Digital cameras have become an increasingly popular gadget for people of all age groups. Parents use them to chronicle day-to-day family experiences and milestones in their children's lives; teenagers and young adults take pictures with friends and post them on the Internet, grandparents capture moments with their grandkids; and even young children explore the world around them through the lens of a camera.
Many people enjoy using digital cameras, but few realize the importance of cleaning and maintaining them. Although digital camera prices have fallen, they are still investments that need to be cared for and protected. You can buy the most durable camera on the market, but without proper maintenance and care, it is simply not going to last. However, by taking a few simple steps you can ensure that your digital camera will last almost as long as the pictures you take with it.
Keeping your Digital Camera Clean
Keeping your digital camera in tip top shape is the result of continual maintenance rather than periodic cleanings. Follow the seven steps outlined below to keep your camera clean and functional, inside and out.
- Remove fingerprints and dust from your camera lens before and after taking pictures. Use a blower brush to remove any dust particles from the front and rear lenses. Then carefully clean the lenses with a very fine tissue paper or micro fiber cloth and an alcohol solution designed for camera optics. Be very gentle – these lenses are costly to replace and any carelessness can easily result in unwanted scratches.
- Clean areas where dirt can build up over time with a blower brush or a canned air duster. Make sure your blower brush has very fine bristles to avoid any unintentional damage. When used carefully, a canned air duster helps remove dirt from the crevices between the very small buttons on your camera. NEVER use the canned air duster to clean the lens, sensor or shutter chamber.
- Clean the outer casing of your camera. Although this is mostly for aesthetics, any dirt that accumulates on the outside can work its way inside over time. Run a blower brush over your camera and wipe it down with a lens cloth or dust cloth.
- Do not overcharge your batteries and never mix old and new batteries. Overcharging can cause leakage, and mixing old and new batteries can cause a great deal of damage. Also, be sure to remove the battery when the camera is not in use and store it in a corrosion-resistant container.
- Don't delete pictures one by one and always safely remove the memory card from your computer. Instead, delete batches of pictures after you've uploaded them.
- Store your camera in a clean, durable protective camera case when not in use. Make sure the case is padded enough to protect your camera from any unintentional knocks or falls, and always keep it in a dry area that does not get too hot. Keep the camera case itself clean to avoid the transfer of dirt.
- Clean the memory card slot with a canned air duster to avoid dirt build-up. Be gentle when doing this – you do not need a full blast of air to clean this tiny crevice effectively.
Following these seven simple steps will keep your camera functioning properly each time you use it. Take care of your camera, and it will be able to take care of your photographic needs for a long time to come.