The Cost of Maintaining a Digital Camera

by Kevin on

Camera Car Maintenence

Most people don’t consider the estimated lifetime costs associated with owning a digital camera. Like a car, you must take care of your camera to maintain its reliability. If something unfortunate does happen, however, it’s good to know what your options are.

A big component in maintaining camera equipment is the use of protective accessories. For any given digital camera, there are a lot of accessories available; some are necessary, some are a good idea, and some are just for fun. Those “good idea” accessories are those that protect and maintain the camera, such as a carrying case. There is a wide variety of cases available; the better it is at protecting, the bulkier, heavier, and more expensive it gets. Unfortunately the high price and heft of some cases causes some users to compromise the safety of their equipment. The real problem lies when a cheap, light case gives the user a false sense of security. Another “good idea” accessory is a microfiber cleaning cloth. It’s a simple and inexpensive tool that, when used regularly to wipe down your camera and lens(es), can give your equipment a much longer lifespan, not to mention keep it clean.

Regular use of any hand-held device will almost assuredly result in some kind of an accident. Cameras are just as susceptible to damage as any other gadget and some of those accidents are worse than others. As hard as it is for most of us to admit, repairs are a part of maintaining camera equipment. Impact or physical abuse can take a serious toll on your camera resulting in both external and internal part damage. Parts can simply and inexplicably wear out over time resulting in a sudden malfunction of your camera. On average, major repairs for point-and-shoot cameras cost about seventy percent of the original selling price while the average repair cost for DSLRs run around a couple hundred dollars. This can also vary dramatically depending on what replacement parts are required; sometimes repair costs may even exceed the cost of replacing the camera (and often does in the case of point-and-shoots). Take the example of a cracked LCD window (clear plastic covering the color LCD) on a DSLR, that part is usually less than fifty dollars. Now consider an imaging sensor for a DSLR, even the cheapest replacements cost upwards of two hundred dollars for the part alone. As you can imagine, the labor involved with both repairs is staggeringly different as well.

Repair costs should be the motivating factor to take care of your equipment. For point-and-shoot cameras it’s pretty simple: keep it safe and clean. DSLRs, on the other hand, require a little extra care; like sensor cleanings and checkups. carcamera repairThe imaging sensor is much more susceptible to getting exposed to dust and dirt. No matter how hard you try or how well you follow the so called ‘preventative strategies’, dust spots will appear on your images at some point during the life of your DSLR. Damaging the sensor and other components while cleaning is something that is all too common and repairs to fix this can be very costly, as pointed out previously. The best thing to do is have a professional perform a sensor cleaning. The cost can vary depending on where you choose to have it serviced, but the advantages to having a professional do it are A) it will be done right and if it’s not you have someone to hold accountable, and B) if there are any other issues you may not be aware of it will likely be detected during that time.

All investments come with some maintenance cost. Luckily cameras are pretty are easy to maintain. If you would like to know more about how to maintain your equipment, please browse our archives or leave your questions in the comments section below.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jaerith1990 February 26, 2013 at

Thanks a lot for sharing this! I just ruined my favorite point-and-shoot camera because I was not able to properly clean it. Now I have to get myself a new one because it’s no longer under warranty.


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