You're out shooting photographs of sand dunes for your upcoming portfolio when a sudden gust of wind picks up. You tuck your prized Sony Alpha-series A350 DSLR under your coat, but it's too late: dust specs dot your viewfinder and the entire body is coated in a layer of fine dirt. When shooting in conditions such as this, a dirty camera is par for the course. However, cleaning your A350 to its original lustre is simple.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Compressed air
- Lens cleaning solution
- Microfiber cloths
- Air blower bulb
- Sensor swab
- Sensor cleaning solution
Remove the lens from the front of your Sony A350. Press the small tab to the side of the lens mount and rotate the lens counterclockwise to do so.
Blow away any surface dust or obvious particles on the front and rear elements using a can of compressed air, held about 6 inches from the glass. If your lens is a zoom, blow away any debris from the lens barrel as well.
Apply several drops of lens cleaning solution to a microfiber cloth and gently wipe the front and rear elements using a circular motion. Wipe away any surface dust from the lens barrel.
Hold the can of compressed air about 6 inches from the camera body and blow away any debris from the crevices and grooves. Wipe the body and LCD screen gently with a clean microfiber cloth.
Set your camera to sensor cleaning mode by pressing the "MENU" button and highlighting "Sensor Clean" using the directional pad. This will lock the camera's mirror in the up position and open the shutter, allowing you to access the sensor screen.
Point the tip of the blower bulb toward the screen, holding it about 2 inches away. Blow away any visible dust.
Dampen the sensor swab's tip with a few drops of sensor cleaning solution. The solution should be made from ultrarefined methanol so as to evaporate from the sensor almost immediately.
Place the swab at one edge of the sensor and gently wipe straight across it in a single pass. Never use a back and forth or circular wiping motion.
Turn the camera off when finished to cancel sensor cleaning mode. Replace the lens and take several test shots -- if the results are free of spotting, you have successfully cleaned your A350's sensor.
Tips and warnings
- Work only in a dust-free, brightly lit area.
- Cleaning the A350's sensor requires a steady hand and patience. If you have any doubt about your abilities, have your sensor cleaned by a professional. The cost of replacing one due to an accident is much more expensive than having a professional tend to it.
- Never blow into the camera with compressed air -- its force and chemical make-up can damage the delicate internal mechanisms.
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