I dropped my Nikon D5500 recently from a height of around 3 ft onto a hard surface. Visibly, there is no damage to the camera. However, having handled some DSLRs, I think it's very unlikely that everything is intact.

When I was editing some of the images in Lightroom, I could feel that there is way too much light in images which I am finding hard to remove using filters. I have attached a screenshot where I can see a bright band in the centre of every image (larger versions on this Google Drive link):

screenshot of images where I can see bands at center

Then I clicked some high-ISO images (12000, 25000) where I could see some noise:

high-iso images

However, I am not sure if the sensor is damaged or if I am clicking on the pictures wrong. Is there any specific way I can test for to know for any damage?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You've shown no damage to us and no symptoms of damage. (Very) High ISO noise is a certainty, not a signs of a problem, and the images you posted are too small to show anything - link to a larger single image example would be useful. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! Attaching larger images link drive.google.com/drive/folders/… The only reason I shared small images because the effect is clearly visible in small images. In all the small images I can observe a bright horizontal band in the center, which concerns me. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 16:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Those bands you are seeing are just cloud formations. Note that as your session moved along in time, the clouds continued to move and that band was eventually absorbed/obscured by a larger cloud. \$\endgroup\$
    – meklarian
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 22:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Most likely a damaged shutter. Sensors are one piece of silicon, so if it's broken your camera is dead. A shutter is mechanical and controls how much light comes in. So does the aperture in the lens, so you should try another lens in case the damage is there which would be much better than a broken camera. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 22:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looks normal to me. If you are on a mountain top on a sunny day, cameras will have a hard time giving you the right exposure. \$\endgroup\$
    – yulunz
    Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 18:58

3 Answers 3


Sensor vs. impact is binary-it's fine or it's dead.

I'm not seeing anything out of the ordinary in the pictures you're showing, just normal clouds/haze. If there were a light strip it the middle the only reasonable candidate would be shutter damage. But that's hard to imagine from an impact.

Easy to start seeing things after an incident.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks a lot! Is there a way by which I can determine if the shutter is damaged or not? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 18:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would agree, although with such small images it could also be hazing (natural) or who knows. My feeling is there is no problem as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – AthomSfere
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 3:34

How can I tell if a drop damaged my camera's sensor?

Take some test photos. Don't just look at some photos you took outdoors which might or might not have something wrong with them (they look fine to me); set up a test shot indoors under controlled lighting so that there's no possibility of atmospheric haze, and you can reproduce the shot with different bodies and lenses if needed. Are you finding the same problem with "way too much light" at a variety of shutter/aperture/ISO combinations? If yes, you might have a problem. Try the same shot with a different lens. If possible, borrow another body from a friend and take the same shot. Compare. At that point, it should be pretty easy to tell whether there's a problem with your camera body or lens.


The images you showed illustrate perfectly normal look of clear sky which can be lighter near the horizon depending on the angle of sunlight and perfectly normal noise.

There is no specific way to test camera for sensor damage, the damage can be hidden and develop itself later.


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