E-pl2 sensor dust/scratch

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by syilim, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. syilim

    syilim Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 31, 2011
    Hey all.

    So I've noticed that I have this "dot" on the image sensor. It doesn't really look like does, as it's pretty flat, looking more like liquid residue of some sort. I've tried taking pictures of the sky with high F-stop, and sure enough there's a dark blue dot in the image (which I presume is from the "dot" on the sensor, even though the dark blue dot on the picture is very close to the upper edge, whereas it's roughly 1/3 way down from top of sensor).

    I haven't dared touch it or tried cleaning it myself. I've called the olympus repair centre since my camera is still under warranty. The guy told me that if it is just dust/residual marks that can be cleaned off, then they'll do it for free. But if its actually a scratch, then they'll charge.

    So question is, how to tell if its a scratch mark or dust/residual marks?

  2. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Do you have a rubber blower of some sort to see if you can dislodge it without touching the sensor? An image projected through a lens is both upside-down and reversed left to right. A spot that shows up in the top-left corner of an image will be caused by a foreign body on the bottom left corner of the sensor.
  3. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    Unless you directed a sandblaster straight at your naked sensor, it's unlikely you managed to scratch it. And even though, it's the ultrasonic dust remover glass that would be damaged and not the sensor itself (of course, this is a fairly academic distinction - the dust removal assembly exchange is certainly prohibitively expensive).

    Now, if the dot you're seeing is at the top of your pictures, you should look at the bottom of your sensor, there's certainly a dust speck there.

    And finally, if you don't notice the effect of what appears to be a stain on your images, don't bother about it, you'd do more harm than good.

  4. GdenisM

    GdenisM Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 11, 2011
    I have this EXACT thing on my epl2. When I did look at the sensor, there was this blob thing on it. It doesn't look like dust, but rather something which might have even been on there from the factory (like an errant blob of glue or something). I have not tried the blower technique yet.

    If only shows up on pictures where the lens is stopped down or in dramatic art mode. Very strange. Will post pictures of the blob here if people are interested. I guess I should just send the camera in to Olympus...

  5. syilim

    syilim Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 31, 2011
    Thanks all for the tips. Did not have a blower at hand, so didn't try to dislodge it. But even if I did, I doubt it would've moved it as it looked more like liquid residue.

    I agree with you Mauve. If I was going to keep the camera then I would definitely not worry about it at all as it was hardly noticeable in the pictures. But as I'm selling the camera, the first thing potential buyers do is to check out the sensor. The blob is pretty obvious so had to be rid off.

    I took the camera to the repair centre today (I'm in Hong Kong, so everywhere is pretty close by =p. Didn't have to send it luckily, as I hate sending things.). Gave the camera to the lady at the front desk. She took it to the repair office, came out 2 mins later with a "blob-free" sensor. Woot! So quick! She didn't even ask for the original purchase receipt, and simply took a glance at the blank warranty card.

    So yeah GdenisM, maybe send in your camera if you can't sort it out yourself/worry about messing anything up.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    You can always have the guys at DigitalRev clean the sensor...
    [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gouSOlgvQg0&feature=channel_video_title]How to clean your sensor (and what not to do) - YouTube[/ame]

    (No, I would not recommend you give your camera to Kai... :rofl: )
    • Like Like x 1
  7. syilim

    syilim Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 31, 2011
    I'd only ever give anything to Kai if I wanted to test it's durability. It best be war resistant to even stand a chance!
  8. QualityBuiltIn

    QualityBuiltIn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    At risk of getting shot down in flames, if the area of damage is very small and at absolutely no physical risk to your sensor you could try Pixel Mapping

    Pixel Mapping
  9. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Tasty video :eek:. I've had to clean my G1 shortly after I bought it, it had some stains. I did it with Eclipse 2, it came out well and after that I never cleaned it again and no problems at all. My GH2 had a clean sensor to start with and I've never cleaned it so far, no need to. Obviously the sensor cleaning system is very effective against loose dust, so dry cleaning won't do the job mostly if you have a problem.
  10. harrysue

    harrysue Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2011
    That's because small apertures tend to "project" the shadow of the dirt more efficiently on your sensor. Wider apertures diffuse it.

    As for the video, hilarious. Kai drops an egg custard into his camera! There are less entertaining but more informative websites and videos though. And I don't feel air in a spray can ever be safe.

    Wet cleaning isn't that hard, if you buy the pre-made swabs. I used to clean my Pentax DSLR (no dust buster mechanism) every four or five weeks with Eclipse lens solution and microfiber cloth wrapped around a popsicle stick. I've cleaned my PEN once in the past year. Not having a mirror or shutter curtain in the way makes it much safer. There was always the risk of power failure causing the mirror to slam down on your swab or blower.
  11. robertmwilliams

    robertmwilliams Mu-43 Regular

  12. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I noticed this in a few shots I took last month when I was boosting the contrast in post process and saw a pattern of dark spots show up. I just finished figuring out a way to reproduce it so I could test to find out if it was something on the lens or on the sensor. It turns out it's on the sensor, and the method described at the top of this thread is exactly what I was doing to make it happen for my test. Nothing like reinventing the wheel, but I suppose I can feel good about getting there on my own.

    Now I just have to find the best way to clean the sensor.
  13. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    rocket blower followed by a visible dust wet clean kit. Dead simple.

  14. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011