by Dinesh Thakur

We’ve come to rely on digital cameras to capture the special moments in our lives. And if you miss a moment because your camera isn’t working or produces poor-quality images, it can be frustrating. Here, we’ll provide some quick tips for resolving a few of the most common issues.

Clean Off The Lens

So you’ve just snapped a few photos of the family dog, only to find that most of them have been ruined because a certain pooch left his noseprints on the lens. The same problem can occur if dust builds up or when you accidentally touch the lens with your finger. Breathing across the lens and wiping it off with a soft, microfiber cloth will remove most marks. For stubborn fingerprint oils, you may need to use a lens cleaner. Lenses typically have special coatings, so you’ll want to avoid any household cleaning products that could mar the coating.

Battery Life

When you first got your digital camera, the battery lasted for several hours before it needed to be recharged. But over time, a battery wears out; eventually, it may only give you enough juice for a few shots. If you’re experiencing this problem, you’ll likely need to invest in a new battery. If you see a white flaky material on the old battery, it’s likely that it was leaking and that residual acid has corroded the con-tacts. You’ll need to clean the contact pads with a brush and fine sandpaper before you install a new battery.

Shots Are Dark Or Off-Color

Many point-and-shoot cameras use small image sensors that have trouble gathering enough light in low-light environments. You may be able to compensate by switching to a shooting mode in which the camera opens the shutter for a longer period of time, but then the camera must be held steady to avoid blur. It may be easier to move the subject to a location where there is more light, or to better illuminate the scene by adding more light with a flash or by opening a curtain.

Prevention

Digital cameras are fairly durable devices, but you’ll want to keep them away from liquid, sand, and dirt. Liquid can short out the internal circuitry, while sand and dirt can scratch the lens and other parts inside the camera. The internal circuitry and glass lens (and internal mirror, if your camera has one) can also be damaged if you drop the camera, so remember to keep the neck strap on while using it.