30 years ago, all you had to worry about with your camera was whether you’d brought enough 35mm film with you. Cameras were primarily mechanic, with cogs and springs doing most of the legwork. They were built like tanks and could withstand a bit of a battering.
Now though, things are different, and although cameras are more advanced than ever, they are much weaker. These are our tips for keeping your camera snap happy while on holiday.
How to keep your camera safe on holiday
Sand is the enemy. Although your camera might not have as many gears and cogs as an older (read: vintage) 35mm SLR, digital cameras still have moving parts. The difference now, though, is that they’re made of plastic. One grain of sand can shear a lens cog’s teeth, making a repair costly. If you must take your camera to the beach, purchase a protective cover to ensure sand stays well clear. Keep it away from sandy clothes and towels, and in its own camera bag.
Knocks and bumps
Always keep your camera on your person, and never in checked luggage. Baggage handlers are there to do one thing: move hundreds of cases from belts to trolleys to cargo. They won’t treat your bag carefully, and although a fragile sticker might help, it’s never guaranteed to get special treatment. Keep your camera in its case within your hand luggage to avoid your camera being battered around.
Water causes corrosion. It will also short the circuitry within your camera. So whether it’s capturing the monsoon that’s just poured down, the lake with its crystal clear water, or candid beach shots, always be wary of moisture. If your camera does end up in the sea, don’t be tempted to turn it on, remove the battery and memory cards. If you’ve dropped it into salt water, you’ll have to rinse away the salt by popping it in a bowl of fresh water first. Dry the camera out by placing it in silica gel or, if it’s impossible to find, a bag of rice.
Taking your camera to a usual tourist destination won’t be an issue however if you’re visiting a very cold or very hot climate, try and keep your camera at a neutral temperature. Taking it out of an air-con room at a lovely 18C to sweltering heat can cause the camera to fail, as well as build up moisture as described above.
If you do end up with a broken camera don’t panic.
Firstly, check to see whether the damage is covered by your travel insurance policy. If so, contact them as soon as possible so arrangements can be made for a repair or replacement. If not, getting in touch with the camera manufacturer’s service centre will help to determine to cost of repair. Independent repairers can sometimes be cheaper, so get a second opinion. If a repair isn’t looking likely, then it might just be a case of purchasing a new one.