6 tips for taking care of your camera

July 27, 2015

You have invested in a good camera so you will want to take the necessary precautions to protect your investment. Here are six tips to keep in mind.

6 tips for taking care of your camera

1. How to clean your lens

A clean lens is often the difference between a good and a poor photograph.

  • Excessive cleaning, however, can damage the lens coating; so clean only when necessary.

2. Protect the lens

The most fragile and expensive component in a camera system is the lens, which can be made of glass or plastic.

  • Lenses can be scratched easily, and the protective coating can be damaged by improper cleaning.
  • When the lens is not in use, always close the lens cover or replace the lens cap.
  • Many professionals keep a filter on each lens at all times. Clear ultraviolet (UV) filters are usually preferable because they reduce haze in outdoor photographs while simultaneously protecting the lens.
  • A UV filter will not affect indoor photographs at all.
  • If the filter gets damaged, you can replace it for far less money than you can the lens.

3. Replacing the battery

Batteries control many functions on a camera. Even an older camera with few automatic functions may need a battery to power the flash or trigger the shutter. Such batteries may last so long that users forget about them and assume the camera needs repair when it suddenly stops working.

  • Newer cameras have so many electronically controlled functions that they require powerful — and often expensive — batteries.
  • Most batteries are easy to replace, but some cameras have batteries dedicated to memory functions that should be replaced at a service centre.
  • Check the owner's manual for directions on locating and changing the battery.
  • To buy fresh batteries, check the expiration date.
  • To prolong battery life, don't turn the camera on and off repeatedly.
  • Remove the batteries whenever you plan to store the camera for more than a couple of weeks.
  • Battery performance drops at temperatures below freezing. If you are outside in cold weather, keep the camera (and a spare battery) close to your body or in a pocket until use.

4. Improving flash performance

For a camera with a hot-shoe flash connection, performance depends on battery strength plus a good connection.

  • Change the flash unit's batteries when it starts taking longer to recycle between flashes, or when the flash's brightness fades.
  • Clean the contacts on the hot shoe and on the flash with a cotton swab dipped in electrical-contact cleaner (available at camera shops) or denatured alcohol.
  • When mounting the flash, insert it fully into the hot shoe and lock it.

5. What to do if a camera gets wet

Most cameras are not water-resistant and should not be used in rain or snow.

  • If you accidentally drop a camera in water, slow the process of oxidation by sealing the camera in a plastic bag with as much air removed as possible.
  • Take the camera to an authorized service facility as soon as you can.
  • Take special care to protect a camera when using it at the beach or near salt water; clean it thoroughly with a dry cloth after use.
  • If you want to take photographs in wet locations, or even under water, buy a waterproof camera enclosure or an underwater camera.

6. Cleaning battery contacts

The metal contacts that the battery touches must be clean in order for the battery to supply adequate power to the camera.

  • Whenever you change batteries, inspect the contacts for corrosion or dust.
  • Clean up small particles with a pencil eraser; be sure to remove any pieces of spent eraser from the camera.

Save money on replacement parts by taking care of your camera — with these tips, camera care is simple!

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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