Photography equipment can be costly. In order to make the most of your purchases such as DSLR cameras and other accessories, you must perform the proper care and maintenance in order for it to function at its best. Lenses and sensors are prone to dirt and if not cleaned properly, it can show in your photos.
Fortunately, caring for your camera doesn't have to be expensive and most of the supplies are readily available at any camera store. If this is your first time owning a camera and you don’t know where to start cleaning, here are a few useful tips.
1. Gather all your cleaning supplies
You can purchase these cleaning supplies at a local camera store or online for relatively cheap. While there will be many products available, the essentials are a microfiber cloth, lens wipes, cleaning solution, a lens pen and a cleaning bulb blower.
2. Start with the body and the LCD screen
Whether you have a DSLR camera or a point and shoot, it has the same process of cleaning. Wipe the body and LCD screen gently with a microfiber cloth to remove dust, grime or traces of fingerprints. For large loose dusts and persistent grime, you can add a cleaning solution to the cloth. Some photographers also use a rubber bulb blower– a hand operated device that gently removes dirt and smudges without physical contact on the sensitive parts of the camera.
3. Cleaning the lens
The lens is one of the most sensitive parts of the camera. For this reason, it may need a little extra TLC. The first step is to use a small blower bulb. This will help remove dirt without touching the lens. As an alternative, you may also use a lens pen. The tip is soft and won’t damage the surface. Use the small blower bulb in circular motion starting from the middle and working your way to the edges. If there are stubborn marks that won’t come off, you may drop a small amount of cleaning solution into a micro fiber cloth and wipe it carefully. Do not put the solution directly onto the lens.
4. Clean the image sensor
To avoid blurry spots on your images, you must keep your sensor clean! This is a must especially if you’re into outdoor photography and you regularly change lenses. Dust often sneaks its way into your sensor since the camera is exposed to many airborne fragments. Some cameras like the Nikon D7500, have a built-in image sensor cleaning system which includes a vibrating function to help remove dust. If your camera doesn’t have this feature, you can use sensor swabs. These are cleaning pads specifically designed to clean your sensors. You’ll need a cleaning fluid to wipe the dirt. Just drop a small amount of the cleaning fluid onto the swab and gently wipe the dirt away from your sensor. You can purchase a special swab kit which includes everything so you won’t have to buy them separately or worry about forgetting anything.
5. Protect your camera from bad weather
Since cameras are often used outdoors, your equipment needs extra protection from any type of weather. Humidity and cold can be an issue for cameras, and if you want to be able to produce amazing rainy day photos, make sure you have protective gear. Purchase a protective rain cover for your camera. If you're on a budget or in a pinch, a large plastic bag also works! Just cut out a hole for the lens. In the event that your camera gets wet, make sure to remove the memory card and battery.
Cleaning your camera and lens can be a rigorous process but it’s necessary that you learn and master it. We know you can always have them cleaned by a professional service but if you’re traveling, chances are, it’s difficult to find a reliable camera cleaning service to perform the process for you. The cleaning service is also more costly than doing it yourself. When you know the basics and have the skills to clean your photography equipment, it will save you both time and money.