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A photograph is usually looked at - seldom looked into.  ~  Ansel Adams

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Camera Equipment Maintenance

Rather than spending a lot of time editing out little specks of dust in post-production or sacrificing the quality of your images, get into the habit of regularly cleaning your camera. Although some of the newer dSLR cameras have internal cleaning systems that remove dust from the sensors, even these cameras don't fully remove all of the dust. If you want to have spotless images and extend the life of your camera, there's nothing better than a thorough but gentle cleaning. Just arm yourself with a lens cleaning kit and find a clean, dust-free area of the house with plenty of light.

Cleaning Lenses

Because camera lenses are expensive to replace or repair, it's essential that you clean them carefully. Always start with a dry cleaning. Use a blower to remove any dust particles from the lens. Avoid sweeping a soft cloth over the lens because this can pull dust particles across the glass, scratching it. Also, use a small pen brush to gently sweep in between the moving parts of the barrel of the lens. This will eliminate dust and keep the barrel working smoothly. Always use clean brushes to clean your camera so you don't transfer dirt onto the lens.

  1. Cleaning Lenses
  2. How Do I Clean the Camera Lens?
  3. Summertime Tune-Up For Your Camera
  4. How to Clean a Lens the Right Way

Cleaning the Camera Sensor

Out of all of the parts that make up a camera, the sensor is the most delicate. It's basically the heart of the camera. The sensor is easily damaged, so if you're not sure about cleaning it yourself, have a professional do it for you. Fully charge the camera's batteries before setting it to manual with a 30-second exposure. After opening the shutter, blow dust from the sensor with the blower. Ensure that you hold the camera so the sensor faces down and dust particles can easily fall out. For severe dust, use a moist cleaning. Gently sweep a lint-free pad that's lightly moistened with cleaning fluid over the sensor.

  1. Sensors Explained
  2. Sensor Technologies and Specifications
  3. Sensor Cleaning
  4. Digital Camera Sensor Analysis
  5. Camera Sensor Cleaning

Cleaning the Mirror/Focusing Screen

Dust and dirt on the mirror and focusing screen of the camera won't affect photographs. However, if a lot of dust is present, it might impact your ability to focus. A quick blow with an air can can eliminate any dust. Always be gentle because the mirror of the camera can get easily damaged.

  1. Digital Camera Cleaning and Maintenance
  2. Giving Your Camera a Check-up (PDF)
  3. Protecting Your Digital Camera Investment
  4. Tips for Keeping Your Camera Clean

Cleaning the Outer Casing

The outer casing of a camera is often what persuades consumers to purchase it. It basically determines the appearance of the camera. If the outer casing is dusty or dirty, it's best to clean it off. Not only will this maintain the aesthetic appeal of the camera, but it will also prevent dirt from getting on the inside of the camera. A quick but gentle wipe with a damp cloth should do the trick. Always clean the outer casing before cleaning any other parts of the camera.

  1. Underwater Camera Maintenance
  2. Camera Maintenance and Storage
  3. Spring Cleaning: Clean Your dSLR Camera
  4. Clean Up Your Act: How to Clean a Camera (video)
  5. How to Clean a Camera

Cleaning the Accessories and Camera Bag

Cleaning the accessories that come with a camera is also essential to keep them working correctly. Whether they are electric or mechanical, if the accessories don't work right, it can be disastrous and impact your photography significantly. Whether you're cleaning a battery charger or a tripod, a swift blow with an air can or a gentle wipe with a soft cloth can eliminate dust buildup. A dirty camera bag is bound to result in a dirty camera. This is why it's essential to keep the camera bag clean at all times. To clean the bag, remove all equipment from it and vacuum the inside of the bag until any signs of dirt, dust, and sand are gone.

  1. Taking Care of Your Digital Camera
  2. How to Clean and Maintain Your Camera and Lenses
  3. Digital Camera Basic Knowledge: Maintenance
  4. Taking Care of Your Digital Camera

Cleaning a Smartphone Camera: Care and Protection

Many people use their Smartphone to take photos or record videos because they always have it with them. To continuously get quality photos and footage, cleaning the lens is a must. To do this, use a microfiber cloth or a Q-tip. Avoid using a paper tissue because this can leave tiny scratches on the lens. Lightly dampen the cloth or Q-tip with lens cleaning solution, and wipe it over the lens in a circular motion. To keep the lens as clean as possible, always carry your Smartphone in a case.

  1. How to Clean Your Gross Gadgets (video)
  2. Snappy Tips for Taking Better Pictures With Your Smartphone
  3. How to Clean Your Cell Phone

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Bob Spalding
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