Dust, dirt and moisture can all take their toll on your expensive kit, so it pays to keep it all in tip-top condition. Here’s a five-item camera cleaning checklist that every photographer should read…
A little time spent cleaning the sensor of your camera will help you avoid spending loads of time cloning out dust spots from your pictures, but it’s also worth checking your lenses, the outside of the camera and even other pieces of kit to help keep it all in good working order.
It’s also worth checking that the software inside your camera is up to date, so the final check on this list is updating the firmware of your camera.
How often you need to check each item will obviously depend on how often you use your camera, and the conditions you’re shooting in, but if you shoot regularly it’s well worth checking the main items around once a month, to help you keep on top of the dirt and dust.
Camera cleaning check 01: Camera body
Dirt and dust on the outside of your camera may not seem like a big deal, but it can find its way into the camera, either onto the sensor (see Check 3) or into the many mechanical or electrical components, which can cause more serious problems.
As such, it’s worth giving it a clean every few months – or sooner if you’re shooting in really bad conditions.
With the lens or body cap attached to the camera to keep dust out of the interior of the body, start by brushing or blowing off the worst of the dirt and dust either with a clean, soft brush or an air blower.
Pay particular attention to the more fiddly areas, such as around the lens mount and any doors or covers, and the viewfinder.
Once the loose dust has been removed you can use a soft, lint-free cleaning cloth to remove more persistent dirt, either on the body or on the LCD screen.
You can also use cotton buds to get into any hard-to-reach corners and crevices.
If the dirt is especially stubborn, LIGHTLY dampen the cloth or cotton bud in distilled water before wiping.
Finally, you may want to take the lens or body cap off and gently clean the inside of the camera. You need to take care if you do this not to touch any of the mechanisms inside the camera.
Also, make sure you hold the camera so that the lens opening is pointing down, to minimise the risk of more dust entering the camera, and use an air blower to remove any dust from the mirror box.
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