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Disassemble Your Lumix Digital Camera To Clean Dust Off the Sensor

Written by mike on May 6th, 2010

(Comments posted on the video page indicate that this procedure works for many of the Panasonic digital cameras–happy cleaning!)

My Panasonic FX37 is a great camera. Fast, wide-angle lens, (f/2.8, 25mm equivalent) in a compact package with all the modern features (image stabilization, HD video, facial recognition, etc). And it takes really nice photos. However there is one downside: its sensor seems to attract dust, which is especially noticeable when zooming in on a bright object (such as the sky).

I’m not sure if this is a matter of the case being poorly sealed compared to other pocket cameras, but it is frustrating. Thankfully, the remedy is fast and simple: by removing a few small screws, you are able to access the sensor inside the camera. A few bursts of air and a quick reassembly is all it takes to be snapping photos like the camera is brand new.

I made a quick video tutorial of how to access and clean the sensor– the entire process takes less than 10 minutes. Make things smoother on yourself by getting the tools together before starting the process. You don’t want to leave the case open any longer than necessary.

Here’s what you’ll need: Mini screwdriversBlower or compressed air •Lint-free cloth • Receptacles for screws and parts • Clean workspace.

Be careful disassembling your camera. This will almost surely void your warranty (a warranty that probably can be used to have the company clean the sensor for you), so be certain that you are willing to risk breaking your camera forever. I take no responsibility for any damage incurred following these instructions. Now, go clean that sensor!


  • Adam

    Mike, just wanted to thank you for saving my much loved Lumix FX8 from the trash can. Sand had got onto the sensor, but now it’s as good as new. For info, I needed a PH000 screwdriver and T4 Torx bit.

    • Hey Adam, glad this fix worked for you — thanks for sharing the outcome!

  • RT @msenese: Disassemble Your Lumix Digital Camera To Clean Dust Off the Sensor http://t.co/hW2oyhUR

  • sp
  • sp
  • sp

    hi,
    following the link you can clean your compact cam sensor for a good price!
    http://www.ebay.de/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230729507608

  • Saule

    I just fixed everything by simply vacuum cleaning camera in switched off mode. I had dust on my lenses and now they are gone!! no need to unscrew anything, simply vacuum it from the front.

  • Got find sand in my Lumix ZR3 after the 1st 2 months..finally got up the courage to pull apart right down to removing the motor for the lens and individually removing bits of sand. It now works almost new, with no grinding or jamming!. But still cant get the dust spots out, can see them in low lght when zoomed right in. The lens mechanism on these cameras is a real let down…especailly as they are not the cheapest compacts out there!

  • Neptune Tang

    This is great! Screw locations were slightly different on my TZ7, but after that getting to the sensor is pretty much identical. Make sure you don’t let the driver slip as you undo screws (push down hard as you unscrew) – the heads strip pretty easy.

    Thanks for the video!

    • My pleasure — so great to help salvage another camera. Enjoy and thanks for the additional tips!

  • peacebear222

    I have a DMC-FX700 but your video was very helpful. I took mine apart a little more than I expected to, and halfway through I was sure I’d Aruined the camera. And on mine there were no screws on the sensor so I couldn’t access it. So, thinking all was lost, I lifted the sensor as best I could lightly tapping it back down. Whatever I did, it worked. The piece of sand dislodged and by the grace of God, I got the camera back together. No more nasty black spot on my pictures. Thank you a thousand times.

  • justin

    My dmc-sz1 has mini mini mini torx screws. holding the assembly together. I hd to order some t3-t6 to try to see if one will fit. sigh. the vacuum didn’t help one tiny bit as i had assumed..

    • DJ

      I also have a Lumix DMC-SZ1. I disassembled the case and removed the LCD, but the sensor is fastened by 3 tiny (Torx?) screws. It’s not clear what size these screws are. T1? T2? T3? They are tiny! Anyone know?

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