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Thursday, March 31, 2011

How To Keep Your Camera Dry—04/04/11

DPMag Published in Tip Of The Week
How To Keep Your Camera Dry—04/04/11

This Article Features Photo Zoom


- Keep your hands dry. Particularly valuable for when you’re changing batteries, CF cards and lenses, dry hands will go a long way toward preventing moisture from getting inside the camera. A single drip inside the camera body can turn insidious as it spreads throughout the electronics. Just dry your hands before you take apart any part of your system.

- If it’s raining, don’t change lenses. And if you absolutely can’t go without a lens change, do so when conditions aren’t so humid. After acclimating indoors for a while, or if all else fails do it at night when moisture has dramatically decreased due to lower temperatures and drier air.

- Zoom less.
I know, it sounds strange, and it’s tricky to implement in reality, but the physics holds true. When you expand and contract your lenses by zooming them in and out, you’re effectively pumping air—perhaps moist, dirty air—into and out of your lens. So if you’re shooting in the rain or a particularly humid environment, consider minimizing big zoom moves that act as a pump to draw moisture right into the camera. Prime lenses obviously don’t have that problem, and pro lenses with enhanced seals designed to keep dust and moisture out of the lens are sure to help too.

- If your camera does get wet, you’ll need to dry it out.
For minimal surface moisture from humidity, a dry cloth used regularly while shooting should do the trick. For more serious moisture, many people dry out damp electronics overnight submerged in a bowl of uncooked dry white rice. The rice extracts moisture from inside cell phones and iPods, so in theory it could work for cameras and lenses too. Of course, this only works for minimal moisture contamination. For serious water damage you’ll likely need to send your camera or lens to the manufacturer for repair. If your camera does get wet, turn it off immediately and remove the battery and memory card as soon as possible. To have any chance of survival, you need to keep the moisture from mixing with electrical current altogether. Don’t turn the camera back on, just send it in for repair.

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