Sony has released an official warning about CIS laser damage to CMOS image sensors. I imagine there have been some recently damaged cameras from laser lights in recent months that brought about this official warning.
Do not directly expose the Lens to beams such as laser beams. This may cause damage to the image sensor and cause the camera to malfunction.
Note: In either outdoor or indoor environment when there is a laser display, tendency of direct or indirect (laser beam bounce from reflective object) damage to the camera CMOS Sensor is still very high.
This risk doesn't just affect Sony CMOS sensors obviously, always take care of your camera around laser light presentations. There have been mentions of the risk lasers pose to camera sensors in the past, as we saw people showing the issue once videography became a big part of interchangeable lens camera usage.
I think, it was more than 10 years ago, that I heard that lasers could damage imaging sensors.
I think, it was about the same time I got into a quarrel with a father as I told his son not to point at me and my camera with his green laser pointer.
The father just couldn't understand why I didn't talked to him first.
And I told him that I would have done if he had been there in place and that these 5 or more mW lasers are no toys and could also harm eyes.
But he was not open to arguments. :rolleyes:
I suppose today his son is plane spotting with his laser still not knowing what he is doing.
All camera owners should heed this warning.
Lasers are not out to get Sony.
"CAUTION! - Do not stare into beam with remaining eye!"
The problem is that today there are more and more lasers in the invisible spectrum. Either ultraviolet or infrared. If you can't see the light, you might not look away or with your eyes or your camera. Invisible lasers can be so powerful that you can melt or cut things with them. That is quite creepy. The US are working on lasers that can shoot down planes. Those lasers are also invisible.
I wonder how powerful lidar lasers in self driving cars are allowed to be, as they should have enough power to "see" things in a few hundred metres distance. A future with self driving cars would meand that lasers would hit our eyes all the time, if cars are nearby.
Not to mention that they are frequently labeled with wrong technical specs. Not everything sold as safe actually is so. Terrifying demonstration by the crazy laser guy on YouTube:
Car equipment and manufacturing is highly regulated, I don't worry too much about that. But in cameras, the invisible light is absorbed by the color filter in front of the pixels, so I suppose those will warm up when exposed to lasers and may get damaged.
The green lasers look the brightest. I think the purple ones are the most dangerous, because they do not look very bright, but still have the same power and most of their power might produce invisible light.
Modern cameras have strong infrared filter built in. I think for the UV spectrum you might need an external UV filter, but that might spoil the image quality, as it is another piece of glass that can produce additional flares.
I wouldn't allow lidar at all outside of military and industrial niches which severely limit use/exposure. But this generation thinks that everything should move at the tempo of computing and the Internet, and jumps head first into new waters. Often in the middle of the night with no moon.
Man's $1,998 Camera Fried by Self-Driving Car Laser
If the guy had just sprung for the $1999 model he'd have been OK.