Minolta/Sony solution against hot pixels, stuck pixels

Konica-MinoltaSometimes, on a digital camera, there are small defects on the digital sensor. They appear as a pixel or two which seem to be either black, colored (hot) or white (stuck). This is ususally not much of a problem, but it can become very annoying.

Pixel blanc / white pixel - Konica-Minolta Dynax 7DOn my good old Konica-Minolta Dynax 7D camera, I noticed on some of the 2500 photos I shot in Brazil in 2007 that there were a couple of white pixels in the upper third of the picture. This was not too annoying since a white dot on the sky is usually barely visible and easy to correct by most of the smoothing algorithms. And they disappeared any time I cropped down the image for web usage. However, it was clearly visible on some of my best images (those I wanted to keep in full resolution).

This post was first published on Roumazeilles.net in 2007.

Easy to correct did not mean that I wanted to keep that. So, I started to look for software solutions to correct the problem, but it appears that Minolta, Konica-Minolta and Sony digital SLR cameras all share the same approach to hot pixels and stuck pixels. Once a month, when switching off, the SLR camera will shoot a black image (not even opening the shutter) and look for stuck pixels to update the “dead pixel map” of the camera. The switching off appears slower when this happens (the red light will blink a little longer), but after this step the problem is automatically corrected.

If you want to correct it by yourself, the only thing that you have to do is to change the date in the camera menu, move it forward at least further than the next 1st day of the next month, switch off the camera (let it do its little game of red light), switch it on again, shoot one picture, go to the menu and change the date back, then switch off the camera.

Sony logoAfter this, your Sony camera updated its hot pixel mapping and knows where to expect them. It will automagically remove them from the picture and just interpolate values from the neighbouring pixels. Instead of having an ugly white spot, you’ll get a microscopic and all-but-invisible loss of resolution (one-pixel resolution loss out of 6 to 20 millions is still acceptable, isn’t it?)

It works with all Sony SLR cameras (and older Minolta or Konica/Minolta cameras). To be kept somewhere in the back of our memory.

4 comments for “Minolta/Sony solution against hot pixels, stuck pixels

  1. jusko
    October 12, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Does Sony Camcorder also have this hot pixel mapping feature ?

    thanks

  2. October 20, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    That is a good question. I would not think since this is a technology imported from the Minolta photo cameras.

    Somebody with a Sony HD video camera to test and try for us?

  3. cosmic hippy
    January 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Does it work for the secondary CCD on Sony Alphas?

  4. January 20, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    No, this is integrated in the firmware to work hot pixels in the sensor not in the LCD (I assume that you mean LCD).

    However, I could advise something that may work: Some people have success with “massaging” slowly the LCD with a finger. With a repeated push, like a masseuse would push on the skin, you may succeed in moving around the very small pollutants in the liquid crystal freeing the impacted/defective pixel.

    Just don’t push *through* the LCD screen!

    If you speak about the CCD used inside the viewfinder of the most recent SLT-A33 or SLT-A55, I have no clue if this works. Just try and report here about it.

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