Keeping your camera sensor clean and free of debris is very important to obtaining the best images possible. If you notice smudges or other spots showing up on the image it’s possible the sensor may need to be cleaned. The tech tip will go over four methods we use here in our lab for cleaning our sensors when needed. We recommend performing the cleaning steps that remove the smudge/dirt in the least invasive way possible.
1) The first method is to use a dust removal tool such as the one pictured aside. The lens mount can be kept on for this method and simply point the tool at the sensor and give it a few good squeezes of air. If the dust/dirt still is present then move onto the next method.
These ear syringes can be purchased from most chemists and typically cost less than $10
2) The second method involves using compressed air. Always ensure you are using clean compressed air and that you do not point the air directly at the sensor but shoot air at it from the sides. For this method and the two that come after the lens mount will need to be removed. Remove the four black screws holding in the mount and then apply the compressed air from the side of the camera as pictured below.
Compressed air can be purchased from Jaycar or similar hardware stores.
3) If compressed air hasn’t removed the debris or you are dealing with a smudge on the sensor then you will have to use a lens cloth to take care of the issues. Select a high quality disposable lens cloth and ensure you use a new cloth each time you clean a sensor. With the lens mount removed, use a single quick motion across the affected area and make sure to never re-use a portion of the cloth that has already touched the sensor.
4) The last method used if none of the other methods have been successful is using isopropyl alcohol and then wiping the sensor again with a lens cloth. Please ensure to use the highest purity isopropyl alcohol while using the same single quick motion wiping method across the affected area with a lens cloth.
*Elecrtro-static Discharge events may cause damage to the image sensor. Take extreme care when cleaning the image sensor surface
- Always take appropriate anti-static precautions when cleaning or working near the image sensor
- Do not use any form of cleaning equipment using electrostatic or “charged fiber” technology
- Always discharge electrostatic discharge build up in your body by touching a grounded metallic surface before working on a camera
- Very gently, use only clean and dry air to remove dust
- For stubborn contamination use high grade pure IPA with optical wipes of ‘clean room’ grade
- wipe across the sensor in a single action, to not rub to avoid abrasive damage.
*Tech Tip originally created by Photron USA, see all their tech tips here