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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Dead or Hot Pixel on my Rebel XTi? How to fix.

Staples exchanged my Canon EOS Rebel XTi 400D without much hassle. What was the first thing I did when I got it? That's right, I took a photo in low light to see if I could identify any dead pixels in my camera's CMOS CCD. I took a quick picture of Luey, and everything looked fine.

Picture with no hot pixels from my Rebel XTi
The real story however, is that while waiting for the camera to be switched out (since it was delivered) I came across this article on Flickr. In the post, the author has a similar issue to mine where a pixel --whether you call it hot, dead, or bad -- stands out.

The good news is that a solution that can possibly fix the issue with the hot pixel is posted, so that you can recover it. The details there are hard to follow, so I have condensed them here. Here is how you would go about it:

1. Put on a lens on your camera and set your camera to take RAW+L (raw & jpeg) photos on your camera.
2. Go into a dark area and take a few photos with varying ISO and shutter speeds, possibly even going as long as ISO 1600 with a 30 second shutter speed.
3. After you take the pictures press the menu button, the right arrow button and go to the "Tools 2" setting, far right. Now select the "Sensor cleaning" setting -- generally set to "Sensor cleaning:Auto". Click on it and select "Clean now". The sensor cleaning takes a few seconds. Wait 30 seconds.
4. Take another pictures in RAW+L (raw & jpeg), compare the pictures to those take in #2. Your hot or dead pixel should be gone.

In many cases, the picture in the dark followed by the sensor cleaning causes the pixels to go through a remapping process. While there are definitely some instances of bad or hot pixels on some units, this may resolve a large number of camera issues.

Unfortunately for me, I did not find this out until after I exchanged my camera, so I did not get the chance to try. Good to know for next time! :-)


Alamo said...

Found your blog on google. Thanks for posting! I have a new Canon Rebel XSI with a dead (stuck)white pixel. I just found it in my new batch of photos and tested easily for it in the LCD window on manual focus with the lens cap on. Tried the sensor cleaning fix and didn't work. Looks like I will be exchanging the camera again to Circuit City. My first one had a huge amount of noise present. Third times a charm, I guess.
Happy shooting
A Perfect Moment Photography

Alamo said...

My Bad! I read the full article and did the MANUAL cleaning cycle as described and it seems to work on the XSI. I will let you know :) Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I really can't believe that this worked! Awesome. I called Canon today and they were telling me to send them the Camera. Why don't they suggest this first? It just ... worked... amazingly.

Thankful said...

Thanks for this post. Worked like a charm. I nearly had a breakdown when I saw my dead pixel. I bought my camera on the grey market in Korea so I wasn't sure if it would be valid back home.

Kristi said...

thanks so much for the post. came in to process some engagement photos I took tonight and had 5 hot pixels! your process fixed it right up!