long exposure effects on sensors

Aussie shooter

@brett.guy.photography
Dec 6, 2016
410
400
I have been doing some extra long exposures lately(up to 40min) and am wondering if it will have any long term effect on the sensor. I haven't noticed anything but would like to know before I do to many more.
 

BeenThere

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 4, 2012
837
165
I don’t have any test data to back this up, but I don’t think you have any problems with long exposures from a longevity perspective. The sensor is made up of CMOS electronics which typically last for many thousands of hours use. However, you will experience a lot of noise in exposures this long. It may be better to use shorter exposures and stack them to deal with the noise.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,091
1,570
Canada
Aussie shooter said:
I have been doing some extra long exposures lately(up to 40min) and am wondering if it will have any long term effect on the sensor. I haven't noticed anything but would like to know before I do to many more.
I can't see shooting long exposures being any harder on the camera than shooting video.... The only thing I would worry about would be excessive heat if you left the camera running in the sun on a hot day.... in which case, make a cardboard sun shield for the camera.
 

3kramd5

EOS 5D MK IV
Mar 2, 2012
3,080
399
If it were substantially problematic, I think we would know from “always on” cameras like video and mirrorless rigs.
 

timmy_650

EOS RP
Dec 20, 2012
275
12
I have a 6D and a 1DX and been playing with long exposures too but like 10-20 mins. I noticed my 6D files were nosier than my 1DX at similar exposure times. My guess it the 1Dx handles the heat better and causes less heat noise. So I would guess that if you could cause damage on a senor from long exposure, the time would vary on the camera you use too.
I have seen people like multi hour exposure before and they didn't come back saying I ruined my camera trying to capture snow melting.
 

bwud

EOS RP
Sep 3, 2014
305
10
timmy_650 said:
I have a 6D and a 1DX and been playing with long exposures too but like 10-20 mins. I noticed my 6D files were nosier than my 1DX at similar exposure times. My guess it the 1Dx handles the heat better and causes less heat noise. So I would guess that if you could cause damage on a senor from long exposure
Heat associated with image degradation is almost certainly less than heat associated with equipment damage (beyond maximum junction temperature).

Quite likely in a long exposure, similar to a video capture, the sensor reaches a steady state temperature. It doesn’t run away with an ever increasing temperature increase over time. If the design team did its job, that maximum strath state power doesn’t exceed theta JCmax for any component, much less the sensor.
 

Aussie shooter

@brett.guy.photography
Dec 6, 2016
410
400
Just for clarification. I was using a 7d2 and the longest exposure was about 40 mins at Iso 400 with a couple of shorter ones as well. And yes. The noise was pretty horrendous as you would expect on a crop sensor camera like that. It certainly is not what I would call a dedicated astro rig. Sounds like sensor damage won't be an issue though so thanks for the help. The noise I will just have to live with.