Monday, February 27, 2012

Photography Tip: How to Clean Your DSLR Sensor (Photo Essay)

One of the most frightening things for someone switching from a Point and Shoot camera to a DSLR (besides price) has to be the words, "Dust on the sensor".

This photography tip will show you how to get dust off your sensor.

Camera manufacturers want you to send your camera back to them to remove dust and clean your sensor.  
For some people that's OK, I guess.  But, I'm not a millionaire, yet.

So, I do it myself.

First, take a look inside the DSLR when the lens is removed.  What you see is the mirror.
The sensor is hiding behind it.
On the camera Menu, you should find Mirror Up or similar words.  The mirror needs to be locked in the UP position for you to clean the sensor.
With the mirror locked up, the blue and green computer chip-looking thing you see is your DSLR's sensor.  
And, that baby is sensitive.  Do not touch it or, use a brush on it.
A Master Blaster air blowing bulb is the strongest thing I ever use to blow dust out of the camera body.
One time, I did hear of a lady who thought her hair dryer would be a great thing to use.
She melted the sensor and had to buy a brand new camera.  DUH !
There are all sorts of kits available for cleaning DSLR sensors and I won't recommend any one brand over another.  They all do the same job and all have similar tools with instructions.
This kit just happened to be in my backpack and I had what was needed to shoot a how-to demonstration for today's blog.
The orange-handled swab has some super-absorbent material on the end of it.
A little spill-proof bottle of magic sensor cleaner is what you use to, lightly moisten the swab.
Then, gently place it on the sensor and wipe, from one side to the other.
Next, I twist the thing around and give it a second swipe in the opposite direction.
That's just in case a chunk of my beard fell in there the first time I was doing it.
The final stage of sensor cleaning is a few good blasts of air to make sure the sensor is completely dry.  Normally, the camera would be held up in the air with the opening facing downwards.  That way, any other dust inside the camera body would fall out on the floor and not be free to hang around the sensor. 
For some informative YouTube Videos on cleaning DSLR sensors, a Google Search provides specific procedures for almost all brands and models of cameras. 

Now that you know How-to, when you are Ready-to clean your DSLR sensor





Map It! Okinawa said... out did yourself Mike.

Will keep this post handy when I upgrade to a DSLR


Ryukyu Ruuuuuude

RyukyuMike said...

It's one of those things-to-do-on-a-rainy-day things that I finally got around to doing. Another 100 rainy days, or so, and I'll be all caught-up !