Nitecore BlowerBaby at a glance:
- High-power air blower
- Incorporates dust filter
- USB-C rechargeable
- Accepts add-on brushes
Nitecore launched the BlowerBaby with the grand claim that it’s ‘the first electronic photography blower in the world’. Essentially, it’s a motorised air blower for cleaning your camera kit, that draws in air through a large circular fine-mesh filter to remove any dust, and then blows it out through a soft silicone nozzle. It costs £105, which sounds crazy when you consider that manual bulb blowers can be bought for a fraction of the cost, and some of them also incorporate air filters.
Nitecore does at least offer an explanation for why you might buy such a device. The firm claims that it generates an impressive wind speed of about 44 mph using the standard air filter, or 31mph using the optional sensor cleaning filter (£12.95). It also gives a sustained, directed output, unlike bulb blowers which only provide very short bursts, with somewhat uncertain directional control.
Nitecore BlowerBaby key features:
- Air filter: Air is drawn in through an interchangeable, bayonet-fit dust filter. A finer sensor-cleaning filter is available for £12.95
- USB-C charge: The built-in 1500mAH battery is recharged via a USB-C port, with a small LED to indicate its status
- Nozzle: The yellow blower nozzle is constructed from soft silicone to prevent any damage to your kit
- Brushes: Buy the optional Camera Cleaning Pen, and you get two brushes that push into the nozzle
There’s certainly no denying the build quality. The device is robustly constructed from aluminium alloy, indeed it’s probably over-engineered for most users. Operation is simple enough, via a single yellow button. You can either hold this button down for as long as you want the blower to run, or double-tap to turn the motor on, then tap again to switch it off.
It’s also possible to add some accessories. Buy the Camera Cleaning Pen (£29.95) and you’ll find two brushes inside that push into the BlowerBaby’s nozzle. One is purple and intended for cleaning your camera, while the yellow one is for lenses, with softer, longer bristles. You’ll have to remember which is which, though, because they’re not marked. Strangely these brushes don’t fit onto the cleaning pen itself, which just has a carbon felt tip for cleaning glass.
Put to the practical test, the BlowerBaby does its job well, blasting loose dust from cameras and lenses with ease. However, it’s clearly much more effective at thoroughly cleaning away stubborn dirt when it has a brush attached. I’d consider the brushes essential additions and think they really should come as standard.
Nitecore’s range of photographic kit
Nitecore’s camera care range also includes sensor cleaning fluid and swabs for all sensor sizes from Micro Four Thirds through to medium format.
However, the firm is perhaps best known for its camera batteries and USB chargers, which it offers for a range of brands including Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, and Sony.
Nitecore BlowerBaby: Our Verdict
Nitecore’s BlowerBaby is a great tool for keeping your cameras and lenses clean. But it’s impractically expensive, especially if you add the sensor filter and brushes, which you really need to get the most from it. I’d like to see the firm offer an affordably made version in a comprehensive bundle that doesn’t push you towards buying more and more extras.