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BBPhoto
04-08-2007, 08:44 PM
Folks,

There was a debate going on this weekend at my local camera store about whether or not intense light sources, like the sun, can damage digital sensors. Has anyone experienced a burn-in or similar damage photographing the sun?

Chrisku13
04-08-2007, 11:55 PM
I remember a thread somewhere posing this question, and I believe the unanimous opinion was that under normal use the sun could not damage the sensor of the camera. However, upon searching around on the internet, I see that some think the lens can act as a magnifying glass if pointed directly at the sun for too long, and will cause some damage. Also, shutter curtains have said to be melted under conditions like this. However, as long as common sense is applied (don't leave a camera resting without a lens cap in direct sunlight), it will be fine.

Riley
04-09-2007, 06:34 AM
yes it can

wutske
04-09-2007, 08:16 AM
I read about people who had a damaged sensor, so I think it's possible. The lens can act like a magnifying glass and if you point it at the sun it could heat up the sensor to abnormally high temperatures.

oj88
04-09-2007, 10:08 AM
I would imagine that any device that's sensitive to light such as the CCD/CMOS sensors in our cameras, will sustain damage from too much exposure from the sun.

Chrisku13
04-10-2007, 04:56 AM
Yeah, so maybe my take on it was a bit conservative, but honestly... unless you're trying to get that ultimate capture of the sun all day, I doubt you'll run into problems. Don't worry about it and just enjoy your photography. Or, if you're still unsure, just take all pictures in the dark.

ILoveTifa
04-10-2007, 07:34 AM
A combination of fast shutter speed and small aperture is usually enough to warrant a safe use of your digicam for years to come, even if you shoot the sun often. (applicable to SLR only, since the mirror blocks the light while composing). However, after looking at the sun too much, maybe you should worry about your eye? :)

Cheers

ILT

Stoller
04-10-2007, 10:16 AM
For my sunset/sunrise shots I always figure if I can look at the sun with my naked eye I can use my camera. The atmosphere filters the sun a bunch as it rises and sets. Personally I would never point the camera at the sun when it is high in the sky.

bascom
05-21-2007, 11:34 AM
Here was a May 14 news item at dpreview. Panasonic developed a new MOS sensor that can withstand direct sunlight for more than twenty years, Also, it's resistant to weather and UV rays:

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0705/07051401panasonicrobustsensor.asp

ktixx
05-21-2007, 11:44 AM
My opinion:
1) When using a compact digital camera the sun will hurt the camera if exposed to it for a long enough period of time.
2) When using an SLR the sun will do nothing to the camera when using appropriate exposure as the light will only hit the sensor when you take a picture (and if properly exposed the light won't be on the sensor for an extended period of time). When the shutter is closed and the mirror is down the light will just go through the lens and out the viewfinder, never touching the sensor or the shutter curtain. With SLR's, the problem arises when trying to frame the image, if you are staring at the sun through your viewfinder, the light will be concentrated directly on one eye, which I am sure cannot be good for it. As a final note, as mentioned before, when taking pictures of the sun, it is usually done at sunset/sunrise and I considering you can stare at the sun during these times, I cannot Imagine that it can be that bad for your sensor.
Ken

Riley
05-21-2007, 11:48 AM
My opinion:
1) When using a compact digital camera the sun will hurt the camera if exposed to it for a long enough period of time.
2) When using an SLR the sun will do nothing to the camera when using appropriate exposure as the light will only hit the sensor when you take a picture (and if properly exposed the light won't be on the sensor for an extended period of time). When the shutter is closed and the mirror is down the light will just go through the lens and out the viewfinder, never touching the sensor or the shutter curtain. With SLR's, the problem arises when trying to frame the image, if you are staring at the sun through your viewfinder, the light will be concentrated directly on one eye, which I am sure cannot be good for it. As a final note, as mentioned before, when taking pictures of the sun, it is usually done at sunset/sunrise and I considering you can stare at the sun during these times, I cannot Imagine that it can be that bad for your sensor.
Ken

well your opinion isnt worth a lot Ken
dont forget that a lens system is a magnifying glass
and will heat burn whatever is at the focal point
on old SLRs it has been known to cook the shutter curtain
new dSLRs are any better facilitated

ktixx
05-22-2007, 06:21 AM
well your opinion isnt worth a lot Ken
dont forget that a lens system is a magnifying glass
and will heat burn whatever is at the focal point
on old SLRs it has been known to cook the shutter curtain
new dSLRs are any better facilitated

wow..thats a nice response..
an honest question in no way meant to be sarcastic, how would the shutter curtain get cooked if the light goes through the lense, hits the mirror, goes through the prism and out the viewfinder? Unless you are using mirror lockup the amplified light would never touch the curtain. And if you are implying that we are using mirror lockup or if you are implying that the internal temperature will heat up to a point where the surrounding air would melt the curtain, how long are you pointing your camera at the sun?

Riley
05-22-2007, 08:16 AM
as i alluded, older cameras including SLRs left discarded on their backs without a lens cap can capture quite a lot of heat from the sun, melting the adhesive to the shutter curtain which was commonly a fabric material. The camera need not be pointed directly at the sun to do this as there can be enough transmitted heat from the primary lens elements focussing on the lens sides and transmitting heat into the body.

It is also widely known that rangefinder cameras, of note older Nikon S series and Leica's with fabric curtains can be burned by the sun in similar circumstances, but in this way the focussed arc of the sun has burned a line through the curtain. Also Kiev cameras, a few of which have thin stainless steel curtains, which can buckle in strong sun.

Manuals generally point to the operating range for cameras as somewhere above 0C and less than 40C. But aside from this i cant see prolonged exposure to the sun being good for the electronics and/or batteries of a camera, although the sensor is in a sense protected by the AA filter and the IR cutoff filter, the heat generated within presents more than an element of risk to the electronics, the circuit boards and components, and the alignment of the sensor. Both through ambient heat and transmitted heat, be it directly via the lens or not.

coldrain
05-22-2007, 10:24 AM
wow..thats a nice response..
an honest question in no way meant to be sarcastic, how would the shutter curtain get cooked if the light goes through the lense, hits the mirror, goes through the prism and out the viewfinder? Unless you are using mirror lockup the amplified light would never touch the curtain. And if you are implying that we are using mirror lockup or if you are implying that the internal temperature will heat up to a point where the surrounding air would melt the curtain, how long are you pointing your camera at the sun?
Don't bother, ktixx, Riley always posts this way. As you notice, he replies without actually addressing with what you put forward. You are right, a DSLR has no problem with sun. Your eye will have problems if you look through the view finder at the sun for some duration.
And letting the camera meter, the sensor will never have a problem with sun either.

Riley
05-22-2007, 11:25 AM
Don't bother, ktixx, Riley always posts this way. As you notice, he replies without actually addressing with what you put forward. You are right, a DSLR has no problem with sun. Your eye will have problems if you look through the view finder at the sun for some duration.
And letting the camera meter, the sensor will never have a problem with sun either.


Folks,
There was a debate going on this weekend at my local camera store about whether or not intense light sources, like the sun, can damage digital sensors. Has anyone experienced a burn-in or similar damage photographing the sun?



Technical Notes - Camera Care, Options, and Resources
Do not leave the lens pointed at the sun
Do not leave the lens pointed at the sun or another sight source for an extended period. Intense light may cause the image sensor to deteriorate or produce a white blur effect in photographs.
http://www.nikonusa.com/livemanuals/NK018/pkg/manual/NK018_10.html

on transmitted heat



If the camera or lens gets too hot:
* Here we are talking about the kind of heat that occurs within a vehicle which has been parked in the sun for a while. You know, when the steering wheel is too hot to hold and the seat burns your b...
Cars were made to get this hot, cameras are not (you couldn't hold onto them if they were that hot anyway).
Cameras have many small bits in them, and as you know, heat and cold causes expansion and contraction. Extreme heat can easily cause too much strain on some parts during expansion, which in turn causes fracturing, melting, or distortion.
* The most common problem, however, is the effect heat has on the lubricants in the camera or lens. The lubricants must be thick enough to stay in place but light enough to enable the equipment to operate smoothly.
But when camera lubricants get too hot they do what most other lubricants do, they get very thin and runny and sneak into places where they are not welcome.
* Shutter and aperture blades in cameras and lenses must be completely dry and free of lubricants in order to operate fast and accurately. When the lubricants in other parts of the camera or lens overheat they become liquid and may even evaporate. But, since they cannot escape they settle again when things cool down, usually in places where they shouldn't be, such as on the shutter and aperture blades.
* If that wasn't enough, they usually mix with dust and in turn contaminate internal switches, contacts, magnets, and other vital organs of the mechanism and circuitry. Things then come to a halt.
* Cameras and lenses which have been exposed to extreme overheating for a short period or moderate heat in small doses over a longer period will eventually require a complete stripdown to thoroughly clean and relubricate. This is not a cheap process, and prevention seems a good option.

On direct sun to lens


Shutter damage caused by the sun:
* Camera lenses are nothing more than glorified magnifying glasses (expensive magnifying glasses I admit). This statement is only meant to illustrate what a lens can do in combination with the sun. As you know, a magnifying glass can be used to concentrate the suns rays into a very hot spot and neatly start a fire, or at the very least cause severe burn marks .... and it doesn't take long either.
* If you have a habit of carrying your camera without its case and have no lens cap or lens hood on the lens, you have an ideal setup for shutter curtain damage.
* How? The lens is focused on the film in the camera and the shutter curtains are directly in front of the film. While you carry the camera around nothing happens. However, if you place the camera somewhere in the sun and the lens happens to be facing directly towards it .... you guessed it, the lens is now a magnifying glass concentrating the sun's rays into the camera.
If the aim is right, below the mirror and directly on the back of the shutter where it will soon burn a hole in the shutter curtains resulting in light leaks.
At the very least the curtains may warp and cause inaccurate exposure.
* It might be a pain to have to remove the lens cap all the time, but is is a lesser pain than you will feel in your wallet if you have to have the shutter repaired or replaced.
http://www.cameracheckpoint.com.au/html/faultfinder.html

and just for you Clodrain



Canon EOS 350D Digital SLR Camera
Max Operating Temperature: 40 C
Min Operating Temperature: 0 C

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Canon-350D-Digital-Camera-18-55mm/dp/tech-data/B0007R6CHQ

operating a camera outside of a manufacturers specifications could void your warranty

say cheese

ktixx
05-22-2007, 09:07 PM
Riley - you are seem to be adding to the original question to fit your response. The original question was:

...Has anyone experienced a burn-in or similar damage photographing the sun?

This isn't asking "if you keep your camera in your car on a hot day..." or "if you walk around without a lens cap in the sun..." this is asking if photographing the sun will hurt your camera and the answer to this question is no, photographing the sun with appropriate exposure will not damage your camera. Key word "appropriate" - I am sure you can damage your sensor if you are taking 30" exposures when 1/3000 will suffice, but severely over-exposing any capture, regardless if it is of the sun, can damage your sensor.

Riley
05-23-2007, 05:48 AM
Riley - you are seem to be adding to the original question to fit your response. The original question was:

This isn't asking "if you keep your camera in your car on a hot day..." or "if you walk around without a lens cap in the sun..." this is asking if photographing the sun will hurt your camera and the answer to this question is no, photographing the sun with appropriate exposure will not damage your camera. Key word "appropriate" - I am sure you can damage your sensor if you are taking 30" exposures when 1/3000 will suffice, but severely over-exposing any capture, regardless if it is of the sun, can damage your sensor.

what he actually said was



Folks,
There was a debate going on this weekend at my local camera store about whether or not intense light sources, like the sun, can damage digital sensors. Has anyone experienced a burn-in or similar damage photographing the sun?


he didnt mention photographing at all, so are you trying to change the question to suit you agenda ?

the sun can indeed damage the sensor and other parts of the camera, as warned by Nikon, who unlike you manufacture and warranty cameras, and as detailed in my last post there are a myriad of issues caused by heat generated by ... wait for it...the sun. Either transmitted as heat, or via light through the lens and converted to heat, all described in the resources i provided

I mean wow, the sun burns stuff, how unlikely is that !
now back to rocket science...

ktixx
05-23-2007, 07:58 PM
he didnt mention photographing at all, so are you trying to change the question to suit you agenda ?



Folks,

There was a debate going on this weekend at my local camera store about whether or not intense light sources, like the sun, can damage digital sensors. Has anyone experienced a burn-in or similar damage photographing the sun?

WHAT!? I'm confused...does the question not read "Has anyone experienced a burn-in or similar damage photographing the sun?" or am I just seeing things? :rolleyes::rolleyes: