There are two basic ways of looking after digital cameras- the right way and the expensive, suicidal way. You can cost yourself a few thousand bucks easily. It’s literally a method of throwing large amounts of money out of the window. It’s also nice to know that for the sake of a few extra dollars your camera could have survived.
The reason for the sarcasm is that photographers are quite literally their own worst enemies when it comes to something as basic as just looking after the camera. Footballs get more care and attention than some cameras, and some cameras get treated like they are footballs.
A good camera is a valuable, useful thing. There’s no good reason to neglect it. But what do you see- Cameras getting exposed to damage practically everywhere, all the time. If you check out your local tourists, you’ll see a lot of “moving violations” in terms of handling their cameras. It’s great for the camera industry, and is the main reason for selling more cameras every year, but not so good for consumers.
Camera care 101- The absolute basics
- Impact protection
- Lens protection
Not what you’d call an incomprehensible list of requirements, is it? There are multiple ways lack of protection can affect a digital camera, and they’re all risks of major damage. If cameras don’t have these types of protection, they become dysfunctional. Their electronics don’t like heat, water or impacts. The lenses react to abrasion and moisture. Moving parts can also be effectively sabotaged by these things. Dust can damage lens movements, shutters, etc.
Basic protection includes:
- Weatherproof camera covers
- Shock resistant camera bags and cases
- Lens caps and filters
- Waterproof housing or cases
Meaning a few basic accessories can solve all the camera care issues. If you’re thinking that anyone with the intelligence of a rock would know this, that’s quite true. The problem is that people know these things and don’t do anything about them. The trick is to go and buy a good camera bag, or whatever else you need. Just do it; you’ll extend the life of your camera by years.
“Fixing” your camera
Some might say this is poetic justice for those who neglect their cameras- The other great way to destroy a camera is to “fix” it.
Maybe a childhood of virtuoso LEGO performances gives people delusions of grandeur, but you can’t fix a digital camera yourself, unless you actually work in a camera repair shop and have a few years’ experience doing it. The nearest you can get to “fixing” a camera is to use some adhesive on a minor external crack on the case or something equally non-threatening to the camera.
- Anything else is basically guaranteed suicide.
- Don’t even think about opening the camera up. One slip can be highly destructive.
- You don’t even need to do it. Big name brands like Canon cameras have good warranties, genuine parts and can be serviced anywhere on Earth.
Protect the camera, and if it needs work, get someone who knows what they’re doing to fix it. This approach is simple, a lot cheaper, and a lot less embarrassing.