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Hot Pixels In Photography: What They Are And How To Remove Them

Have you ever taken a photo only to find that there’s a weird, bright dot in the image? If so, you’ve likely encountered a hot pixel. Read our latest guide where we explore what hot pixels are and how to remove them from your photos.

What Are Hot Pixels?

In photography, hot pixels are most commonly found on digital cameras with small image sensors. These bright dots are caused by leakage of charge from one or more photosensitive cells in the sensor.

Hot pixels are usually more prevalent in long exposure photos or when shooting at high ISO values. However, they can also be found in short exposures and low ISO images, especially if the camera is used in hot or humid conditions.

What Causes Hot Pixels?

As hot pixels are caused by a physical defect in the camera sensor, they cannot be fixed with software. The only way to remove hot pixels is to physically replace the defective sensor.

Hot pixels are more common in newer cameras as the manufacturing process of digital sensors has become more precise. However, even the best quality control can’t completely eliminate hot pixels from all cameras.

Other Kinds Of Pixel Issues In Cameras

It’s important to note that hot pixels are not the same as dead or stuck pixels. Below are the key differences:

Dead Pixels

A digital photo is made up of tiny cells called pixels. Each pixel contains a certain amount of information, and when all the pixels are put together, they create the image.

A dead pixel is a pixel that has lost its ability to store or display information. As a result, the pixel appears as a black or white dot in the image.

Dead pixels are relatively common in digital photos, and they can occur for a variety of reasons.

Sometimes, dead pixels are the result of physical damage to the camera sensor. Other times, they may be caused by a manufacturing defect. In most cases, however, dead pixels are simply a normal part of digital photography. While they can be annoying, dead pixels generally do not affect the overall quality of the image.

Stuck Pixels

When you take a digital photo, each pixel is recorded as a certain color. Sometimes, however, a pixel can become “stuck” on one color, resulting in a tiny dot of incorrect color in the otherwise perfect image. Stuck pixels are usually permanent, but there are a few methods that can sometimes fix the problem.

One is to try repeatedly pressing on the stuck pixel with a finger or pencil eraser, which may cause it to change back to the correct color. Another method is to use special software to flash different colors on the screen in an attempt to “unstick” the pixel. While these methods don’t always work, they’re worth a try if you’re unhappy with a digital photo that has a stuck pixel.

How To Remove Hot Pixels

If you find hot pixels in your photos, there are a few ways to remove them.

  1. The first and easiest method is to simply crop the hot pixel out of the image. This works best for hot pixels that are located on the edges of the frame.
  2. Another way to remove hot pixels is to use the clone stamp tool in Photoshop. This tool allows you to clone a nearby pixel and cover up the hot pixel.
  3. Finally, you can also use noise reduction software to help reduce the appearance of hot pixels. This works by slightly blurring the image, which can help camouflage hot pixels.

Having said that, these methods won’t resolve the underlying problem of your camera sensor creating hot pixels when you shoot photos.

Here are a few tips on removing hot pixels from your camera sensor:

  1. Remove the lens and replace the body cover.
  2. Open the camera and go to the settings.
  3. Open the mirror, then use manual sensor cleaning. This will bring up the screen and re-map the sensor.
  4. Leave the camera in this setting for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then turn it off and back on again to see if the problem has been solved.

If performing these steps doesn’t resolve your hot pixel issue, you may need to replace the sensor in your camera, which can be costly. At this point, you’ll need to decide if it’s worth replacing the sensor, if you can perform photo editing to minimize the appearance of the hot pixel, or if you should replace your camera body with a newer model.


No matter which method you use, hot pixels can be removed from your photos with a little bit of effort. Just remember that hot pixels are a physical defect in the sensor and not a software issue, so there is no one-click fix.