the company's PEC*PAD wipes, saturated with their methanol-based Eclipse cleaning fluid if necessary, to remove contaminants from the bristles. Given how effective we've found the blast-of-air approach to be at cleaning Sensor Brush, we think the Photographic Solutions' PEC*PAD/Eclipse recommendation is a curious one.
Photographic Solutions BRUSHOFF (Photo courtesy Photographic Solutions)
We've requested an opportunity to evaluate a BRUSHOFF when they become available, in the hopes that the product itself is considerably better than the launching of it by Photographic Solutions. The company will be demonstrating BRUSHOFF at Photoshop World Conference & Expo in Boston, MA starting on September 7, 2005. BRUSHOFF is to ship in November 2005 at a manufacturer's suggested list price (MSRP) of US$65.