Do shots directly into sunlight damage the chip in a digital camera?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Edw. Peach, Sep 5, 2004.

  1. Edw. Peach

    Edw. Peach Guest

    My subject line says what I'm looking for...
    Edw. Peach, Sep 5, 2004
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  2. Y E S !

    Not good for your eyes either. Take a magnifying glass and on a sunny day, focus the light
    on your hand. Does it hurt ? It should -- the light is concentrated and it will burn the
    skin. The heat would also destroy or damage the semiconductor substrate of the Charge
    Coupled Device (CCD) image capturing electronics.

    BTW: I replied to your other post in the Security News Group.

    | My subject line says what I'm looking for...
    David H. Lipman, Sep 5, 2004
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  3. I guess, if you take pictures of the sun on "bulb". Frankly my pictures
    with the sun in frame are usually at 1/1000
    Dominic Richens, Sep 8, 2004
  4. Edw. Peach

    Edw. Peach Guest does one get direct light pics anyway? I'm thinking

    And thanks for all the help.
    Edw. Peach, Sep 9, 2004
  5. Edw. Peach

    Mike Kohary Guest

    The sun will only damage things if you have it focused on the sensor; i.e.
    centered in the frame such that it's using the lens the same way you might
    focus the sun's light with a magnifying glass. Pictures that happen to have
    the sun in it are not generally a problem. Just make sure you don't point
    your camera directly at the sun and zoom in for a shot (which would also be
    harmful to your eye(s)).

    Shots like these have never harmed me or my cameras:

    Mike Kohary, Sep 9, 2004
  6. Edw. Peach

    Al Smith Guest

    Whats the difference between the center of the image sensor and the edge?

    Just make sure you don't point
    Al Smith, Sep 9, 2004
  7. Edw. Peach

    Mike Kohary Guest

    It's not about the center or the edge; it's about whether or not you're
    focusing a concentrated beam of light onto the sensor. If the sensor, lens
    and sun are all perfectly lined up, you'll be focusing a concentrated beam
    of light onto the sensor, and probably damage it. If the sun is off to the
    side, it's probably not focusing a beam of light onto the sensor at all.
    Try it with a magnifying glass and you'll see - as you turn the glass at an
    angle to the sun, you lose your beam.

    Mike Kohary, Sep 9, 2004
  8. Edw. Peach

    Al Smith Guest

    I don't thinks so, but I are just a engineer.
    Al Smith, Sep 10, 2004
  9. Edw. Peach

    Mike Kohary Guest

    <shrug> That's how I understand it. If you know better, by all means feel
    free to post a better explanation.

    Mike Kohary, Sep 10, 2004
  10. Edw. Peach

    BillB Guest

    I believe the question was about the difference between the effect
    of the sun's image in the center of the sensor vs. when it is near
    its edge. Your description seems to be that of rotating the camera
    (like a magnifying glass) an amount sufficient to prevent the sun's
    image from striking any part of the sensor, in which case you're
    correct. The sensor would be unaffected. But if the sun's appears
    anywhere in the viewfinder, its image will land somewhere on the
    sensor. Whether this happens to be in the center or closer to one
    of the sensor's edges, the intensity of the sun's image will be
    approximately the same, unless a bad lens with a severe vignetting
    problem is used.

    Despite this, you're probably right that the sun isn't likely to
    be a problem for most people, since when it appears in the finder it
    will tend to cause the photographer take evasive action. :) For
    the rare shot that captures the sun, I imagine that the whole
    process (composing, focusing, shooting) happens quickly enough to
    avoid damage more severe than an accidentally underexposed picture.
    The risk might increase when tripods are used . . .
    BillB, Sep 10, 2004
  11. Edw. Peach

    Mike Kohary Guest

    I don't people look away from the sun all day long? If I rotate
    that magnifying glass enough, I don't get a beam, even though it's still
    definitely being exposed to the sun.

    Anyway, I'm no expert on this, I'm just speculating. All I know is I've
    never harmed a camera by taking pictures with the sun in the frame, and
    there's been plenty of those.
    I'm guessing this is only a real problem with point-and-shoots, where the
    sensor is exposed. On a digital SLR, the sensor is only exposed (usually)
    for a fraction of a second, and I doubt it would matter if you pointed it at
    the sun all day long.

    Mike Kohary, Sep 10, 2004
  12. Edw. Peach

    BillB Guest

    Yes, enough to prevent a concentrated, sharp image of the sun from
    forming. Where the far off-center image lands it will be out of
    focus, so any image will be far larger, and so much less intense.
    Use a magnifying glass to put the sun's image on your bare arm, but
    position it so that the image is out of focus and the sun's disc is
    much larger than if it was focused properly. You might feel a
    slight warmth, but nothing approaching pain.

    Sure, I understand. But the amount that you're rotating the
    magnifying glass is far greater than the amount that the camera/lens
    combination is rotated in moving the sun's image from the center of
    the sensor to its edge. The magnifying glass is a lens and has a
    focal length. Attach it to the end of a bellows, position it so
    that it when the shutter opens it will produce an image of the sun
    in the center of the film. Rotate the lens so that the image hits
    the edge of the film, and I'm quite certain the number of degrees
    rotated (3 degrees, 7 degrees, whatever) is far smaller than the
    rotation you envisioned with the magnifying glass and it's vanished
    image of the sun, which would probably be 30 or 40 degrees, if not
    more. Rotate the camera an equivalent number of degrees away from
    the sun, and even though the sun's rays are still hitting the front
    element of the lens, the sun's image inside the camera's body is
    similarly dim and grossly distorted, and what remains of it will lie
    far from the sensor, except for possibly a bit of flare. I guess we
    might call it a solar flare. :)
    BillB, Sep 10, 2004
  13. Edw. Peach

    Chris Down Guest

    Yes Mike.. we do instictively avoid looking directly at the sun.. We are
    aware of its warmth.. we see the clear bue sky.. but even at sunrise and
    sunset we tend to look at the sunlight on the clouds rather than the sun
    itself until if it almost below the horizon.. Over the next few days try
    to keep looking at the sun in your mind and see just how many times to
    actually see it.
    Chris Down, Sep 10, 2004
  14. Edw. Peach

    Mike Kohary Guest

    I know, that's what I mean. We don't look directly at the sun because,
    well, it's painful. ;) But the sun is constantly in our view, or at least
    in mine.
    Ok. I'm not sure what we're arguing, so I'll take your word for it. ;)

    Mike Kohary, Sep 12, 2004
  15. Edw. Peach

    BillB Guest

    We were discussing which camera is the best for taking pictures of
    the sun. On this the experts are unanimous - Sigma SD10!
    BillB, Sep 12, 2004
  16. Edw. Peach

    Mike Kohary Guest

    Agreed! :)

    Mike Kohary, Sep 12, 2004
  17. Yeah...with those Homer Simpson skin tones the yellow of the sun should
    stand out great.
    Randall Ainsworth, Sep 12, 2004
  18. Edw. Peach

    BillB Guest

    Fancy meeting you here, Mr. Burns. :)
    BillB, Sep 12, 2004
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