Camera Kit Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Checklist 2 min
Use this checklist to make sure your gear is serviceable and ready for operation at a moment’s notice.

Preventative maintenance is the best way to stop a camera malfunction from occurring. Always take a few minutes to ensure your camera is working correctly before you begin any missions. Performing the following fundamental tasks will allow you to maintain your camera equipment under most conditions.

Use this checklist to clean the lens, viewfinder, tripod and camera body; check your batteries; and complete a function check.

  1. Clean lens before every assignment or whenever needed
    1. Remove dust or dirt particles with air blower, soft-bristled brush or microfiber cloth
    2. Clean lens by putting cleaning fluid on lens tissue and use a circular motion to wipe the lens from the center to the outer edge
    3. Ensure droplets of water do not dry on lens; this causes spots
    4. Use protective lens filter
    5. Cover lens with a lens cap when not in use
  2. Clean viewfinder and LCD monitor before every assignment or whenever needed
    1. Clean in the same manner as the lens
    2. Do not leave the viewfinder or the LCD monitor pointed at the sun or strong light sources; internal components may be damaged or even start a fire
  3. Maintain tripod and camera body before and after every use
    1. Wipe down with a slightly damp cloth to remove dust and dirt
    2. Never use cleaning products other than those recommended by the camera manufacturer
  4. Keep batteries fully charged
    1. Keep batteries on a trickle charger or drain the battery down before charging to prevent memory build-up; battery shelf life is about two days and they will lose about 5% a day
    2. Never recharge a cold or heated battery; let them return to room temperature before charging
    3. Keep charged batteries at room temperature, or about 75 degrees
    4. Keep batteries in a small cooler with no-leak ice packs in hot climates (if applicable)
    5. Keep batteries as warm as possible in cold climates by placing them with hot packs or inside your shirt next to your skin (if applicable)
  5. Complete a camera function check before every use
    1. Turn on the camera
    2. Synchronize date and time if using multiple cameras
    3. Look to the upper right of the LCD screen
    4. Check that your battery has ample power, preferably fully charged
    5. Check for an SD card; use two if possible for back up
    6. Perform a shutter function check
    7. Press record; record for 10-20 seconds
    8. Put the camera in playback mode and review the footage
    9. If satisfied with your footage, put the camera back into record mode
    10. If there are problems with the camera, turn it into maintenance personnel if available, try troubleshooting using the manual or find a temporary replacement camera

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