Really, it’s about dust and keeping it out of your camera, but, let’s be honest, that really is the biggest issue in keeping your camera clean.
As part of their “photography 101” series, The Photo Argus recently ran a story titled “Caring for the DSLR Body and Lenses“, but it primarily focused on cleaning the body of the DSLR, including the sensor, and keeping dust out of the body going forward. And, to be fair, dust in the body, especially on the sensor, is the most common problem with modern digital cameras, especially those with interchangeable lenses.
Read the article to get a good idea of the basics, but check out more detailed tutorials for sensor cleaning, like this one from YouTube. Just remember, cleaning the sensor can be potentially hazardous to your sensor if you do it wrong, so be careful! Personally, I prefer to just use “air puffer” method and to be careful when changing lenses. The Photo Argus article lists some things to do to help prevent dust from getting into your camera and I have to say that prevention is better than having to fuss over cleaning delicate equipment often. Personally, I always try to change lenses in as dust-free a location as possible and I try my best to change lenses with the open DSLR body facing down, to let gravity work to my benefit in keeping dust off the sensor.
For lens cleaning, check your manuals for the officially recommended cleaning procedure, but also this tutorial on YouTube for some great, common sense advice for cleaning those expensive lenses.
I have to admit, I didn’t used to think that dust was a big deal on modern digital cameras, thanks to the built-in cleaning routines, but it can make a huge difference in your images, especially if you’re trying to sell them or are competing at the professional level in any way.
Also, a side note, I try to have monthly themes to these Friday posts, but this month is probably going to be pretty random because I’m so crazy busy and my girlfriend moved in just under two weeks ago. Real life fun and games trump blogs no matter what!
So have fun this weekend cleaning your gear, but then get out and use it!