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Basic maintenance of your camera is pretty intuitive: don't drop it, don't bang it into things; if you want to clean it, use a dry cloth. If you are going to store the camera for a while, be sure to take the battery out of it. You've already seen a little bit about how the camera cleans its own sensor, but there are some other built-in sensor cleaning options. By default, your Mark III cleans its sensor any time you turn the camera on or off. You can change that behavior, and take a little more control of the cleaning function by going to page 3 of the setup menu, and going to the Sensor cleaning option.
So I've got a few different choices in here. Auto cleaning can either be enabled or disabled. This simply controls whether the camera does clean its censor when you turn it off and on. Clean now simply goes through the sensor cleaning cycle right now. So if I've reviewed an image, and seen a big dust spot on it, I would come in here and tell it to clean its sensor again. It's doing a slightly more thorough cleaning than it does when you simply turn it on or off. Or there is Clean manually. This is what I use if I've got sensor cleaning equipment of my own.
This involves taking the lens off, and cleaning the sensor. This could be a kind of hairy operation. You can learn more about it in my Foundations of Photography: Lenses course. So that's all the ways that you can get the sensor clean. The camera also offers a feature that can help you if you've got dust on an image, and you want to try to remove it later using Canon's DPP software. If I come in here into my Menu, and go to the shooting menu category, over here on the third page I have something called Dust Delete Data. So I am going to select that, and it tells me what it's going to do here; it's going to obtain data for removing dust using software, and it asks me to refer to the manual, and it tells me the last time I did this.
What it's going to do is it's going to make a map of the dust that's on the sensor. Canon's DPP software can later use that map to automatically remove the dust from images that I've already shot. So I am going to tell it to go ahead and do this. I am going to say OK, and it's going to go through a sensor cleaning cycle to try and get the sensor as clean as possible. So this means, at this point, that this dust map that I'm creating is not going to be good for any images that I have already shot. Next thing is I need to be pointed at something white; something white, and ideally evenly lit. I've got a nice white wall in front of me, so I am just going to press the shutter button.
It takes a picture, it's analyzing it, trying to figure out some dust delete information. It's not actually storing a full image; it's going to then sock that data away. Now, using DPP, I can pull that Dust Delete Data image out, and use it to remove any dust from images that I shoot from here on out. So if you're finding that you have a dust problem, what you want to do is go through this process, because first it's going to clean your sensor, which may take care of your dust problem. If not, it's going to sock away this delete data that you can use later, just in case the cleaning cycle did not actually get rid of your dust.
You can learn more about the Dust Delete Data feature on page 291 of your manual. The camera's built-in sensor cleaning is very effective, and because it runs all the time, it should mean that you rarely face a sensor dust problem. When you do, you'll need to resort to a more drastic sensor cleaning process, as I mentioned earlier.
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