Cleaning Digital Camera & Lens

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Cleaning Digital Camera & Lens
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Cleaning Digital Camera & Lens

Keeping your digital camera clean is an absolute necessity. DSLR cameras are pretty robust and are often used in rough situations such as sports events, bad weather, etc. But there are a lot of moving parts within your digital SLR camera, and if it is coated in dust some may get inside and destroy your expensive toy.

Only clean the outside of your DSLR camera. Leave the lens attached, and wipe down with a soft cloth. No soaps or cleaning solvents should be used as they may damage the finish of the camera, stubborn dirt may require a rub with a lightly moistened soft cloth. The back of the camera, especially near the viewfinder where it touches the photographers face, will get sticky and grimy and should be wiped down after each photo session.
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Never, ever, absolutely not, attempt to clean the shutter of your DSLR camera. The shutter is a mirror that reflects the image coming through the lens up to the viewfinder, when you click the shutter release button it is retracted allowing light to fall on the CCD photo sensor. The shutter mechanism is a very delicate piece of machinery, even a puff of breath or from a compressed air can could change its alignment, requiring a repair trip to the camera factory.

Some high end DSLR cameras have a built in shutter cleaning feature. Nikon, for example, has an ultrasonic cleaner that knocks any dust off the shutter with vibtrations that are harmless to the camera.
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A dirty lens means blurry or bad digital photos. Lenses must be kept clean at all times, and care must be taken to never touch the glass with your hands (or anything for that matter). Human hands are oily (hence the term, get yer greasy paws offa .) and leave smears on everything they touch. Using a screw on protective "clear" filter or UV filter is an absolute necessity for ALL lenses. Any object touching the glass at the front of the lens has the capability to permanently scratch or mar its finish, destroying the lens.

A good quality lens cleaner solution that (or this, whichever) is specifically made for camera lenses should be used to keep the glass clean on both ends of the lens. Compressed air may be used to puff away any dust, but only on the outside of the lens and glass, and sparingly. Filters should also be kept clean and scratch free, and stored safely when not in use.
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Always use a lens cap when the camera and attached lens is not in use. Camera lenses should be capped on both ends with the protective lens caps when stored, preferrably in a hard box (if they came with a fitted hardcase, even better).

If the camera is being stored, the lens should be removed and stored separately, and the bayonet cap should be put onto the camera body to cover the lens opening and protect the shutter and other internal organs. Batteries should also be removed when a camera is being stored, the risk of a leaky battery increases when it is unused.

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