There is obviously a great concern on the Net about getting ones image sensor sun damaged. I am getting interested in what such damage would look like.

I have Googled around some to try to find an example of such damage. The few examples I have seen in peoples blogs are not too convincing, they show faint grey circles that IMHO could as well be dust specks.

So, does anyone have a image from a sensor with obvious damage?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't have a sun-damaged one, but I left my old compact camera under a strong lamp accidentally for quite awhile, the CDD capturing the lamp in the bottom left corner, 1/16 of the full CDD area, and it burnt out only one pixel, and that was always shown red afterwards. I think if a CCD segment is burnt out, it is not weakened as a sensor, it is physically damaged (short or open). \$\endgroup\$
    – TFuto
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 12:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Not exactly sensor damage, but there is this caused by pointing the wrong camera/lens at the sun for about 1 minute: photo.stackexchange.com/a/45136/15871 \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 12:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have also seen several examples of burnt plastic in the area around the sensor. I think the plastic is easier to damage because it is nonreflective on purpose and thus absorbs heat well. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wirewrap
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 18:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not photos taken with sun damaged cameras, but here are more photos taken of sundmaged cameras \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 6:35

1 Answer 1


Now that the 2017 Eclipse is here there are a lot of articles describing exactly what you're looking for. Specifically look at PetaPixel: https://petapixel.com/2017/08/19/shooting-sun-without-filter-can-melt-dslr/

You can see how the sensor starts smoking from the exposure and ends up being totally burned. However, this is a bit of a contrived experiment. Short duration images are not a problem but if you're going to do any real solar photography or eclipse photography where the sun makes up a substantial part of the frame (like 20% or more) then a solar filter is a good idea if you're going to use a mirrorless camera or live view on a DSLR.


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