Camera care question

JoanMJanuary 26, 2007

Hi folks, this is my first post here. I just got myself a camera for Christmas since photography is a hobby that I always wanted to try. I got the Sony Cybershot H5. I want to go take pictures at the beach and I am wondering about salt and sand protection or cleaning. Does anyone have any advice about protecting the camera from the elements? How about cleaning and caring for it after exposure to the elements?

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Well, you can cut a hole in a large ziplock bag for the lens to protrude through, but be careful because it may make holding your camera slippery. I almost always keep the strap around my neck just in case, a pain, but a good habit.

When you're done shooting, you need a little lens cleaning kit from a Camera store with tissues, solution, blower/brush, and cloth. I don't use the cloth because it might get gritty and scratch the lens, and I've had it too long.

First I blow the lens without touching it and then very gently brush it. Then I put a couple of drops of solution on the special tissue and starting at the center, work in circles until you reach the edges. If it is still a little streaky, you can carefully do it again.

When done, polish with a clean, fresh, dry tissue.

Never apply fluid directly to the lens or get it near the edges and don't make your tissue too soggy. You don't want moisture to get inside the sealing.

I'd send you to where I read up on this, had been doing this right along anyway, but I got reprimanded for mentioning another forum regarding something else, although others recommend the camera forum all the time here.

Amazing what a fingerprint will do to a lens. I found out the hard way not to try to rub a smear off that way.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 10:02PM
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Long ago I used to make my living as a camera repair technican. If you were to ask me what's the one place you can take a camera that will do it the most damage in the shortest period of time, I'd answer: the beach.

The ziploc bag is a good idea. On the beach if the wind is blowing the air is full of salt and sand. Salt inside your camera will carode the electronics and sand will grind down the mechanics. Taking your camera to the beach can be like exposing it to a cancer causing dose of radiation.

With that said I've taken my camera to the beach. If the day is really windy the camera stays in the car. If the wind is calm the camera stays in the bag, I take it out to take a photo and put it right back in the bag.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 2:04PM
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Hi Joan! Nice to see someone from the Florida Forum here.

I think you've gotten some good advice here from firewire and aliska. I use my camera at the beach occassionally and haven't noticed any problems, but I do take care to keep it in a ziplock baggie when I'm not taking photos.

Take it out.
Take some pictures.
Wipe the body down with a paper towel.
Put it back in the ziplock bag.
After you get home, clean it up as aliska recommends.
Don't forget to post your pictures on the Fl Forum too because we're about to get a Gallery page!


    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 2:53PM
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Hi Kate! I had fun with my camera today. The salt is really going to be an issue with the conditions I want to shoot in though. I was trying to get pictures of Will and his friends kayak surfing today and the salt spray was in the air for sure. I stopped on my way home and picked up the lens cleaning kit with the blower brush. Now I have to find a descent camera condom. I found something that looks like it might work. I wonder if anyone uses these?

Thanks for the tips everyone.

Here is a link that might be useful: camera cover

    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 7:28PM
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I forgot to post the link to my first beach pictures. They were taken on an automatic setting and I really didn't have a clue but they turned out Ok considering. The upload of the video has pretty crappy quality though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beach pics

    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 7:35PM
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I love the picture of all three "boats" all lined up on the beach. They have such bright colors.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 2:20AM
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Nice pictures, Joan. Very blur. Did you use a tripod? I have a SonyDSC-W2 and I really don't care for it that much. I can't get any action shots because it's so slow, and when I do get one it's usually image stabilization. This is my second Sony, and I didn't like the first one any better. I am not much of a photographer though, and I need a camera with stabilization and one that shoots there such an animal in a digital?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 5:36PM
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I didn't use a tripod. The H5 has the image stabilization. It also has something called multi burst mode that is supposed to take 16 pictures in succession when you press the button once. I have to play with it to see how good it is. I still haven't had time to read the book yet and I am looking for a class to learn some basics. I know nothing about composition, lighting, or my manual settings. It seems there aren't enough hours in my day to learn and try everything I want.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 6:57PM
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I'll look at more of them later, marked it. My son was just over yesterday and had been to Florida with his DSC-H5. He got mixed results. Some are nice and sharp, and some not so good. That camera is terrific with closeups.

I forgot to warn him about the beach! Just didn't think of the salt spray. I'll have to warn him about that and tell him how to clean the lens. I was photographing non-salt water, and it must have been windy and I thought I had scratched two of my expensive lenses. Was I relieved when I got home and they cleaned right up.

That's a neat little gizmo you found. I'll make do with a ziploc bag, haven't had to use one yet, don't photograph in the rain, but I can see why that would be better.

I think I could improvise something like that just with some heavy plastic I have, neat idea! So thanks.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2007 at 4:11PM
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