Dos & Don'ts

Dos and dont’s of digital camera care

Written by Gail Bjork

Take care of your digital camera and in all likelihood you may come to consider it obsolete before it ceases to function.

Camera care

With lots of  Tender Loving Care, a digital camera should last for many years. Most digital cameras are quite reliable, except for the very cheapest.

If a digital camera is going to have problems, they tend to surface during the first year of use. Inexpensive digital cameras will not last as long as those that are made with more durable, stronger materials.

Take care of your digital camera and in all likelihood you may come to consider it obsolete before it ceases to function.

Give your digital camera tender loving care

Your camera should last a long time if you follow these basic steps:


  1. regularly clean the camera.
  2. check the LCD and clean it whenever necessary. Smudges and fingerprints make viewing an image on the screen much more difficult.
  3. handle all moving parts of the camera with care. Never force hinges, buttons or dials if they seem stuck. Call tech support who can walk you through possible fixes, or advise if the camera is in need of repair.
  4. turn off the camera before removing or disconnecting the power source or a cable, or removing the battery or memory card.
  5. keep your camera dry and free from condensation.
  6. store your camera correctly if it isn’t going to be used for a long time. Keep it in a cool, dry place with packets of silica gel to prevent condensation. Remove the batteries too.


  1. subject your camera to knocks, vibration, magnetic fields, smoke, water, steam, sand or chemicals.
  2. apply lens cleaning fluid directly to the lens. If fluid must be used, place a few drops on the a camera cleaning cloth. Microfiber clothes are highly recommended
  3. store or use it in humid, dusty or dirty places.
  4. subject it to extreme hot or cold temperatures.
  5. place it in direct sunlight for prolonged times or in a car when it is hot. Pointing the camera lens towards strong sunlight for a prolonged time can ruin the sensor…as well as your eyes.
  6. scratch the camera with hard or sharp objects. Watch when you place a camera unprotected in your pocket. Keys and loose coins can damage camera and LCD surfaces.
  7. drop it in water. In all likelihood, it will be damaged beyond repair particularly if it is salt water.
  8. use canned air. Most consumer digital cameras are not air-tight. Canned air may blow dust into the inside of the lens. Use a microfiber cloth and lens pen instead.

Related reading: Most reliable brand digital cameras

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.


  • Thanks for your help. I lost my camera’s LCD with these “don’t” mistake but now I will care for my camera with the help of these do’s and don’y. thanks

  • Don’t
    #7 “Used canned air. Most consumer digital cameras are not air-tight and canned air may blow dust into the inside of the lens.”
    This should include not only canned air but devices that use CO2 cartridges. Some are advertised as “clean air” suitable for cleaning your sensor. This is NOT TRUE! I once spent two hours cleaning my sensor of oily residue after using a CO2 cartridge.