I really hope I didn't just damage the sensor on my R5

Kit Lens Jockey

EOS R
CR Pro
Nov 12, 2016
878
597
Well, I had planned to do a time lapse of an approaching storm through my front window. But unexpectedly the sky cleared off to full sun. And, unfortunately, the sun was in the frame. As soon as I realized what was happening, and how bad it could be, I pulled the camera out of the sun. Looking at what was recorded on the time lapse, I estimate that the camera was looking at the sun for a little over 5 and a half minutes, with a 24mm lens. The time was around 3:30pm, and sunset here today is 6:38pm.

One big caveat, like I said it was through a window, and the window has solar blocking film on it. You can see out of the windows, but the amount of tint is about like wearing a pair of sunglasses, maybe a little less. You cannot feel heat from the sun through the window, which is the whole point of the film.

To see how strong the sun was, after I took the camera out of the sun, I held just the lens up to the sun, put my hand behind the lens, and moved it until the sun was focused down to a pin point on my hand. It didn't burn my hand or even feel hot.

The camera seems to still work fine. I took a dark photo and I see nothing weird. The sensor looks ok. So is it likely that the camera escaped unscathed? Is sun damage to cameras pretty much either it burns a hole in the sensor or it's fine, with little in-between?
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,450
1,431
Its telephoto lenses that are the biggest issue, a wide lens is not so likely to be a issue. A telephoto can burn a hole in the shutter or damage the aperture for very long exposures of direct sun. Photographing the solar eclipse fried some lenses without filters.
 

brad-man

Semi-Reactive Member
Jun 6, 2012
1,676
585
S Florida
Well, I had planned to do a time lapse of an approaching storm through my front window. But unexpectedly the sky cleared off to full sun. And, unfortunately, the sun was in the frame. As soon as I realized what was happening, and how bad it could be, I pulled the camera out of the sun. Looking at what was recorded on the time lapse, I estimate that the camera was looking at the sun for a little over 5 and a half minutes, with a 24mm lens. The time was around 3:30pm, and sunset here today is 6:38pm.

One big caveat, like I said it was through a window, and the window has solar blocking film on it. You can see out of the windows, but the amount of tint is about like wearing a pair of sunglasses, maybe a little less. You cannot feel heat from the sun through the window, which is the whole point of the film.

To see how strong the sun was, after I took the camera out of the sun, I held just the lens up to the sun, put my hand behind the lens, and moved it until the sun was focused down to a pin point on my hand. It didn't burn my hand or even feel hot.

The camera seems to still work fine. I took a dark photo and I see nothing weird. The sensor looks ok. So is it likely that the camera escaped unscathed? Is sun damage to cameras pretty much either it burns a hole in the sensor or it's fine, with little in-between?
Your sensor will be fine, just keep it away from your Better Beamer...
 

YuengLinger

Sufficiently Pixilated
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
3,237
1,521
USA
Your sensor will be fine, just keep it away from your Better Beamer...
I had to laugh about the Better Beamer because I belonged to a photo Club with a member who would scold anybody who even talked about using one for birds.
 

AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,340
7,123
Its telephoto lenses that are the biggest issue, a wide lens is not so likely to be a issue. A telephoto can burn a hole in the shutter or damage the aperture for very long exposures of direct sun. Photographing the solar eclipse fried some lenses without filters.
That's very interesting. I suppose the short focal length lens concentrates light intensively over a small area but a long telephoto with a large diameter front element lets in more overall light and heats up a sensor or iris diaphragm more.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,450
1,431
That's very interesting. I suppose the short focal length lens concentrates light intensively over a small area but a long telephoto with a large diameter front element lets in more overall light and heats up a sensor or iris diaphragm more.
Some experts say its the larger physical diameter of the aperture in a telephoto lens. Area is not a linear function so a larger aperture lets a lot more light thru.

There are a lot of opinions on the internet but few that can back up their claims with a reason and calculations. Here is one that has some backup calculations that seem reasonable. I can't speak to how valid they are but the author has a good reputation for knowledge of photography.

I have a Orion solar filter that I used to photograph the sun and had a hour or two exposure during the eclipse plus a lot more during testing. I was in live view the whole time and saw no sign of damage.

 

AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,340
7,123
Some experts say its the larger physical diameter of the aperture in a telephoto lens. Area is not a linear function so a larger aperture lets a lot more light thru.

There are a lot of opinions on the internet but few that can back up their claims with a reason and calculations. Here is one that has some backup calculations that seem reasonable. I can't speak to how valid they are but the author has a good reputation for knowledge of photography.

I have a Orion solar filter that I used to photograph the sun and had a hour or two exposure during the eclipse plus a lot more during testing. I was in live view the whole time and saw no sign of damage.

I have always admired Roger Clark's site .
 

Bdbtoys

EOS 90D
CR Pro
Jul 16, 2020
183
126
This has been posted in the forums a few times... but if you really want to see sun damage... check this out.
 

Rocky

EOS R
Jul 30, 2010
970
62
Your lens projects the image of the sun onto the sensor. For a short lens, the area of the sun is much smaller than a long lens on the sensor. Hence, the total heat from the sun is a lot less than the long lens. But at pixel level, the heat is the same for short lens and long lens for individual pixel. You just hope and pray that the heat can be dissipated on the image of the sun of the shorter lens. But for a long lens, you are out of luck.