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    Shooting directly into the sun?
    #1
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    Hi guys, this is more like a general question about digital cameras. I've heard several times that one shouldn't point the lens directly into the sun because it could bring damage to the camera's sensor. I suppose it's related to burning ants with a magnifier...

    What precautions should one take when shooting a bright sun with the EX1? Should this be avoided at all costs and there is no safe way to do it?

    Thanks!


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    #2
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    Sunset...
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    I would only try to shoot sunsets with good cloud, haze or smog, diffusion - especially in close up. Wide Angle like Toms shots - you can take your chances of burning out the cmos. My rule of thumb, is if you can look at the sunset without pain... then the camera can look at it. If its too bright for your eye, you risk the camera... see what you can do with exposure and see if it looks ok.


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    #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iudex View Post
    Hi guys, this is more like a general question about digital cameras. I've heard several times that one shouldn't point the lens directly into the sun because it could bring damage to the camera's sensor. I suppose it's related to burning ants with a magnifier...

    What precautions should one take when shooting a bright sun with the EX1? Should this be avoided at all costs and there is no safe way to do it?

    Thanks!
    This is a myth. Back in the day when camera's used tubes instead of CCD's this was a true statement, but it's no longer an issue.

    Getting a good shot of the sun.....that's a whole different issue.
    Sony EX3, Crosziel base plate & matte box, Sachtler FSB8 tripod, Steadicam Flyer.
    Canon 5DM2, 16-35mm, 70-200 IS II, Zacuto DSLR plate and Z-Finder Pro 2.5x, Arri MFF-1 FF.
    20 years as a videographer/editor. Experienced with Apple products, Final Cut Studio, Adobe Creative Suite, MOTU Digital Performer, Flip4Mac, etc...
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    #5
    Senior Member basspig's Avatar
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    Be sure to use ND2 filter setting.

    I have briefly shot directly into noon-day sun without damage, but I don't feel confident to allow that kind of light into the camera for more than a few seconds. Sunsets are no problem--I've done several time-lapses with the ND2 filter and no problems.
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    #6
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    There seems to be multiple opinions on this subject!

    Isn't someone in contact with Sony?


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    #7
    Senior Member Carl Marxx's Avatar
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    Any time you shoot directly into the Sun in a stationary position for any length of time can cause damage to the sensor. A HI density lense is recomended, but since the rays may converge to one section of the image chip, heat can build - and may "bubble" the sensor surface. The sad part is damage may not be apperant now, but in 6 month or so you might find a pixal burn in that area. Have you ever taken a broken bottle bottom in the Sun and started fall leaves on fire? What I do is catch the corner of a cloud where the Sun is pearing through and /or try to keep the camera slightly moving (Like a Ken Burns movie) as you shoot! The good news is that the newer sensor chips do better with this problem, but still can be dammaged. -- Carl
    Last edited by Carl Marxx; 12-07-2008 at 09:43 AM.


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    #8
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    While we're talking about the sun doing damage....

    Another thing to watch out for is your view finder. If it faces the sun, it can act like a magnifying glass and melt the display inside. Remember to keep it so it doesn't face the sun for any length of time. (probably more than an hour)
    Sony EX3, Crosziel base plate & matte box, Sachtler FSB8 tripod, Steadicam Flyer.
    Canon 5DM2, 16-35mm, 70-200 IS II, Zacuto DSLR plate and Z-Finder Pro 2.5x, Arri MFF-1 FF.
    20 years as a videographer/editor. Experienced with Apple products, Final Cut Studio, Adobe Creative Suite, MOTU Digital Performer, Flip4Mac, etc...
    http://www.focalpointmarketing.com


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    #9
    Senior Member Buck Forester's Avatar
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    Personally I've had no trouble shooting into the sun, either with still cameras or video. Of course I'm not zooming into the sun or making the sun my primary subject (unless it's a beautiful sunset), but I often include the high, bright sun as an element in my compositions with wide angle lenses. In fact stopping down the lens/iris gives you that cool starburst effect. I think common sense would suggest to not point directly into the sun for extended periods of time (no one would want to see that anyway), or to zoom in on a bright sun high in the sky (no one would want to see that anyway), but merely including the sun as part of an outdoor scene shouldn't adversely affect your sensor*.

    *Don't quote me, ha!, if something happens, hey, I'm just a hack with no authority. Both my lawyer and I dismiss my own advice, and I abuse caffeine which negatively affects my reasoning capabilities but increases my typing speed.


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    #10
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    I have shot midday sun for about 10 - 15 min. timelapse. The sun was going in and out of clouds, but it was definantly staring straight into my lens for at least 3 minutes straight. I did not know at that time that it would hurt the sensor. But I can't see an problem with the sensor as of yet. So I cross my fingers.


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