Photography jobs

Nitecore’s BlowerBaby is my new favorite photography tool

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Your skin regenerates about every 27 days, and the dead skin cells you shed in the process can make up nearly half of the dust floating around your home. This dust, of course, ends up landing on your furniture and electronics. If you’re tired of storing canisters of compressed air to clean dust and dirt off your gear, Nitecore’s $125 BlowerBaby is a more satisfying alternative, albeit another accessory from photography that requires frequent recharging.

Dusty tech isn’t necessarily the end of the world, but when a lot of your job is shooting gadgets for reviews, you always want them to look as shiny, new and clean as possible. Photoshop has all the tools you need to remove dust and dirt from photos, but it’s an extra time-consuming step that I try to avoid by just making sure the gadget I’m photographing is already flawless. The Nitecore BlowerBaby is by far the easiest way to do this, and quite possibly the most satisfying dusting tool I’ve used so far.

Nitecore Baby Blower

WHAT IS THAT?

If you’re fanatical about keeping your electronics (think keyboards, phones, and screens) free of dust and dirt, the BlowerBaby takes all the cleaning work out of the way with a powerful blast of air without chemicals or manual labor.

THE PRICE

$125

AS

Very easy to use, with enough force to dislodge even larger particles.

DO NOT LIKE

Battery life is limited to around 15 minutes of use, which means this is another camera that will require frequent recharging (because the battery is not swappable). And the dust and dirt isn’t really cleaned up, it’s just thrown into the air where it can potentially settle on something else later.

Say goodbye to dust without all the hard work

Over the years I’ve tried many tools to clean my electronics, from small vacuum cleaners to fine-bristle brushes, but a powerful blast of air always seems to be the quickest and most effective approach to solving the problem. problem.

The Giottos Rocket Air Blaster is one of my favorite photography tools, but the BlowerBaby manages to top it.  (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)The Giottos Rocket Air Blaster is one of my favorite photography tools, but the BlowerBaby manages to top it. (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)

The tool I’ve been using for a decade is the Giottos Rocket Air Blaster, which, as the name suggests, looks like a retro sci-fi rocket. The body is made of silicone rubber which you simply squeeze and the air escaping inside is directed through a thin red nozzle on the top which creates a high pressure jet of air effective enough to remove dust and debris.

The BlowerBaby's nozzle generates a wider blast of air than the Giottos Rocket Air Blaster, making larger cleaning and dusting jobs much easier, such as a large screen or keyboard.  (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)The BlowerBaby’s nozzle generates a wider blast of air than the Giottos Rocket Air Blaster, making larger cleaning and dusting jobs much easier, such as a large screen or keyboard. (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)

The Rocket Air Blaster is efficient, and at around $30 it’s pretty cheap, but for particularly messy jobs, like tackling a keyboard after a snack, the constant pressure quickly becomes tiresome. This is probably the most compelling reason to consider switching to the BlowerBaby. The Rocket Air Blaster can repeatedly generate rapid, powerful blasts of air – even more powerful than the BlowerBaby if you press hard enough – but the BlowerBaby’s 71 km/h blast can be sustained for up to 15 minutes straight from the air. from its 1,500 mAh rechargeable battery, with a wider spray pattern making big cleaning jobs easier.

The BlowerBaby's power button can be held down for intermittent cleanings, or pressed twice to turn the device on for longer sessions where you don't want to have to hold the button down all the time.  (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)The BlowerBaby’s power button can be held down for intermittent cleanings, or pressed twice to turn the device on for longer sessions where you don’t want to have to hold the button down all the time. (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)

Press and hold the single button on the bottom of the BlowerBaby to turn it on for intermittent blasts, but for longer cleaning sessions the button can also be pressed twice to turn the BlowerBaby on indefinitely so you don’t have to. to hold it down. . It’s about as easy to use as it gets.

Interchangeable filters for different jobs

On the side of the BlowerBaby is a sizable vent where air is drawn through two layers of filtration, which prevents larger and finer particles from being sucked through the device and then blasted onto the electronics. you are trying to clean.

The BlowerBaby's air filter is removable for occasional cleaning to ensure optimal airflow.  (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)The BlowerBaby’s air filter is removable for occasional cleaning to ensure optimal airflow. (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)

Like the filter in a vacuum cleaner, the BlowerBaby filters can be easily removed. A small twist allows it to be thoroughly cleaned from time to time to keep the air circulating properly. It’s a little upkeep, but if you’re the type who frequently dusts and cleans your electronics anyway, that’s unlikely to be a problem.

An alternative CMOS air filter (the blue version) can be replaced to filter out even finer particles and reduce the power of the BlowerBaby so that it can be safely used to clean camera sensors.  (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)An alternative CMOS air filter (the blue version) can be replaced to filter out even finer particles and reduce the power of the BlowerBaby so that it can be safely used to clean camera sensors. (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)

The BlowerBaby includes what Nitecore calls its standard filter, but the company also sells an $11 alternative called the CMOS Air Filter, which is for those who prefer to use feather dusters to clean their digital camera sensors. Mirrorless cameras can be much more compact than DSLRs and still perform just as well, but the lack of an internal mirror means that dust and dirt can more easily get on the sensor when changing lenses. often requiring frequent cleaning.

There are two approaches to cleaning the sensor: swabs that directly touch and wipe the sensor, and blowers that remove dirt. The latter method is arguably easier (although it usually leaves debris bouncing around inside the camera where it can find its way back to the sensor), but still requires a careful approach. The BlowerBaby’s CMOS Air Filter not only filters out more particles so cleaner air enters your camera; it also reduces the air expulsion speed of the BlowerBaby from 71 km/h to approximately 48 km/h, reducing the risk of sensor damage.

The BlowerBaby's aluminum body feels pretty sturdy, and the device takes up less room in a camera bag than many other alternatives.  (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)The BlowerBaby’s aluminum body feels pretty sturdy, and the device takes up less room in a camera bag than many other alternatives. (Photo: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo)

There’s rarely a single tool that works well for all photographers – they can be notoriously loyal to wrong brands and companies – but the BlowerBaby is worth a shot if you spend more time dusting off Photoshop than you do. would like. Its aluminum body is satisfyingly strong and helps take some of the guilt out of spending $125 on what is essentially a high-powered handheld fan with a 26,000 RPM motor that does quick work of anything but of the most stuck-on dirt.

I can potentially see some users wanting a variable speed option in the future, which would help extend battery life when a less powerful blast will suffice, and possibly even compatibility with device batteries rechargeable cameras because photographers already keep plenty on hand, but the simplicity of the BlowerBaby is also one of its best features. Its capabilities for its size are impressive and, dare I say it, it’s a joy to use.