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Recently I was playing with my Sony α6000 camera, taking some shots of birds in the morning and also the sun. It was after taking the shots that I stumbled upon the fact on the internet that sun shots could damage the camera sensor. I was shooting the sun with the Sony 55-210 kit zoom lens at around 135 mm with my exposure time of 1/13s (I was in shutter priority) and a selected camera aperture of f/29. I did take around about 8-9 shots with some chimping in between.

Since I was completely oblivious to the fact of sensor damage from the sun before that, I quickly asked around in photography forums and from the advices online I checked for damage to the bayer filter of the sensor by shooting against a white background and was relieved to find no splotches or signs of sun damage to the sun.

However, now I am witnessing unusual amounts of increase in noise than previously found before the above mentioned incident.

I never used to care about the noise previously, even at high ISOs since they were never detrimental to my eye. But now this slight increase in noise has made me worried about my camera. Now my question is whether damage to the sensor elevates the noise levels and is there any way to properly test the sensor for any damage from my side? Since it is a two month old camera I can send it to Sony service and have them look. But before I do that I would definitely like to have my doubts cleared.

Here are a set of images first one taken before the sun shooting incident happened http://www.mediafire.com/convkey/d365/vyvs5d6re569n7izg.jpg And here are the one taken after that incident http://www.mediafire.com/convkey/8a9f/66t51grw4d2d3lzzg.jpg both images are shot in raw and then exported to jpeg without any global adjustments.Both were shot at 6400 ISO,f/5.6 and 1/60 s.s.I can see a slight amount of noise increase in the after images.

  • Providing a sample image or two would improve the question and allow for better answers. – Caleb Mar 8 '16 at 15:32
  • Or two sample images taken with the same settings in the same amount of (low) light - one before and one after. – Michael C Mar 8 '16 at 17:24
  • I have updated the post with a couple of sample images.Not only i did see a slight increase in noise but also the sharpness too came down a bit. – Sean Benn Mar 12 '16 at 11:19
  • Too much trafic (for me). I'd prefer 2000x2000 crop compressed at 90% or 11/12 quality. – Euri Pinhollow Mar 12 '16 at 12:39
  • I posted a metodology to test for sensor damage on a bright light. photo.stackexchange.com/questions/75285/… – Rafael Apr 11 '16 at 17:32
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Because of the sensor being an array of millions of electrical devices damaging only a part of them cannot cause malfunction of all others.

Here is an example of what happens if you damage the sensor: How to fix an image sensor damaged by long sun exposures?

Of course I would not recommend continiously photographing direct sunlight as the author of this answer has done: https://photo.stackexchange.com/a/5755/49477

However:

  • I have done countless exposures of the direct daylight at exposure values (exposure time divided by F square) several stops more than exposure values which you obtained, both with DSLR and live-view camera
  • the morning light is much less powerful than daylight.

Concerning the noise increase: you'd better inspect your material to check whether you are fooling yourself or not. There are many settings in the camera which influence the amount of noise visible in JPEG files.

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