Camera Care 101: 7 Camera Killers And How To Stop Them

Author xlxmarketing 21.10.2009. | 20:00
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By Francisco Pupo

Damaging your favorite digital camera is an expensive nightmare that we would all like to avoid.

Unfortunately for some, they will experience this nightmare at one time or another.

To make sure we have the best chance of keeping our camera alive for as long as possible, it is necessary to adapt some simple safety precautions to our daily operating habits.

Here is a list of the 7 typical camera killers that every camera owner should be aware of and the necessary safety precautions you should take in order to avoid damage from them.

1. Water/Moisture


While there are underwater cameras and waterproof cameras out there exposing your camera to water is one of the quickest ways to end its life prematurely.

I have heard of everything from dropping the camera in to the toilet, to spilling a beer over it.

Most of these accidents could have been avoid by using some simple precautionary measures.

There are two basic tips when it comes to safeguarding against water or other various liquids.

The first is to always wear the wrist strap or neck strap when operating your camera near water.

neck-strap

The second is to put your camera in a safe place when it is not in use.

Its amazing how many people think its OK to share table space with their camera and a couple of drinks!

beer-plus-camera

Equally deadly as water and liquid is moisture and condensation.

Condensation typically occurs when moving from one from one extreme to another.

An example would be moving from the interior of your air conditioned car to the humid streets of Bangkok.

As a safeguard against moisture and condensation, some people choose to transport their cameras in sealed plastic bags.

While inconvenient for larger cameras, it could prove worth the hassle in the long run.

The last tip regarding moisture protection is to place some silica gel packs in your bag to help absorb the water in the air.

silica-gel

2. Sand


Getting sand inside your camera is another quick way of seriously damaging its internal parts.

It is wise to be cautious of your surroundings and avoid bringing your camera to places like the beach or even places near the beach when it is particularly windy.

Sealed plastic bags are very useful to bring along with your gear as well as soft brushes to remove any sand or debris from hard to get locations.

If you live near the beach, a can of compressed air wouldn’t be a bad idea to carry around either so you can blow the sand out of any nooks and crannies of the camera..

3. Sunscreen, Lotion, Insect Repellent and Other Oils


When shooting in sunny, dry or insect populated areas it is our natural reaction to cover up and use protection.

sun-screen

The only problem is that the often oily protection we use almost always makes its way to our camera equipment.

This can cause harm to the delicate parts of your camera such as the lens, video head, card slots or any other vulnerable place besides the cameras protective casing.

The precautions should be obvious, but they are often overlooked when one becomes lazy or careless.

To keep oils away from your gear make sure you thoroughly wash your hands in clean water after touching any oily products including finger foods such as pizza or French fries.

As a final precaution, make sure you never store any oily products near or inside your camera bag.

One small leak could spell doom before you even know what happened.

4. Dust


While not as serious as some of the other assassins, dust seems to find its way into our cameras internal areas, often inflicting damage over a long period of time.

This particularly applies to digital SLRs and camcorders, which need to be ‘opened up’ on a frequent basis and that have their sensitive internal bits exposed to the outside world as a result.

The good part is you can take your camera to a professional and he can clean out the image sensor or any other sensitive parts and restore your camera to its normal function.

Even with point and shoot digital cameras dust can be a problem though and it is always a good idea to keep the lens the screen and the viewing window wiped clean to get the best photos.

To safeguard against dust you just need to be cautious of your surroundings while shooting and remember to wipe down your camera at the end of every day.

5. Salt


We all love taking beautiful images at the beach.

The only problem is that the saltwater from the ocean is also in the air.

This can lead to corrosion or other serious problems for your camera.

As a safety precaution you should wipe down your entire camera at the end of the day using a soft damp cloth.

Make sure the water you put on the cloth is clean drinking water and make sure to use a separate clean cloth to dry the camera.

If your camera lens is threaded, add a protective UV filter to the end of it.

uv-filter

This acts as a nice barrier, protecting your lens from things like salt, sand and even scratches.

Finally, try to avoid changing lenses, batteries, or tapes when in particularly salty areas.

If you need to change any part of your camera, make sure you do it in a protected environment when possible.

6. Bumping and Dropping

The majority of camera deaths are attributed to dropping or bumping the camera.

This usually happens because people forget to wear the safety strap or are just too lazy to do so.

It is wise to store your camera in a nicely padded camera bag.

Finding a good bag to absorb the impact when your camera hits the floor should be mandatory for any serious photographer.

camera-bag

Also, if your friends plan on using your camera, make sure you explain to them the rules and precautions they need to take when handling your expensive equipment.

And always be aware of your surroundings whenever you are changing lenses, changing batteries, or changing tapes or memory cards.

During these moments you are the most vulnerable to inflicted damage.

An example would be the neighbor’s dog that is about to jump all over you, or the foul ball that’s coming your way.

7. Parties and Alcohol

I know everyone wants to bring their camera to the party and capture those good times forever.

party

The only problem is that the more people you have surrounding you, the more chances there is for an accident.

If you are aware of your environment you typically will be fine at a party.

But if your environment includes alcohol then it is best to keep the camera at home.

I have seen it happen to many times.

People get a few drinks in them and become a little careless. The next thing you know there precious camera is on the floor and in pieces because they didn’t pay attention.

Here is a useful way of thinking about your camera that will keep your attention alert: my camera = my small baby.

You wouldn’t get drunk and walk around with your baby. So you shouldn’t do it with your camera either!

Now we have taken all the fun out of photography that you are equipped with the knowledge of how to identify common camera killers and keep them away.

Head over to Chinavasion and browse our online catalog for the perfect digital camera or HD camera at a great wholesale price.


Author xlxmarketing 21.10.2009. | 20:00
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