Here’s some tips for getting your camera gear ready for 2016.
As we get ever closer to 2016, here are some tips for getting your camera gear ready for 2016. A lot of people make new year resolutions at this time of year. Some are kept, most are not! Now is a good time to take stock of all your camera gear. Here’s just a few simple tips for your camera gear. If you have any more tips or tricks, please do share by leaving a comment below. Authors note: (These tips are from my own experience. Everyone has different ways of doing things, whatever works best for you! Regarding backups, it cannot be stressed enough to do regular backups. You do not realise how important they are until you are dealing with a disaster)
Most of us photographers protect our camera gear as if our lives depended on it. However, no matter how careful we are, our cameras, lens and accessories gather grime and muck from everyday use. Now is a good time, (while your’re digesting that 15th portion of Turkey!), to clean your camera and lens. I find using the cloth and solution for cleaning my glass’s does a great job on my camera and lens. I also use a cotton bud for getting into the more difficult crevices. Another tip I picked up from one of the photography forums, one which I would never have even thought of, is to empty out your camera bag and give it a good hoover!
Another thing to check is the state of your camera battery. It is one year older now and has probably been charged dozens of times. Most cameras will have a battery check setting somewhere in the settings menu, it can vary between different manufacturers and models. It would be recommended to have a spare battery, so that you always have a fully charged battery ready for shooting. After a few years however they will deteriorate and not last as long and need replacing. You can mark the battery also with the date of purchase for easy identification between newer and older batteries. One of the best tips I have learned about batteries is to purchase good quality rechargeable batteries for my flashgun. One of the best makes on the market are “Eneloops”. Although a little expensive, they will save you a lot of money in the long run, (after 3 or 4 charges they will have paid for themselves!). The 2450mAh ones are the best to get, (there are 1900mAh & 750mAh but these are nowhere near as good).
Memory & Backup
SD Cards: Another thing to check over is the state of your SD cards, compact flash cards and external hard drives. SD cards that have been formatted a lot, especially lower end cards, can and do fail. It has happened to me (once), after reusing the same card numerous times failed on the last shoot. I’d lost about 90% of the days photos, shooting away on an SD card that was corrupted. I now only use new SD cards once (and keep them when full as a short term backup). They are quite cheap nowadays, you can get a 16Gb card now for under €10. I usually use either 8Gb or 16Gb cards (in case I do manage to loose or destroy one card, I will not loose too much).
Hard Drives: External hard drives are used mainly for backup and archive storage. They can quickly fill up, especially if you are shooting Raw. Again these have really come down in price in recent times. I have seen recently a 1TB hard drive for £35, even with the crazy exchange rate at the moment, that is roughly just €50! It has been always recommended to have AT Least 3 backups of all your data. Its not a matter if one of your hard drives will fail, its a matter of when will it fail! I have had a laptop crash with total data loss on me a few years ago. Fortunately I had had a backup of all the data on an external hard drive, only loosing some software files. However since then I have now added 2 more backup drives to the network. The oldest drive I will be replacing with a newer larger drive in the new year. (Note to self, one of these hard drives should be kept offsite!)
We will be going into these topics in more detail in the coming months on our Tutorial and Tips & Tricks pages.