How to Clean a Canon 20D Sensor

Written by tzvi raphael
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How to Clean a Canon 20D Sensor
Learn how to clean a Cannon 20D sensor (old slr-camera isolated image by Alexey Klementiev from

The Canon 20D has a self-cleaning function that usually keeps the sensor clean. However, oil, dust and other particles can still stick to the sensor. You will need to remove these particles manually. The sensor is delicate, so you will need to be very gentle. With the proper tools, you can clean the sensor yourself and not have to bring your camera into a store.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • White card
  • Image editing software
  • Rubber blower

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  1. 1

    Use the camera's self-cleaning program. Turn the power off and then turn it back on. Put the camera into "AV" mode and put the lens in "Manual" mode. Set the exposure two stops over the reading and zoom in as far as your camera will go. Take a picture of a white card or a similar object.

  2. 2

    Upload the picture to your computer by connecting the camera to the computer with a USB cable. Open your image editing software and then open your picture. Put the screen on the 100 per cent magnification setting. Check for dust and smudges on the picture.

  3. 3

    Charge your battery fully. If you don't have a charged battery, plug your camera into an AC power source. A battery in charging mode or not fully charged slows down the cleaning process.

  4. 4

    Remove the camera lens by pushing the black button next to the lens while twisting the lens to the left.

  5. 5

    Select "Sensor clean" from the menu on the LCD panel. Turn the dial and choose "OK." This locks the shutter and mirror in an upward position and keeps them out of your way during cleaning. You should now see "CLEA n" flashing on the screen.

  6. 6

    Remove large particles with a rubber blower. If your blower has a brush attached, remove it before using the blower as the brush can damage the sensor.

  7. 7

    Turn the camera off. Put the lens back on by sliding it onto the grooves on the camera and turning it to the right until you hear a click. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 and check for improvement.

Tips and warnings

  • Be careful not to scratch the lens when you remove it from the camera body.
  • Do not turn off the camera, open the battery or open the CompactFlash card compartment when cleaning the sensor. This will damage the camera.

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