Video Camera Care 101

As a private investigator in the insurance industry, I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to assume your most toll-of-the-trade is your video camera. While we all may agree on this, not all of us give our most prized possession the “white glove service” our camera deserves.  Do you provide just the right video camera care?

With that said, our Office Manager and resident expert when it comes to investigator cameras, Aisha Hopkins, has compiled a list of tips to help even the most novice camera handler avoid the more common pitfalls. From corrupt files to dust in all the wrong places, Aisha covers it all in Video Camera Care 101.

Lens Care

  • Never touch the lens with your fingers.  Your fingers could have small pieces of dirt that can scratch your lens.
  • Keep your lens protected.  Use the lens cap at all times when the camcorder is not in use.
  • Use only lens tissues, lens cloths, or very soft brushes to clean your lens.  No paper towel or tissue.  Over time, they can leave micro scratches.


  • Do not remove the battery from your camera while the camera is still on.  Make sure to power down the camera first and then remove the battery; if you don’t, you can cause a malfunction and lose any data on the camera by way of “corrupt” files.
  • Keep out of extreme HEAT! Lithium-ion suffers from stress when exposed to heat, so does keeping a cell at a high charge voltage.  A battery dwelling above 30°C (86°F) is considered elevated temperature and for most Li-ion, a voltage above 4.10V/cell is deemed as high voltage. Exposing the battery to high temperature and dwelling in a full state-of-charge for an extended time can be more stressful than cycling.
  • Always keep back-up batteries just in case!

Body of the Camcorder

  • Try to avoid prolonged dusty or dirty areas.
  • Clean dust and dirt off the exterior with a soft, damp cloth.
  • Don’t clean the inner parts of your camcorder unless you really know what you’re doing.
  • Avoid wet places with your camera. Do not leave your camera out on the vehicle seats or floor.
  • Keep camera in a proper padded storage bag when not in use.  This is also to a good place to keep all the accessories that you need for that camera when on the road.

Hard Drive/SD Card

  • Do not use the full memory capacity (Inbuilt or External) of camcorder for saving all your data.  It may cause a memory malfunction.
  • 9 times out of 10 once the data has been deleted from the memory, it can’t be retrieved. So, make sure that you transfer and store your videos on an external hard drive before your delete and completely remove them.
  • If you remove your SD card from the camera and insert it into your computer or another device, DO NOT format the card, this will remove everything on the card.