I don't know how strong the components are but amplifying electric signals seems like a great idea to exhaust the internals and there is also extended ISO values.. Like overcharging thin electricity cables to see them heat up and melt.

So how durable are cameras against high (more than 100 or 400) ISO/ASA operations? At least cheap ones like Canon EOS 1300D and Sony a6000? I saw an 36000 shutter flap a6000 recently.


There are no significant power levels involved here. The largest heatup and strain on the sensor actually is just from maintaining a live digital viewfinder/LCD. Or recording videos. Taking high ISO single exposures is relaxation. Drastic overexposure may be slightly more strenuous, but that's mostly with CCD sensors (which nobody uses anymore these days) than with CMOS, and with CCDs drastic overexposure will give you violet vertical lines while a CMOS will typically give you aperture dependent diffraction stars.

"Extended ISO" just means that several pixels get grouped for the purpose of noise limiting. It has nothing at all to do with the analog circuitry (which may or may not be involved with the normal ISO, depending on the sensor type: Sony Exmor are known for not fiddling with analog gain but doing the principal work all-digitally; others may do some ISO steps in analog but others in digital).

  • Actually, extended ISO just means multiplying the numbers in the data after ADC has taken place. The sensor is amplified at the camera's highest "regular" ISO setting, then the numbers in the image file are doubled or quadrupled. It has absolutely nothing to do with pixel binning.
    – Michael C
    Jul 31 '19 at 5:04

On the contrary, using very long exposures heavy-duty would cause more sensor and camera component heating (depending on camera design, solenoids will also heat up), which technically does shorten component lifetime a bit (most every electronics component deteriorates faster if heated, vacuum tubes run to specifications excepted ;) ) - but this is probably academic, other (mechanical) parts will wear out first with most cameras.

Signal (non-power) amplifiers do not generally deteriorate from higher signal levels, especially if they are not overdriven (and even then, only if a design intolerant to being overdriven is used).


It’s more like turning up the volume on your stereo, with the maximum volume limited to what your speakers can handle. It’s all designed to work correctly.

  • What about extended iso values? Jul 30 '19 at 19:21
  • 1
    @DeltaOscarUniform Extended ISO values are generally a purely software implementation so no impact.
    – Philip Kendall
    Jul 30 '19 at 19:31
  • 1
    Bad comparison. Many stereo setups will end up damaged if you run them pegged and with less than optimal source material! Aug 1 '19 at 22:52
  • Better comparison: Musician's amplifiers, especially for guitars - these are expected to be intentionally overdriven safely. Aug 1 '19 at 23:00

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