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Great photography days happen when everything goes to plan, but sometimes on the odd occasion things go terribly wrong with equipment failure.
Your photography equipment is there to serve you and when it comes to your gear some tender loving care and maintenance can make a huge impact on those great days.
I’ve seen and sometimes experienced my fair share of broken, waterlogged and riddled-with-sand cameras, so I thought it might be time to share some of my knowledge on the subject – just so you can avoid some of the more common mishaps.
So without further ado, here’s three of the most common problems (and their preventable solutions) you’re likely to encounter…
Keep your camera and lens cap dust and sand free
This sounds so simple, but for many it’s not. A trip to the beach is normally what creates havoc for the majority of cameras. When presented with a broken camera typically sand is the most common problem that will cause approximately 80% of all breakages (yeah I made that up, but they say 99% of statistics are made on the spot). So, here’s what you should do to prevent sand getting into your camera and lens. Keep your camera and lens in a suitable waterproof case and don’t just put the camera or lens straight in a handbag. Protect it properly. It’s the handbag that tends to be the silent problem. Think of it this way, your bag sits on the beach and collects sand. Combine a camera in the mix and guess what? Your camera gets full of sand *lol*. Better still leave your camera at home and take a waterproof camera.
Check and recheck your weather sealing
Talking about waterproof cameras… you would think that being ‘waterproof’ means that water could never get into your camera? Wrong! Think again.
If you don’t properly care for your waterproof camera then you’re bound to sink! To prevent this from happening all you need to do is a few simple things. First, before going anywhere near the water (or beach for that matter), make sure you have an empty card in the camera. That way you’re not going to have to change it in a risky environment. Visually check the waterproof seal around the battery door, USB plug and memory card. Ensure that there is no hair or grain of sand that could compromise the weather sealing and allow water to leak into the camera. If you’ve had the camera for a little while then doing some maintenance on the weather seal is recommended. You can go out and buy special O-ring grease or you can just be resourceful and touch the corner of your nose and smear the small amount of oil over the seal before closing your camera – this also works very well for your weather sealed lenses!
Regularly format your memory card
I’ve failed miserably on this one early in my photography journey. I’ve had to pay the ultimate price before when my memory card failed. I lost all of my photos and had to throw away the memory card out of frustration! Don’t be like me and all the other people I’ve met over the years who experienced the same problem!
Here’s the reason why you should format your memory card each time. Every time you insert your memory card into the camera it records a ‘hidden’ file. This file tells the memory card what camera it’s recording from. Every time you reinsert your memory card into your camera the camera overwrites the same file. Do this A LOT and you’ll find an error might happen due to the constant overwriting of the same file. This will lead to losing all of your photos. So, to avoid this reformat your memory card and create a clean slate every time you go out and shoot.