Camera care and maintenance

The latest professional EOS digital cameras are durable and they also offer excellent water and dust resistance. Because it’s lightweight and strong, magnesium alloy is used for the top, front, and rear covers, as well as for the media card slot covers. The chassis and mirror box also use magnesium alloy that, additionally, provides an electro-magnetic shield.

The paint finish is highly durable, allowing minimal wear even under harsh conditions.

To equal the excellent water-resistant and dust-resistant construction of earlier models, measures are incorporated at 76 places around the camera controls and along cover seams. O-rings are used on the media card slot covers and the battery compartment, and silicon rubber is employed around the top and rear covers and buttons.

The hotshoe of the EOS-1D Mark III is shaped to resist water with a rib around its perimeter. When the Speedlite 580EX II is attached, water resistance is maintained. When a water-resistant EF lens is attached to the camera, the entire camera and lens outfit will be water-resistant. This is not the same as waterproof, but does mean that the equipment can be used in drizzle or light rain, providing it is wiped with a soft, dry cloth immediately after use.

If you are working in persistent or heavy rain, you should use one of the camera rain covers available from several suppliers.

Handling Dust

Dust can be a major problem in some environments, especially if you need to change lenses. Some photographers keep a damp cloth in a plastic bag and wipe the surface of the camera to remove dust before removing the lens.

If you do not attach another lens immediately, use the camera body cap to reduce the risk of dust entering. Although the sensor is covered by the focal plane shutter blinds between exposures dust which gets inside the camera can easily settle on the filter which covers the sensor during an exposure.

If you are away on location for more than a day, remember to pack a good range of camera, lens and sensor cleaning equipment and use it every evening.

Hot and Cold

Professional EOS digital cameras cope very well with hot and humid conditions. They can handle temperatures of up to 45°C and humidity of up to 85%.

The minimum working temperature is quoted as 0°C, but many photographers have reported working at well below this temperature without any problems. The main problem is the battery, which loses performance at sub-zero temperatures. The answer is to have at least two fully charged batteries available, carrying one in an inside pocket where it is kept warm. Swap this with the battery in the camera from time to time.

Another problem is condensation. This occurs when the camera and lens is moved quickly to a warmer environment. Warm air can hold more water than cool air. If warm air comes into contact with a cooler lens surface, the water in the air condenses onto the surface. This water forms a mist over the lens.

If you need to take photographs immediately, you can wipe the water away with a soft cloth or lens tissue, but it is better to let the water evaporate naturally.

Condensation can occur when carrying a camera from sub-zero temperature into a warm room, or when moving from an air-conditioned environment to a humid atmosphere. Where it is safe to do so, it is better to leave the camera and lens in the working environment if you are only taking a short break inside.