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Fingerprint on sensor - what now?


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Last night while swapping lenses on my GH3 I accidentally verrrryyyyy gently nudged the corner of the sensor with my pinky finger. I now have about a 1mm by 1mm fingerprint on the corner of the sensor that I'm terrified to try and remove. It doesn't show up on images far as I can tell, but I still want it gone for peace of mind.

What's the best way to remove a fingerprint? I've used the Sensor Clean function from the menu four or five times and if it's helped it's been only modestly. All the web resources talk only about removing dust. What is the safest bet in removing this tiny smudge? I'm willing to buy products if need be/ship it off for cleaning, but if it's something as simple as "gently with a clean microfiber," then I'd prefer to do it that way (but will heed all advice before acting!)


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Personally Jurgen, I wouldn't risk further harming your sensor and go to the store you've bought the camera for advice. Many specialized camerastores are experienced in cleaning your cam/sensors and will do it for a small fee or sometimes free of charge. And otherwise they will ship it to an official repair center.


I don't know, but if you're using a small microfiber cloth (for cleaning lenses or glasses or such) I think it has to be absolutely clean for any impurities on it could scratch your sensor...


But... found some useful links: http://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=21725 

and http://photosol.com/product/sensor-swab-plus-4-pack-type-1/


It seems the SensorSwab is pre-moistened with cleaning solution, so I assume it would remove fingerprints as well, and it's packed sterile so no impurities that could damage your sensor.


I don't have any experience with SensorSwabs myself so use it at your own risk :)

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Unfortunately the closest camera store is four hours away so for any advanced technical maintenance would mean shipping the camera away, which I'm not averse to, but it is a bit of a bummer :(

I bought a SensorPen and a cleaning kit off of Amazon and I'm going to reassess once the items arrive. The print doesn't seem to be affecting image quality any so I'm okay to wait and take a look at the kit when it comes in to see if it's something I'm comfortable doing myself.

I thought I was being too precious last night when I was going to wipe it off with a microfiber but I'm glad I asked first! Thanks for your help!

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its easy to clean , breath on the sensor then wipe gently with a cotton bud then use a giotto bomb blower to remove any lint off the cotton bud on the sensor


the sensor is covered by plastic so you are not actually touching the senor so it is safe to clean


I have done this on all my cameras canon and panasonic and never had any problems

I even do this out in the field or on set quickly is I see a dirty sensor from lens changes.


Coming from a film background where you checked the gate every time you changed a lens , I still do this all on panasonic cameras as there is no mirror , carry  a giottos bomb and cleaning materials all the time with you.


if you have a stubborn bit of dirt use diluted isopropanol 50/50 with water solution

pure isopropanal leaves a white residue as it evaporates off your sensor

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Took it to a camera shop today and had it serviced by their professional technician (who was kind enough to let me sit in and observe). Really good guy, one of those dudes who looks like he's been doing it for 30 years and you can tell really knows his stuff. Got it out no problem, took some test photos at a couple of different apertures, put together a little swab kit for me and that was that.

Definitely glad I sought advice on this forum and happy with the way things turned out. Everything looks great! Thanks guys!

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don't get too worried about it.  the sensor will have a thin piece of glass covering it.  just clean as you would your favourite lens.  use a blower first in order to remove any debris that might have found its way into the sensor area.  then as said, a cotton wool bud with a little lens cleaner on it to disolve the oil from your finger.  I recommend calotherm, caloclear lens cleaner (it evaporates and leaves no residue.  never wipe the sensor with anything dry (in the same way you would never turn a cars windscreen wipers on when the glass is dry. - it might take a few passes to remove the oily finger print.  always use a brand new cotton bud, and replace the cotton bud a few times per sensor clean session.  - replacing it regularly will limit any chance of the bud coming apart and leaving lint, and in the process each discarded bud will take with it some of the oil and other contaminates that naturally build up on a sensor over time.    


costly sensor cleaning swabs are no more delicate than a cotton bud when used with care.  If you buy some proper swabs make sure you have a good stock of them to prevent you being tempted to reuse.  

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