Care and Maintenance of Your First DSLR: The Essential Quick Tip List

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon Rebel SL1 product photos review (6 of 9)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 5.0

Congratulations, you’ve got your first DSLR. Now what? Well, while everyone else will tell you to not put the damned thing in auto mode and get the best lenses (and we’re not saying they’re wrong) we’re going to tell you about some critical and major things about your camera to keep in mind to protect your investment. That is, of course, unless you have loads of disposable income.


Body Cap and Lens Cap

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer DSLR Maintenance (1 of 5)ISO 2001-160 sec at f - 5.6

This is a biggie, and is perhaps one of the most important things to remember. If you put your camera in your camera bag or anywhere else for a long period of time without the lens on or the copy cap, dust and debris will hit the sensor. What that means is then you’ll have lots of crap all over your images.

We’ve seen people take their camera, unscrew the lens, and put the camera in their pocket without a body cap.

Do not, ever, EVER do this. Always make sure that there is something protecting your sensor.

Memory Cards

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer DSLR Maintenance (3 of 5)ISO 2001-160 sec at f - 5.6

If your camera is turned on, don’t open the card port door or take the memory card out. It can corrupt the camera’s programming software inside. Though it’s rare that this may happen, don’t expect your warranty to help you if it does.

The Viewfinder

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer DSLR Maintenance (4 of 5)ISO 2001-160 sec at f - 5.6

If you think that your camera is misfocusing, check the viewfinder first. There is a little wheel or knob on the side called the diopter. Look through the viewfinder, and adjust it accordingly until everything you see in the viewfinder is crystal clear.

Battery Life Enhancements

There are lots of things that you can do to prolong the life of your camera’s battery:

– Dim the screen

– Keep your ISO levels lower. Higher ISO levels need more power going to the sensor, and also may cause it to overheat.

– Select a single autofocus point. If you give your camera some sort of direction or idea of where you want it to focus, it can do the rest. But if it just scans a scene, it may take longer or use more juice, or not focus on what you want it to. In which case, you’ll need to refocus.

– Let the camera go to sleep faster

– Buy a faster memory card. Slower memory cards make the processor work harder

Proper Holding

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 1D X Hands on Review (6 of 8)

Holding your camera properly will ensure that it does slip out of your hands. Use a strap and make sure that you cup the underside of the lens and hold the grip tightly.

Cleaning the Sensor

Here’s a quick video that we put together on how to clean your camera’s sensor.

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