How Fragile Is The Sensor Of A Camera?

The sensor is the most crucial piece in the camera. Everyone worth his opinion keeps saying that a camera sensor is fragile. In fact, a lot of writers have already talked about that. I think it doesn’t hurt to add my voice to the opinions already out there. Besides, getting information on how to take care of your DSLR camera doesn’t hurt, or does it?

How fragile is the sensor in a camera? The camera’s sensor is extremely delicate. For one, the sensor mirror is so slim and easily adhesive to dust and other particles from the environment. However, it shouldn’t be really a cause for worry. Most cameras come with a glass film to protect the sensor. On most occasions, it’s not the sensor that gets exposed to the environment. Rather it is the glass plate that covers it that constantly gets affected by the environment or a bit of rough cleaning.

Almost anything can destroy around camera sensor. In case you own a camera, it is important to not only protect but also try to cover the sensor at all times, especially when you are not shooting.

What Are The Main Causes of Camera Sensor Issues?

I said that your camera sensors are really fragile, didn’t I? Well, the sensor simply doesn’t destroy itself. For one, something, or someone has to do the angering job of getting your sensors muddy, smudged, scratched, or smashed.

As a camera owner, you should be wary of the following things


Most people hardly realize when dust gets into the cameras. It happens all the while. For instance, those shooting outdoor scenes are always placing their cameras at the risk of dust. The same case goes to those who try to film an attic that has been closed for years.

I have owned many types of cameras in my life. One thing that I have come to realize is that dust gets into your camera from the most unlikely of places.

  • Have you recently looked at your camera bags? How clean are they? This often is the first place for dust accumulation. Most of us dump our cameras into the bags, and get moving, without trying to blow the dust from the inside of the bag. Fine, you might keep your camera body in a different bag (there are those who do that) but do you keep the lenses, and the camera covers in this same bag?
  • Poor storage is counterproductive when you think of it. In case you keep your camera in a not-so-clean place, you will always get the dust smears on your sensors. The smears are often the first sign of sensor destruction. Fine, I am not implying that we should sterilize and super-heat the shelves where we come to store our cameras once we are done with the day’s work. Just keep them clean, dry, and clean enough.

Direct Sunlight

Ooh yes. The sun is the best source of light. It is the videographers best friend. Natural light is just so amazing. #sunkissed shots are the best thing you will see on YouTube.

Yes, we have heard all that. But we probably have avoided talking about what the sun can do to your sensors. First, I should just ask, what are you doing, exposing your camera sensors to the sun? Doesn’t it seem stupid? Ooh, you probably thought that your camera can shoot with no lens.

Those might not be the reasons why your sensors are exposed to the sun. Sometimes, it is just plain old forgetting. You are done shooting, unscrew the lens and put your camera down for some time. Sometime, you are taking a bit too long to find the lens camera cover. I accept, all this happens.

However, the sun can kill your camera sensors in a really short time. I have seen some cameras become useless within a record 30 minutes, because the owners didn’t cover them in the sun.


Yes, I know.

I should have used the word water, but there are some great waterproof cameras in the market too. So no, water won’t do for me. Talking about water feels like telling you to dip your camera in a pool. Moisture it is, and moisture it will be on this article.

One challenge that most video producers grapple with is how to keep their cameras dry. It is a no-brainer than exposure to moisture will not only destroy your camera sensor, it will also destroy the camera’s systems. I once had a camera that completely crashed after a few escapades at the beach, after some rain.

  • While the sensor appreciates dry, and low-humid conditions, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t wipe them clean once a while either.
  • For most video producers, getting a good water-proof camera bag does the trick. Not only does it keep out the moisture, but most of the camera backs are also padded, and cushioned to avoid impact destruction.

Which brings us to our next issue, which isn’t really an element, but an action.

Careless Handling

Fine, I know we used the sub-topic “elements.” I also know that ” careless handling” is not really an element. Well, unless we call it ” an element of practice.”

Simply put, careless handling is the main reason why most cameras get destroyed. It is also, probably the main reason why video producers are always back at the vendor’s place within a relatively short span. Truth told, we are always giving business to the repair crew because some of us simply can’t live without dangling our cameras from our necks all the time.

I love to think that cameras, like us, have souls and life. I also fancy thinking that the camera sensor cringes in pain whenever it gets tossed around, stored wrongly, gets exposed to the sun without proper covering, getting scratched by careless or curious fingers and all that.

Careless handling encompasses exposing the camera sensor to all the elements we just talked about. It also implies leaving your camera in raised places, from where it can easily drop down. Sometime, it may mean eating your favorite taco, with your camera on the other hand, and expecting the food crumbs not to find their way into the camera. Simply, it means you are treating the camera in quite a stupid way. Yeah, I got all riled up about that.

Tips and Hacks To Keep Your Sensors Clean and Working

We all agree that the sensor, as on itself is pretty fragile. To avoid sensor destruction, you should do the following things, and live by the following rules.

  1.  Your shirt should not be used as the cleaning cloth to wipe your sensor covers, and your lenses clean. Instead, use the recommended material, which comes with the camera to wipe and clean your sensors.
  2. We know that some people hate the camera belts. However, buckling up when your shoot reduces the chances of accidental camera drops. It works just like a car belt. When you are all buckled up, you and your camera are much safer.
  3. Do not open the sensor covers unnecessarily. This will allow dust and air to enter the AA lining that protects the sensors from outside elements.
  4. Always keep a lens mounted on the camera. This is the ultimate sensor protection rule. Your sensor can be affected by the dust, debris, and air in the atmosphere. By keeping the lens on, you wall off the sensors from all this.
  5. The camera cap is not a useless piece of decoration. Use it. In case your camera is unlensed at any time, make sure that it remains capped.
  6. Camera bags are crucial to both camera and sensor safety. Whenever you carry your camera, make sure that you have carried along with the bag. It may sound like a cumbersome thing to do until that same bag saves your day and your camera.

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