I recently took quite a few pictures at my brothers wedding, and when going through them in Aperture 3, I noticed a pretty apparent red pixel towards the bottom left of my images. I didn't notice this all that much before, but since a lot of these photos were taken indoors with darker colors (like everyone in tuxedos and suits), its easy to see.

I started going through many old pictures, and noticed the same dead pixel. And then again last night, while importing another set, I noticed another hot pixel, this time in the upper right.

I tried the common method described online, doing a 'Manual Sensor Cleaning' thats found commonly online (one example here). I did this for about 30 seconds, but still notice them. I haven't tried longer yet.

When looking for other ways to solve this, I found that it also may a difference in the way Aperture and/or Lightroom and other apps display this. Supposedly Lightroom processes them for you, but I don't think Aperture does this.

What is the best way to handle these? I would obviously like to fix it in the camera if I can, but is there a better way to fix these in post processing when using Aperture - other than doing a small spot healing on every photo? I also usually don't shoot in RAW, just in JPEG.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate: photo.stackexchange.com/q/2078/21 \$\endgroup\$ Jan 28, 2011 at 9:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Its discussing the very similar issue I am having (mine look a lot like that), but was really looking for possible Canon specific fixes, or ways to do this better in Apples' Aperture (that post mostly covers Nikons and using Lightroom) \$\endgroup\$
    – jmlumpkin
    Jan 30, 2011 at 17:04

2 Answers 2


A quick look around on The Googles seems to confirm that Apple Aperture doesn't have an automated way to deal with hot pixels.

In any case, I think the best way is to have the hot pixels mapped out in-camera at the RAW level. Some cameras can do this as a menu option, but unfortunately some manufacturers save this as a price-differentiation feature and don't put it in their entry-level models. (Doesn't help now, but it's something to look for next time you go to buy a camera!)

If it's not there as an option, it can certainly be done by by the camera service center, and in my experience they'll usually do this under normal warranty service. (If not, they shouldn't charge you much.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Supposedly the Rebels can do this, but I may need to do mine longer. I will have to check with a local repair shop to see if a service like that is offered for Rebels. I was hoping to find some software fixes as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – jmlumpkin
    Jan 30, 2011 at 17:02

I found a solution that worked on my 550D (Rebel X2i), the page is about the 5D Mk2 so I guess it works on all canons.


The relevant part:

Test for dead pixels : Left lens-cap on, set camera to exposure 30 seconds black-out image at varies ISO settings.

Fix for dead Pixels : Set camera to perform sensor cleaning mode manually (not auto) for one minute. You only execute the function, not exactly performing the whole sensor cleaning procedure. Magically, the sensor cleaning task should shake the stuck pixels off, if not, repeat couple more times until it does. Otherwise, time to call the technical support.

I've tested for hot pixels using only ISO 100 (I'm lazy), the image clearly showed the 2 pixels that caused me to look for this + another red pixel.

After enabling the manual lens cleaning function (without even taking the lens off) and waiting for a minute the first two pixels disappeared, after 2 more "cleanings" the third also disappeared.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I did this with my 550D and I can confirm that it actually works. No idea why this happens, but it works! \$\endgroup\$
    – Andres
    Apr 29, 2011 at 14:51

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