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Sensor damage
Old 09-25-2010, 10:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Can a CMOS sensor be damaged by shooting into the sun?
Thanks
Keith
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Re: Sensor damage
Old 09-25-2010, 11:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I use solid-state photosensors of various types in the chemistry lab, but I am not an expert in CMOS imaging sensors.

That said, I think the answer is "Maybe" Focusing enough sunlight into a small area can cause significant damage to just about anything. But if you're talking about shooting something with the sun profiling the object, and wondering about the effect of light intensity - no, no permanent damage unless the source is a lot more intense than unfocused sun.
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Re: Sensor damage
Old 09-25-2010, 04:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Doesn't your owner's manual say to not point the lens directly toward the sun or other extremely bright light source, or damage might occur? Mine does.
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Re: Sensor damage
Old 09-25-2010, 10:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Many manuals say that. But the engineering literature says absolutely nothing about damage due to visible light, or ordinary levels of UV light. And while you can find a lot of questions on the web forums about this topic, there are no verified reports of CMOS sensors being damaged. By verified, I mean a report made by the individual whose sensor was damaged.
You're more likely to damage your eyes than the CMOS - which is actually LESS sensitive to UV damage than your eye tissue, I believe.
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Re: Sensor damage
Old 09-27-2010, 11:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jford View Post
Many manuals say that. But the engineering literature says absolutely nothing about damage due to visible light, or ordinary levels of UV light. And while you can find a lot of questions on the web forums about this topic, there are no verified reports of CMOS sensors being damaged. By verified, I mean a report made by the individual whose sensor was damaged.
You're more likely to damage your eyes than the CMOS - which is actually LESS sensitive to UV damage than your eye tissue, I believe.
Question was .. "Can a CMOS sensor be damaged by shooting into the sun?"

My answer was, "the manual says it can.

You stated there are no verified reports of damage.

Solution.

Try it, and report back.
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Re: Sensor damage
Old 09-27-2010, 07:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My K100 has a CCD, not CMOS, sensor. But I'll post an image of the sun as soon as I get time to shoot during the day AND we have a sunny day.

Until then, you might check this thread
http://photo.net/digital-camera-forum/009ltO - which has pictures of the sun taken by reportedly undamaged sensors - and this one
http://digital-photography-school.co...or-damage.html
Which includes a factor I didn't consider - the RGB mask over the sensor. Interesting reading.
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Re: Sensor damage
Old 09-27-2010, 07:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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These were taken in 2003 on an Olympus C-700UZ. The camera is still functional and now used in my lab to document electrophoresis gels.

Er, this is also a CCD sensor. Sorry - I don't own a CMOS sensor. Except in a spectrometer.
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Last edited by jford; 09-27-2010 at 07:37 PM.. Reason: added photo
 
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