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When turned on, the sensor becomes electrostatically charged, and thus will attract dust. Turning it off doesn't automatically dissipate the charge, so turning it off, then immediately removing the lens will still allow the potential charge to attract any dust that is nearby and at a different potential to the sensor. More effective is to tilt the camera lens mount down so nothing inadvertantly falls in (or floats on an air current). The fact is, that dust is an unavoidable consequence of changing lenses (and of using zooms).
I would turn the flash off before removal, in case you short the x-sync when removing it, as it might give you a shock, but you don't need to turn off the camera. Some older flashes required an open flash to discharge the capacitor after you finished using it, as the dump circuits weren't particularly efficient.
I would (and do) turn the camera off when changing lenses with electronic contacts, as again, if you were to short contacts inadvertantly, it might cause unwanted effects in the circuitry.
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What is "Power down?" Does that mean "Switch Off?" I always switch off before changing lenses. Sometimes all goes OK, sometimes I get a heap of s**t sticking to the sensor. Then I clean it. No big deal.
Quote: I've never switched off when changing lens. I cannot see any reason why this is an issue
If your camera has a built in dust shaker it makes sense to switch of before changing lenses.
Yes - mine is self cleaning, so I turn it off
Many thanks for all your comments. I have been switching off since the film days and since camera shutters were powered by battery. I had not considered the static on the sensor or the self cleaning aspects, so all good information.
Life is often about habits ...... things you do automatically, without conscious thought. The clever bit is to make "Best Practice" your habit, so that you have good habits instead of bad habits.
Best practice is to switch off, before you change lenses, fit or remove flash units, removes CF cards etc. I even switch off before changing batteries, on the basis that the camera is powered down in the way it was designed to be, rather than just cutting the power.
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