Cameras of all types are very precision-orientated devices. From general care guidelines to real-time scenarios, this guide will tell you all you need to know to maintain a healthy camera for years to come.
Method 1 of 3: General Camera Care Equipment
The core component of protecting your camera. A convenient and often inexpensive way to safeguard against dirt, dust and those unexpected falls. Brands such as Lowepro specialize in making good quality camera bags.
This should already come with your camera, so it's ready to use anywhere and anytime. Always replace the cap on your camera when not using it - dust will readily settle on an exposed lens! Lens hoods are optional accessories which experienced photographers use. They also provide small protection from dangers like flying sand.
This should be clean, dry and made of appropriate material. Ultrafine microfiber cleaning cloths are the best; they remove all kinds of dust and particles at once, e.g. finger marks, grease spots, without leaving streaks and smudges.
Method 2 of 3: General Camera Etiquette
Leave batteries out when not using the camera for a long period of time.
This can save much-needed battery life for more important situations.
Don’t leave your camera exposed in bright sunlight all day as this heats everything up.
The heat can break/melt the lubricating greases, which will seep through and damage hardware. Camera parts will also expand when they get hot.
To add to this, cold temperatures are a no-go.
Both extremes of temperature can be permanently damaging to cameras. Keep the camera warm in cold conditions, and cool in hotter temperatures.
Use a camera strap.
These are more often than not supplied with cameras and are another vital part for safety. If small, stylish, point-and-shoot cameras are what you use, perhaps this is not for you. However, with larger cameras, a strap is necessary to avoid the consequences of sudden moments when the camera slips out of your hand.
Method 3 of 3: Water and Sand
If water comes in contact with your camera, the immediate thing to do would be to wipe it down with a cleaning cloth.
Most cameras are not waterproof and therefore lack protection to instances such as these.
Water can damage camera hardware and inevitably render it useless – i.e. permanently destroy it! Make sure a cleaning cloth is always handy, and try to avoid getting soaked in the meantime!
Some photographers can troubleshoot this much-experienced problem; for example, you’re taking photos of seabirds from a boat off the coast.
Wrap a plastic bag around your camera tightly, and then cut the appropriate-sized portions out for the lens and viewfinder/LCD screen (depending on your preferences for viewing). When covering the camera with this, wrap a tight rubber band around the lens protrusion to secure the bag there.
You will now be able to take photos in such marine conditions.
Though the lens is still exposed (for this you can apply a simple UV filter, and wipe clean between intervals), the camera body will not be infected by water. Using a plastic bag is a very simple and cheap way to achieve this. Underwater photographers, this is definitely not for you though! The plastic bag technique people photographing in rainy conditions.
Another major factor to look out for when using a camera at the beach is sand.
These fine particles of rock and shells can scratch your lens with the simplest of breezes. Though this happening is not likely, you might want to consider covering the lens while not engaging in photography – alternatively, put it in your camera bag! Take care, and when using the camera on sand, maybe place a towel underneath to prevent it entering the hardware.