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I was taking photos of people playing Holi. Some of the powdered colour landed on the lens of my Canon Powershot S95, and in the groove of the flash housing. By lens, I mean the cylindrical part that retracts, not the glass.

Does the housing of the lens have some protection that wipes the lens as it retracts (i.e, a self-cleaning mechanism)? Or will I need to give the camera to a professional repair shop?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Hopefully you have wiped the stuff before turning the camera off, otherwise there is probably some of it inside it.

There is nothing self-cleaning here and neither is this camera sealed against dust and particles from entering. It's a great camera you have, so I would bring it to Canon for a cleaning. They will take the camera apart and clean it. Here this service costs a bit over $100 CDN.

If you intend to exposur your camera to elements like this, it will quickly become expensive, so I recommend investing in a weather-sealed or waterproof camera for those occasions. Unfortunately, there are very few such cameras with manual controls other than DSLRs which also require weather-sealed lenses to be sealed.

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I did wipe it off with a soft cloth or my finger, whichever convenient at that point of time. There was not a bunch of it, just a few particles here and there, but noticeable. –  theTuxRacer Mar 8 '12 at 14:11
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@Itai I'm afraid weather-sealed cameras seem to offer no protection against this particular type of dust. See lensrentals.com/blog/2013/05/… –  Chinmay Kanchi May 9 '13 at 18:44

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