Cameras are an integral feature of anybody’s holiday, capturing those special moments when you do something you haven’t done before or see something spectacular. So it can be heartbreaking when something happens to it that prevents you from capturing that moments or, worse still, the moment is captured but it is lost due to a corrupt memory card. And, of course, they are hardly cheap to replace either. I can’t believe how many people I encountered with camera issues while I was travelling (including myself). So given that the summer is fast approaching, below I have listed my top 5 tips on some of the things to watch out for:
1. Keep it away from the sand - I was the victim of this one (as were other people I met). The problem with sand is that it gets everywhere so be very careful how you handle your camera in a beach environment. Allow one small grain to get in and around the lense and you may find that the mechanics behind it seizes to operate and preventing the camera from bringing a picture into focus. Unfortunately, it can be almost as expensive to replace the lense than to buy a new camera so you may as well do the latter. So make sure your hands are sand free when handling a camera on the beach and always ensure it is packed securely in it’s case when you are finished using it.
2. Test the water - it is unsurprising that some people want to capture on film the amazing marine life they see when they go snorkelling and I’ve noticed that underwater housing for digital cameras are becoming more and more popular. I’ve also met someone whose camera was ruined when the housing failed to protect the camera from water damage. Be sure to check for leaks as soon as the camera is in the water so you can take corrective action before the damage is done. And if you’re overly concerned, consider using a disposable underwater camera.
3. Protect your memories- You would not believe how many people I met who had ended up with corrupt memory cards. If it happens to you, do not fret. In the most cases, these photos can be recovered by taking the camera to a photo shop. However, it is always wise to put copies put on to DVD and/or upload them online on to a photo sharing site as soon as possible. One person I met actually opted for the inconvenience of using only the smallest of memory cards. This way he was forced to make regular back-ups so he could wipe clean the memory card to re-use it. It also meant that the number of photos he was at risk of losing were always quite low.
4. Keep it secure- Cameras are not only targets for theft, it is amazing how many people just leave a camera lying around somewhere. I always carry my camera in a case that hangs from my shoulder and across my chest like a satchel. That way the camera is always attached to me (rather in a loose case) making it difficult for it to be lost or stolen. It is always worth keeping your name and contact details within the case in the event it does get lost.
5. Always take travel insurance-Personally, I think travel insurance is a must-have for any journey abroad and you’ll find that many policies will cover for damage to your camera so be sure to check that this is included. Most policies will not cover for underwater damage but you can take separate policies for this.
Let us know if you have any further tips for protecting your camera on holiday and let us know if you have had any bad experiences of your own!