I'm still new to photography/videography and I'm at the learning stage so I'm asking for your experiences and expertise. I recently bought a SJCAM SJ6 Legend and I shot a 1 hour 30 min timelapse with the sun in it. No filter was used, there were like two layers of clouds and it was two hours before sunset, so the intensity was not that much. I could barely feel the heat, and I have checked my photos on a white wall and paper to see if there's any burn mark, but it shows no damage at all. Is my sensor still ok or did it do some damage?


1 Answer 1


Your sensor is fine.

You shot with a wide angle lens, which means that the intensity of the sun on the sensor is low and certainly non-damaging. To do damage to the sensor with the sun, the light needs to be focused, similar to how one would use a magnifying glass to fry ants. This can only be done with a telephoto lens. Additionally, since there was cloud cover, no direct sunlight would have been focused on to the sensor.

There are a couple of ways to check for damage to the sensor:

  1. Look at the physical sensor on the camera. Unfortunately, the lens on your device doesn't look removable so that will be hard to check.
  2. Look at output photos. In the case of of sun damage you will some sort of distortion. Here are is examples of one kind of damage: laser damaged photo

I'd be more scared of lasers.

  • Wide angle lenses don't focus the image?!
    – Caleb
    Jul 10, 2018 at 15:14
  • @Caleb That's not what I said. The wide angle lens doesn't focus the bright spot in with the same intensity as a longer lens, meaning sensor damage is far less likely to occur. Jul 10, 2018 at 15:30
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    That's different from "the sun wasn't focused onto the sensor enough to do damage," which sounds like wide angle lenses don't focus as much as telephoto lenses. I don't doubt that you understand the situation, but you haven't explained it very clearly. Beyond that, you haven't answered the question. The OP isn't asking whether the sensor is damaged, but rather how to tell whether the sensor is damaged regardless of whether it is or not right now.
    – Caleb
    Jul 10, 2018 at 15:34
  • That's a very good point. I've updated my post to be more relevant. Thanks! Jul 10, 2018 at 16:24
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    @bearmohawk The image I used is actually created by laser damage, but illustrates the same point. The damage is where the two bright lines cross. Jul 12, 2018 at 15:15

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