I am still 110% happy with the S90 you recommended. Great pictures 90% of the time. As an underwater photographer I am lucky to 5 out 10 that are of the best quality.

I do have a question concerning the emailing of the video files I take with the S90. They have a .MOV file extension and the folks I send them to are unable to open the video.

I do have to be concerned with the file size also when using AOL. So I am working on trimming them as needed.

Any info you have would be great.

Great looking new vehicle, stereo better than I have at home. LOL



Hi Rick -

I'm glad to hear you're happy with the Canon S90.  It's a neat little camera for sure.

You're getting 50% keepers?  I wish I could do that.  I average about 1 keeper for every 50-100 captures.. sometimes 1/1000+ for instance when doing a cover photo.

Your question:  .mov files are QuickTime files.  If the people you're sending them to don't have the QuickTime plug-in installed in their browser they won't be able to open the video.. or the QuickTime standalone.  Personally I use Adobe Flash for things like this.. everyone has it installed and the files are smaller and easier to compress.  Both are good.. it's a matter of preference.

Thanks for the comments on the truck.  It's 99% complete at this point.  The bed cap, window visors, and some other things have been installed.. and yes the stereo is nice..  I can actually watch movies and other videos on it's 7 inch LCD!  I opted out of the tuner though.. I'm not a fan of Thai TV and if my wife ever knew she could watch Thai TV on it then I'd never get to play my music.. :)

Take care




Well Cuba was good but they really messed with me with I was at the airport.  Guess they thought I was some kind of spy reporter or something and on top of being American they were just messing with me.  Other then that Cuba was great and the photography opportunities there are endless.  I thought it would have been great to shoot some pictures of Guantanamo from the other side of the fence but that was never going to happen as I was on a guided tour the whole time.

Been great, I started writing for another website as well ( and have written about 16 post for them so far.  Got my new gear and have been playing around with it more.  Love the PocketWizards  and having two 580 flashes now.  This last week was nothing but fiesta's and got to go to a bull fight.  Got some good pictures with the 300mm on that one.


Question:  The sensor on my Canon 5D is really spotty.  I'm in South America and there isn't a Canon Service Center closer then 2k miles.  I tried blowing the dust out with a blower and even did the sensor cleaning on the menu while blowing it out and holding the camera upside down.  None of this worked and I'm getting sick and tired of having to edit out spots.

Any advise on how to clean my sensor without ruining my camera?




Ya know, I think I'd get some kind of perverse pleasure in taking pics from the other side of the fence..

I'm glad you enjoyed the trip.

Ok.. to your question:

Yes, it's very important you do this right.. because screwing this up can scrap your camera.  Here is what Canon does:

Canon only uses a bulb blower.  That's it.  I've talked to their service staff at length and that's all Canon recommends and authorizes.  For the most part this will work out well if you get a good bulb blower (a hefty ear syringe type will work, or a Jet Blower from a camera shop).

To test how well you cleaned the sensor put your camera in Av mode, set the aperture to about F16-F22.. and take a pic of the sky making sure to expose properly.. maybe a stop less than the meter indicates.  Put that on the screen and watch the dust specks against the sky stand out..

Didn't get them all?  Repeat the process until you get as much off as possible.  For most people this will be good enough.  And it's all Canon will do.. which is a sore point of contention between Canon, me, and every other manufacturer out there.

What do other manufacturers do?  They use the air bulb blower first.. and then if necessary they "wet clean" the sensor.  They use Sensor Swabs and Eclipse 2 fluid for the most part.  The problem is, you need to follow the proper procedure exactly or you'll end up causing damage.. and I mean exactly.

This is not recommended for those who aren't used to technical tasks.  However, if you can read, follow directions, and are used to completing technical tasks then you should be able to do this without issues.  It's what I do when my sensors get really dirty and I've never had an issue.

There are other products out there.. from vacuum devices to anti-stat devices to special brushes (actually, the right brushes kept clean (the hard part) works pretty well, I have a set and they ran over $200!).

In the field I carry the pre-moistened swabs.. but I also carry a jet blower and try hard to make sure this is all I use.  Using swabs in the field is risky and should be avoided except for emergencies.

In my home I have a complete array of swabs, fluids, brushes, anti-stat devices, wipes, blowers, speck removers, and devices to help me see the dust on the sensor directly.  Over the years I've tried most everything out there.  With experience you'll learn what tools work best with what types of cleaning jobs..

I would describe my method for using the swabs and fluids.. but because the possibility of doing damage is very real I'm not going to.  I will teach this in my workshops where I can do an hands-on demonstration and then watch my client do the same, but not in this column.  I would suggest Googling "Sensor swabs and Esclipse" to find some really excellent articles and even videos showing how to use these tools.  Read about this in depth and take as many different opinions into account before deciding to do this yourself.  Also, keep in mind most of the "easy and cheap" methods touted with home made tools and hardware store fluids.. aren't the way to go.

An experienced tech can wet clean a sensor in just 2-3 minutes.  The first time you do this you'll probably go through a ton of swabs (so order a lot of them) and make several mistakes requiring you to redo the procedure.. so plan on having the time and not being rushed.

Even if you can clean your sensor with a single swab, it's cheaper to take your camera into the Canon service center here in Bangkok and get it done.

I hope this helps.


Please submit your questions to   All questions will be answered and most will show up in the weekly column.