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View Full Version : Sun pictures ruin a sensor?



Rich BHD
06-14-2006, 08:13 PM
Hey guys, I just got a Canon 30D and took some shots of the sunrise this morning. Then I read a few things around the web that scared me, about how pointing a camera into the sun can fry the sensor, especially if you focus right on the fireball. It seems consumer point-and-shoots are more vulnerable to this, but I'm concerned I'm going to -- or already have -- compromised my expensive camera.

How much truth is there to these claims? What damage can the sun do to a sensor or shutter? Are there any precautions to take? Thanks for your responses, I really appreciate it!

Peleg
06-16-2006, 03:20 PM
Hey guys, I just got a Canon 30D and took some shots of the sunrise this morning. Then I read a few things around the web that scared me, about how pointing a camera into the sun can fry the sensor, especially if you focus right on the fireball. It seems consumer point-and-shoots are more vulnerable to this, but I'm concerned I'm going to -- or already have -- compromised my expensive camera.

How much truth is there to these claims? What damage can the sun do to a sensor or shutter? Are there any precautions to take? Thanks for your responses, I really appreciate it!

I'm a newbie so I hope more experienced will chime in. I have a Canon G5 and have shot quite a few pics w/ the sun in it. I have not focused on the sun itself but it's prominant in the picture. I stop my aperture down all the way (f8 on my camera) and use the ND filter. I have not had any problems. I would think that if you damaged your sensor you would know by now.

wutske
06-16-2006, 03:31 PM
I don't realy think it's that bad, but it's best not to keep focusing on the sun (the CCD will heat up because of the constant amount of energy that's added).
On the other hand, when you point at the sun, and the focus is realy bad (if the sun is only a tiny spot on the CCD, focusing all the energy in one point), it might hurt the sensor yes (it like with with a magnifying glass and a piece of paper :D ).
But, this is not a problem for sunrise and sunset pictures, because the amount of energy is much lower (setting the piece of paper on fire also won't work in the morning or evening).

So, I wouldn't realy worry too much.

DonSchap
06-16-2006, 03:54 PM
Look... play it safe. You want to shoot the sun, use FILM. You may burn a hole through it, but it's $6 a roll... not $600 a sensor. You know... common sense may prevail, here. :rolleyes:

Most photographers use filters to diffuse direct sunlight... and younger photographers have gotten away from that practice. The have just a UV or a polarizer... and that's it. You are really placing your investment in serious harm because despite what you may think... that sensor is the same... shot after shot after shot... it'll get sunburned, unlike film... where each exposure moves along, until empty.

I mean, c'mon... you must like low-light sensitivity in your camera, right? Goodness knows, most photographers fight "tooth and nail" for it through their lensing choices (f/2.8 being some of the most expensive lensing, today). And here you are, going to take the brightest-light-source-known-to-man and focus it right on your tender little sensor.

You are playing with fire... in the truest sense of the word. :(

wisely_foolish
06-17-2006, 02:12 AM
hello, I didnt actually take pictures of the sun with my canon S2, but I did leave the exposure on for long time (6 secs) and found out I had 2 hot pixels ever since. so yeah, be careful

ReF
06-17-2006, 03:13 AM
lookah heyah:

http://dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20851&page=2

DonSchap
06-17-2006, 04:15 PM
I've come up with a novel idea on how to save your camera's sensor from this kind of damage:


Do you have the box the camera came in?
Do you have all the paperwork and the receipt?
Do you have access to the place where you bought this camera from?
Place the camera and all the accessories that came with it back in the box.
Pack it nice and presentable.
Take the box back to the store.
When you speak to the person at the "Returns Desk", just tell them that "you don't deserve using one of these delicate devices and would like to return it."
Collect your hard-earned cash and be thankful that you will not have any further 'repair costs' concerning this device. I'm also pretty certain the repair center has better things to do than replace "sun-smoked" sensors. :cool:

Pave
06-20-2006, 01:47 PM
lol,
I've taken lots of sunrise/sunset pictures and so far my CCD and everything else is OK. I don't know what would happen if you zoomed directly at the sun in high noon and held it aimed at the fireball for some hours but by taking some pictures which include sun, you definitely can't fry your camera. If it worked this way, don't you think that nobody would take sunise/sunset pictures? And yet all the servers are full of these pictures so I assume that it's quite harmless :D