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Caress Your Camera Well
2008-08-13

Although they are constantly falling in price, digital cameras are still costly pieces of equipment. This is particularly true of 'prosumer' (that is, the upper range of the consumer market) and professional kit. It is strange, therefore, that so few photographers take good care of their tools. Maintaining an effective cleaning regime for your camera may seem like a chore, but it will dramatically increase the lifespan of your equipment and will have an immeasurable impact on the quality of the images that you can produce. Furthermore, basic maintenance tasks can be basic and quick. Proper care and maintenance is essential to keeping photographic equipment in good condition. There are a number of ways to harm your equipment, including exposure to salt, minerals, sun, and dirt, improper storage, neglect, improper repair, and improper handling. Because photographic equipment is so sensitive, and was probably a considerable investment, be sure to always provide proper maintenance. The following guidelines are intended to help your camera perform better, last longer and continue taking wonderful pictures without limiting your abilities. Attention of things A camera consists of intricate electrical parts. To ensure the highest possible performance, do not drop or hit the camera. Avoid using or storing the camera in the following locations: 1. Damp or dusty places. 2. In sealed vehicles, in direct sunlight, or in any areas with extremely high temperatures. 3. Turbulent or high-vibration environments. 4. Areas with smoke, oil fumes or steam. 5. Locations subject to strong magnetic fields. 6. Rainy or snowy environments. Do not open the battery cover when the power is on. If water has entered the camera, turn the power OFF and remove the batteries immediately. If the lens, LCD monitor or viewfinder surface is dirty, use a lens brush or soft cloth to wipe it clean. Do not touch the lens with your fingers. To avoid scratching the lens, LCD monitor or viewfinder surface, do not use any hard or abrasive object to touch the camera. Clean the Camera -Dust, lint, sand, and other dirt do not belong on your camera. If they are left on the camera, they can cause damage to the body, as well as potentially get inside the camera and cause even more damage. Keep your camera clean to keep it taking pictures, as well as avoid body damage and scratches. Do not use any detergents or volatile solutions to clean the camera. This may harm the camera and/or paint. Use a soft cloth only. Keep batteries in top condition -This includes conditioning the battery, keeping a battery charged, as well as make sure the battery contacts on both the battery and camera are kept clean and shiny. If the contacts become dirty, it can cause the camera to malfunction due to the lack of power flowing properly. Simply cleaning the battery and contacts can often solve a power problem. Read the manufactures instructions for the exact instructions on conditioning the battery for your camera to ensure you do not damage it. Lens Maintenance It is particularly important, whether you are using a film or a digital camera, to ensure that the lens is kept in good working order. This begins with very basic rules such as ensuring that you always keep a lens cap on when your lenses are not in use, as well as making absolutely sure that the other end of the lens is kept covered at all times. You should also regularly clean both of the glass surfaces of all your lenses with a blow-brush, cloth and cleaning fluid. As this article focuses on digital camera maintenance, further information on lens cleaning is available in an article elsewhere on this site concerning the maintenance of film cameras. Seeing how the lens is the most important element in a digital camera, it is important that it is properly maintained. Dirt, dust and fingerprints impact the performance of your lens. And believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to clean a lens. Do it right and you'll maintain peak optical performance. Do it wrong and you could scratch an expensive piece of photographic equipment. For best performance, use a proper Lens Cleaning Kit that contains cleaning solution, lens tissue and a blower brush. Step 1  Carefully blow off any dust or dirt, using a blower brush or (very carefully!) compressed air. Step 2  Place a drop of lens cleaning fluid on a clean piece of lens cleaning tissue, or blow gently on the lens so that moisture condenses on its surface. Step 3  Gently wipe the lens surface from the edges toward the centre of the lens, with a lifting rather than rubbing action. A micro-fiber cleaning cloth is a good alternative to lens tissue, and requires no lens cleaning fluid. Sensor Cleaning If your sensor has accumulated an unacceptably large amount of dust, the most highly recommended course of action is to take the camera to a trusted repair shop and have them clean it for you. The sensor is hugely expensive and cleaning it is a tricky job; unless you are daring or experienced, trying it yourself is not recommended. If you are intent on attempting this yourself, however, ensure that you have a good sensor cleaning kit; these are available from most camera shops. You will need the shutter open to clean the sensor, so you will also require a manual shutter function on your camera in order to keep it from closing. If the shutter closes while you are in the process of cleaning, it is highly likely that you will damage the shutter, sensor or mirror. Do not, therefore, try to second-guess your camera by setting it to a long exposure and trying to get the job done quickly. Instead, ensure that the shutter will stay open. Memory Card Maintenance An element of digital camera maintenance that is often overlooked is memory card care. It is particularly frustrating (and potentially costly) to shoot a series of images and then discover that your memory card has been corrupted and you cannot access the photographs. In order to mitigate this possibility, ensure that you maintain your memory cards as well as possible by keeping the contacts covered at all times, and by ensuring that you regularly reformat your memory cards in the camera in which they receive most use. This helps to minimise the possibility of data corruption. With the popularity of our Chinese cameras, people awareness of maintenance has gradually improved. Corresponding professional repair shops are more and more today. This is another aspect of china’s camera market which has gradually matured.

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