Camera Sensor Cleaning - The Dos, Don'ts & How TosDigital <b>camera sensor cleaning</b>, if you will excuse the pun, is a"sensitive" matter. It requires patients and understanding of the delicate natureof the sensor itself. Some self-cleaning camera models like some of those made myCanon do a good job of "removing dust" or at least keeping dust from ruining yourpictures.Unfortunately they do more of a job of "hiding" dust than they do removing it. Anexpensive investment in a camera like the 5D (Canon EOS) can really hit thepocketbook. It would seem like a shame not to take good care of it like the highprecision instrument that it is.Digital camera cleaning of parts, like the lens and body are relatively easycompared to the delicate task of cleaning camera sensors. This is why extremecare should be taken at anytime you remove the lens from your camera body. Adamaged sensor would be a costly repair considering some of the middle end modelsof d-SLR come in at around $2,000 to $3000. Even if you only purchased a "pro-sumer" model like a Canon Rebel XTi or a Nikon D40 for around $800 or $900. It'sprobably a sizable investment for you so the best advice is just to be careful.It is highly recommended that you avoid the use of canned compressed air,especially if you are inexperienced. There are chemicals involved that coulddamage the sensor if expelled into the camera. In the past, with film SLRs it wasperfectly acceptable to use the compressed air as the internal nature of thecamera was not as delicate. While there are propellant free compressed productsavailable, I just as soon avoid them myself. I hate to beat a dead horse butsince you spent so much money on your camera, you should treat it as you would anyexpensive investment. While blowing air into the camera housing is quick andeasy, it's not always the best solution and of course, as I have mentioned can bedangerous. Just avoiding compressed air all together would be my advice.If you <b>must</b> use a product like this due to time constraints, etc. Youshould go with a CO2 and nitrogen cartridge based systems that are moisture freebut can be very expensive.There are many products on the market that I recommend and that I myself use. Onecan obtain digital camera cleaning products anywhere that sells cameras or opticalequipment. However, one must be prudent since we are dealing with a largeinvestment of money and don't want to risk damaging our camera just to save a fewdollars on cleaning supplies. There are camera dealers that I myself have been tothat recommend products that I would never use on my camera. It's not theirfault. Generally they want to be helpful but are most often working for a largecorporation and are hourly employees that, while well-meaning, don't have theexperience to dictate how you should handle your $3000 camera.I talked briefly about automatic dust removal systems. While these will help youout of a situation where you get dust in your sensor and don't have the ability toclean it right then and there, these will work fine. The methods used by thecamera are things like vibrating the sensor to "kick" off dust, having a staticcharge around the sensor to attract dust away and in severe cases, the camera willelectronically remove dust from the image itself. This works with a sophisticatedalgorithm inside the electronic brain of the camera that "detects" dust and usesneighboring pixels to fill in those areas. However, before every major shoot thatis important to me and of course, my client, I use the following techniques.So, how should you go about cleaning digital cameras sensors?