So you’re inside a wedding reception, taking photos with your DSLR or mirrorless camera. You’re feeling like the next big wedding photographer, capturing the bride and groom on the dance floor, when suddenly you see light lasers directly go through your camera’s viewfinder.
Then you noticed black spots and pink streaks on your LCD screen or viewfinder. This is not good! They are signs that your camera sensor might have been damaged by the lasers. Now you’re wondering how much it is going to cost you to get your camera sensor replaced.
Camera sensor replacement cost
So, how much is it? The good news is that it can be replaced. The bad news? CCD and CMOS sensors are not that cheap! The price of a camera sensor replacement can range somewhere around $400 to $2000.
It mostly depends on the brand and model of your camera. The more advanced your camera is, the more expensive it will be to repair or replace its sensor.
Here are some estimated costs of the sensor including the labor charges:
Canon DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras
- Replacing damaged sensors of these DSLRs such as the EOS 60D, EOS 90D, EOS 7D, EOS Rebel XSi, EOS Rebel T3, and EOS Rebel T7 can cost you around $400-$800.
- Replacing the sensor of Canon EOS 1D and 5D series are more expensive than entry-level cameras. The price ranges from $1000 to $2000.
- Around $600 for Canos EOS M series cameras.
- If your camera sensor has a few scratches instead of getting fried by laser, you might consider sending it to LifePixel. They use OEM low pass filter instead of replacing the whole sensor assembly which is much cheaper. Can cost up to $350.
- Sony A7 and A6XXX laser-damaged sensors can go as high as $2000. Yup! Might as well buy a newer camera body.
- Sony DSLRs like the A77 can cost around $700 to $800.
- Scratched sensor repair can go up to $400.
- Up to $300 for Fujifilm cameras with scratched sensors.
- Can go as high as $1800 if you have a damaged or fried CMOS sensor.
- Up to $400 for DSLR and mirrorless cameras with scratched sensors.
- I only experience it with my all-time favorite, Leica M9. It has the dreaded sensor (glass) corrosion. It cost me around $999 for the repairs. Kolari Vision is the best place for it.
Camera Sensor Replacement Process
Once you found out that your camera sensor has been damaged, you can do these simple steps to have it fixed.
- Visit the manufacturer’s website to find out where to get it replaced. You can also go to the nearest authorized repair center.
- Give them a call or email them and ask for an estimate.
- After they give you a price, you can make a decision whether to proceed with the repairs or not.
Who can you get a new sensor from?
When it comes to acquiring a new sensor, you have a variety of options at your disposal. I highly recommend entrusting the replacement to a professional for optimal results. Alternatively, you can choose to purchase the required component from reputable online stores like Amazon or eBay.
This is often cost-effective but you still need a professional to install it.
What causes camera sensor damage?
Laser is a common problem with DSLR and mirrorless cameras. It’s caused by the camera sensor being hit directly by light, which can damage it permanently. You’ll notice black spots or pink streaks in your photos.
Additionally, cleaning can also scratch the sensor especially if you aren’t careful when cleaning it.
Signs of sensor damage
In case you noticed any of the following symptoms, it’s likely that your camera sensor needs to be fixed:
- Black spots in your photos, LCD, or viewfinder after shooting in an area with light lasers.
- Pink streaks or stripes in your photos, LCD, or viewfinder after shooting in an area with light lasers.
- Black marks that can’t be removed even after a thorough cleaning.
- Scratches after cleaning.
Tips on taking care of your camera sensor
- If you have to shoot in an area with lasers be extra careful. Shoot from different angles if you can.
- Minimize shooting in bad weather conditions, especially when the weather is cold or humid.
- Don’t leave your camera sensor exposed for too long.
- Use a camera bag that can protect your gear from dust and moisture; also make sure that you keep your equipment away from direct contact with water or sand.
- You can use a microfiber cloth and wipe it gently to avoid scratches on the surface.
- When shooting videos or doing long exposures, the sensor can get very hot. If you noticed that your camera is overheating, stop shooting immediately.
- When shooting a solar eclipse, put a solar filter on the lens to protect the lens elements and camera sensor.
Are damaged sensors covered by warranty?
Unfortunately, no. Unless it’s a factory defect and you have to prove that’s the case. The good news is, manufacturers like Canon, Nikon, and Sony offer several protection plans for our cameras.
Is it okay to clean the camera sensor?
Yes, it’s recommended that you clean your camera sensor once a year. It’s important to wipe it gently and avoid touching the surface of the sensor because it can cause permanent damage. You can bring your camera to a professional for your piece of mind.
How long will a camera sensor last?
Sensors can degrade over time due to heat. But it’s still a tough material that can last for many years. As long as you’re not pointing it directly at a laser or scratching it with something sharp, you should be okay.
Emma Lucy is the Founder & CEO of Emma Lucy Photography. She has over a decade of experience shooting weddings and other intimate events. She also tests the latest digital camera bodies, lenses, analog cameras, and other gear from Canon, Nikon, Sony, and other camera brands. She is From London and currently lives in the United States of America, where she spends most of her time as a self-employed professional photographer and writer.