You haven't cleaned your DSLR Sensor?!?

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How to clean your camera sensor, and keep your lenses and equipment clean! A must when shooting regularly and prolonging the life of your gear!
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what's up everybody Peter MacKinnon here and today we're talking about how to clean your sensor how to do it at home what to do what not to do to keep that camera in good working order let's go [Applause] Oh [Applause] I got this bug in Hawaii years ago all right what's going on how is everyone doing today we're talking about how to clean your sensor now this wasn't a video that was on my radar in the last couple of months it only really kind of came up when I was in Africa because like I mentioned in the last vlog it's super dusty there's a lot of wind there was a lot of dirt flying around I'm pretty good with keeping my gear clean now I've got a lot of Pro equipment so it's all weather sealed so for the most part living here I never have to really worry about it my cameras don't really get too dirty and my lenses don't get too dirty but when I met up with max in Kenya I was looking at his stuff I was like dude your gear is filthy and I thought to myself he's got not clean his equipment or what one day outside got back to my room looked at my gear and was like oh what is happening inevitable sometimes you're just in environments you're in situations you're doing a shoot whatever it might be a paid gig it might not be might just be where you're exploring but you get back and your stuff is a mess so what do you do how do you clean it what do you use to clean it you have to send it away to clean it can I do it at home what should I not be doing those are kind of some of the things I thought that might be valuable to teach you guys in today's episode so I'm going to go into some of them now full disclosure I only clean my sensor if I notice that there's some like obvious piece of dirt on it like when you're shooting and you've got your camera and you're looking through it and you can see like a dark spot or even when you get back to editing and you see a dark spot on your photos and they're like what the heck is that and you've got a clone stamp that means there's dirt on your sensor and that is when you need to clean it I don't just get home from like a regular shoot hanging out with you know my buddies and be like alright I'm going to pick this down I'm going to go ahead and clean that's your kind of just asking for it you want to open that sensor up as little as possible so only clean it if you really need to clean it now second thing I want to mention is only do this if you're confident in your own abilities to do so I am NOT responsible for anybody opening up their sensor and like spitting on it or carving your name in it or like melting a candle over it don't do any of those things if you ruin your sensor that's not on me so good luck with it it's a finicky situation right when it comes to cameras cleaning the sensor opening up that sensor and exposing it and actually touching the surface with anything is like is like diffusing a bomb it's one of the most sensitive vulnerable spots of a camera so you don't want to just open it up and go microwave some pizza and watch some Netflix and come back like oh I forgot LS that open like this is something you just want to do quick get it done right close that up and not have to do it preferably for as long as possible compressed air lens cleaner rocket blower formulating and we got a loop and a lens cloth now this is what I do not recommend to use compressed air is not very good because it comes out too strong so if you're trying to clean stuff off of a lens a lot of the times this can end up pushing dirt further into the camera it can push it into those crevices so the lens can push it into areas into the buttons now my camera's super dusty and I get home I might give it like a quick something like that just to like brush off all the dirt or pollen or whatever's been on it from wherever I've been shooting but I'm not going to get like super up-close into the eyepiece into all these things just because I don't I don't want to force anything further into the camera that shouldn't and doesn't need to be in there do not turn it upside down and like open up the center and sub-zero freeze it because well you know just just an idiot let's just don't do that so this is what I use instead these are rocket blowers to keep this in my bag everywhere I go every time I open up the body to change the lens I turn the camera upside down so that anything that I'm blowing in here is going to fall out I don't want to go this way I want to just give it a quick couple squeezes like that the dirt falls out I put my lens on and when I'm done shooting I take my lens off I give this a quick little once-over I put the cap back on and I'm good you want to keep this cap on as much as possible or a lens on as much as possible you want to avoid any possible downtime where that camera is just sitting open for extended periods of time that's just asking for it it'd be like leaving your car with all the doors open and the keys in the ignition and you just you park it down in the city and you just go out for the day you want to get your lens a quick clean and you get home Zeiss lens cleaner is microfiber cloth supersoft it's just like three dollars so it's super cheap but just to just to show you an example like how dirty it was when I was shooting in Africa this was after one day I just got home I wiped the lens down look at all the dirt that came off just one UV filter from like a half day's shoot that's a lot of dirt coming off of a UV filter so you can imagine the whole lens was covered the body to screen everything I know we're getting into like cleaning a lens here but I mean we're here I may as well show you the sensor stuff but I don't recommend just spraying down on the top first I would just give a couple sprays to the actual cloth itself so just start with two and then I would wipe the top of the lens furthering that a couple squeezes of rocket there get all those extra Fluffy's off and then the cap goes straight back on that lens is clean that's all you need to do go and use this you don't need to spray the out of it just spray the rag get it done moving on alright now it's time for the sensor so you can have it professionally clean you can send it to your camera manufacturer they'll do it obviously in the cleanroom flawlessly you'll get it back mint there is the downtime of having your camera gone you have to ship it to them unless you live close you might be able to drop it off and you still gotta go pick it up or have it shipped back so there's a Canadian company called visible dust and they specialize in sensor cleaning and camera cleaning and all that kind of thing and they've got a product called the Arctic butterfly and they're not paying me to say this or advertising either stuff I don't actually even use the arcs butterfly I used to have one back when I worked at the camera shop because they're really expensive they're like 350 dollars at that point may as well just send your camera to have it professionally cleaned they work pretty well I just I just never really liked it that much there's two different methods there's using that brush I prefer the swab so they sell these swabs and they're individually packed so that there perfectly clean and airtight and then you get this liquid with it which is called V dust + multi ingredient formula specifically made for DSLR sensors made in Canada okay so there's the there's the sensor cleaning stuff right there that's all I need you toss this away you buy a pack of them you get like 12 like I said I'm not cleaning my sensor every month every two months anyway so one pack of these swabs will last me quite a while unless I was shooting somewhere like Africa on a consistent basis the last thing that I use is what I really really like from them and I've had these as long as they've made them is their loops so it comes in a little case like this it's essentially a giant magnifying glass with different LEDs you got red ones you got white ones and then you got nothing so this sits on top of the camera so that you can look down onto the sensor and see it massive and you can actually see where the dusts and the dots and all the dirt is you know where to swab or if you've missed anything so the red LEDs are something that they're calling dark adaptation which means when you're in a dark environment you're using those LEDs and your pupils have adjusted to that environment you're able to see more detail and more spots and potential dirt on the sensor using that red LED with their dark adaptation technology so a problem is there's dust and particles and nonsense floating everywhere in your house you can't necessarily see it but you don't want your sensor open and exposed if all of this stuff is floating around so what do you do go into your bathroom and run the shower on as hot as it goes for like five minutes that's going to get the room really really hot really really steamy really really humid and that waves down all the dust all the dirt all the particles that would be floating around in the air turn off the shower bring the camera in do your sensor cleaning that's the best case scenario of not getting any extra particles or dust floating around trapping them in your camera by accident you've essentially created a clean room in your house by weighing all that dirt down with the humidity and water and the steam that's in the air from the shower all right so the first thing you're going to want to do is turn the camera on a lot of these cameras the sensor is open through the menus so I shoot Canon you guys do as well it's under the wrench tab and it's the third tab over called sensor cleaning you're gonna click on that and you've got three options now and you'll notice it has auto cleaning clean now and clean manually clean now you'll probably notice if you click that it kind of vibrates the sensor a little bit to shake off some of the dirt you'll probably notice that also happens sometimes when you turn the camera off at the end of the day does a little sensor cleaning there just to kind of keep everything as neat and tidy as you can but what you want to do is go back into that menu sensor cleaning you're going to go clean manually what that does is it exposes the sensor and then it's go time so let's go ahead and do that clean manually this mirror will lock up after manually cleaning sensor turn the power off which will automatically close that door so go over to okay and listen for this there it is so the sensor is now open alright so that is your image sensor so we're going to want to do is throw that loop on there keep any dirt out we're going to turn the light on and take a look inside so there is that loop looking inside that is red which will show more dirt and specks now I'm going to put one drop on the front and one drop on the back sometimes I do two drops on the front two drops on the back but you know to each is out to take this off don't try not to drop this trying to drop the swap at this point because it's perfectly clean and you don't want to touch the sensor with anything that's not clean it'd be like washing a car and if you drop the rag on the driveway and then take the rag up and continue wiping down the car not that that's the idea so we're going to go one drop here two drops because I feel like it flip it over one drop and two drops just to get like an even distribution of liquid so you're gonna put the swab all the way in and just paint a cry pretty much it and you can do another pass to make sure there's no streaks on there once you're done you're going to throw that loop back on you're going to take a look at your handiwork make sure there's no streaking no more specks now once you're done just like the instructions said you want to turn that camera off and that closes the sensor door flips the mirror back down and you're good to go alright guys so that's it for me today I hope you enjoyed this video I hope you learned something I hope you got something out of it if your camera's dirty if you need to clean the sensor you're just looking for some general knowledge on how to take care of your equipment better I hope this serves you well again be careful be cautious take your time don't speed through it but being able to clean your own sensor and keep your own equipment in its best working condition is something that every photographer cinematographer should definitely know how to do so thanks so much for watching hit that like button if you liked this video smashes if you so desire subscribe if you aren't already hit that little Bell button and you'll be notified every time I upload a video with vlogs and tutorials and a bunch of random shenanigans that we do here on this channel thank you so much for watching and and I'll see you guys in the next video

20 thoughts on “You haven't cleaned your DSLR Sensor?!?

  1. You and your coffee…love it! I wish i could get anyone to answer this question bc i have consistently asked, googled and still cant figured it out??? My Canon m-50 that i just got in Nov. and i have filmed with it with NO problems until this past month and everrrryyyything is BLURRY??? I have changed focus to af to manual to back and i cannot figure out what is happening. All my b roll is completely blurry and even many photos and video!!??? Anyone???

  2. So you call them swabs ? cleaning swabs or what, having trouble finding it online, and the shopkeepers at my retailer don't understand what I'm asking for, even when I say swabs…. SOS

  3. I have to disagree, when cleaning a lens, you better blow some air first to evacuate some silicate dust or sand, because wiping tour Lens with sand on it will scratch the glass…

  4. I always wonder if the lens or sensor is where the spot is. And I have used air very lightly. I never want to touch a sensor. My cam has a setting for cleaning but I don't see it does much.

  5. Watching this over a year later. Dude 6:07 totally broke my heart. I would start with the puffer to get rid of any obvious dust or dirt that might be no there. By going straight into wiping it like that you risk scratching the coating. Ps. I do quantum optics.

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