Tip & How-To about Cameras

Should we treat a digital camera like an egg?

I wish I had a penny, for each time I read about somebody having a stuck lens problem, or it won't go out, or in, or the zoom doesn't work right. And I know their pain, but we have to learn from that experience so that we don't repeat it. This tip isn't meant to call anyone careless, but rather emphasize why taking care not to damage a digital camera is the difference between enjoying taking pics, or trying to figure out a "free fix" on the internet. I'm not a camera tech, per se, but I've taken a couple of them apart, and I was impressed and amazed by their complexity. Leaving out the main boards and controls, I will concentrate on the composition of the lens assembly. It's a complex assembly consisting of electronic circuit controls, electro-magnetic focusing magnets, 5 very small, plastic gears, and various plastic parts. Imagine the lens is extended. The gears have driven it to the predetermined spot the microprocessor told it to go to. The gears are all engaged, ready to "pull" the lens back in, when the camera is turned off, but alas, Uncle Jack absentmindedly sits on the couch, where, unfortunately, the camera is setting. Something has to give, but it's not Uncle Jack's er, well, you get the message. Sometimes, the gears just jam, sometimes they break.
So back to the original question, and the answer is pretty much yes, inasmuch as possible. When you shoot pictures, wear the wriststrap to help you catch the camera in case it slips, you get bumped, etc. I've dropped my Olympus FE-310 about 3 times from a height of 3 feet, and it's still good to go, so they are tough, to a point. Although some experts in the field criticize hard cases (they claim the fibers can wear in them and get into the lens assembly, jamming it up, and maybe they can), I think it's wise to have one, weighing all circumstances. If you have a soft case, or no case, and it's in a pocket, purse, or coat or backpack, the power button can get accidentally pressed, and any restriction to the opening of the lens can damage the assembly, and render the camera useless. Also, one fair bump on the glass LCD display, and it's broken.
So to sum it up, should we treat a digital camera like an egg? The answer is "inasmuch as we can". Accidents will, unfortunately happen, but limiting them will help ease the burdon they have on our wallets!

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