What you need to know about keeping your camera gear clean

In this article, we’ll give you a rundown on what constitutes cleaning and looking after your camera.

Photography gear is often very exorbitantly priced. Unfortunately, this also means that maintaining such expensive equipment can be a bit of a hindrance. But overall, once you get the hang of it, cleaning and maintaining your camera is a no-nonsense affair. In this article, we’ll give you a rundown on what constitutes cleaning and looking after your camera.

Representational image. Getty Images

Representational image. Getty Images

What you’ll Need:

Thankfully, for general cases, there isn’t much equipment needed to clean a camera. Especially just the outsides. You usually get a cleaning kit when you make your first purchase. These consist of:

● Isopropyl Solution: comes in a small bottle. Usually has water with a small concentration of isopropyl. This is used to clean your camera’s screen and(although I’d usually avoid it) a few select camera lenses.

● A cleaning brush: this isn’t a fine brush, but is still useful for brushing dirt away on the lens and places like the viewfinder.

● A microfibre cloth: the small blue coloured cloth that picks up dirt as you clean.

We should put out a warning at this point: these items are used only for general camera cleaning and should NEVER be used to clean the interior of the camera, and shouldn’t even be near the camera sensor. We are not responsible for anything that happens.

What Factors Affect A Camera?

● Dust and sand: this is the biggest culprit. Dust can get everywhere in your camera, even if it’s a point and shoot with minimal openings. If you’re shooting near the coast or in a desert, expect sand to be an annoyance as well.

● Fingerprints: these affect the camera lens the most. While a few fingerprints shouldn’t really be a cause for concern, it eventually does get noticeable and sometimes even using a cloth doesn’t take them off. You’ll have to use a LensPen or some other remover.

● Moisture: Moisture can accumulate in various parts of the camera (especially the lens) in the form of dew. This is even more difficult to clean out than dust, usually, because it means waiting it out for the dew to dry up. Which leads to the next component.

● Fungus: if you don’t use the camera for a prolonged period of time(we’re talking years here), there may be a chance that fungus builds up in the lens AND in some places of the camera.

What parts of the camera should you look out for?

● The Body: The camera’s body is obviously the most exposed here, especially if you use it in harsh weather conditions and put it through its paces. Fortunately, it’s also one of the easiest parts to clean because there’s not much else to do except for cleaning with the cloth and the cleaner solution.

● The lens: In case you’re using a point-and-shoot, there isn’t much you can do about fingerprints apart from cleaning them with a cloth(maybe a drop of water) and praying. If you’re using a DSLR, the lens can at least be cleaned a little more. Pay attention to: the front of the lens, the switches on the side, and the electric contacts at the back.

● The sensor: the hardest part of the camera to get to. Don’t go near the sensor if you already don’t have some experience in cleaning cameras. Sensors are very sensitive to the outside environment, and are usually made in clean-rooms with zero static.

Unfortunately, the sensor also attracts dust that’s very noticeable at one point of usage.
One feature that a lot of cameras adopt in in-camera ultrasonic vibrations to the sensor that removes most of the dust. But if your camera doesn’t support it(or there’s still some dust after cleaning), we recommend simply taking it to a service centre.

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