I panicked when changing a lens and forgot to turn the camera off, I realised before fitting the other lens, I worried I’ve done damage as it states in the manual no turn it off first although everything seems fine. I am a worrier though but what are the chances I’ve done damage? I have a brand new D7200 so you can see why I’m concerned.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Possible dupe, though the highest-voted answer is not necessarily the current 'best'. If the release button doesn't already tell the system that it ought to prep for a lens change, then some firmware engineers need a new job ;) [This is bearing in mind that a modern camera is never actually 'off', just check the lights when you change storage card] \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 20:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your response, how can I check if I have an issues or would it be obvious straight away? \$\endgroup\$
    – Brian
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 21:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @brian can you still take photos? You're safe. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 22:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tetsujin - What if you are freelensing? I don't think anything happens when the lens release is pressed for the sensor. In fact, you can even take very abstract photos like that :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 22:28
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Too bad this was marked duplicate as the other questions have gone stale with no accepted answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Commented Nov 30, 2017 at 2:23

2 Answers 2


No, you have not damaged anything. While I do it all the time because it saves time to power off and back on, it is best to turn the camera off to reduce the probability of dust adhering to the sensor.

When the camera is on, the sensor is usually powered which creates a static charge. This makes it more likely for light dust to stick to the sensor but that does not mean you will not get any dust when you change the lens with the camera powered off.

Just try to make the change quickly and have the camera point downwards as much as possible. This will reduce the chances of dust going into the sensor chamber.

The year at Photo Plus Expo, held at the end of October, Sony repeated this many times during their presentations, so this information is very recent. It is unlikely that this is different for any other brand, considering that Sony makes the sensors for most brands except Canon.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe worth mentioning automatic sensor self-clean at startup? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 23:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Only some cameras do it at startup. Most don't because it slows things down. It is more common now to do it on shutdown. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Commented Nov 30, 2017 at 13:59

I haven’t turned my camera off in years for lens changes, so don’t worry, there is no risk.

Some people claim that while the camera is on, there is static electricity inside which increases the amount of dust that gets sucked in, but I don’t think that is true, and have seen no issues with multiple bodies.

You shouldn’t throw stuff inside the open camera while the lens is off, neither sand nor other objects, but that is not any different when its off either.


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