Overexposed photo with flash, can be any damage to cmos?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by luka_pogacar, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. Hi I have just got new dslr with external flash and cos Iam novice and had flash set to manual at full power while making photos at slow shutter speed the picture came way overexposed almost white, can this do any harm to sensor? the shutter speed was 1/60, f3,5 and external flash on manual at 1/1 power. do I need to worry about?.
    Thanks,
     
  2. Never heard about damage due to overexposure. Now if you had pointed the sensor towards the sun that would have
    been a different issue. Don't worry.
     
  3. Short answer - No. Don't worry about it.
    It's probably best not to point the camera at the sun with the shutter open and lens removed however!
     
  4. Rodeo Joe,
    What would removing the lens have
    to do with it? How could the same
    sunlight falling on your skin
    harm a CMOS sensor?
     
  5. I routinely taking photographs, Sun in the composition, and the Sun in Namibia is extremely strong. Never had nay issue. D4, D3s, Df. Did, with D300, D700 and what ever cameras I had before.
    Rodeo Joe; It's probably best not to point the camera at the sun with the shutter open and lens removed however! I would never do that even inside a room. Dust.
     
  6. "How could the same sunlight falling on your skin harm a CMOS sensor?" - By saturating the photoFET elements for a start. Also I'm not sure how stable the microlens and RGB filter layers are. It may be that sustained exposure to bright light could degrade or fade those filters. Plus there's the heat generated by sunlight and absorbed by the IR filter in close proximity to the AA filter. Altogether it's not an exercise that I'd want to try out on my camera. But if you want to see exactly how much sunlight exposure your sensor can take, then go ahead.
     
  7. There are no hard and fast rules to photographing the sun but common sense and basic understanding of your camera and optics combo.
    A photographer will have a really bad day if he looks into the viewfinder with the camera and 500mm/F8 lens pointed at the sun, but taking a picture with this combo, even without filters, exposed for 100 uS, is probably not going to hurt the sensor.
     
  8. That response does not even pass
    the sniff test, Rodeo
     
  9. If you think about it, the light from the little Nikon SB-910 type flash is not all that much. Your sensor will be getting hit with more intense light just by taking a photo on a sunny day.
    Kent in SD
     
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    It sounds like not everybody is familiar with mirrroless cameras. E.g. on the Nikon 1 series, if you remove the lens, the sensor is exposed. Regular sunlight hitting on the sensor is not going to be a problem unless you leave the camera under the sun for hours.
    However, if you have a lens in front of it and it is focused to infinity, the lens could really be focusing the sun right onto the sensor. When I was a kid, I used lenses to light matches that way. It can't be very good for the exposed sensor if you leave it like that for a few minutes.
     
  11. [[I would never do that even inside a room. Dust.]]

    If only there were some simple, less than 1 minute, way to clean a digital sensor.
     
  12. The CCD or CMOS sensor is probably the least of your worries. Sunlight is as bright as a 100 Joule flash at 10 feet, except it doesn't stop after 1/1000 second. It will eventually destroy practically any man made material (and most natural ones too). Pointing a camera toward the sun with the lens attached will probably burn a hole in the shutter, which won't improve the results either. Sunlight will degrade LCD finders and displays even sooner.
    I use a Visible Dust brush system with a battery-operated spinner to clean and charge the brushes. You can easily remove dust in under a minute, end to end. The only time I resort to a liquid cleaning is if something stupid occurs leaving a sticky spot, like blowing dust with your breath or a dirty or degraded squeeze bulb. Last week was the first time in three or four years I've resorted to liquid cleaning. (Don't know what happened, but I was prepared and it went well.)
     
  13. How could the same sunlight falling on your skin harm a CMOS sensor?​
    The same way it could harm your eyes if you look directly into the sun for long enough.
     
  14. Back to the OP original question, which has nothing at all to do with the sun. Don't worry about flash hitting the sensor. It's really very weak. I've popped big mega-flash monolights with about 20 times the power of a Nikon SB910 flash directly into my lens at close range numerous times. It just isn't strong enough to hurt anything. The photo looked washed out simply because it was over exposed. Dial up to higher f-stop (e.g. f8, f11) to bring flash exposure back down.
    Kent in SD
     
  15. [[The same way it could harm your eyes if you look directly into the sun for long enough.]]

    Even a mild examination of the logic of your statement, Brooks, should have given you pause.
     
  16. Per Shun's answer : lasers have been known to burn out both individual and rows of pixels .

    http://gizmodo.com/5596508/laser-light-show-vs-dslr-sensor

    http://photofocus.com/2013/09/14/beware-lasers-can-kill-your-cameras-sensor/
     
  17. There is an interesting and somewhat more fact-oriented thread about this subject on the Arstechnica forum:

    http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1142113
     
  18. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    lasers have been known to burn out both individual and rows of pixels .​

    Have you seen any examples of this happening with still photography? I haven't so far, although it seems that a purely electronic shutter might have the problem also. But it doesn't appear that there are any reports of DSLR sensors being affected by still shot.

    Although I wouldn't do it now because of the articles referenced, before I read the article, I shot a show with lasers directed straight into the audience with no damage to the sensor:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Jeff I wonder what would have happened if you happen to make a shot with the laser pointed directly at the camera.
     
  20. Hello, Shun Cheung. Where is the shutter in a mirror-less camera? Behind the sensor or in-front of a sensor. ( Just kidding) Sorry I'm not familiar of mirror-less cameras. Or? They have no shutter? Or what?
    If they have a shutter, then the shutter always covering and protecting the sensor, and the filters on it. Or not?
    Thank you.
     
  21. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Jeff I wonder what would have happened if you happen to make a shot with the laser pointed directly at the camera.​
    I did because they were moving but the shots didn't look like much. Given that there are no reports of damage other than during video, I wouldn't expect anything to happen.
     
  22. [[If they have a shutter, then the shutter always covering and protecting the sensor, and the filters on it. Or not?]]
    If a mirrorless camera has a shutter then the shutter is always open until the time of exposure. Some mirrorless cameras (that have interchangeable lenses) have no physical shutters and only electronic shutters.
     
  23. If you are only shooting video, I wonder what would would happen if you are shooting in Iive view mode ?
     
  24. On topic: Luka try to use the automated settings for a while and then switch to more control from your side. See what the results are and keep on practicing.
     
  25. As well as I know it, point and shoot digital cameras don't have a mechanical shutter. The sensor is always receiving light. It takes more transistors to do that, such that the active area of the sensor array is smaller.
    For SLRs, they don't want to lose sensor area, so there is a mechanical shutter. (I am not sure why the mirror isn't enough. The higher shutter speeds are electronic, where the mechanical shutter is open longer. It has to be dark when the bits are read out.
     
  26. "...can this do any harm to sensor?"​
    Nope, not likely. The most powerful hotshoe flash units top out at around Guide Number 150 (feet). A few external non-system battery powered flashes, like the most powerful Metz unit, tops out at a GN of around 250. Most built-in flashes are GN 40 or less - usually much less.

    Coincidentally I recently demonstrated a simple optical-triggered external flash ("peanut" or "slave" flash) for an artist friend who needs to photograph some paintings and sketches that are too large for a flatbed scanner. A pair of inexpensive optical-triggered external flashes in an average household room with whitish walls and ceilings will provide plenty of diffuse light for copying documents and artwork that are too large for flatbed scanners. The only tricky bit is using a camera with built-in flash. Most have only auto flash and lack any full manual mode, so the preflash will trigger most common peanut flashes. Unfortunately this quickie test showed my friend's Fuji P&S is auto-flash only. He'll need a peanut flash that can handle the preflash, or stick with continuous lighting.

    Anyway, I used my Nikon V1's on-camera hotshoe SB-N5 flash in manual mode to trigger the off-camera peanut flash (GN 40), aimed directly at the camera at arm's length to quickly and easily demonstrate flash synchronization (sometimes difficult to do in bright sunlight, unless the off-camera flash is visible in frame). No harm done to the V1's CMOS sensor.
    [​IMG]

    "...point and shoot digital cameras don't have a mechanical shutter."​
    The Nikon V1 is pretty much a P&S that happens to accept interchangeable lenses. The Aptina CMOS sensor is always exposed (I don't know whether Nikon still uses the Aptina sensors for the more recent 1 System cameras). The optional mechanical shutter kicks in only after the shutter release is pressed. The main advantage to the mechanical shutter option is for flash sync in daylight with higher shutter speeds. Mostly I use the electronic shutter, which is quieter and produces no vibration, so it's better for low light slow shutter speed use.
     

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