A good quality digital SLR camera will last for many years if you take good care of it. One of the great things about DSLRs is that the lens mounts never change. If you look after the camera body, you can build up a collection of lenses for different subjects and types of photography over time.
Some of the basic precautions for making sure your digital SLR camera remains in good working condition include keeping it free from dirt and dust and protecting it from moisture. Always replace lens caps, and protect the camera with a body cap for storage. A good quality strap helps to avoid the risk of dropping your camera during use.
The following four tips will keep your digital SLR in top condition for years to come.
Protect the body.
Some photographers handle their lenses very carefully, but treat their SLR camera bodies as if they’re indestructible. Professional SLRs like the Nikon D4 are incredibly robust, but mid-range and budget models won’t last long if you expose them to the elements or treat them roughly.
Extremes of temperature can cause harm to the internal components of digital cameras, and exposure to moisture can lead to critical damage. External covers are cheap to buy, and mean you can keep shooting in rain and damp conditions. Always dry your camera body as quickly as possible if it does get wet.
A blower brush is the ideal tool for removing dust from command dials and control buttons on a camera. A microfiber cloth is perfect for removing grease marks and other materials.
Take care of your lenses.
Lenses can be more expensive to replace than camera bodies, and their performance soon suffers if you don’t take care of them. Finger marks and dust can cause lens flair and a loss of image quality if they aren’t removed. Mould can form inside lenses if they are stored in damp conditions.
It’s tempting to use your shirt to wipe the front of a dirty lens, but this often makes things worse. A lens cloth is one of the most important items in your kit, and should be carried at all times. Using lens cleaning fluid and tissues once a month helps to reduce the risk of image quality deteriorating due to dirt on the front element of your lenses.
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Use a good quality equipment case.
A sturdy equipment case is one of the best investments a photographer can make. Choose a case with enough space and compartments to carry a good range of gear. Consider the need for additional space if you plan to purchase other lenses and accessories.
Ordering from an online store may save you some money, but it’s a good idea to physically hold a camera bag before you buy it. Test that the bag is comfortable to hold, and consider how heavy it will be one it’s packed with your equipment.
Clean your sensor once a month.
Dust on a digital SLR’s sensor can appear as dark spots when you shoot at smaller apertures. If not removed, dust can cause damage to sensitive components inside your camera. Advanced DSLR cameras offer the ability to vibrate the sensor to remove dust and dirt, but it’s worth learning how to manually clean it using a blower brush. Kits are available to remove spots of oil and larger particles using special fluid.
Modern digital SLRs are built to last, but their performance can deteriorate if you don’t look after them.