Common Camera Issues when Travelling and How to Fix Them

hiking in snowdonia

When you travel with your camera in your bag, plenty of things can go wrong. Here are some common SLR digital photography camera mishaps you might encounter on the road and what to do about them. 

Your Digital Photography Memory Is Full

When we travel we can get carried away and take photos of just about everything. But then if you review the photos you took, you may find that you don’t really need all of them. Use your camera’s built-in delete function to clear up memory card space but be sure these are images that you will never use again. Also, change the settings so that your camera takes photos only in the JPG format, rather than RAW + JPG, which is the default for many cameras unless of course you’re shooting specifically for a project. It might seem obvious but a golden rule — always take at least two memory cards with you and ensure they’re empty before you set out. 

Your Battery isn’t Charging 

If you smell burning plastic, it could be your charger. Otherwise, it’s likely a problem with the battery. Batteries tend to misbehave as a result of temperature variations or weather extremes. Give it a little time and then try again. Ideally, you want to have a spare battery with you just in case. SLR digital photography brands like Canon or Nikon manufacture reliable batteries and chargers so you shouldn’t run into this problem too often. 

All Your Photos Come out Blurry

This could be the result of many things, ranging from bad settings for the type of shot you want, to a faulty lens or camera sensor. Switch your camera to auto mode. If the problem persists, switch back to manual focusing. Turn the camera off, remove the lens, replace it and turn the camera back on. Most of the time this will fix the problem. If it still doesn’t go away, it could be a more serious issue that requires maintenance. 

You’ve Dropped or Damaged Your Camera

If the lens hasn’t been damaged, there is still hope. Check that the memory card or battery haven’t fallen out of the camera. Remove the lens and examine it. Take a few test shots to see if it works. With most lenses you can tell pretty quickly whether the damage is serious or not. It’s good to take at least two lenses with you when you travel, just in case. One might not be perfect but at least you’re not wasting photo opportunities. 

Your Camera Has Fallen into Water

If your camera isn’t waterproof, turn it off straight away and remove the battery and the memory card. Remove the lens. As soon as possible soak it in deionised water for a few seconds to remove any residue particularly If it was dropped in sea water. Salt is corrosive and could ultimately damage your camera. Try and disassemble the cameras main body parts as much as possible, place your camera in a sealed bag of rice and in a low heat oven with the door open. This should help to soak up as much of the moisture as possible. In the end, there’s no denying that taking your camera with you on your travels poses some risk. But when you think of all the shots you would be otherwise missing, it’s worth the risk, don’t you think? 


Check out Peter McKinnon’s video below for tips on travelling with your gear

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