One of the critical things for your camera is to keep the sensor clean. Dust floats around almost everywhere; Once it gets inside your camera it can cause major problems and will cause more work for you in postproduction trying to remove the spots in your photos.
Depending on where you shoot, your camera will be subjected to more of the elements. One of the biggest risks is changing your lens out in the open on a windy day with dust and other particles flying around. Maybe you are out in the desert for a shoot and the wind comes in moving around lots of sand. I have been there, shooting in White Sands, New Mexico with a sand storm coming in from nowhere during a shoot. Even if the camera is weather-sealed doesn't mean it was completely safe, just better able to stand up to it. So what do you do once your sensor gets dirty?
You could take or ship your camera to a reputable cleaner or even your camera manufacturer to have them clean the camera in a clean room, which is obviously the best choice. The problem is the downtime waiting for your camera to return, and if it’s your only one, you are out of commission for a while. The other choice is to clean it yourself if you feel capable. Do this at your own risk, so if you do not feel comfortable, do not do it. If you are up for the challenge, Peter McKinnon shows the steps to clean the sensor, as well as how to set up a "clean room" and bonus clean your lens.
- VisibleDust Camera Sensor Loupe
- VisibleDust Sensor Swabs
- VisibleDust EZ Sensor Cleaning Kit
- Rocket Blaster Tool
- Zeiss Lens Care Kit
Every time McKinnon changes lenses on the camera, he uses a rocket blower to blow the dust out of the camera with it faced off. Keep the time to which the camera is open and exposed to a minimum. Used body caps or keep the lens on to reduce the chance of your sensor getting dirty.
This isn’t the sensor, but I personally carry one of the lens brush pens with me and between every few shoots I brush of any dirt or dust that may be on the lens along with the other steps McKinnon uses. For the viewfinder, you can use Q-tips to get in there and clean it out. Now the next time your sensor needs to be cleaned, you have the know how to do it yourself. Proceed with caution!