Photography can take us and our cameras to some fun but sometimes messy places leaving us wondering how to best clean dust and debris from our camera and lenses. In this article we will offer some advice and talk about the basics of camera care.
First, it’s worth mentioning that prevention goes a long way. Using your camera with care and storing it in a padded case will lessen your need to clean it. With that being said, you will still need a camera cleaning kit. These kits are available from retailers, camera shops and Amazon. They cost just under fifteen dollars and typically include a bulb air blower, a piece of microfiber fabric, cleaning solution, and a soft brush designed specifically for cleaning cameras.
Clean the Exterior
Begin by gently cleaning the camera body, lens, and lens caps with a slightly damp clean microfiber cloth.
Clean the Lens Mount
Unless your camera has a fixed lens, the next step is to clean the lens mount. using the cleaning solution from your cleaning kit and a clean microfiber cloth gently wipe away any grime or debris.
Clean the Sensor
In many cases this above mentioned steps will be sufficient and you can end by storing your camera in it’s case for optimal protection. However, if you own a DSLR you may want to consider cleaning the sensor. Dust can find it’s way to your camera’s sensor and cause artifacts on your images. DSLR cameras come with automatic sensor cleaning but sometimes this isn’t enough and you will need to clean it manually. Select the “clean manually” option from your camera’s menu. (Refer to your camera’s manual for the specifics on where to find this.) Next you will want to remove the lens if attached.
Manual cleaning mode will lock your mirror to allow access to the sensor. You will want to insure that your camera’s battery is fully charge to prevent the mirror from dropping during the cleaning process.
With the mirror out of the way and the sensor accessible you have a couple of cleaning options. The first is blow away debris using a hand held air blower found in your camera’s cleaning kit. Some prefer to use a can of compressed air. If using compressed air be sure to carefully read the instructions on the can as misuse can cause the air propellant to damage your sensor.
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