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Preventing Damage to Your Video Camera and Saving on Repairs

written by: Kumara Velu•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/1/2011

During these trying economic times, you wouldn't want to waste much-needed cash on video camera repairs or servicing, would you? Follow these precautions to help you stay away from the service center.

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    Remember, you spent quite a bit on your video camera. You would want it to service you for years, wouldn’t you? If you don’t exercise care when handling your camcorder, you risk causing damage to it and end up burning a hole in your pocket for repairs. Digital cameras should also be protected, so read up on how to take care of your digital camera.

    Here are some precautions you can observe to save yourself a trip to the service center.

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    Tape Transport Mechanism

    The most important section of your video camera is the part that houses your tape. That is where the heart and soul of your camcorder is. Pay particular attention to the tape transport mechanism.

    Only open this compartment when you’re inserting or removing tapes. And close the compartment immediately after doing so.

    This part is vulnerable to dust particles and sand and if any gets in especially when you’re at the beach you may be in for trouble. Not only has your tape a high chance of being damaged, it could also damage the recording-playback head.

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    Lens

    The other vital part of your camcorder is the lens – any crack or scratch in the lens means having the sign of damage appear on the video footage itself. Although it’s common sense to screw on a UV filter right after buying it, many do not do so. Some say there’s the lens cap and there’s no real need for a UV protective filter. This is bad reasoning.

    A UV filter costs a few bucks. But if you damage your lens, the replacement cost is as good as buying a new unit. Go figure which the best option for you is.

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    Leave it in the Bag

    Don’t leave the camcorder lying around when you’re not shooting. If the camcorder is not in your hand, replace it in its bag, especially when you’re outdoors. You won’t know when someone might spill a drink on it or accidentally push it off a table. Similarly, when you’re outdoors, don’t leave it exposed away from you and risk getting it wet when a sudden rain falls.

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    Protect against Heat

    Don’t leave your camcorder in your car with the windows all tightly shut when the sun is shining brightly outside. You risk exposing it to excessive heat and causing serious damage to the delicate mechanism of the camera. If you must leave your video camera in your car, put it in your boot, where it would be much cooler. You may even want to throw a few chilled soft drink cans nearby to absorb any trapped heat.

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    Remove the Tape

    This is a no-brainer, but many of us fail to observe it. If you are leaving the camcorder for a long time without shooting, remove the tape. Dust or fungus particles from the tape can get into contact with the recording head and affect its performance. Some fungus infestation can’t be removed with a cleaning tape. You have to send your camcorder to the service center to get it fixed. That’s money thrown down the drain for want of care.