Nitecore has just launched a new and improved version of its BlowerBaby cleaning tool, an upgrade on what was originally the world's first-ever electronic rechargeable photography blower, designed and optimized for cleaning photography equipment.
The original BlowerBaby was the weirdest camera cleaner I've ever seen, but it worked! The BlowerBaby 2 features all-new Turbo, Optical, and Silent modes, with a fancy new design and twisty mode dial, and a built-in brush that can be released and retracted with the slide of a button, in a more square-like geometric form.
The world's first electronic and rechargeable photography blower from Nitecore just got an upgrade! The BlowerBaby 2 (BB2) might look a bit odd, almost like a sci-fi laser gun crossed with a chunky Bluetooth speaker - but it does a great job at cleaning photography gear including lenses, camera bodies, and even sensors!
Nitecore's BlowerBaby 2 is different in a lot of ways from the original cleaner, with a powerful new wind speed of 80 km/h, an improved rated power of 33.6W (as opposed to 22.2W), but mostly, it's the new design features that really stand out.
The BB2 is fitted with a handy mode dial on the bottom of the blower, allowing users to choose between Silent mode, Optical mode, and Turbo mode for super fast cleaning, and it even has a torch built into the front nozzle where the air escapes from, as well as where the Magnetic Quick Release Brush emerges.
Nitecore has been making headway in developing its latest range of camera cleaning tools and accessories, and we recently raved about its Stick-it Wrapper lens wrap microfibre cloth as being a super convenient replacement for having to carry around a smaller camera bag or protective pouch for separate lenses and gear.
The cleaning wipes provided by the company are also excellent for cleaning your lenses, LCD screens, and glass filters, leaving no fog, smudges, or wipe marks. I use these wipes frequently as they come individually wrapped and are super travel-friendly for everyday use. You should also take a look at Nitecore's own USB Type-C battery, a Sony NP-FZ100 copycat, that allows for direct charging of batteries.
My first impression when opening the BB2 blower was how strikingly different the design is to the first Blower, and while I prefer the rounder aesthetic of the original, the newly added features such as the mode dials on the BB2 complement the more rugged design perfectly, though it now looks more like a rugged phone or a bulky walkie-talkie than a photo equipment cleaner.
The sheer power and wind speeds that are released from the "Turbo" dial truly blew me away (pardon the pun) and it was strong enough to move my coaster and other action figures across the desk, which are pretty sturdy.
I first tested the BB2 on my Sony A7III sensor, as can be seen in the video below, and it definitely did the job of removing the tiny particles of dust from my mirrorless camera. Be sure to only use the "optical" mode when cleaning camera sensors as the stronger turbo moe can be too overpowering and cause potential damage.
While the BB2 cleaner is without a doubt more powerful than its predecessor, with a 51% increase in motor power, I wouldn't say it did the job any better than the original Blower could. The BB2 is overpowered for sure, but is it necessary? Was there any need to make a version 2 if the original blower could do the job just fine?
Having the new CRI light is admittedly a great idea when needing to clean darker or shadowed areas that are harder to see, and it's pretty bright too. It's also great that you can use the cleaner while it's on charge, so long as you have a long enough cable to get the needed reach to complete the task.
I also used the brush feature to clean my Tamron 24mm f/2.8 lens front and back, to which the cleaner showed no struggle, and within seconds the dust particles on the lens had vanished completely without the need for any microfibre or cleaning cloths that can sometimes leave behind even more residue or dust particles.
I felt that I needed something a bit more challenging to really put the BB2 to the test, and while I'm proud to say that my lenses are pretty clean, my Playstation 4 console is a hub for dust, especially in the ports.
Interestingly, not as much dust escaped the ports of my console as I expected when using the BB2 on it, and admittedly It was a little concerning that maybe I had instead blown the dust particles the opposite way, and pushed dust particles directly into my console instead of out of the vents and ports.
Usually, I would clean my consoles cautiously with compressed air cans, and having worked previously in a game store, I'm no stranger to clumps of dust and lint flying out of ports as it's pretty common.
My console is working perfectly fine and the surface now appears all clean, so clearly the BB2 worked despite no dust fireworks. I later went over the creases of my console with Nitecore's brand of cleaning wipes and now it is gleaming.
Overall, I would say for the purpose of reducing the time it takes to clean your gear then the BB2 is a must-have, especially if working in industrial areas or when regular gear cleans and maintenance is required, such as owning a repair shop or offering sensor cleaning services.
For those who only need to clean their gear once in a blue moon, the BlowerBaby and its newest addition, the BB2, might be an expensive and unnecessary purchase. Although, you can save at least a few dollars by opting for the original BlowerBaby, over the BB2's extra features if you don't think you'd need/use them.
Other products offered by Nitecore such as its sensor and lens cleaning kits, as well as anti-static swabs and anti-fog wipes, might be the more affordable method for keeping your gear in top shape for a fraction of the cost.