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Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
Including NEX-EA50UH / EA50EH / EA50H / EA50UK / EA50EK / EA50K


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Old February 27th, 2014, 02:58 AM   #1
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Sensor cleaning

Stressing out a bit here. I purchased a Giottos Rocket Air Blower to rid my EA50s sensor of some dust.
When I went to use it for the first time, the blower spat out a white substance onto my camera sensor, and no amount of blowing will get it off.

There are hundreds of articles online about sensor cleaning, and reading them has left me even more confused. So I was hoping to get your opinions. How do you clean your sensors? Should I go and buy a cleaning kit? How risky and difficult is it really?

I'm annoyed at the lack of a self-cleaning sensor in the EA50. My Canon 550D had one and I never had issues with dust.

Thanks in advance.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 03:34 AM   #2
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Re: Sensor cleaning

I never had any trust in using air blowers to get rid of dust, my only fear was that you would force any dust present on the sensor further into the camera body and the example you gave is a very good one as well why not to use them.

From the beginning I noticed dust very easily gets on the nex-ea50 sensor, especially when you swap out lenses so much like I did, I started using a arctic butterfly to remove any dust from the sensor with very good success, I actually used that brush before every shoot I did for a year and that has worked out well for me, some people might argue about the cost of such a tool but for me it's a nobrainer because of it's effectiveness.

I agree on the 550d, also had one, never had to clean the sensor.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 07:15 AM   #3
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Re: Sensor cleaning

I use these swabs and cleaner - I swap lenses a lot both on my EA50 and VG20 - as the sensor is exposed then dust is a real issue - I find I need to give it a clean before every shoot.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Solutions-Se...s=sensor+swabs

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Photo-Soluti..._bxgy_ph_img_y
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Old February 27th, 2014, 07:20 AM   #4
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Re: Sensor cleaning

I think that in Jody's case the sensor swabs are the best option as that substance he got on the sensor probably will not come off with a arctic butterfly, that butterfly is mainly for "maintanance" and removing actual dust, the sensor swabs if you have got actual dirt attached to the sensor. Thx for the link Peter, was planning to get such a solution as well.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 11:56 PM   #5
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Re: Sensor cleaning

I went to my usual camera shop and they recommended these:

Amazon.com: VisibleDust UltraMXD-Vswab 1.0x Sensor Cleaning Swabs, Green, 12 Swabs: Camera & Photo

I'm still reluctant to use them but I'll give it a try tonight... It was recommended that I use water as opposed to a cleaning solution, is this the right way to go?
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Old February 28th, 2014, 02:19 AM   #6
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Re: Sensor cleaning

Sheesh!! I haven't cleaned my sensors since I had the cameras which is now 13 months..images look pretty good to me and no-one has complained but I do changed lenses quite a lot but face the camera downwards and give the sensor a puff of the blower!

Maybe I need to clean them?? Here it appears that the Visible Dust kits are more readily available and come with 1ml of cleaning fluid and 4 swabs for around GBP 18 ... I am still looking for local cleaning kits but nothing seems to be around ..the major suppliers are either US or UK

Jody? if your kit has the fluid then use it! I would suspect that your blower has a rubber ball at the end that you squeeze to expel air from the nozzle right?? To stop the rubber sticking they add French chalk inside the bulb and I bet that's what came out the nozzle ..fine white powder ...mine did that too so I washed it out and the air is clean with no white powder coming out.

Let us know how the visible dust product works??? I assume the swab is only used once then discarded??

Chris
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Old February 28th, 2014, 02:44 AM   #7
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Re: Sensor cleaning

Yep, it's a fine white powder as you described. Interesting! I might put the blower in some water and attempt to clean it out.

As for the swabs, unfortunately they didn't come with a cleaning solution. It is sold separately at $65 NZD a bottle which is ridiculous. If I can get away with using water, I'll be happy.

And as for your sensor, try shooting a white wall with the iris closed down as far as possible. Then you'll see if it has any dust on it. Usually I don't notice unless I'm shooting a landscape with a lot of sky in the shot.
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Old February 28th, 2014, 03:50 AM   #8
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Re: Sensor cleaning

Hi Jody

If you do use water for goodness sake use distilled water not tap water. I see the fluid that Peter uses is labelled Lens/CCD fluid on Amazon and I wonder if that is simply a mixture of water (distilled) and iso alcohol so it dries without streaking. I looked on UK and in the UK yes, the fluid costs the same as a pack of swabs! They also had a bottle of fluid (1ml ???) and 4 swabs for around the same price ...I can get the 4 swabs and bottle in Aus at digital camera warehouse for $42 but they want $11 for postage ..actually cheaper from the UK as they don't rip you off on delivery!

I tested my cams at F16 and 1/50 shutter on a white wall and there are no marks on the video. Also normally exposed sky shots are clean too. When I change lenses I try to tip the camera nose down so any airborne dust doesn't get in. Noa had a very dirty sensor but he was changing lenses inside an abandoned casino which probably was very dusty!

Chris
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Old February 28th, 2014, 05:06 AM   #9
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Re: Sensor cleaning

My impression was that the nex-ea50 sensor was very susceptible for dust, maybe I just am living in a dusty environment? :) If I pointed my camera at the sky and closed down the iris as much as possible I could see dust specs all over the sensor, in most cases you won't notice this in normal exposed shots but depending on your exposure and background (like blue skies) it can definitely ruin your shot, I now just do preventive cleaning before every shoot, the arctic butterfly is just a fine brush that doesn't scratch the sensor or leave any other junk and it kept my images nice and clean, just the way I like it. :)
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Old February 28th, 2014, 11:15 PM   #10
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Re: Sensor cleaning

Thanks guys.

I purchased the recommended cleaner and used that. It was very easy, and now the sensor is completely dust free :)
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Old April 7th, 2014, 11:50 AM   #11
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Re: Sensor cleaning

I've just come out of a frustrating time caused by dust on the sensors of both my EA50 and my Nikon D800. I shoot on a lot of construction sites.

My fear of going anywhere near the darned things has now been cured and a solution similar to the one suggested by Peter worked for me. The EA50's is much easier to clean than the Nikon's and although I'm not doing it on every shoot, regular lens changes have me cleaning it every month.

Blower bulb is often enough but I wonder where it blows all the bits to, especially in the DSLR.
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Old April 8th, 2014, 09:54 AM   #12
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Re: Sensor cleaning

After a lot of research, and outrage at the cost of the cleaning swabs, solutions, brushes, etc., I ordered this to clean a very dirty 5d sensor:

Lenspen SensorKlear II with Articulated Tip SK-1A B&H Photo

10 bucks, can be used up to 100 times, and worked perfectly. Very pleased and none the poorer.
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