Monday, October 4, 2010

Pixel Problems

HOT PIXELS are individual pixels on your camera's sensor that read high/ records as light spots on longer exposures and images shot on higher ISOs. A warm sensor can also cause hot pixels. (Not to be confused with noise)

DEAD PIXELS are are pixels that read nothing/ records as black on all exposures (not to be confused with sensor dust).

STUCK PIXELS are pixels that read high on all exposures/ records as light spots.

The pixels can range in color from white, yellow, red, blue and purple.


Almost all cameras will have one of the three pixel issues at some point, it's a common problem, especially having hot or stuck pixels, and also does not matter if the camera is low-end or high-end. Do not panic, everything will be OK. And if you haven't yet noticed them, then they're obviously not a problem!

Many of today's software programs map out/remove the hot pixels and can be set to automatically fix them. You can of course also remove the spots in your editing software, and if a specific pixel is problematic in every shot you take, you may also want to think about creating an action in your photo editing software to remove the spot.

There is also a little trick however to do a manual "reset" of your image sensor that may (or may not) remove some of the hot or stuck pixels. Dead pixels are a little more rare, and the manual reset will not work for them. Editors note: There is very little factual information released on fixes for pixel issues. This "resetting trick" is a home remedy type fix... some people swear by it, while others are non-believers- aka we have no real facts to back this trick up, and aren't guaranteeing anything.

To reset:
* Remove the lens and put the cameras body cap on.

* Put the camera in to "manual sensor cleaning mode" or "clean manually".
You should hear the click of the mirror going up. Leave the camera in this mode for approx. 40-60 seconds.

* Power off the camera (you should hear another click as the mirror drops
down into place).


- Patrick Douglas