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Camera Care & Maintenance

Video equipment lasts well when its treated well.


Common sense and regard for its susceptibilities will keep it running smoothly for a long time.

Camera Care & Maintenance


Equipment Storage Equipment Transport

Liquid & Food


Tape Clogging

Wet Weather
Heat & Humidity

Magnetic Fields
Lens

Sea Spray / Salt / Sand


Dust

Cable Faults

Equipment Storage
Always return the equipment to its case after use. Ensure that the case is stored upright or placed on a flat horizontal surface. Dont stack heavy pieces of equipment on top of each other. Put sachets of silica gel in the case to absorb moisture.

Equipment Transport
Never bang or drop the video equipment. Ensure that the case is well padded and that the case cant be flung about or banged. When transporting by car, put equipment on the floor of the back seat as this prevents it from falling during sudden stops. On airplanes, carry your camera as carry-on luggage.

Wet Weather
Rain and spray can cause short circuits or total equipment failure. Raindrops falling on microphones will mar the sound track. Use an umbrella or wrap the camera and VTR in a plastic bag if you have to shoot in the rain. Dont run cables through puddles.

Heat & Humidity


The temperature in a closed car in the sun can reach over 50C and cause permanent damage to both video tapes and equipment. If you move suddenly from a cold, dry environment to a hot, moist one, the dew warning light on the VTR will light up, the VTR will automatically switch off. It wont operate again until it dries off inside.

Prevention / Solution
Allow the equipment time to warm up and acclimatize before switching it on. Plan extra set-up time into your production schedule. To dry out quickly, get the equipment into a dry-air environment.

Sea Spray / Salt / Sand


After a day at the beach, clean the equipment thoroughly because:
salty air and sea spray is corrosive to video heads, metal parts of video equipment including the chassis and circuit board. salty air will form a coating on the front element of the lens. sand can wreak havoc in the tape transport mechanisms.

Dust
Keep the camera and the VTR in a dust-free environment. Dust will coat lenses, cause abrasions on the video heads and lead to drop-outs on the tape.

Liquid & Food


Avoid eating, drinking or smoking around video equipment, in control rooms or near editing decks. Split coffee has accounted for many loud bangs, blue flashes and large repair bills.

Tape Clogging
VTRs left in pause mode for longer than 30 seconds will start to lift tape particles off the tape and clog the head leading to dropouts and head damage.

Magnetic Fields
Avoid power transformers, electric motors, television sets and loudspeakers. The magnetic fields generated can scramble the information on tape or interfere with recording.

Lens
Use an air bottle or a lens brush or special lens cleaning fluid to remove surface dust. Never rub the lens to remove spots. Use a neutral density filter to protect the lens from scratches. Fit a lens cap when the camera is not in use.

Cable Faults
Most camera problems result from cable faults. Look for problems in the cable that link your camera to the recorder. Avoid pulling directly on the cables or resting heavy objects on exposed cables.