Fix Hot Pixel – Canon SLR [updated II]

After shooting with my Canon 50D for a while I realized there was a hot blue pixel in all pictures, I was about to send of my camera to Canon to get that fixed, but I was procrastinating… to send it off because I didn’t want to be left without my camera. So after some Googling I came across a very simple and harmless quick fix. I was surprised that it worked, but it did! [From comments I understand it worked for most ppl]

Via willshootphotography blog
Hot Pixel Fix for the Canon 50D worked for Rebel XTi as well [update, from comments i understand that it works for the Rebel XSi,  Rebel T1i, rebel T2i, 7D, 5D M-II] :

– Remove the lens and put the body cap in place on the camera [not sure if this is a must]
– 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).
– Leave the camera in this mode for 30-60 seconds, I kept it this way for closer to 60 seconds.
– 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!

I still have no idea why/how this works, but it does. I was about to send in my camera to Canon to Fix this problem, but this was way easier!

[update, from comments 9-22-11]
“The red dot is known as a Hot pixel. When you turn on Manual Cleaning, the sensor is temporarily disconnected from the power to minimize static during cleaning. As a result, when power is restored the pixels are remapped and the hot pixel usually goes away.” There you have it, now you know (more less) how it works.

[update, from comments 11/3/13]
“In order to find manually clean function I needed to set the mode to M otherwise it wouldn’t appear in the menu” hope that helps you guys!

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132 thoughts on “Fix Hot Pixel – Canon SLR [updated II]

  1. Thanks for posting this up, I’ve tried it on a photo shoot today, where I suddenly noticed a rogue ‘hot’ blue pixel, then a red pixel as well on all my shots over a total of 250 shots. I followed your instructions, and the pixels returned to normal. Crazy thing! Why does it happen? Presuming it’s not just Canon either? (Cue: Nikon users saying ‘should have bought a Nikon). Thanks again, saved me from returning Canon 5D mkII to Canon UK cleaning centre.

    • I was just able to use this technique on my XSi, and it appears to have worked, Thanks so much!! I got off the phone with Canon tech support and they claimed they had not heard of this method and said if it didn’t work I’d have to send the camera in for service. Thanks goodness for the internet and sites like this that try to help people. Thanks again!!!

      • This technique has been floating around for quite a while, i would think Canon would have gotten the feel of it, i guess not. Im glad you where able to fix your camera yourself, and didnt have to be without it for repair.

  2. I’m glad that you found this post useful! and didnt have your 5Dii for service.
    I have no idea if this will also work on a Nikon,
    any one with a nikon out there with a hot pixel want to give it a try?
    plz let us know the results.

  3. Thanks! just tried this on a brand new Canon 550D and it works! After only a few shots I had a pixel that would even show up hot white in live view very annoying on a dark subject, took raw images of the lens cap and could see the stuck pixel. Performed the manual cleaning with the front cap on exactly as you describe and hey presto they are gone, Canon must remap the sensor on manual cleaning! but this is not in the manual for Manual cleaning, why!?

    • It must be indeed that the sensor gets re-mapped in manual cleaning mode, but do not have any proof for that.
      I still have to find an official statement by canon to have the manual cleaning as a fix for the dead pixel problem.

    • HI,
      I think I have the same problem – big white , sort of a cross more then a dot, when I zoom in, and it is happening straight after the purchase of 550d. I could find any “Manual cleaning” but I did the Clean now, same as it does automatically. Well it did not help? Any ather advice , before I send it for repair?

  4. It worked !

    after 2 months of using my rebel t1i, all pictures gained 3 crazy pixels, one of them white and very bright, one blue and one red, these last two not very bright.

    after reading this suggestion and others, i´ve made the following: Put the cap in the lens, adjusted in manual, iso 100, 10 seconds (aperture doesn´t matter, the lens was completely dark). Result: The brighter crazy white dot disappeared !, but not the other two. Then, I´ve adjusted the iso to 1600 and applied again the same 10 seconds dark exposition. All tree dots disappeared. Of course, in iso 1600 a lot of low “light” noises in the black photography could be seen there, but the unusual three pixel returned to its normal. In normallly exposed pictures i´m seeing only what i expect to.

    I think that the camera firmware can (very intelligently) distinguish normal noise (small signal differences in very low light and high iso) and abnormal pixel functioning, fixing them automatically.

    thanks a lot.

    Edgard

  5. OMG!!!!!! It works with 550D !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    They can’t put it in the manual… Why? And Canon wrote me an email, about hotpixels: you must taken back to the shop, and wait for the new one… No comment…

    Simply works.

    Thanks much!

    • im glad it worked for you! i don’t know why they don’t put this fix in their manual, they should! Thankfully we have google as our manual, so we can find the hot fixelf fix that works!

  6. took some night shots liast night, saw couple of stars not moving, i thought i found something cool, but i was disapointed
    went to the shop today about my hot pixel, the guy said i have to wait, so i started reading up stuff
    all i did was put the camera in manual 30 seconds
    press take pic, wait 6 seconds then turn the camera off
    i cant belive that worked

    • I know how frustrating it can bee to see a dead pixel in one of your photos.
      i was so glad to know about this easy fix that it had to be shared with every one possible.
      im glad it fixed your pixel problem as well.

  7. The “manual clean” thing works for stills but not for video :/

    I’ve got a brand new today 5Dmk2 and it’s got two big red dots in the middle of the frame that went away after the manual clean trick but only for still images. They’re still there in the video clips and on the live view. They’re not visible below ISO 400 but indoor video by domestic lights always runs at ISO 6400 and they stick out like big red sore thumbs whenever the shot pans over a dark object.

      • The bad pixel mapping happens at still recording time and is effectively a clone filter based on replacing the lost data with the average of surrounding good pixels. You can get filters to do this in video post processing now (as stuck/hot pixels are a common problem). But it requires considerable processing time to do in camera. Most likely is that while the DIGIC 4 processor in the 5Dmk2 is just about fast enough to do the downscaling to 1920×1080 for video and the MPEG-4 video compression in real-time (up to 30 frames per second), it isn’t fast enough to apply the bad pixel filter as well. If there is any spare horsepower in the GPU, they could do the extra filter step but it will eat even more into the battery life.

        Ideally, they’d do the filter at the RAW stage but that takes more processing. Doing it after the downsample means processing a smaller frame (less data) but the bad pixels will have smeared a bit so the filter will be less effective and they’d then have to keep another map in memory (as the absolute x,y co-ordinates of the spots will have changed with the scaling). Tryng to fix it in post processing in the PC is the worst case as the MPEG-4 compression has smooshed the bad pixels into a much bigger dot by adding compression artifacts around the original bad data.

        My video clips show three red dots (I found another!). They’re 5×3, 5×2, and 2×2 in size (excluding the compression halo smears). The small one is at the edge of the frame and just a “warm” spot rather than a hot one. They get worse as the camera heats up in Live View and movie recording mode (as the camera works hard with the processing load). The heat makes the CMOS sensor degrade (temporarily – that’s why some designs have active cooling of the sensor).

  8. Well, I took the camera back to the shop and they exchanged it without a fuss (after I’d emailed them a copy of a still from a video showing the red blobs in the frame).

    The replacement body is perfect… No dodgy pixels visible in the video at all. I was worried that I might have to suffer changing two or three times as some have reported getting more than one exchange unit with hot pixels visible.

    I could finally enjoy playing with my new toy and I started to get the sense of “wow – this camera rocks!”. I bought a HDMI cable and was reviewing footage on the TV and had a panic moment when I noticed a single stuck green pixel in the image. Turned out it was a dead pixel on the TV that I’d never noticed before 😀

  9. Thanks guys.
    Had an annoying red pixel in pics and videos, started after long exposure meteor shower photography.
    Just run manual clean as described and now no more red pixel.
    Camera needs to be in manual mode to allow manual cleaning option on my 550d.
    Thanks again.
    Ben

  10. Holy crap. So I noticed a red dot on all my photos taken over the last few weeks since getting my 550D and freaked a little, thinking I’d have to return it for repairs or something. Did a google search on the problem and ended up here. Read the first post with great skepticism. Followed the instructions.

    Currently in your debt. Thank you SO MUCH for this incredibly simple solution to this odd little problem.

  11. O M G ?!?!?!?! That really worked well on my 7D. Dude you brought a smile back on my face. Thank you. I was getting worried … but this is great … Thanks again

  12. I had the same problem with my new Canon T1i, while recording video I had a stock pixel, I was able to fixed using this method.

    Thanks

  13. The red dot is known as a Hot pixel. When you turn on Manual Cleaning, the sensor is temporarily disconnected from the power to minimize static during cleaning. As a result, when power is restored the pixels are remapped and the hot pixel usually goes away.

  14. yup, worked for me, for my new canon 550d T2i, did exactly as in the instructions, set the camera mode to M before. the red pixel is gone from pics and videos. Try this before calling the store, it might work for you too, no bs.

    cheers,
    Niki

  15. Wow. I was not expecting this to work on my 5DII. I did the self cleaning at 100, 800, 1600, and 3200 ISO (really didn’t want to see those buggers back!). I was REALLY fed up with the red and white dots, but bought my camera used and had no idea what to do to fix it. I also noticed some banding, and that’s what I was searching for a fix for, but this has made my week and holiday. Thanks!

  16. Thanks for posting this! 🙂 I was just browsing POTN, I have owned my T2i for less than a week and saw this ‘stuck’ pixel and it aggravated me. So went searching to see what I could do, and eventually stumbled upon this and it worked! 🙂 I know you already know that, lol, but cool! 🙂

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  18. Yes, they were visible. I first noticed a hot pixel in a black area of a photo. I then checked and found about 6 of them, 2 red, 3 green/blue. All in the same spots on each photo. I ran the manual clean first with a Canon lens and cap on, then a Samyang with no electronics, then with the body cap. It seems like one of the green/blue pixels cleared up. No difference on any of the others. All viewed with DPP, and still present when exported as tiff.

    Funny thing is when I open even the original raw’s (before manual clean) with PSE9 & ACR there are no hot pixels visible. I don’t see any setting that would account for some filter option removing them.

    I like doing my preprocessing in DPP, but I don’t want to have to deal with repairing the same set of pixels on every shot I take. ACR is clunkier and less flexible and seems to have no ability to deal with more than one photo at a time.

  19. Hey,
    Thanks a lot for the tip!!
    It saved me from sending my 2 month old baby back to the US..
    You made my week; my T2i thanks you!

    Regards from India!

  20. Pingback: Canon 550D Community - Page 16

  21. Ok you are the man or woman . haha had a little red dot only when i used the video mode on my 550d did it just how you said and it worked perfect. thank you so much did not want to deal with canon.

  22. Thanks so much for this fix.

    I have a Canon 550d and just noticed a red dot screaming out in photos.

    This worked an absolute treat!

  23. Thank you so much! I have a 550D and had noticed a red dot on my videos a few days ago.

    And now it’s gone, thanks to your tip!

  24. had a red dot on my screen after taking some long exposure shots, after couple of days, saw this red dot on my screen and i was really affected abt it, then after doin what you have said, its gone. you what mam/sir, photography is my life, and i just want you to know that you have saved one!!!!

  25. had a red dot on my screen after taking some long exposure shots, after couple of days, saw this red dot on my screen and i was really affected abt it, then after doin what you have said, its gone. you know what mam/sir, photography is my life, and i just want you to know that you have saved one!!!! thank you. iits nice to know there are still people who go out of their way to just help others. keep it up!!!!!!!!

      • I confirm this method is working on Canon 5D Mark III.
        My camera had 4 rogue circular artifacts showing up in every low light picture and the noise test picture taken with the lens cap on, in the exact same spots across the frame, as follows:
        1) a bright red spot spanning across ~ 3×3 pixels
        2) a somewhat dimmer orange spot spanning across ~ 2×2 pixels
        3) two individual half white 1×1 pixels

        Here are all my steps:
        1) camera in Tv mode (as it’s been since last picture taken), lens on, lens cap on
        2) set sensor to manual cleaning
        3) wait a little over 1 minute
        4) power camera off
        5) take another picture and wow be happy the rogue pixels are now gone

        Thank you shmuliphoto & the rest of valuable contributors. As you said I have no idea why this is happening and how/why the method works but it did! My first suspicion was that the large red artifact was a spill of the red focusing light and was sadly contemplating returning the camera for exchange. Then I took the noise test picture with the lens cap on in manual focusing mode, which ruled out the red spill. Then of course I pixel peeped and discovered the other bad pixels.

        Thanks all!

      • i’m glad it worked out for you!
        The mystery of how it works is somewhat solved, as the camera remaps its pixels after a manual cleaning that most of the time cleans up the dead pixels. or something like that 😉

  26. I have had 3 hot pixels on my new 550d , didnt notice until weeks later when I went for some longer exposure at night (1-5 seconds) Your method didnt work for me. This is my first DSLR , I am really disappointed by canon now. Should I go to a canon service center or try getting it replaced at the shop I bought it from about 6 weeks ago.

    • you can try go back to the store you have bought the camera, but they would possible send you on to deal with canon yourself, that would depend on what store it is. But sure give it a try, at times it can not be so much fun dealing with canon service center (from what i hear, never had to use them)

  27. I tired it and it appears to have worked for me. I just took the lens off, did the maual cleaning, then powered up the auto cleaning once and then afew tests and it seems to have worked.

  28. I have the Canon T2i. I bought it almost a year ago. I noticed a white hot pixel, dead center of all my shots. I ignored it for a while. Then, I started working on a film (movie), using it as a B Roll camera, and noticed it BLAZING in all the footage. Completely unacceptable! To my disdain, I had to take it back to the dealer, whom I had purchased it from. I don’t like being separated from my camera. They are shipping it back to Canon for me after trying the firmware fix, unsuccessfully. I read these posts and called my dealer immediately. Fortunately, they were still in the process of sending it out, at that very moment, as I had just dropped it off yesterday, late in the afternoon. I told them what to do. They applied the steps as described in your post; and, to their complete and total shock, IT WORKED. Even for video. I am running out the door, now, to pick it up. It would have taken WEEKS to get it back from Canon. Thank you SO MUCH!!!!!

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  31. I noticed multiple red and blue hot pixels on my 1000D… tried this and it worked! Thanks a ton… i was thinking of sending the cam to Canon service…saved me time and money…

  32. My Canon 5D Mark II has had the hot stuck pixel thing going on since I got it about two and a half years ago.

    First they replaced the sensor, then it was sent back and they “cleaned it”, sent a third time for “cleaning”. It works after coming back for a while then another stuck pixel will crop up.

    The quick fix is not working on the stuck pixel I have in video mode. I paid $5000 for this thing and its been hardly used but here I’m stuck with a horrible spot in the middle of the video.

    Finally found the A. West filter for Final Cut, but what a disappointment to have have a “fix” for this so-called high-end equipment.

    I’m going to get a couple of sub $1000 cameras and hope at least one of them is working at a time.

    This problem is unreal! Very disappointed…. want to go back to film 🙂

  33. You are my life saver!!! When I saw a red pixel on my new 550D after a about 50 shots when dark photo I nearly got an heart attack :). Everything is perfect now even in video as I can see. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR POSTING THIS SOLUTION HERE!!!

  34. I love the Internet!!… and especially everyone useful that uses it!

    This procedure worked on my 3 month old 1100D. You have helped me correct the single red pixel that showed up after 3900 exposures.
    Thank you so much.

    • I’ve the same 1100D after one month of using i faced the same problem, I tried many times the same steps you follow, But no way, I wonder

  35. I had my 5D mark II for a few months before I noticed the 3 red pixels and a small white one when ever I use long exposure (with low and high ISO). Sent it to Canon here in Germany but they said its not a fault and won’t fix it. This cleaning trick does not work for mine, tried it many times. I love the camera but am still very disappointed to have paid so much and have a product with very distinct red dots.

  36. You’re the man!

    Massive thanks from me – and maybe quite a few members of my digital photography club.

    This is a 100% fix for me. I had white pixels in the same place on every shot over a variety of lenses on my Canon 600D. Confirmed that automatic sensor cleaning did not fix this but your recommended way did!!!

    Thanks for sharing.

  37. I took some night video while driving the other night, with the t2i, iso was about 1600, when viewed on my 50″ I noticed a bright white pixel, did the manual clean, had the lens off, no cover, and 1600 iso, and IT WORKED, no more hot pixel, checked it on the big screen, video mode, and all the way up to 6400 iso, no hot pixels, clean everywhere, so thanks to everyone for the info you all have provided.

  38. It worked! It worked!

    I have a Canon 600D (same as the T3I) and I used a ten second exposure to find the dead pixel. Then I did this trick and IT WORKED!

    Hallelujah!

    I just got this camera and didn’t even know I had this problem until I friend told me to try a ten second exposure. Then I was able to fix it in sixty seconds. You’re awesome!

    • question, i have a t3 and a red pixel that only shows up in low light video. i’ve done the manual clean several times. I don’t know what you mean about ‘try a 10 second exposure’, how does that add to this process? any tips would be appreciated thx

      • i should add, the manual clean, at various iso and in M and AV, did not fix it. Does the af shutter or lighting optimizer features affect this in any way? if the sensor for the video is not the same as the other sensor, and the video sensor does not have a cleaning function, wtf? tia

  39. I’m so happy I found this post! Much appreciated! :D:D
    It just works like a charm on my 550D/t2i. I also covered the body with a black cloth during the 30-60 sec period just to make sure no light leaks onto the sensor. (I read this somewhere else.) It really bugged me when I was doing video recordings in low light. And it’s all gone now tested up until ISO1600. 🙂

    Thanks!

    You have a good one! 😉

  40. Thanks so much for posting this info. I had one blue spot that has disappeared after following your instructions. Very pleased with the result, not that I had ever noticed the blue pixel before I went searching. I guess I am pleased on the point of principle!

      • Thank you so much! Have been taking lots of long exposure shots through a telescope on my 550d and had a white dead pixel that looked like a small cross on every shot. This has happened since I got the camera in March.

        Now it’s completely fixed!

  41. Thankyou, I was so worried about that Hot Pixel my first impression was a dead pixel but after following your instructions, it worked out on my 60d. thankyou very much Godbless!

  42. Well I’ll be! That worked like a charm on my 550D. I guess all those cool red and blue stars I was getting in my long exposures weren’t stars after all 😉

  43. I tried your method several times on my 50d. I had about 7 or 6 red squares. I now have 3 left. I tried the procedure again but they are very stubborn. Now what?

    • I’m not sure there is much more that can be done to get rid of the remaining 3 red pixels, your best bet would probably be send your camera to Canon to get it remapped. Sorry about that

  44. You saved me a lot of work. I wanted to replace the sensor in my EOS-550D camera with the one I had on spare from a broken 550D. After “manual cleaning” the red blue and white spots all disappeared. I see a lot of posts from 550D-owners. Has this camera more hot-pixel problems than other cameras? Anyway, Thanks a lot.

  45. Thank you so much! I noticed that I had a hot pixel when filming video (a single white one), and I tried this tip and got rid of it. I tried at ISO 100 as well as ISO 1600 and the hot pixel went away.

  46. I just tried out my new Canon 60Da (astrophotography version) on some very dark skies. Unfortunately there were bright blue pixels in three different locations. I started to panic but decided to research the problem before contacting Canon. It worked perfectly! Thank you for posting this tip!!

  47. Thanks! Worked perfectly with my brand new Canon EOS 600D.
    Had a white pixel on every photo, which disappeared after I followed your procedure.

    • And the red pixels were only showing up on my videos and not the pictures taken in between videos. I do not know enough about the mechanics of the camera to understand that one.

      • The video might be using the sensor differently that caused the red pixels. But I’m glad your unwanted pixels are now back to normal!

    • is the dead pixel on the camera screen or on the photos? this fix only works to fix the dead pixels on photos, not on the camera screen.
      If it is on your photos, after trying the fix above without any luck, send it off to canon might be the best option for you

  48. I’m not worthy to be a serious reviewer of this product, as
    I’m just learning what all the photo jargon means. Let me
    just say excellent professional looking shots are pretty
    easy with this camera, and I highly recommend it to anyone
    thinking of purchasing an SLR camera. I love the 18-135mm
    lens, as I’m usually just taking pictures of my wife and kid
    with it, seems as if I don’t need any other lens. Maybe
    just a nifty 50 and a separate flash for simple
    bounce/diffused shots. No regrets on spending the premium
    for the lens or the newest model! Woohoo, new hobby!

  49. After taking pics of the “Super Moon”, I noticed a red pixel…Nooooo! A quick google search brought me to this blog. I tried the manual cleaning method, and it worked! Thanks a ton!

  50. I have a Conon 650d and noticed a red spot when I was recording @ Dinseyland Paris and Again noticed this red spot when trying to take a photo of the night sky. Thanks for the tip this worked wounders as I was warried I would have to send my camera off to get fixed.

  51. worked for me as well on a new canon 600d. Just have in mind that in order to find manually clean function I needed to set the mode to M otherwise it wouldn’t appear in the menu

  52. I had about 2 dozen hot pixels in my 550D, I thought it was just dust on the sensor and was considering sending it off for cleaning. I am so thankful that I found this blog first, every single dead pixel is now gone!

  53. This worked beautifully! Thank you so much for this, very much appreciated.
    I have a Canon 60D and the Hot Pink pixel showed up, I freaked out, then I stopped freaking out after this post.

  54. Worked like a charm on my Rebel T3i, which had developed two solid white 3×3 pixel crosses. Thank you OP, commenters, and internet!

  55. Thank You! Worked on my new 70D. Removed one blue dot, visible only in high ISO (over 1000) – hot pixel I think. I see it very clear on my videos (I use it mostly for that). Now, I don’t see it anymore! Thanks again!

  56. I had the same problem on my 70D. Just as I got a job offer at a lounge bar for video shooting, I noticed a “dead” blue pixel in the bottom right of my videos. Surprisingly enough, it only showed on videos, but not on photos. After I applied the method you explained, it works like a charm. You saved my rear end 🙂 Thank you!

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