DSLR sensors are very sensitive to scratching and damage, so this means you will need to be extra careful with is cleaning whenever you have to. Most DSLRs nowadays have the option of cleaning the sensor by themselves when you switch the camera on or off with the use of high-frequency vibrations. This manages to shake off most debris, especially when combined with a good anti-static coating that keeps the dust off.
You should always make sure you have a fully-charged battery before you move on to cleaning your sensor. The power needs to be on during the cleaning since the mirror is usually kept up with the battery as you do so. You should check for different sensor-cleaning solutions just in case. A vacuum or blower is good for removing loose pieces of dust and should always be used before you focus on fluids for cleaning. Using a wet swab you can remove stuck on dirt or pieces of pollen for example. You should only use sensor cleaning swabs that were made in a clean environment as well as sealed in their packaging. Never, ever use canned air on your sensor directly as the lower temperatures of the propellant and the possible traces of oil can ruin its delicate surface. Now on to the possible kits you can use with their advantages:
The Kinetronics Speckgrabber Kit
If you have a single speck of dust or a piece of hair on your images, then you won’t really need to worry about cleaning the entire surface of the sensor. The Speckgrabber is an excellent tool for just such stubborn and annoying spots. It has a soft and washable pad with an adhesive back surface so you can dab it onto a particle so you can pick it up. This helps with the removal of such small pieces from the camera. It’s easy to use and quick to deal with, as long as you can see the spot you’re trying to remove. If you want to do a more thorough and complete cleaning however, you will need to look at other options that excel in other areas.
The Sensor-cleaning Starter Pack
It features a photographic solutions sensor swabs and also an Eclipse cleaner which works very well for a number of different sensors. The swabs are excellent for the Canon APS-C format DSLR sensors, possessing a microfiber fabric free of lint that is bonded to the swab handle. This allows for better cleaning, not letting it slip while you do so as well as a flexible blade for varying pressure during cleaning. Each of the swabs in the 10-pack of those is sealed separately to make sure there is no contamination before use. All you need to do is add a bit of Eclipse cleaning solution and you can clean with ease. The kit also has a blower for easier drying.
Dust-Aid Platinum Kit
This kit comes with a wand of its own combined with a silicone pad and six strips of its cleaning adhesive. Before you use it you will need to press the pad onto one of the strips. You then proceed to press the pad onto the sensor, then removing it to lift the loose dirt. You will need to do repeated presses on each of the corners if you want to clean things completely. Although the idea of using adhesives on a sensor might sound dreadful at first, in fact it’s very effective, provided you don’t do something terrible like twist it around on the sensor itself.
This article is contributed by Emma Macmillan