The Best Way To Clean Your Digital Camera

This week I’ve been asked a barrel of questions! I’m very lucky to have such a loyal group of subscribers. One the questions I was asked was from John about digital camera cleaning and what sort of digital camera cleaning equipment did he need (a different John to last week).

Well don’t do what I did before I knew anything about photography. It’s embarrassing, but I’ll tell you anyway. I was standing at a beautiful beach one balmy, Aussie summers dusk and there was a rush of wind. It blew sand all over me and onto the digital camera. Knowing ‘zip’ about digital camera care and maintenance at the time I cleaned the lense with the corner of my t-shirt and went on my merry way.

When I arrived home that night I took out my digital camera to download the images to the computer and out fell small particles of sand onto the floor. I thought “what the..?” I was surprised to see so many grains. I took off the lense cap and there were sand granules embedded into the edge of the lense. And that particular digital camera lense has never retained the same sharpness and clarity since my various trips to the beach. After a while the sand granules on the lense caused the annoying lack of quality that I previously had. I’ve done a lot of dumb things in my time with digital photography from not knowing any better, and that was a doozy.

Thankfully I learnt and am now teaching digital photography. Camera care and cleaning is a regular thing you should give your digital camera. And the best way to clean a lenes? Carefully! This is why you should never take the edge of your t-shirt and clean it because unbeknownst to you, you could be leaving tiny trails of grit and dirt on the lense causing scratching.

Remember all digital camera lenses are made of glass. The clarity and sharpness you get in your digital photos relies heavily on the surface of that glass to be squeaky clean. Nothing must get onto the lense if you can help it. Its pretty hard to keep a lense 100% clean because of dust particles floating around in the air, but you can get as close to100% as possible with some handy digital photography camera cleaning equipment.

There are a couple of ways you can clean your digital cameras lens, and that’s with a bit of spit…..just kidding. Seriously, you must use a proper lense cleaning cloth. You can use cleaning fluid too. This can cause some streaking across the lense if you use too much. One drop on your lens cleaning cloth in a gentle circular motion with a will get most marks off a lens.

In popular digital camera stores you can buy a pretty good lens cleaning fluid. It shouldn’t be more than $20-$25 depending on where you go. The digital camera lense cleaning fluid is an alcohol-based fluid that, just between you and me, I wouldn’t take my digital camera out without it. The digital camera lens cleaning fluid is ideal because it’s not solely for dust but accidental finger prints and other unplanned smudges.

Don’t forget about your other digital camera filters too. You can have a polariser on the front of your lens which will most likely need a clean if you’re using your digital camera a lot, or if you are using it outside for a day. You’ll be amazed at how dirty the lens can get. If you’re not sure, grab a lense cleaning kit from your nearest digital camera store.

lens-cleaning-kit.jpg

Picture by http://www.precison-camera.com

Personally I have several lens cleaning cloths, lens cleaning fluid, a brush with an air capsule to blow of dust then brush, cotton buds to get into the crevasse and a small leather pouch I keep it all in. The leather pouch is actually a small ladies purse. I bought it for the size and the durability and protection it gave my cleaning equipment.

No more wiping the lense with a t-shirt! (Heaven forbid!)

Happy shooting,

Amy Renfrey

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4 comments on “The Best Way To Clean Your Digital Camera

  1. Hello, I was almost as bad as you. I just bought a new camera and the LCD screen gets greasy from my makeup and oil from my nose everytime I put my face near the camera to look through the view finder. Well I can not see the image well after it plays back the image, so I wiped the LCD screen off with my shirt. It scratched the back LCD

  2. Hello, I was almost as bad as you. I just bought a new camera and the LCD screen gets greasy from my makeup and oil from my nose everytime I put my face near the camera to look through the view finder. Well, since I could not see the image when it played back, I wiped the LCD screen off with my shirt. It scratched the LCD screen. Can I use the cleaner for the LCD screen too?

  3. Hi Suzanne,

    Great comment! Thank you for taking the time to post. Yes you can use the cleaner for the lcd screen. Some cameras may experience a bit of smear if you do that and some don’t. I have accidently got face make up on my camera before when looking at the veiwfinder, now I just don’t wear it when I’m shooting. I find a bit of water and a soft cloth does the trick for my camera. The important thing is try the water first because depending on your camera, your lcd screen may not like chemicals on it.
    Thanks for posting and happy shooting!

  4. Hi,

    I’ve tried water with very soft tissues on my LCD screen after getting finger smudges and I’ve still ended up with little scratches on it. Any other suggestions would be helpful. Is the cleaning fluid you talking about the same as the cleaning fluid used to clean computer screens? IE isoprophile alcohol?

    Regards Torben

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