Article by guest author Curtis Jones
You spend a lot of time and money when it comes to buying your camera, so why not just spend just a fraction of that time and money in ensuring you look after your camera correctly? Camera care is made easy with the following golden rules:
Good protection – If you have a digital camera, why not perhaps consider investing in a camera pouch or protective case for it? For as little as ten dollars you can insure against damage as well as shield it from day-to-day wear and tear that your camera will inevitably come up against during its lifetime. A little investment could save you a whole heap of money and heartache in the future. On the other hand, if you have a SLR camera, a camera bag is definitely a must. There are many types of camera bags out there on the market (working bags, backpacks). When deciding on the perfect bag for your circumstances, consider factors such as whether you will be on the move a lot, whether you have heaps of accessories (flashes, filters etc) and where you will be taking it (hiking, on planes). Consider the purpose of the trip and select a bag accordingly.
(Side note from Darlene – there are many good bag manufacturers out there including: Lowe Pro, Kata, Crumpler, Domke, National Geographic and Think Tank. Do some research but go and try them out at the store, take your camera gear with you to make sure it's big enough, and you can easily carry it when full)
Take good care of your lens – Never touch the lens directly with your hands, and it goes without saying that you should never, ever hold the camera by the lens! When your camera is not in use, keep your lens cap on. When it comes time to cleaning your lens, don’t use any old cleaner (Windex is a definite no-no). Take care and use proper alcohol-based lens cleaning fluid (found in most camera stores), and also ensure you take great care if you intend to store the cleaning fluid in your camera bag with your camera (a potential recipe for disaster!). Also, try not to apply cleaning fluid directly onto the lens. Rather, dab a bit on a lens cleaning cloth and wipe gently in a circular motion.
Store your camera in an ideal place – Extremities in temperature may also cause irreversible damage to your camera. Ensure you store your camera in an appropriate place, ideally at room temperature, so as to prevent damage due to the heat or cold. Also, it is important to note that while hiding your camera in your car’s glove box may seem like a prudent safety measure, it can in fact be damaging to your camera. Temperatures can rise in excess of 70 degrees celsius (155F) in your vehicle’s glove box, which could affect your camera.
Curtis Jones is a design and photography student who loves traveling, eating and scuba diving with the one hand, and taking photos with his SLR camera in the other (with its underwater casing of course).