I just had an email from a student of mine who has started to notice some blurs and spots on her images. She’s cleaned her camera lens and her filters – where can this dirt be?
Well the fact of the matter is that there are tiny specs of dust inside her camera on the actual camera sensor. A DSLR’s sensor or CCD is an electromagnetic device and because of this, dust particulars are easily attracted to it. It’s a bit like the way dust attracts itself to your TV screen like a magnet – same concept.
Does my DSLR need Cleaning?
If you want to see if your camera has sensor dust try the following:
Set your camera’s aperture to f22 in the Aperture Priority mode.
Then take a few shots of a plain white piece of paper or if you have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements take a picture of a blank white canvas on your computer screen.
The result will look something like this:
Ugh! Black spots! that’s one dirty sensor!
The can be removed in Photoshop but it really is a pain to do lots of shots like this.
What you need is a little sensor cleaning!
DSLR Cleaning Tips
The problem is that cleaning this sensor can be a tricky job one and having been in the business, I never recommend doing it yourself. In my opinion, unless you are very confident and know precisely what it is you are attempting, leave this job to the professionals. Find your local camera service centre and ask for a service quotation which should include sensor cleaning. Then shop around till you find the best deal.
The best thing you can do is try to avoid this problem in the first place.
- Keep your camera body attached to a lens at all time. There is no need to separate the lens from the body unless your are changing lenses.
- When you are changing lenses do it as swiftly as possible and try not to do it in very dusty/sandy windy environments
- Store your camera in a specific camera kit bag link
- Vacuum out the inside of the bag on a regular basis
- If you do have to get your camera senor cleaned try and go to a local service centre where possible so that you can have a faster turn around time than mailing off your camera body back to the manufacturer.
If you are interested in cleaning your sensor yourself this is a really great website which goes through the procedure step by step.
Be warned though this is not my recommendation and if you mess up your sensor – bye bye warranty and sometimes byebye camera….
Best idea – keep it clean people!
Image thanks to petar_c http://www.flickr.com/photos/ceklic_petar/1208075186/