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I think the dust comes from the lens extending and retracting. Acts like a bellows pulling air and and out. It's probably not sealed as well as it should be and over time (sometimes a short time), dust gets sucked in and deposited on the sensor. I've seen a couple of posts on forums and blogs where people sent in the camera for dust on the sensor to Ricoh and they replaced the lens assembly. This leads me to suspect that that something in the design of the lens assembly (most likely the sealing mechanism) ain't quite right. So, I...Show more →
Its a tough engineering feat of course, because the lens assembly can't be truly sealed. If it was, it would result in a vacuum and you couldn't extend the lens without creating a negative pressure, and/or retract the lens without creating a positive pressure environment.
My theory is that its more likely something that happens at the factory, because I had dust on a brand new camera, that never went into my pocket, and others have no dust issues, even though they carry their camera every day in their pockets, sans case etc.