The vast majority of camera care comes down to simple common sense, from things as basic as ‘don’t take it under water without a case on’ to ‘keep it clean’. Much of the following advice may sound obvious, but it should not be overlooked.
Protect your camera from the elements
An action camera’s job is to capture footage in situations that a standard video camera would not cope with. Be it tearing though the Sahara at 100mph, snowboarding in a blizzard or cycling through three feet of mud, there will be an action camera up to the job. However, such hostile environments bring with them a number of harmful elements.
Water – too much exposure to water can be extremely harmful to certain cameras, but apply the appropriate casing and water and video can become a match made in heaven. From watersports themselves, to cycling in heavy rain, it’s essential to apply a waterproof case to your camera. GoPro HD users may wish to use the GoPro HD Waterproof Housing and Drift owners could use the Drift Waterproof Case. So if you are planning on getting wet, be sure to invest in a suitable means of water protection for your action camera.
Shock – action by name and action by nature, action cameras would not be action cameras if they weren’t subject to a degree of physical strain. While a camera mounted in the relative safety of a car will not require protection, an action camera mounted on the handlebars of a MotoX bike will be subject to regular batterings. To protect an action camera from severe impact, invest in purpose built protective casing designed to take the punishment of off-road racing. GoPro users should look no further than the GoPro Race Case.
Dirt and dust – many extreme sports, such as mountain biking will carry a degree of exposure to dirt or dust which can cause damage to a camera’s lens. If partaking in a particularly dirty sport, apply the same principles as above by using a protective case where necessary.
Keep it clean
When you have finished using your action camera take time to clean it, paying particular attention to the casing and the lens. First, carefully remove any shards of rock or sand that could scratch the lens. Then using a damp lens cloth remove any other dirt from the area. To clean the casing, carefully work a damp cloth across the body until all grime is removed.
Even if your camera isn’t caked in mud, it still pays to wash it with clean water as salt water or dust sitting on the camera can cause damage over time. Also be sure to regularly clean any casing or holdalls that could contain dirt, dust or rocks.
Use a suitable mount
Be sure to use a mount that has been designed for the task at hand. For example, if going surfing, be sure to invest in a specific surf mount that will keep your camera fixed securely to your board. If you don’t then you may find your camera at the bottom of the ocean. Likewise, if attaching a camera to the bars of a Superbike, use a mount that will withstand wind impact at high speeds.
Also, be sure to invest in mounts that are designed for your brand of action camera. For example, if using GoPro HD, use purpose built GoPro mounts rather than that of another brand.
Modern action cameras, such as the GoPro HD, Drift HD or Bullet HD are all designed to withstand the strains associated with action sports, but it doesn’t hurt to apply an extra level of protection. Take good care of your action camera and you could still be using it in many, many years to come.
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