Should I Clean My Own Sensor?
Posted by Melody Tan
Image Source: Google
27th March 2020, Singapore – As seasoned photographers, many of you would have encountered getting dust spots on your images caused by sensor dusts. Even with the newer cameras that comes with dust-proof design or in-camera cleaning using electro-waves / shakes to clean the sensor, many photographers still ended up with stubborn dusts on their sensor.
Image Source: Google.
– Example of Sensor Dusts appearing on images
The sensor dusts usually becomes very visible when images are shot in small apertures.
But how dust Sensor dusts end up in camera? Simple – when you change lens in windy places, when the lens mount of your lens are already dirty, or even dust that can be “created” from inside the camera. Do not forget your camera is made up of moving parts and when there is friction, tiny specks of plastics, oil etc will find their way around from inside your camera.
So the big question, should I clean my own Sensor since commercially-available sensor cleaning kits are on sale everywhere?
Good question. If you are a regular shooter and use your camera very often, likely you will get dusts on your sensor very frequently. Let’s see the options below.
Send to Service Centre
And we do understand that a visit to your camera’s service centre will cost you some money for just cleaning. They (the service centre) will likely charge you for the Cleaning, a manpower fees, GST etc and to rub more salt, you are most likely asked to return to collect your camera a few hours later or another working day. And from what we gathered, some very expensive camera brand can charge as much as SGD $200 for just cleaning the sensor. (Don’t ask which brand, you should know).
Using Sensor Cleaning Swab
These swabs are available everywhere – from online shops to retailers – but are these safe to use? You may not like what you are going to hear, but as an independent media we have to share. The answer is “Use at your own risk”.
For the record, our service centre is receiving about 2 to 3 cameras per week for damaged/ scratched sensors – resulting from failed attempts from using Sensor Swabs. This is serious, most of the time, we will refer such cases to visit their service centre since replacing the sensor is very costly and advisable to be done only at your brand’s service centre.
Please see below for examples of scratched sensors.
Image Source: Google.
From the above images, you have seen it for yourself how easily camera sensor can be scratched. The ultra sensitive sensor surface once scratched, most of the time there is no reverse remedy except to have the sensor swap out for a new unit and it comes with a price tag. And when we say price tag, many had went through this and will warn you never to touch your sensor.
Over at Ourshutterjourney.com, we highly recommend our Card members to send their cameras to our Authorized Service Centre (P&G Photographic Centre) . P&GPC cleans camera sensors at a very reasonable price – a fraction of what you might be paying at your own brand’s service centre. From what we understand, the sensor cleaning are being done in a controlled & clean environment using the same equipment and method used by your brand’s service centre to clean the sensor dust. Not only they have the right equipment, the technical chief was a camera technician for over 20 years! Apart from paying a much lower fee, you have the protection & the service quality assurance of a business that had span 19 years in Singapore.
Did we say that you can get your camera back in 10* mins?
*When the store is not packed.
So there you have it. We Do NOT Recommend You Cleaning Your Own Sensor using Swabs. It can get really complicated and costly if you are doing it wrongly. If you are feeling rich and a Brand Fan boy, do send it back to your brand’s service centre or for those who are looking for great value, fast service, do pop by P & G Photographic Centre.
P & G Photographic Centre is located at:
1 Coleman Street,
#B1-04, The Adelphi,
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
OPERATING HOURS: Mon to Sat from 11.00 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Closed on Sunday & public holidays only
Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.
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