Whether you buy the best digital camera under $200 or an expensive one, learning how to care for it is important. If you see spots, smudges, or other imperfections in your photos, it’s probably time to give your DSLR a cleaning.
It doesn’t take much for a piece of dust to get inside your favorite digital camera and make its way to your mirror. If you need to clean the mirror, it’s a good time to ensure the rest of your camera is clean too, so we’ll take you through the whole process. Sometimes, you might see what appears to be dust on a photo that is caused by environmental factors, like dust or pollen in the air. But if you take two or more shots and see the same blemish in the same place on each photo, it’s time to clean the camera. While cleaning the inside of your camera isn’t totally risk free, if you’re careful, you shouldn’t have any problems.
- Dry, lint-free mircofiber cloth or lens tissue
- Lens cleaner
- Air bulb blower
- Lenspen or camera brush
Most of these items can be purchased separately, or you can get them in a good lens cleaning kit.
Cleaning the Viewfinder
If you see dust looking through the viewfinder but your photos come out clean, then it’s just your viewfinder that needs cleaning. You can clean the viewfinder with a soft, lint-free cloth, or a cotton swab to get into the corners as needed.
Cleaning the Lens
While you have your camera open and your tools out, it’s a good time to give your lens some attention too. Remove the lens cap and examine the outside lens for dust or smudges. You can often clean the lens just by breathing on it to add a bit of condensation and then wiping it with a lens tissue or a clean microfiber cloth. If this doesn’t get rid of it, add a single drop of lens cleaner and then wipe it with the lens tissue. Wipe in a circular motion, beginning in the center and working out to the edge. Give the lens a moment to dry and then examine it to see if it needs another round or not.
Next, remove the lens from the camera and repeat the same process for the rear lens.
Cleaning the Mirror
After you remove the lens from your top DSLR, you should see the mirror inside the camera. Hold the camera upside down and blow the interior with air using a hand-squeezable air bulb blower. This should remove most of the dust that has been trapped inside the camera body.
Next, gently brush the dust from the mirror using a camera brush, lens tissue or a dry microfiber cloth. Gently brush from back to front so you brush the dust out of the camera and not back into the camera body.
Finally, you can clean the focusing screen, located just below the mirror. This is an extremely sensitive component, so use a lens brush or camera brush rather than a cloth. Again, brush from the inside edge towards the outside of the camera. This helps to ensure the pieces of dust exit the camera body rather than go deeper inside.
When you’re done, look through the viewfinder. If the image looks clean, you can reattach the lens. Take two test shots at two different objects. Examine both photos to ensure they are both clean. If you see a speck on both photos, repeat the cleaning process.