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Dirty sensor already?

Loeb

Established Member
Hi guys. I'm on a weekend break in Matlock. I woke up this morning to a beautiful sunrise over the valley. Got my camera, ran outside, looked through the viewfinder and there was two large spots to the top left corner. I changed the lens but its still there (on the LCD screen too). Now I've heard that the sensor can get dirty but I've only had the camera one month. Surely it can't get that dirty in a month. I went on the Internet and every website tells me I have to take it to a shop to get it cleaned. I can't do that all the time. Please help.
 

COOPERMAN

Prominent Member
If you can see them in the viewfinder and lcd screen then its more likely to be on the mirror or focus screen. You didn't say what camera you have, I'm taking it's a DSLR.

A quick blow with a blower brush should remove them
 
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noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Unless it is one of those Sony DSLR clones with an electronic viewfinder? I was lent one and it was already dirty as the sensor is quite poorly protected from dust and a pig to clean, all at the same time.

I endorse the blower brush approach, but my quick fix would be the healing tool in Photoshop!
 

Loeb

Established Member
Sorry I didn't say what camera I have. Yes it's a "Sony DSLR clone". Sony nex 6. I've gone out around the town this morning and I can't see them now. Not sure if they've gone or they're masked.
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
Unless it is one of those Sony DSLR clones with an electronic viewfinder? I was lent one and it was already dirty as the sensor is quite poorly protected from dust and a pig to clean, all at the same time.

I endorse the blower brush approach, but my quick fix would be the healing tool in Photoshop!

The mirror flips out of the way just like my dSLR mirror did. The sensor is as well protected from dust as my A700 and A200 were by the mirror too. :confused:
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
On the one I had (Not sure of the model, I had it for about 6 hours) it did not appear to have a shutter as such, and it is this that helps to protect the sensor. The LCD viewfinder seemed to be a type of live view, so the sensor is uncovered for much longer than in a "proper" DSLR. No disrespect to the Sony, because in all other respects, it was a good camera.
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
On the one I had (Not sure of the model, I had it for about 6 hours) it did not appear to have a shutter as such, and it is this that helps to protect the sensor. The LCD viewfinder seemed to be a type of live view, so the sensor is uncovered for much longer than in a "proper" DSLR. No disrespect to the Sony, because in all other respects, it was a good camera.

I think you misunderstand the design. Of course Sony SLTs have a mechanical shutter. :D

The difference is that the mirror is fixed. It is flipped out of the way to clean the sensor just like any other dSLR during cleaning.

My A77 is no more of a dust collector than my dSLRs were. Indeed because the mirror is fixed, there should be LESS chance (in theory) of dust getting to the sensor than a dSLR as the dSLR mirror moves out of the way to expose the sensor for every shot.

Just be glad you didn't use a Nikon D600, that comes with a free layer of oil on the sensor straight from the factory. :rotfl:
 

weaviemx5

Distinguished Member
Loeb said:
Sorry I didn't say what camera I have. Yes it's a "Sony DSLR clone". Sony nex 6

Erm, that will be the 'mirrorless' and 'shutter-box less' NEX then...If you remove the lens, the sensor is in full view as per all mirrorless (m4/3 etc) bodies so there is no protection or focus screen. However, I've had my NEX for around 18 months and swap lenses regularly. Any dust will usually clear with a blower so I wouldn't worry too much.

Cheers
Steve
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Black Digital Camera Body (NEX6B.CE) - Wex Photographic

Although this was not the camera I had, it does appear that the sensor is poorly protected - IE: not at all? There is no mechanical shutter on this, what you can see is the sensor.

I must be missing something here, as my budget DSLR - Canon 1100D has both a shutter and of course the mirror to keep the sensor clean. This is more like a CMOS video camera, where the sensor is very exposed.
 

Loeb

Established Member
Hi. Thanks to everyone for the replies. I understand what people are saying about the sensor not being protected but the nex's have been around for a while yet they still have very good reviews so if this was a problem surely people would be complaining about it but they're not. I think I'll try the blower advice. I'll view a few vids on YouTube first to make sure I know what I'm doing. Thanks
 

weaviemx5

Distinguished Member
The shutter mechanism and mirror aren't in place on an SLR to protect the sensor, it's there to reflect the image into the viewfinder prior to the shutter being fired at which point it moves out of the way so the image is recorded by the sensor.

Mirrorless cameras have no mirror/pentaprism/viewfinder by design to be smaller. Having the sensor uncovered is not a design flaw!

I wouldn't worry about it, just don't poke the sensor with your finger when changing lens!

Cheers
Steve
 

wongataa

Prominent Member
Hi. Thanks to everyone for the replies. I understand what people are saying about the sensor not being protected but the nex's have been around for a while yet they still have very good reviews so if this was a problem surely people would be complaining about it but they're not. I think I'll try the blower advice. I'll view a few vids on YouTube first to make sure I know what I'm doing. Thanks

All cameras with exchangeable lenses can get dust on the sensor. It is a fact of life and not a major problem as cleaning sensors is easy.
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Black Digital Camera Body (NEX6B.CE) - Wex Photographic

Although this was not the camera I had, it does appear that the sensor is poorly protected - IE: not at all? There is no mechanical shutter on this, what you can see is the sensor.

I must be missing something here, as my budget DSLR - Canon 1100D has both a shutter and of course the mirror to keep the sensor clean. This is more like a CMOS video camera, where the sensor is very exposed.

There is a mechanical shutter on a NEX. :D

The mirror and shutter don't keep the sensor cleaner. I have explained that my A200 and A700, which are just like your 1100D, collected dust and my A77 with its fixed mirror doesn't collect any more dust than those traditional dSLRs.

Dust on the sensor is inevitable every time you remove the lens. Dust gets into the mirror box and the mirror flips up and dust lands onto your sensor. It is more likely to occur due to environmental factors and how often you change the lens rather than the design of the camera.

It may be useful to Google the difference between dSLR, SLT and mirrorless cameras. :smashin:
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Totally understand you on this, but with an EVF, or mirrorless camera, the sensor is uncovered for longer and this will lead to more opportunities for contamination.

I agree the mirror and shutter is not there to prevent contamination as its primary purpose, but they do help to prevent it.

I understand pretty much all of these cameras have some sort of ultrasonic "shake" to free off dust between shots, so it is mainly grease from fingerprints that then causes the dust to stick that is the issue.
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
With an SLT the sensor isn't uncovered AT ALL.
 

weaviemx5

Distinguished Member
The sensor is completely uncovered in all mirrorless cameras and there is no shutter mechanism as the image is taken whenever you shoot without the need for a shutter to move out of the way. All that happens is that the lens aperture stops down and the sensor records the image. Also, with regards to finger prints, there's no need for your fingers to be near the sensor when you swap lenses! So long as you swap lenses with the camera pointed downwards and ideally shielded from the wind you'll be fine.

Cheers
Steve
 

twist

Distinguished Member
Seriously?! I clean my sensor with my fingers all the time especially after a KFC bargain bucket, gets rid of all the dust.
 

Loeb

Established Member
Hi all. I don't get this "doesn't have a shutter" business. If it doesn't have a shutter why does it have shutter priority or the fact you can change shutter speeds. I don't get what your saying at all. When I looked at getting this camera all the reviews said it has all the abilities of DSLR just in a compact form because its mirror less.
 

weaviemx5

Distinguished Member
Hi, the NEX and Micro four thirds bodies do have exactly the same functionality as SLR's like aperture priority, shutter priority and manual control but physically they don't have a shutter mechanism. When you press the button to take a picture, nothing moves out of the way of the sensor, it simply captures whatever is front of it at that time for the period of time you set your shutter speed to, hence the need for digital live view or electronic viewfinders only. However, I shoot with my NEX in aperture priority exactly the same as I shoot my Canon 5D so there is no difference in their operation.

Cheers
Steve
 

Loeb

Established Member
Hi. Thanks for the reply. Forgive me for sounding really stupid here but if nothing moves when you take a picture what's the sound when you press the button and I can definitely feel a movement in the camera.
 

Loeb

Established Member
Hi. Just been on various websites and all of them say the nex 6 has a physical shutter but has less noise than a DSLR because it doesn't have a mirror.

Ok update. Just gone on another website and it says the nex have "electronic shutters that should last longer than physical ones". Now I'm really confused. If its electronic and there's no movement then how can "last longer", surely it shouldn't wear out at all.
 
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