Shooting into the sun with a digital camera?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Scott Smith, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. Scott Smith

    Scott Smith Guest


    I was taking a sunset photo with my Canon 10d recently, when someone stopped
    me and asked whether I didn't know that shooting into the sun is bad for the
    camera. I've always operated on the rule that if it doesn't hurt my eyes,
    it's OK.

    Do I need some kind of filter to shoot into the rising/setting sun?


    Scott Smith, Dec 28, 2004
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  2. Oh, yes. Open the shutter of your digital camera for about two weeks,
    and open the lens all the way, and point it right at the sun. That's
    the best thing that could happen to digital cameras!
    uraniumcommittee, Dec 28, 2004
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  3. Scott Smith

    chrlz Guest

    Warning - generalisations follow. Your mileage may..etc.. Read your
    camera manual and heed the warnings.

    Now, onto the opinions!

    Yes, CCD and CMOS sensors can be damaged by sunlight exposure, but...

    No, in 'normal usage', this should not be an issue. In other words,
    including the sun in shot, as long as your exposure times are
    appropriate (?) should not cause a problem. Pointing the camera at a
    midday sun and taking a time exposure is likely to be a dangerous
    proposition, however. And it's certainly not a good idea to leave any
    camera un-lens-capped sitting around in the sun, or any bright light
    source for that matter.

    There are a few, but very few, references on the web to digital sensors
    being damaged by sunlight. Personally, I take a lot of shots that
    include the sun when both low and high in the sky (much more likely to
    do damage) and have never encountered a problem (cameras include Sony
    717, 828, P73, P93, Olympus C3030, c8080..)

    Fingers crossed.
    chrlz, Dec 28, 2004
  4. Scott Smith

    chrlz Guest

    another useful post.. keep it up. it all adds to your reputation.

    chrlz, Dec 28, 2004
  5. Why don't you quit asking such imbecilic questions, moron.
    Ask the manufacturer, dumbass.
    uraniumcommittee, Dec 28, 2004
  6. Scott Smith

    C J Campbell Guest

    Well, if you don't know, just say so.
    C J Campbell, Dec 28, 2004
  7. Scott Smith

    dj_nme Guest

    I have done some photography of welding and cutting processes that put
    out a ton more (about 4~5 times midday summer sun) UV and visible light
    than the sun would at any time of the day.
    What I've found is that apparently no damage has occurred.
    There are seemingly no images "burnt into the sensor" and other, later
    photos in all conditions seem to bear this out.

    Many things that are "uncomfortable" (brightness wise) to look at even
    with eye protection (glasses, goggles, etc) on are seemingly safe to
    dj_nme, Dec 28, 2004
  8. Scott Smith

    grol Guest

    Why do you come here?
    grol, Dec 28, 2004
  9. Scott Smith

    Fitpix Guest

    By acting like an assholeand insulting others he tries to make himself look
    better.....too bad it makes him look like a complete cock.
    Fitpix, Dec 28, 2004
  10. Scott Smith

    Scott Smith Guest

    I just added him to my killfile after reading his initial response to my
    post, and a few other recent responses. He just doesn't seem to have
    anything interesting to say.

    People like him don't necessarily do what they do to feel better about
    themselves. I doubt he feels insecure; he just enjoys being mean and
    stirring things up.

    Also, I wouldn't bother challenging him with stuff like "you're probably a
    lousy photographer" or "you're probably a little 98-pound wimp". He could be
    the world's best photographer and/or some big tough guy. That would just
    make it all the more sad that he has this asshole personality disorder.

    "So close, and yet so near..."

    Scott Smith, Dec 28, 2004
  11. Ok, following suggestion- take a magnifier, hold it in between the right
    distance between the sun and your skin.
    You see the steam coming off your skin? Ohh, it hurt already too much so
    you stopped beforehand?

    Now do the same between the welding and the skin.
    Does it hurt?

    I guess your theory is answered.

    Gerhard Beulke, Dec 28, 2004
  12. It won't be the same for all digital cameras. The DSLRs have a
    mechanical shutter (at least I can't think of any that don't) whilst
    many point and shoot don't (how else could you use the LCD to compose
    the image).

    So whilst there's possibly a chance of cooking some of the point and
    shoot cameras there's less chance of damaging a DSLR. I'm sure someone
    else could do the math...
    Stephen Maudsley, Dec 28, 2004
  13. Now try the same thing for 1/2000 of a second and see if it hurts (like
    most of the DSLRs would do).
    Stephen Maudsley, Dec 28, 2004
  14. Scott Smith

    dj_nme Guest

    Rather than writing "seemingly safe" I should have been more clear, they
    _are_ _safe_ to photograph.

    The many glass (and plastic, depending on manufacturer) elements in
    camera lenses plus a mirror plus a pentaprism attenuates any harmful
    radiation before it gets to your eye by looking through the viewfinder.
    It may cause eye _strain_ due to visible brightness, but not dammage due
    to burning.

    Unprotected exposure of skin to (electric, AKA arc) welding radiation
    will give you second degree burns after about 20 ~ 30 minutes and the
    skin will peal the next day.
    Unprotected (no goggles, safety glasses or welding visor) eyes can be
    damaged in less than a second of exposure.
    The two examples above assume that you are the one welding or "standing
    over their shoulder" observing at very close range

    The many glass (and plastic) elements in the optical path of an SLR
    provide excelent protection from harmful radiation to the eye looking
    through the viewfinder.
    They (optical elements) are made of similar materials to the safety
    glasses you need to avoid eye damage.

    I am a welder/fabricator by trade and am truly familiar with the effects
    of electric arc welding or cutting radiation.

    Don't forget that the sensor on a DSLR camera will only be exposed at
    the most for a fraction of a second during a photographic exposure,
    unless you are deliberately trying to damage the camera by using an
    exposure of several seconds.

    All DSLR cameras have _metal_ focal plane shutters.
    So, even the old precaution of leaving the lenscap on, the lens at close
    focus and setting small apeture to avoid burning the cloth of the
    shutter when not actually taking pictures does not apply anymore.

    If, on the other hand, you are using an SLR styled "prosumer" model
    digital camera, the sensor is _constantly_ exposed to provide "live
    preview" and you could concievably (maybe, perhaps) burn a sun image
    into the sensor (if you're unlucky).

    I write all of this from experience.

    Where did you get your incredible "in depth" knowledge on this subject?

    Many more cheers from me,
    dj_nme, Dec 28, 2004
  15. Scott Smith

    Ivan Guest

    People like him don't necessarily do what they do to feel better about
    Okay, how do you kill fill somebody?
    Ivan, Dec 28, 2004
  16. Scott Smith

    Fitpix Guest

    In Outlook Express you can go to "message" and select "block sender"
    Fitpix, Dec 28, 2004
  17. Scott Smith

    me Guest

    Yikes, chrlz is keeping a dossier on anyone he feels is not making useful
    posts. I'm scared!
    Film, rules!
    me, Dec 28, 2004
  18. In Message-ID:<> posted on Tue, 28 Dec 2004
    I doubt that the CCD would be able to ignore the several seconds before
    and after the actual 1/2000 reading is taken, or do DSLRs have shutters?
    ....and I've seen cloth FP shutters ruined just that way.
    Justín Käse, Dec 28, 2004
  19. In
    You've just answered a question I posed only moments ago.
    Maybe I should read all responses before replying to any? <g>
    Justín Käse, Dec 28, 2004
  20. Mechanically, DSLRs are more or less the same as flm SLRs but with a CCD
    sensor where the film would be.
    Stephen Maudsley, Dec 28, 2004
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