Caring For Your SJCAM Camera.
Whatever SJCAM camera model you have, they need maintenance like any other device.
Here are our recommendations for caring for your SJCAM.
Get organized. Get a box.
Unless you are a professional photographer and have your own storage room for all your camera gear, you need to put them all in one box.
A big box to put them in is important so you don’t misplace the tiny bits and pieces your equipment comes with, specially when your collection of mounts and attachments grows from just a few, to crazy plenty. And that is often the case when you start to realize there are so many things you want to use the camera for. The most basic SJCAM, the SJ4000, has a delightful number of accessories that already comes in the box.
This is a highly polished, precision-manufactured, optical-grade piece of glass; as much as possible, never ever touch it. It is not meant to be touched with bare fingers as our skin has natural oils that may smear and attract dust particles.
If you really must, only use the lens-cleaning cloth provided in the box your camera came with, or any micro-fibre cloth intended specifically for lenses. Never use tissue paper as they usually leave microscopic fiber strands.
You may wipe away dust and lint, but you have to be very careful that you do not drag any particles across the glass or it will scratch, be gentle and only wipe very lightly.
Best that you get a lens blower to either blow or suck dust away from the lens. Never use canned air as it may have too much force, which may drag dust and scratch it across the surface of your precious optics.
Keep your lens cap on at all times that you are not using the camera to prolong its usable life, and please, if you have to set the camera down, it goes without saying that the camera should be upright.
TIP: Most SJCAM models can accommodate a UV filter lens kit, it helps block out debris, and is excellent at protecting your lens even while you use it. It also comes with its own lens cap!
There is one for the SJ4000 series, the SJ5000 series, the M20, SJ6 Legend (also for SJ6 Legend Air), SJ7 Star, the SJ8 PRO, SJ8 Plus, and SJ8 Air can use the one for the SJ6-series as they are exactly the same size.
Pictured below is an M20 model fitted with a UV-filter lens kit, and with the lens cap on:
Current-technology Lithium batteries have a special way of caring for them.
If you use your camera a lot, you can charge the batteries anytime you wish, even if you just partially discharged it. In fact, you can use the camera while it is plugged in, though it will be a bit of a stress for the battery.
If you plan to store them for long periods, remember this: Never empty, but never full. Somewhere around 50% charge is good for long storage.
Keep batteries in a dry place, and never together with anything metal, sharp, or pointy.
NOTE: Damaged batteries need to be disposed of in special recycling facilities, don’t just chuck it in the bin where it can get shorted out and start a fire.
Wipe it down with a clean cloth every now and then to keep dust from accumulating, which may go to the lens that can ruin your shots.
Keep your camera in the waterproof housing if you plan to keep it away for long periods, but keep the battery stored separately.
The polycarbonate material that the lens of the waterproof housing is made of is optical grade, which means you should care for it like caring for your cameras lens.
Do not use any agents that are advertised to repel water on your waterproof case lens, this will shorten the life of your lens as it may become brittle and may crack under pressure.
Only put in your camera inside while you are completely dry. Give the silicone seal a quick wipe and test its integrity all around by pulling on them. Never pry it with anything sharp, you can pinch the seal to a corner to remove it completely to inspect it of any debris, making sure no dust, strands of hair, or anything else that may get caught in it when closing the back cover.
Use anti-fog strips and insert them between the camera and the case so moisture in the air that is trapped won’t collect on the insides and ruin your footages.
If you use it in saltwater, remember to rinse the outside with clean freshwater afterwards, then let it air-dry. Don’t wait till you get home before doing this. Remove thumbscrews and wash them too, remember to wipe them dry and applying a dab of oil on them to avoid corrosion, do this also to the metal hinge that holds both the housing and the door. Water trapped in there may cause the pin to corrode, a drop of oil or even WD40 will surely help.
Always make sure to test the waterproof case each time you use it from long storage. Submerge it in a big tub of water with a piece of paper towel for a few hours, with the back cover closed, of course, to see if any water seeps in. Remember that you are simulating high pressure at depths, a small leak here will mean a big one when you dive with it. This action camera accessory is easily replaceable, and much cheaper to get a new one, than to buy another camera.
Battery Terminal Pins
Be aware that the contacts inside the battery bay can be damaged should you insert the battery the wrong way, double check that you are putting it in correctly each time to save yourself the trouble of getting it fixed if you break them.
Heat, cold, sun, climate, humidity.
Your camera is an electronic device. Everything in it can be damaged when exposed to extreme temperatures, sudden temperature changes, water, or moisture. Extended exposure to the sun while in the waterproof housing will trap heat and build up, so it is advisable to use the frame mount instead if you intend to use the camera on your bike or as a dashcam. Another thing about extreme cold conditions, expect your battery to not perform at its best, and always charge it in room temperature as much as possible.
Get A Camera Bag
Okay, so you have all your gear in one place, that’s good. now you need to get a carry bag, to keep your camera safe during transport. You can use anything available to you that’s padded, or sturdy enough for accidental drops. SJCAM has 3 sizes for this, one for putting every thing in, another for just the essentials, and one for just the camera only with the housing on. This bag is a small investment to keep your precious gear safe.
This is probably the most often overlooked, but it should be mentioned that caring for your cables is important if you use your camera often. Best to keep it in the carry bag, along with a small power bank if possible. Remember to always pull on the cable’s head, and not the wire, as the weakest part of this thing is the part where the wire and the head meet. The one that comes in the box is just basic. There are aftermarket cables out there that are shielded, with a strong braided sheath, with better charging capabilities or even faster data transfer rates, and may outlast your device as long as you care for it properly.
That’s it for our basic camera maintenance tips.
If you have any suggestions or tips of your own on how to care for your camera, let us know and we’ll add them here, send an email with the subject line “CAMERA CARE TIPS” to firstname.lastname@example.org.