How to Clean the Sensor on a Nikon D40x

Written by orlando bogue
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How to Clean the Sensor on a Nikon D40x
Digital SLR cameras offer a lot of do it yourself options even cleaning. (digital slr image by CraterValley Photo from

The Nikon D40x is a great digital SLR camera that delivers quality results with a 10.2-megapixel sensor resolution, flexibility with multiple lenses and up to a 3-frames-per-second shooting speed. Like all digital SLR cameras, the lenses are interchangeable to allow more zoom but also can let dust into the camera and onto the sensor. The image sensor needs to be cleaned from time to time to avoid photo distortion. You can pay to get this done or you can follow these steps and do it yourself.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Well-lit area
  • Blank paper
  • Camera cleaning kit

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  1. 1

    Test the sensor to verify where the dust is located to make it easier and more efficient to clean. In a well-lit area, set your D40x to the smallest aperture setting and focus on a blank piece of paper or white setting.

  2. 2

    Take many photos to use as cleaning references and also to locate what areas of the sensor have dust. Download the photos to your computer and zoom in on the images to look for dark spots and imperfections against the white background.

  3. 3

    Make sure your battery is fully charged or the AC power is plugged in while cleaning. Remove the lens, power on the camera and then select the mirror lock-up option in the set-up menu. Hold down the shutter button and the mirror that covers the sensor will rise.

  4. 4

    Hold the camera in a position to reflect light off the sensor and examine it to verify the location of dust. Use a blower to remove any lint or dust that is visible on the sensor. Some cleaning kits will provide swabs and solution that can be use to remove any dust that the blower cannot clear.

  5. 5

    Use the swab firmly but gently against the sensor by twisting it 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Turn off the power to the camera to close the mirror to protect the sensor from any potential damage. Place the lens back onto the camera body and retake the photos with the smallest aperture setting and the blank piece of paper.

  6. 6

    Compare the photos to the previous pictures to verify the sensor has been thoroughly cleaned. Keep the sensor clean by swapping body caps and lenses quickly to avoid letting dust and lint into the body of the camera. The longer the body is exposed, the more chances for dust and lint on the sensor.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep the cap on the body of the camera when not in use.
  • The sensor is extremely sensitive and fragile.
  • If the battery gets low when the mirror is open, it can close and damage the camera.

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