Canon 50D Hot Pixel Fix

Well – when I took my Canon 50D out of the box a week or so back, IHotpixelbefore found after a bit of pixel peeping on some images, that I had two hot pixels on the sensor.  I was immediately disappointed and thought I'd be without my new camera for a week or more while I returned it and waited for the dealer I got it from to send it back.

If they had been more out of the way – well – one was bottom right, and not too much to worry about; the other was about midway up, about a third of the way across the sensor. I'll also post 100% crops of the .jpg images that show the hot pixels. What seems a bit odd to me, the RAW files didn't show the problems, just in the jpegs… curious. Here are the two crops one blue pixel on the left side of the sensor, and a brighter pixel in the lower right corner (the pixels are centered in both crops below):

Hotpixelbefore1    Hotpixelbefore2

I figured I'd do a quick search to see what other folks had experienced when sending cameras back and soon Googled "canon 40D hot pixel"… one of the first pages talked about a fix that had worked for this person, and supposedly others. A quick read had me thinking it was well worth a shot – and whaddaya know, it worked for me as well!  I'd post images "after" but it seems ridiculous to post black squares… <chuckle>.

Here is the fix, I'm not going to venture any theories as to why it worked, but one page I read said they thought it "re-calibrated the sensor"… To be honest, I don't care – my sensor seems to now be working a-okay!.

Hot Pixel Fix for the Canon 40D which worked on my 50D:

  1. Remove the lens and put the body cap in place on the camera
  2. Put the camera in to "manual sensor cleaning mode". It is the same for both the 40D and 50D – Press the "Menu" button, then select the middle "yellow wrench" tab, then "Sensor Cleaning" then "Clean Manually". You will hear the click of the mirror coming up (so you *could* be using a swab on the sensor – but don't do that – leave the body cap in place).
  3. Leave the camera in this mode for 30-60 seconds, I kept it this way for closer to 60 seconds.
  4. Power off the camera off – you should hear another click as the mirror drops down into place

That was it. Test the camera and see if the dead pixels are gone – they were for me.

Thanks for reading!

27 thoughts on “Canon 50D Hot Pixel Fix”

  1. Prob the easiest way is to put a lens on the camera, leave the lens cap on, set to manual mode, set for jpg (or jpg+RAW – but I’ve yet to see a dead pixel show in RAW), and then shoot with 5-10 second exposures at different ISOs. Then zoom to 100% in your image editor of choice, and look for non-black pixels. Mine showed as 1 bright blue, and one white pixel.
    – Will

  2. Interesting I had one noticible hot/dead pixel on my 50D sensor show up in my raw images went back and did some pixel peeping and sure enough it was in my first images as well. I tried the method as you have explained and it appears to be gone.

  3. Hi there
    I’ve just tried to find out if there were some dead pixel in my flamant new 50D…
    The thing is that, viewing it 100%, the image is far from being black… There is like a reticle of stains…
    I’ve uploaded a 800×600 crop (no resizing, 1×1) and then a zoomed version (2×1):
    Is that normal? Does the sensor need any cleaning or anything?

  4. Hi Will!
    Thanks for your answer.
    Feel a bit calmer now :-)
    I’m a completely newbie with SLRs and recently bought a 50D.
    I’m afraid that it is too powerful a beast for me. There’s a lot of stuff to learn on SLRs…
    And not sure if the 15MP thing makes it a horse difficult to tame.
    So far I haven’t been able to feel comfortable with it.
    I’m a bit concerned about what seems to be some issue with it’s focusing… sometimes I think it’s me, sometimes I think there must be something wrong with my cam/lens. By the way, I followed your tutorial on microadjustments… but apparently the lens is calibrated ok.
    That’s why, when I tried to find about hot pixels and found that the jpgs weren’t 100% black, I suddenly came into panic and cold sweat :-)
    Thank you very much for your time and for taking a look at the (hot pixel) pics!

  5. Jaime,
    Glad I could help. Feel free to ping me with questions you may have. I’m more than happy to chime in with my thoughts/advice. There may be others dealing with the same questions that you are.
    I’m planning on a series of posts on understanding SLR vs P&S (point and shoot) cameras… Autofocus and depth of field seem to be the two main issues that new dSLR users seem to have questions about.
    The good thing is that unless you do something abusive to the camera (pointing it at the sun for a long time, getting it wet, full of dirt, etc) you should be able to shoot with it and experiment w/ the settings on it without worry… you can always reset the defaults.
    There are no costs for film so just enjoy! Try shooting in the P mode, or the preset (action, sports, etc) and see what you get… then just explore!
    Thanks for reading!
    – Will

  6. Will,
    I just picked up a 50D and was out tonight shooting the moon, Jupiter and Venus alignment. Came inside, pulled the images from the camera and found a bright red hot pixel in the lower left of each photo. I was horrified to find this on my brand new 50D. However, after following the procedure you outlined above, the hot pixel is now gone. Thank you very much!

  7. Hello Will!
    I have the same broblem that you had with hot pixels. I did the procedure you describe with my 50D. But, it didn’t work in my case :( May be it because of firmware, how do you think? I use 1.0.3

  8. Alex,
    There is a chance that your problem may not be in the “calibration” of the pixels, there may be a problem w/ the sensor itself. If this procedure doesn’t work for you, you may consdier contacting Canon support. So long as you purchased the camera recently you should be able to get it fixed/replaced under warranty from Canon. Good luck!
    – Will

  9. Thanks for your answer Will!
    I did like you say and bring my 50d to Canon. Canon servicer said that I really have hot pixels on my sensor and it is factory defect. A new sensor was ordered from Finland. So I am waiting for now…
    Does sensor replacing is a difficult operation, how do you think? I mean, I worry about quality after replace.

  10. Alex,
    Glad to know that your sensor is being replaced at no cost. As for the quality of the work – don’t worry – the Canon service folks are top notch, it should be better than fresh from the factory as you will now have a fully functional sensor!
    – Will

  11. Your fix for the hot pixel worked like a charm. im glad i did not have to send my camera for a fix.
    I hope you don’t mind that I reposted this on my blog.

  12. I had one hot pixel (white) on my Canon Rebel T2i, which the internal jpg processing usually managed to turn into a star of five white pixels with a dark border. Ordinary sensor cleaning did nothing.
    But . . . your trick of putting on the body cap and leaving it in sensor cleaning mode for 60 seconds totally fixed it.
    Thanks! Now I can stop blaming myself for not noticing it within 14 days of purchase.

  13. After buying my 50c camera for 8 months I had a had red hot pixel appear on my sensor and I was so disappointed and worried when it appeared that I thought my camera had a problem. The hot pixel appeared in the same spot on every photo I took.
    I contacted Canon support about my concern and they said this is something I could not fix and directed me to one of their certified companies that would fix the problem! However this would have costed me the postage to send off to a repair company and the extra worry if it would look after my camera properly or lost in the post – after all this is my baby lol and they did not have a repair company near me and I live in London UK! So a bit surprised they did not have one in London!?
    However after searching Google and reading this simple fix which thankfully worked I was elated!!! Thanks for a great fix! Sorry Canon your support did not even suggest this what a shame. I think Canon can learn a few tips from their customer here.

  14. This solved my problem as well.
    I have one concern however…
    I am wondering if this method is merely learning camera about bad pixel and processor just fills it with neighbour values now or maybe it was just something wrong with understanding data from this point on sensor… anyone?

  15. Thanks for this advise. I have just got my 50D back after a 3 week repair to the CF reader. So as you can imagine I was a bit peeved to see a couple of hot pixels on my first couple of shots.It worked on the 2nd attempt.
    Again, thank you.

  16. Yes!!! It really works! I have a new 50D and it came from factory with 1 hot pixel, most visible at higher ISO (above 800), always the same pixel. Just followed the instructions and I am now a happy 50D owner.
    Thank you so much.

  17. In the first try (60 seconds) it created some new hot pixels that where (luckily enough) not as obvious as the first set. (ISO 500, 10 sec.)
    My second attempt (90 seconds) had more luck. They are not gone, but can’t be seen any more when not zoomed in.
    @Jamie: some light could get in via the viewfinder. That could make your images less black.

  18. Tina,
    I don’t recall seeing it in only low or high… sometimes high ISO images can have some non black pixels in medium to long range exposures purely from the fight for trying to display some detail in what is really black. I’ve had similar questions when folks have seen dark red or dark other colored pixels in “black” areas… nothing wrong there – just par for the course.
    – Will

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