Cleaning and Maintaining Your DSLR Camera
If you've got random specks and spots showing up on your photos, or you've noticed there's a lot of dust on your camera equipment. It's time to clean up your DSLR camera. A lot of people don't clean their own cameras because they don't know how to and don't want to risk damaging their equipment. However, with the right tools and a few precautions you can have your camera looking and running like new.
Things You'll Need
Before you start cleaning your camera, you will need a few tools. You can't just wipe your camera clean with any odd piece of cloth. Using the wrong material could actually damage your lenses or sensitive sensors. The cleaning tools that you need are actually quite inexpensive and should last a long time if you take care of them. Here are some common camera cleaning tools every photographer should carry around with them:
Giottos Rocket Air Blaster
This iconic air blaster is a staple of any photographer's arsenal. It is so useful for removing any loose dust or dirt from your camera without physically wiping your lens. This prevents any damage during the cleaning process and because there is no wiping involved, there is no chance of smearing the dust or dirt.
The Lenspen is a specially manufactured brush made specifically for cleaning camera lenses. The brush is designed to remove dust and fingerprints and it comes with a retractable brush and a non-liquid cleaning solution. This pen is 100% safe and easy to use.
SensorKlear is made by the same company that makes the Lenspen. If you have any dust or dirt that couldn't be removed by an air blaster, this brush will safely remove the remaining dirt.
Cleaning Your Lenses
When cleaning your camera lens, keep in mind that there are two sides that need cleaning. The side that goes into the camera is much more sensitive than the front side. Keeping your lenses completely clean is almost impossible, as you need to expose your lens to take pictures. After a while you may notice that fingerprints or dust have collected on the surface of the lens. If it begins to cause problems (random dots and specks on your photos) then a good clean will improve your image quality.
Here is a video that covers everything about cleaning camera lenses.
Cleaning the Sensor
The sensor inside your camera converts your optical image into a digital format. While the sensor is extremely sensitive, you should be able to clean it without risking any damage using the proper tools and techniques. Simply using an air blaster to remove loose dirt or dust inside the sensor chamber will suffice, but for more stubborn situations you should use a special sensor brush.
Here is a detailed sensor cleaning video.
Maintaining Your DSLR Camera
Camera maintenance is often overlooked by many photographers. It's no good to clean your camera, if you are just going to get it dirty again the next day. Placing your caps on your lenses as soon as possible will greatly reduce the amount of dust, dirt or fingerprints that may be collected on the surface of the lens. And try not to have your sensor chamber exposed, use a cap or put a lens in to prevent dust from collecting on your sensor.
Small tips like these will ensure your camera lasts for a long time and reduce any potential damage that may occur to your equipment.