A Digital Camera Guide to Routine Maintenance

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For all their complexity, digital cameras happen to be particularly long-lasting in the way they are put together. Even so, a certain amount of care could arguably raise your level of experience; and if it weren’t all that demanding a routine, there should be precious little reason to complain. Here’s a little digital camera guide on the points you would do well to touch upon once in a while to keep things running smoothly. It shouldn’t be too much of a burden, and it should help your camera last you a long time.

Let’s begin with a maintenance routine that quite fittingly for a digital camera, begins with software. Yes, camera has software, only, they call it firmware. If the name mystifies you a little bit, think of it as something that’s between hardware and software – it’s firm. It is software that resides in a device, as a permanent part of it. It is software that is so fundamental to the function of the device that it would be useless without it. Manufacturers issue updates to the firmware that goes on any device from time to time; and taking the trouble to update your device could give it dramatic new abilities – just as updating to a new version of Windows or Office could give your computer dramatic new abilities. Sometimes though, updates can merely set things right in a camera that didn’t work properly before. So now that you know what it is, let’s find out how you can get one of these. Your first step should be to consult the digital camera guide that came with your device. The exact steps will vary from model to model.

To begin with, you need to go to the manufacturer’s support site and search for the latest downloads available for your model. All you do is enter the model of your camera in the search space, and let it present the available options to you. In general, the update process goes something like this – you download the update you need as a compressed zip file, and you expand it once it arrives. Fetch a memory card of the kind your camera uses, and format it in your camera to make sure that it has the right kind of internal data structure. Connect the camera to the computer’s USB port. Once the memory card shows up as a removable storage device on the computer, you simply drag the firmware you just uncompressed, and drop it into the memory card. You switch the camera over to its setup mode, and follow the instructions on the screen. If you seem to have misplaced your digital camera guide, you’ll probably find it on the manufacturer’s website when you search by its model number.

Let’s get over to a more traditional kind of maintenance next – cleaning. Here’s a pretty obvious question that comes up most times you consider the cleaning process. When you clean the lens and screen of a digital camera, can you use the same cleaning fluid used to use to clean the lens of a traditional film camera – or the need something special? You can easily find a dedicated kit at any camera store – with the right kind of soft microfiber cloth, brushes and solutions. You need to make sure that you never use any Windex-like product – it can strip out the coating on the lens or screen. And once you’re done cleaning the screen, you can protect it from smudges and scratchesapplying an LCD screen protector – they are plastic sheets that will stick on.

But there is one more part to the camera that you will do well to clean – and it could arguably be the most important one – the sensor. Look up any good camera dealership, and they will have special swabs and cleaning solutions you need to wipe the sensor clean without damaging it. You’ll need to go into the digital camera guide that came with your model to find out exactly how you go into the  cleaning mode for your specific model. Check out CleaningDigitalCameras.com for more details.


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