Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means Photography Awesomesauce receives commission if you make a purchase using affiliate links.
Hello world! Thanks for all your support and nice emails while I was down and out being sick with the flu. I’m SO happy to be getting back to blogging with you!
As the season slows down and you’re photographing less I really want all of you to consider taking your camera in for a cleaning. This is something that should be done annually, and sometimes photographers who use their cameras often will do it twice per year.
Essentially you just want your camera sensor to be cleaned, and have the pros give your camera a “check-up.” This can be super important for your camera’s health for the rest of the year. A check-up and cleaning can prevent worse problems down the line and sending your camera in now while you have time may save you lots of money and tears later.
Send it in to the Manufacturer for Cleaning
There are lots of different options for this. You can use the >Canon Professional Services< for repair or cleaning or >Nikon’s Professional Services.< You also have the option of using any local stores and their services as well.
One thing I would reccomend for Canon and Nikon users is paying an annual fee and becoming a member of the Professional Services groups above (for whatever camera type you have). This can save you money, and having a membership will often give you discounts on repairs, camera loans when yours is in service, quicker repair times and free annual cleanings. If you’re not a member and still want to send in your camera for cleaning you can still do that, but you may want to rent a camera from Borrow Lenses in the meantime so business doesn’t slow down.
When to Clean Your Camera & Lenses
As photographers we use our cameras pretty often and while there is no perfect time to clean your camera, when you start changing lenses and notice a lot of dust – get it cleaned. You may also notice dust spots on your images as well from your sensor.
Cleaning your lenses is another story. You can purchase a lens cleaning kit. I recommend if you are using your camera on a weekly basis to take the time to clean it once a week. When you purchase a lens cleaning kit follow the instructions carefully. The last thing you want to do is be rough with your camera and scrape the tinniest piece of dust across your glass.
Can I Clean My Own Camera?
Cleaning your sensor yourself may come with a risk of damaging your sensor too. A damaged sensor can be expensive to fix. If you aren’t familiar with your sensor or the inside of your camera I would say it’s safest to send it in to the experts to do it. The cost of a cleaning won’t be as much as a repair if you mess up your sensor trying to do it yourself. However, if you’re really sure you know what you’re doing, you can grab a cleaning kit online and do it yourself.
How Much Does It Cost?
With the Canon or Nikon Professional Services Membership you pay your membership fee and the cleanings are usually free.
I called my local camera store, which also does long distance repairs if you ship your camera in, Mike’s Camera, and they quoted me $65 for a cropped sensor and $95 for a full frame sensor. Each of these prices were quoted with one lens attached so you can get your lens professional cleaned as well. Additional lenses were around $18 each. If you take your camera to the manufacturer they will also update the firmware as well, so that’s something to consider.
So what am I going to do? I’m going to get myself a Canon Professional Services membership. Their middle tiered membership costs $100 annually and includes 2 cleanings among other things. Although, one of my cameras is still under warranty so I may send it in for free for a cleaning before the warranty runs out too.