My brother took multiple up-close pictures of a stack of burning diyas (a type of candle); to the naked eyes, the candles looked very bright. Can such up-close photography damage my iPhone’s camera, or its sensors?

I am attaching a photo here for the reference: enter image description here


No, taking pictures of candles, fires, etc., cannot damage your phone's sensors. There's just not enough energy emitted in the optical and infrared spectrum from candles and fires to cause damage to the camera.

If there's any damage to your phone's camera or sensors, it would come from heat from being close to the fire. But that type of heat damage would damage a person holding the phone well before the phone were damaged. Perhaps the phone's battery, or overheated electronics chips in the phone, would be the first casualties of excessive heat. But again, the person holding the phone would feel the effects first.

  • Dust or soot could conceivably damage sensitive electronics inside the phone, and not just the camera part, if they're able to get in somehow.
    – Michael C
    Nov 4 '21 at 21:06
  • @MichaelC possibly, but the likelihood of that is quite low, IMO. Pocket lint, finger grime, and general dust are a much higher average risk to the components of a phone camera. I've had a lot of that stuff work its way into my various phones over the years, and not once have they ever affected the phone's camera components.
    – scottbb
    Nov 4 '21 at 22:31
  • Dust from smoke and soot have unique electrostatic properties that lint or dust from skin dander do not. That's one reason even way back in the 1950s many television and radio studios prohibited smoking in rooms that held racks of electrical equipment and switchgear, even though they weren't "clean rooms".
    – Michael C
    Nov 4 '21 at 22:34
  • True. But phones aren't really what I'd call "drafty", or have much opportunity for air exchange or flow. As far as risk factors, by analogy, I'm 25 miles from Cape Canaveral, so there is a nonzero risk of a SpaceX rocket blowing up and landing on my house. It's negligible, but substantially higher than the average American. But I don't operate as if it's something to be concerned about. Similarly, I'm not concerned about smoke and spot from a candle or campfire when using my iPhone.
    – scottbb
    Nov 4 '21 at 23:28

50 candles emit less energy than a white paper in summer at high noon.

You're human eye sees a lot of brightness, compared to the environment. But this nearly nothing to brightness of daylight.

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