A well-maintained camera is always of value to any photographer. Whether you are into photography professionally or you just love snapping beautiful images for personal pleasure, you must learn how to maintain the camera. Apart from getting a high quality camera bag to keep it safe, you must also do proper cleaning of the device. The cleaning is not just on the body of the camera, but most importantly for the lens and sensor. A clean camera will operate smoothly and will fetch you clean and crisp images. You will manage to extend the life of your camera when you adopt a proper cleaning regime.
One of the easiest ways of knowing whether your camera parts need cleaning, especially when you have not used it for a considerable length of time is to photograph a white clean wall or a white clean paper. This should be done on automatic mode for even exposure and then you can import the images to a computer so you can have a full size view. Check the image for smudges, stringy marks and dots. If you note them, they could be on the sensor or lens and you will need to clean them up to stop mucking up the images.
Cleaning the lens
The camera lens is one of the most important parts of the camera, but it is not that hard to clean. You simply need to take off end and front caps and use a soft lens cleaning brush to get rid of sand and large particles present. The brush should be very soft, so it does not scratch the lens. Using lens wipes and lens cleaning fluid you can then wipe clean the glass. The lens tissues are non-abrasive and will not scratch the glass. You can then use a dry wipe to dry up any residue.
Cleaning the sensor
It is more sensitive compared to the lens and should be handled with care. If you have the right camera cleaning kit, then you might just manage to do a good job with the cleaning, but if you are not very sure then it would be wiser to have a professional do the cleaning for you. You will need a disposable sensor swab and a sensor cleaning solution. The swab should be just the right size of the sensor and only a few drops of the cleaning solution should be used. Soak the swab just to the tip ensuring that there are no risks of dripping or pooling the sensor. Wipe the sensor from side to the other with only one fluid motion, but you can re-swab if it does not clean effectively.
Cleaning the body
Regular cleaning of the body keeps dirt from creeping to the sensor and lens. Use cotton swabs and soft cloths dampened with rubbing alcohol or water to clean the body. The soft cloth will give you an easy time with flat body parts and the grip whereas the cotton swabs will allow access in hard to reach areas like diopter, switches and knobs.