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There are some maintenance duties that have to be left for the professional. To ensure the longevity of your equipment, always consult with a trained repair service to do any type of major maintenance work. Failure to do so can result in invalidating the video camera’s warranty. However, there are some basic cleaning tips that you can follow on your own that will keep your camera, and warranty, intact.
Tip #1: Clean the camcorder every three months with a MiniDV cleaning cassette. You can find these cleaning cassettes at any electronics store or the electronics department of a discount store. After purchasing the cleaning cassette, pop it into the camera and press play. Allow the tape to run for at least 10 seconds, but no longer than 15 seconds. Not letting it run long enough will not result in the removal of all the built-up gook from the heads. If you let it run too long, the abrasive material of the cleaning cassette may overwork, and damage the heads.
Tip #2: Use a monitor cleaning cloth to clean the touch-screen viewfinder. Not all video cameras have this feature, but if yours does, it is a good idea to clean this regularly. Greasy fingerprints can accumulate on the screen. After a while, the protective coating will start to wear off. Carry around the cleaning cloths and clean the viewfinder immediately after every use before packing the camcorder back up.
Tip #3: Clean the lens frequently. Use a can of compressed air, a non-abrasive brush or non-abrasive cloths to remove any dust or substances from the lens to keep it in good working order. This is a fairly easy and quick step that should be done regularly.
Tip #4: This next tip is more of a preventive step than anything. You may not know this but Sony is the only manufacturer that uses a wet lubricant for their tapes; everyone else uses a dry lubricant. To avoid having a messy build-up on the head from mixing the two lubricants, stick to one type. If you like Sony tapes then use them and none of the others. The same can be said for other manufacturers’ tapes. Don’t switch between wet and dry lubricated tapes. This will help keep your heads clean from residue and reduces any future maintenance problems. If you must switch, be sure to clean your heads before doing so.
Tip #5: Always properly store the video camera after use. The camera should be stored in a dust-free environment that has low humidity. Always place the camera in a bag to ensure dust-prevention.
Follow these simple tips to extend the life of your camcorder. Just a few moments out of your day will save the huge maintenance headache down the road.