How Scratch-Proof is a Sony Mirrorless Sensor?

Don’t you ever dare question if Arthur R is handling his cameras properly and damaging his sensor! This guy is a loose cannon and when you challenge him there could be consequences.

That’s why when the number one comment on this review video for the Sony A9 was about him not having a body cap on the camera to protect the sensor, he decided to show everyone he wasn’t messing around.  Arthur isn’t a guy who is afraid to pop open that mirrorless camera and tear the sensor out of it like a still-beating heart to prove his point.  And that is extra cool.

Check out Arthur R’s video where he puts a camera sensor to the test to see how much of a beating it can take. But be warned, if you notice he is not doing something else to your liking, consider keeping it to yourself for the camera’s sake.

I’m probably a little overprotective of my camera’s sensor.  Thinking back on it, I don’t think I’ve left a lens or a body cap off of my camera for more than 1-2 seconds.  I’m fine with scratches and dirt on the body of my camera, but if I mess that sensor up that’s the end.  Or at least that’s what I’ve always thought.

Arthur, on the other hand, has a lot of guts.  He isn’t afraid to let things sit when they’re out of harms way.  With a cleaning kit, Arthur regularly wipes off his camera’s sensor anyway.  He couldn’t care less if a little dust, dirt, or a smudge got on there.  It’ll be gone in a jiffy.

It does make me cringe a little seeing someone touch a camera sensor. I’m not going to lie.

So here is what Arthur did to prove to people like you and me that we are all total cowards, he pulled the sensor out of a Sony a6000 and shows us all a thing or two.

Dividing the sensor into four quadrants with a little tape, Arthur chose four different methods of junk that could potentially damage the sensor: dust, dirt, oils, and knives.  That’s right, knives.  Arthur isn’t messing around.

He puts on a little dust from a vacuum cleaner.

Cleans up with no issues.

Then he goes for dirt.

Again, it cleans right off.

Now here comes the oil! 

  • Apparently oils are pretty hard to clean off so you might want to keep oils away from your sensors.

Still, he manages to clean it up.

Finally, he goes at it with the knife.

And not just one slash, either.  He went at it again and again and again.

It took all of that to actually damage the sensor.

After all of that, this sensor is no longer useable.  It will not produce a clean image.

So Arthur’s point is well received.  It takes a lot to actually damage a sensor.  Just leaving the body cap off for a while won’t hurt things.  

Cleaning your camera sensor is really easy, and there are a number of different ways to do it.

Most DSLR and Mirrorless cameras have a built-in, high vibration cleaning feature. You can also turn the camera upside down, and use a blower.  There are handy lens pens with brushes, but those can leave behind dust and residue.  The way Arthur recommends is to use a cleaning kit that includes swabs and carefully wipe the sensor.

There is a glass filter over most camera sensors, too, and they’re pretty easy to replace.

I’m still going to practice an obsessive-compulsive behavior with putting a body cap on my camera, but I’m sure glad I know how to clean dust, dirt, and oil from my sensor. 

Today I think we should all keep in mind that pushing Arthur by commenting on how he handles his gear will get us all schooled.  You rock Arthur!

[source: Arthur R] 

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