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Thread: Looking after my camcorder

  1. #1

    Smile Looking after my camcorder

    Hi everyone

    I am about to start shooting more test footage tomorrow (ie) really hectic few weeks!!!!

    Anyway I am over the moon with my second hand camcorder (Panasonic NVGS400)
    And I want to really look after this baby!!!!! As I am pretty attached to it now.

    I keep it in a plastic box with gel sachets to remove moisture (colour change when full so can be dried out to use again .So when my camcorder is not being used it is in a dark moisture free environment. Lens cap on.

    Since buying second hand of ebay I have not cleaned the heads??
    I have a genuine Panasonic head cleaing tape.
    Should I put it through?
    I hear you shouldnít clean heads too much.
    I donít know when they were last cleaned (ie) second hand camcorder?
    What would you do???.
    Is the old advice about donít do anything till a problem shows up then address it wise ?
    Or is cleaning the heads after a certain period of time or use good practise?
    Please advise??

    What about cleaning the lens?
    A glass filter is on by to buy list to protect my lens like Tim has on his NVGS400.
    I will get this soon.
    When I look at my lens I can see a few slight finger prints/smudges on it but they donít show up on footage? Phew!!!!!

    Again is it best to leave well alone or is cleaning your lens a good thing to do or get into the habit of doing?

    Please advise me how to do it as I am a bit scared to touch it in case I do more harm than good!!
    Some people say donít use liquid just breath on it and use a soft shammy others say use fluid and a professional lens cloth?????.

    So all you more experienced camcorder owners what should I do to really look after my camcorder so I have it for a long time!!!

    Oh yea I only use genuine Panasonic mini dv tapes in it .
    I never leave a tape in when not in use
    I never leave a battery in either (not in use).
    I leave lens cap on when not in use
    I am very careful with it!

    Oh yes I use to run my batteries down fully then completely charge but now I constantly top up after Tim explained about how lion batteries work and should be used/charged. Thanks Tim

    Am I missing anything else guys I really want to look after my camcorder

    Oh yes is a shammy the best thing to use to clean the camera body and LCD screen with ????

    Thanks everyone.

  2. #2


    Hi Slimbob

    One golden Rule if it aint broke don't try fix it.

    As for video heads I would definitely not recommend a tape cleaner. I used to repair videos in their hey day and warned people off them. I used a shammy and methanol and clean them manually. However. only ever use a cleaning tape if the playback is snowy. Do not use it regularly. You'll do a lot more harm than good. use it only in an emergency.

    As for the lense I used to use a shammy and methanol solution its available at the chemist but then only when it needed it.

    Like most mechanical things they prefer to be left alone. Other than that looks like the camera has a proud and careful owner. Good luck with your filming.

  3. #3


    Thanks CW .....
    Yes don't fix it if it ain't broken makes a lot of sense to me . I am apprehensive about cleaning heads with methanol and shammy so unless I get bad playback footage I will leave well alone same with head cleaner too !!

    Thanks for your help and advice much appreciated.

    Hi Paul

    Great advice too ..... I will look into "fuffoo" brushes (terrified of touching the lens must admit!!) yes Tim recommended I get a U.V filter and I will be getting one very soon.
    Point taken about me going over overboard about moisture (lol!) just really want to look after my camcorder ... took me a while to save up (extra fencing work!!) for it even though I bought it second hand of ebay

    My old P.C is 12+ years old now and still going strong as I really look after it !!!!

    Glad my battery out /tape out is good practise!

    Yes you are right Paul I can't molly coddle it or be to over protective as it is there to be used ...
    I had my old NVGS280 for 5 years !!! (just sold it on ebay) and when I got my NVGS400 I was literally bouncing off the walls it is so good !!!!!!!! I know it is quite an old camcorder but I love it to bits.

    Yes I will look out for a back up charger.....good thinking Paul ...cheers

  4. #4


    Because you have a UV over the lens you shouldn't need to touch the lens but good quality Micro Fibre cloth and a bit of breath will get rid of the any finger marks. I'm not sure about keeping it in a sealed plastic box but I can't see that it will harm it. I use a damp (not wet) paper towel to clean the lcd screen not that it often gets dirty. I would say the jury is out on the tape cleaning, although you shuldn't really have a problem for quite some time as your not a big camera user and you stay away from Sony Tapes because of the wet lubricant issue and you should be fine.

    You seem to have all the bases covered.

  5. #5


    Excellent !!!! Thanks MB
    What microfibre cloth (brand do you use)???
    Yes it seems my plastic box with gel sachets is a bit overboard
    I will be getting my UV filter protector soon !

    Brilliant....... hopefully I should have my camcorder for years to come.

    Off now .....more test footage to shoot to address advice given on my first light test ......first time had chance (busy work!! plus takes a bit of time to set up my collapse able studio!!

    Just got a brand new sealed genuine Panasonic CGA-DU12 battery off ebay fro £12 delivered.............

    Thanks MB

  6. #6


    nothing wrong in looking after your equipment. i am quite anal about looking after my camera gear

    i was horrified recently to find a scratch on the screen of my 2 year old iPhone ..... just the excuse i needed to upgrade

    Though i don't keep my cameras in hard boxes preferring soft cases.... good tip about the silica gel.

  7. #7


    Hi Enc

    Phew !!!!! just finished shooting my second lot of light tests !!!!

    Yes your right a scratch does warrant the need to upgrade

    What micro fibre cloth do you use to clean your lens Enc ?????

    Hope MB tells me which one he uses too!!!!

  8. #8


    I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you.

    Only joking. I don't know what brand it is I knicked it off my wife and she doesn't know where she got it from either. I'm sure if you Google Microfiber cloth you will get a number of perfectly good options. Around £3 to £5.

  9. #9


    Please don't kill me MB least wait till I have finished my project

    I will look into it

    Night everyone

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    FWIW I use a little microfibre cloth I picked up in ...(ducks) ... Jessops.

    But (even though I'm guilty of it) it's not good practice to breath on your lens and wipe. You can but lens cleaner and lens tissues (lint free). I think the lens cleaner is nothing more than distilled water. And only use this is you have a smear. Just using the blowy brushes should get rid of everything if you haven't actually touched or wet the lens.

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