How to clean a point-and-shoot image sensor?
August 6, 2007 11:37 AM   Subscribe

DigitalCameraFilter: I think my Canon point-and-shoot has a dirty sensor. How to clean?

So I have a Canon Powershot S80, and there is consistently a dark spot in the same location on all of my images. It is larger if the lens is zoomed (I think...may be the other way around). I've thorougly cleaned the external lens elements as best I can with cleaning clothes, etc but to no avail. You can really only see the spot if I'm shooting a landscape and the background is common and consistent. Of course, I can photoshop out said dot, but for a lot of photos it becomes quite cumbersome.

All this said, is it possible to (relatively easily) gain access to the CCD sensor and clean it, or does a 'professional' need to do it? This thing seems pretty sealed up, so I'm surprised a speck of something landed on the sensor, but such is how it is. If this were an SLR, no problem. Per normal, any advice is good advice.
posted by virga to Technology (3 answers total)
If it changes size when zooming, it is not, repeat not, on the sensor. It's somewhere in the lens mechanism, and unfortunately, there's no cost-effective way to get p-and-s internals cleaned.

This may sound completely retarded, but if there's light-colored bits in the area where the dot shows up, flip the camera upside-down and keep shooting. I've had to do this on my digi-SLR when there's no chance I'm going to take the lens off. Basically, the darker bits that will hopefully be rotated in front of the spot will mask it.
posted by notsnot at 11:48 AM on August 6, 2007

that thing is pretty much sealed. I doubt you can get too much dust in there without cracking it open or having it factory-installed (which does happen at canon). have you checked the eyepiece?

if that fails - there are places that clean SLR's and you might as well try giving them a call and ask for a quote. international camera repair in chicago has a good reputation.
posted by krautland at 1:46 PM on August 6, 2007

I had the same thing happen to me and took it into a camera store; they said that it was condensation on the inside of the lens (I'd never taken it near water) and that I'd have to pay about $300 for a factory repair. The cost-effective solution was to replace it.
posted by awesomebrad at 1:59 PM on August 6, 2007

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