A DSLR camera might be just another gadget for some people, but it is an extremely important device for professional photographers, amateur photographers, journalists, vloggers, and travellers. DSLR cameras are known to be extremely reliable as they work in extreme environments and temperatures. However, regularly maintaining them can help them in lasting much longer and working more reliably. From keeping the camera away from dust and moisture to cleaning it regularly and using quality accessories, here are some of the most important DSLR camera maintenance tips.
DSLR Camera Maintenance Tips You Should Follow
Some of the best DSLR camera maintenance tips involve protecting it from dust and water, saving it from sudden shocks and drops, and replacing older batteries when required. Moreover, you should also use quality accessories such as camera mounts, chargers, and cables.
1. Keep The DSLR Camera Away From Water
We know that monsoon is the best time to head out for treks and explore nature, but electronics are best when kept away from water or moisture. When water enters the camera and touches the wrong components, it not only causes rusting but also leaves the camera buttons dysfunctional. Moreover, it is not recommended to keep the DSLR camera near water. Unless your DSLR camera has an IP67/IP68 rating for water resistance or a water-tight housing from a trusted brand, keep it away from liquids.
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When you are capturing images or videos on a beach, river, or pool, don’t let water splashes fall on your DSLR camera. If you love photography near water bodies, moist environments, or during rains, you should buy a waterproof case for the complete protection of your DSLR. Waterproof cases are available on Amazon.in and Flipkart from as low as ₹699.
What To Do When Your DSLR Camera Lens Gets Wet?
1. Switch Off Your Camera Immediately
If your camera accidentally falls into water or if water splashes fall on your DSLR camera, turn the camera off immediately. Keeping your camera on will only let it get damaged even further.
2. Remove The Memory Card And Batteries
Luckily, most memory cards are weather-resistant, even when wet. However, you shouldn’t take any chances as you can’t risk losing any data. Removing the batteries is essential too, take them out and leave them someplace dry with good ventilation to dry out.
2. Avoid Exposure to Direct Sunlight or Heat For Long Periods
DSLR cameras are made with a wide range of temperatures in mind but that does not mean you can be careless about it. Did you know that 0 – 40°C is the standard consumer equipment temperature range? This means electronic components are guaranteed to fully function in this temperature range. When the camera is exposed to direct sunlight for hours at a stretch, the seals that keep out dust and moisture can dry out and the lubrication on certain parts can evaporate. Not just this, it can also overheat the battery, which is never good for any electronics product.
You could instead use filters to protect your DSLR camera lens from direct sunlight. Filters reduce the amount of light from entering the camera lens. If your camera is in constant use in direct sunlight, it is also recommended that you take short breaks and let your camera cool down. If you notice that your camera is showing even the slightest signs of malfunctions, do not use it. Shut the camera and immediately show it to a professional.
3. Protect Your DSLR Camera Lens From Sand and Dirt
Cameras are sensitive, especially their lenses. Always clean the lens and the camera body with a clean cloth before you use it and avoid shooting in dirt and sand for long hours as much as possible because the camera lens is bound to easily catch dust.
Be extra cautious when shooting pictures on a windy day at the beach, where sand can blow with excessive force. Also, avoid opening the battery compartment on such days. Or find a spot indoors or an area where you can safely interchange the lens and replace depleted batteries. You can buy a specialised camera bag and use it while changing the lens or the battery.
Once every few weeks, you should clean the lens as well as the camera sensor to save the DSLR camera from dust and dirt. There are cleaning kits available online and at camera stores that come with a blower, brush, microfibre cloth, and a cleansing fluid. These are essential and highly recommended for cleaning the camera lens. Ensure that you clean the lens only using a microfibre cleaning cloth or lens tissues to avoid any scratches on the lens. This will help remove smudges, oil and dust from the lens. You can also use a blower to remove the grit before you wipe the lens. Once done, add some cleaning fluid to the cloth and wipe the lens with light pressure.
4. Battery Maintenance is a Must
Did you know that the lithium battery that comes with your DSLR usually has a lifetime of 500 recharge cycles? Although these batteries are rechargeable, they lose their maximum power capacity over time. When you see your battery life degrading, do not wait till it’s fully dead. Instead, purchase a new battery. Also, never place batteries in places where the temperatures may go higher than 40°C. This could cause malfunction and endanger the camera.
When you are done shooting, turn off your camera instead of hanging it around your neck while it is turned on. Also, ensure that flash is disabled for daylight shots. Setting the flash to automatic is recommend only for clicking late night pictures when you know adjusting the ISO setting is not going to give you great pictures. This can help save battery too, and eventually save recharge cycles, which leads to longer battery life.
Let us also tell you that the camera display takes up a fair amount of power. The longer the display is turned on, the higher the power is used by the DSLR camera. Try to use the optical or electronic viewfinder as much as possible, both of which use less power. If you can’t shoot without the LCD on, make sure you have an extra battery with you. Turning down its brightness should help. too. If you do not use your camera regularly, you can take out the battery and keep it separately in the camera bag pocket or it will gradually drain if left in the camera.
Tips to Clean Your DSLR Camera Lens
- Release the lens gently from the body by rotating the lens in the direction explained in the camera’s user manual. Depending on your camera type or brand, there might be a release button you can use for this function.
- Use a blower (in the lens care kit) and blow off all the dirt and dust on the lens.
- Use a cleaning tissue to apply lens fluid.
- Gently wipe the lens using the damp microfibre cloth in the direction towards the centre of the lens.
- Slowly re-attach the lens and cover it with the lens cap.
Just like your mobile phone or tablet, digital cameras too come with just 1 or 2 years of manufacturer’s warranty. Since a DSLR is more expensive and a long-term investment for many, it is wise to get it covered with the extended warranty plan.
What if your digital camera breaks down when you are travelling? If you can’t imagine your trips, parties or other special occasions ruined without your camera, we recommend you buy an extended warranty plan. Be it a flash failure, power button malfunction, charging issue or other in-built lens-related malfunction, the Onsitego Extended Warranty plan covers it all. When your DSLR breaks down, Onsitego can get it fixed from the brand-authorised service centre at a minimal cost.