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life of a sensor
Old 09-30-2008, 08:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I have tried to research on the net, but no luck with my question/problem.

Does a sensor in a digital camera degrade to the point that an image will not look sharp?

Yesterday I did some test to see what a new background looked like, and to my surprise the images did not appear sharp. Nothing changed since my last session... I didn't drop the camera or lens, and made no changes in the settings.

I also tried two different lenses, with the same result. They just do not appear sharp, especially the full length. The close head shots were so-so, and the three quarter poses were where I began to notice the problem.

I was wondering .. with age or usage, will that happen to a sensor? Would a cleaning help?
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Re: life of a sensor
Old 09-30-2008, 09:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It is more likely that your focus sensors are going bad than the actual CCD or CMoss. If you were just shooting the background and no subject was there enough contrast to focus?
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Re: life of a sensor
Old 10-01-2008, 08:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It is more likely that your focus sensors are going bad than the actual CCD or CMoss. If you were just shooting the background and no subject was there enough contrast to focus?
I think I'd agree with Steve ... I shot over 300,000 images on my D100 and it's still giving me sharp images
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Re: life of a sensor
Old 10-01-2008, 08:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Photomart View Post
I think I'd agree with Steve ... I shot over 300,000 images on my D100 and it's still giving me sharp images
Thanks for the replies. As brilliant as I am , I have no idea if the focus sensor is going to be a big problem to repair, or if I should just look for a new camera. OK.. don't even ask how old the camera is... I was never one for having the latest one.... I know times have changed.

By the way, I wasn't just photographing the background, I used some props and a real person.

................
I will be in the Metroplex this weekend, and guess it would be a good time to look at the latest in digital offerings.

Ahhhh. them good old days when a film camera last forever. Why do I keep thinking about my 3 RB systems packed away. One body is over 25 years old and still works.

I love those days... but hate to think about shooting film ever again.... probably never will.
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Re: life of a sensor
Old 10-01-2008, 10:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I am aware of nothing in the physics of the sensor that would cause the image sharpness to degrade preceptably within a decade or so, although you might loose some pixels, etc. You COULD see sharpness degradation from the sensor if the surface became coated with an environmental film (technically refered to as "schmutz"), such as grease, oil or other mists and dusts. It would be like using a nylon scarf to soften an image - or vaseline on a UV filter.

I don't know and couldn't even guess about the relative likelihood of such residue built-up versus focus sensor deterioration. Cleaning such build up would require a delicate hand AND an appropriate, dust-free solvent. Personally, I'd only try it if the camera in question weren't my only camera.
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Re: life of a sensor
Old 10-01-2008, 11:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't know and couldn't even guess about the relative likelihood of such residue built-up versus focus sensor deterioration. Cleaning such build up would require a delicate hand AND an appropriate, dust-free solvent. Personally, I'd only try it if the camera in question weren't my only camera.
Thanks.. I meant sensor cleaning, which is offered by some camera dealers, or even kits for doing it yourself.. I probably would not get the DIY kit.

I wasn't sure if dust on the sensor could be the problem, but it seems that the consensus is it is not the sensor, it is a focusing mechanism problem.

Thanks again.
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Re: life of a sensor
Old 10-02-2008, 06:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I wasn't really thinking about "dust" - in the sense of dry particulate matter. That would be relatively easy to remove.

I've noticed that certain locales - like a kitchen where cooking frequently takes place - tend to foster a build-up on surfaces of an oily coating. The building where I work does that as well; not just my lab but also my office equipment develops a perceptable, kind of greasy coating.

My reading of the responses isn't that the concensus is it's your focusing sensors, but rather that we all agree that it ISN'T a physical deterioration of your optical sensor due to the age.
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