Like any electronic device, digital cameras need a little care when being handled. Electronic circuitry and moving parts like the shutter curtain are very fragile and can be easily damaged if not handled properly. To help get the best from your camera follow these 5 Tips For Maintaining Your Digital Camera.
1. Avoid getting you camera excessively wet. A few compact cameras are water resistant and some of the semi pro and pro DSLR cameras have special water proof seals, but the entry level cameras and mobile phones are very susceptible to water ingress. If photographing in the rain or near a waterfall, where there may be excess spray, wipe your camera and lens dry with a clean cloth as soon as you have finished using it. Consider using a water proof housing or plastic cover. These can be bought for as little as $3 Salt water is particularly corrosive and extra care should be taken when photographing near the sea
2. Always turn off your DSLR camera or compact system camera when changing the lens. The digital sensor is very susceptible to dust and any electric current acts like a magnet. So get into the habit of having your next lens ready before removing the existing lens from the camera. Turn off the power, point the camera towards the floor (this makes it less likely for atmospheric dust to settle on the sensor) and change the lens as quickly as possible.
When outside in dry, dusty arid regions, avoid changing the lens completely. Many pros take two cameras with different size lenses to avoid having to change them unnecessarily. We mere mortals will just have to wait until we find a dust free environment.
3. Always keep your lens clean. I am hopeless at this! I rarely remember to clean my lens, yet this is the most important part of the camera as it is the bit that actually makes the image. Keep a lens cloth handy at all times. If available, fit a UV filter to the front of the lens. These are relatively cheap and cost a lot less to replace than a new lens if they where to get scratched. I also try and keep a lens hood on at all times. This doesn’t just help prevent lens flare, but does a pretty good job of protecting the camera when out and about, as it’s likely to absorb bumps and knocks much better than the lens itself.
4. Avoid dropping your camera. I know that this sounds obvious, but cameras are not designed to bounce! My wife Carol has a habit of testing her camera’s ‘bouncability’ every time we go away on holiday. If you are accident prone, then spend a bit more on your camera and get one with a magnesium alloy body, which will absorb knocks better than the entry level plastic bodied cameras.
Use a strap to avoid accidentally dropping your camera. There are two sorts readily available for DSLR cameras. The shoulder strap and the hand/wrist strap. I personally prefer the should strap as I can either use it on the shoulder or rap it round my hand and use it a s a wrist strap.
5. Batteries do not last forever . Typical Lithium Ion batteries last up to 500 cycles, after which they start to decline in performance. Try and run down the battery completely before recharging. Some older batteries have a ‘memory’ and if you continually top them up, rather than a complete recharge, they will deteriorate more quickly. Remove the battery when the camera is not in use for long periods. In colder conditions batteries don’t last as long so remember to carry a spare and keep it warm in a pocket until you need to use it. Finally dispose of your batteries properly and replace them with new ones.
Do you have any Tips For Maintaining Your Digital Camera?…… If so we would love to hear them let us know in the comment box below.