How to Clean Your Camera Sensor: A Tutorial for Brave Souls
The idea of cleaning the sensor on your camera is a frightening prospect for many photographers, but it needn’t be. This 2-minute video will show you how to shake that fear and banish dust, dirt, and oil from your sensor’s filter glass for good.
If you use an ILC, you’re bound to get dust and possibly oil (the horror) on your sensor at some point. This may not be noticeable at a larger aperture, but once you stop down those dust particles will leave annoying spots in your images that you’ll have to clone out in post.
In this short tutorial, Levi Sim of Photofocus demonstrates a few of the different tools you can use to clean up that sensor.
If you’ve accidentally touched the sensor with a finger, you’ll need to clean off the oily residue from your skin. To do this, Sim recommends a sensor swab and Eclipse Optic Cleaning Solution. Simply apply the solution to the tip of swab and then pass it over the glass covering your sensor. These swabs should only be used once each, so they’re best employed only for oils and stuck-on debris.
If you just want to rid your sensor of dust, you can use a LensPen, which has a retractable brush for dry-cleaning the glass. You could also use the popular bulb blower, which propels a stream of air over the glass.
Note that Sim shows the process for a mirrorless Lumix camera, but you can access the sensor on your SLR by finding the ‘Sensor cleaning’ setting in your camera’s settings. This will lock the mirror up, exposing the sensor and allowing you to remove dust and oil using the same methods above.
Of course, you can always send your camera off from time to time for a good old fashioned professional cleaning. But if you’re only doing that because you’re scared of hurting your sensor, give Sim’s video a look—he might just convince you there’s nothing to be afraid of.