Keep it clean
By Adrian Toon, director of a2n.
Cameras are subject to a great deal of handling and, as a result, can end up with fingerprints on lenses, which in turn attract airborne dust.
DSLRs with interchangeable lenses are also subject to getting dust inside and on both sensors and lenses. The problem for lenses is that anything on the lens will scatter light hitting the lens, rather than going through it. The greater the light scatter, the image quality drops significantly. As a result, images lack clarity and contrast and, in bad cases, the image can become quite foggy.
Dust on a DSLR sensor will clearly be seen in all its glory as it stops light falling on the sensor which results in its shadow being cast on the image. Sensors can easily be cleaned by a specialist and many cameras today manage to keep dust at bay by using an in-camera ultrasonic arrangement to dislodge any dust that lands on the sensor.
Keeping your DSLR covered and in a protective case when not in use, together with lens cap, is key to minimising contamination. Separate lenses should always be stored with front and rear lens caps on. Always keep lenses clean with a recommended soft cloth to remove any fingerprints and a blower brush on the front and rear glass elements.
For those of us who use mobile phones for our photography, fingerprints are always going to be present on the camera lens/glass cover. I would recommend it is good practice to always clean the camera with a soft cloth before each use to ensure clarity is achieved.
Make it a habit to keep it clean and enjoy your photography.