I often take pictures at home and just store it on a shelf. Is it ok to store a dslr camera this way or should I always put it in a bag, drawer etc ?
Most important factor to consider when storing a camera; is to ensure the area is dry, moisture free and it is a dust free environment. otherwise, you can breed Fungus spores.
I collect old camera and they are all kept inside a Velvet Lined wooden box with Silica Gel pouches chucked in the box to ensure that any unexpected moisture is absorbed.
Cameras that I use on a more frequent basis, I never store inside a bag, box, cupboard or shelf.
They sit constantly mounted on a tripod, in a corner and out of the way. I just throw a dust proof cover over them when finished and pull the draw string at the bottom. As the room where they are kept is dry with no humidity, I have nothing to worry about. In fact, I may even keep a camera on the shelf in the same room if all tripods are used up.
This includes cameras that I take outdoors for a shoot, when I come back, the lenses which are always inside their own protective cases each with silica gel, (which I do change from time to time), go on a shelf and I generally leave one camera with a Kit lens of 28-70mm on the body mounted on the tripod, always parked in “P”, as you say, for convenience and also speed of requirement! you never know what the kids may do next or the cat decides to do something equally amusing!
Keep your cameras away from Dust, Humidity and moisture and they will be fine.
If you are storing camera at home, you could do the following to keep it safe:
- Find a dry place to store the camera. If you are keeping inside a box, put a small puch of silica gel, just in case there are any moistures.
- Keep them at a place or a locked cupboard so that it does not fall off.
- Definitely keep it away from dust areas.
The two key issues are:
- Dust. If the shelf is in a dust free environment then it makes no difference in this regard. Most shelves in most houses, however, are not in a dust free environment.
- Risk of physical damage If there is no risk of something falling on the camera or knocking it off the shelf then there is no additional risk. Otherwise the damage from an impact can be much more severe if the camera is not in a protective case.
If you store your camera with the lens attached it needs to be somewhere away from dampness as well as safe. I've got mine in a basket that sits inside a bedside cabinet with a dry tea towel loosely draped over it, and I have the silica gel sachets littered about the basket. The silica gel sachets are well worth the money(as has been stressed in these other answers ) click on this link http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Silica-Gel-Sachets-Desiccant-Pouches-1g-sachet-UK-Based-Craft-Company-/161299617316?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&var=&hash=item258e34d624 where you can order them for a couple of pounds delivered.
Basically I would keep it dry (as suggested already) and prevent it from direct sunlight. Taking out classical batteries may also be a good idea; maybe even rechargeable ones to avoid deep discharge. For cameras with a mechanical shutter (the old non-electronic ones) you might also want to release the shutter to relieve the spring moving the shutter.
Also: If you storage area is anywhere near where cooking and/or tobacco smoking happens, religiously protect any lenses or valuable filters with caps, cheap/old UV filters, boxes, etc. Even when they are in a cupboard/cabinet. Grease and smoke love to condense on glass.