Photo Tips From The Field: Cleaning Your DSLR Sensor

Posted Feb. 4th, 2012 by Daniel J. Cox

Below is a video I recently made on how to clean the digital sensor on your DSLR camera. I’ve been cleaning my own sensors since 2003 when I first started shooting digital. I am often asked by my students how this is done and very seldom do I show them, since most of the time we’re in dusty, outdoor conditions that should be avoided when doing this procedure. Since I had a little time on my hands here in Costa Rica and a nice clean hotel room to work from, I decided to create this How To Video on cleaning your sensor. Hope this answers the question for those of you who are interested. Let me know if you have any questions by dropping me a note on the Blog.

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There are 12 comments on this post…
  1. bette bittingOn Feb. 11th, 2012

    thanks for the tutorial. I even have the lens pen. now I wont freak out . going home to try it/

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      danieljcoxOn Feb. 11th, 2012

      Bette, glad my video has given you the confidence to clean your own sensor.

  2. CarolineOn Feb. 10th, 2012

    Thank you for sharing, well done, and informative. Shall try it soon. Best wishes

  3. Richard WalkerOn Feb. 10th, 2012

    Thanks Dan, I have a Canon 5D that I got recently and was doing a shoot at a rather dusty location indoors at that and while changing my lens got some dust in there that I had to remove in post to submit to the client. This will help me to clean the sensor myself. I’ll be checking your site for other tips and ideas in the future.
    Happy shooting,


  4. Portrait of David and Shiela Glatz

    Dave GlatzOn Feb. 9th, 2012

    Well done, Dan. Nice to go through the procedure step by step and see you doing it. Gonna try it your way next time. Assume your first step is to use the in-camera sensor cleaning – or do you find that doesn’t work? Thanks for sharing this video!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      danieljcoxOn Feb. 9th, 2012


      Actually, the in camera sensor cleaning is VERY effective. I’ve not had to do the procedure I highlighted in the film for several months. After Kenya I had a few pieces of whatever on the sensor that the camera wasn’t getting rid of by itself. That’s what inspired me to shoot that mini HOW TO Video. In general, since I’ve been shooting the D7000 since it first came out, I haven’t had to manually clean the sensors more than once or twice. The new in camera systems have almost eliminated the need to manually clean sensors but unfortunately it’s still required now and again.

  5. BonnieOn Feb. 6th, 2012

    Hey Dan, you make it sound so easy I think even I can handle this. If I have “crude” on my pictures, I’ll just enlist your help in September.

    Thanks for this video and hope you and Tanya are having a good time.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      danieljcoxOn Feb. 8th, 2012

      Bonnie, you can do it! I have faith. Writing this from Costa Rica having just finished our photo tour of this beautiful country. Will be posting images in a few days of all the fun. Hope you are well and shooting lost of pictures.

  6. SallyOn Feb. 6th, 2012

    When I click on your video Cleaning your dslr sensor it says “This video has been removed by the user.”

    • Portrait of Jill Mangum

      jillmangumOn Feb. 6th, 2012

      Hello all,

      Apologies for the technical difficulties. We will try to get this fixed as soon as possible. Thank you for following our blog!

      Best wishes,

      Jill, Natural Exposures

    • Portrait of Jill Mangum

      jillmangumOn Feb. 6th, 2012


      Thanks for checking in. Think we’ve got all issues fixed here now. Hope you all enjoy the video, and thanks for your patience!


      Jill, Natural Exposures

  7. Portrait of David and Shiela Glatz

    Dave GlatzOn Feb. 5th, 2012

    Hey Dan FYI (just in case you don’t already know this) the You-Tube link says “This video has been removed by the user” when you try to click on it to show the video. Hope you guys are having fun in CR!

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